Friday, October 29, 2010

Toaster Remix

Dan's getting more mileage out of this problem than I am.  Either way, there are some good questions being asked re: pseudocontext, relevancy and so on.  So I'm curious, which one would you use and why?

(Note: don't check the answer until you've done the regression.  It's much more fun that way.)

The Original (setting 1,2 5 and 7)

Toaster Question from David Cox on Vimeo.

Or this?

Toaster Question (1-4) from David Cox on Vimeo.

Or this?

Toaster Question 2 (1-4) from David Cox on Vimeo.

The Answer

Toaster Answer from David Cox on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Between 2nd and 3rd periods I usually step outside class and wander the plaza as kids are heading to their next classes. Today I happened upon a group of students who were waiting for their teacher—many of whom are in my 4th/5th block.

So I take a seat next one of my students as he's waiting for the door to be unlocked and we discuss how his faux-hawk could have been used to cut the stress joints in the concrete slab beneath our feet, you know, because that's just me.

So he turns to me and says, "You know, Mr. Cox, you're my only teacher who I could see talking to me outside of class."

Wait! What? Why?

"I dunno, other teachers just don't talk to me outside of class."

Don't they know who you are? They're missing out.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Now We're Cookin'

We were going over our quizzes yesterday and I had a student make an interesting observation about the rubric we use to determine the overall score on a concept/skill.

5: Strong concept; No errors
4: Strong concept; Errors present
3: Flawed concept; No errors
2: Flawed concept; Errors present
1: Little or no attempt

She says, "This reminds me of the first time my brother and I made waffles without my dad helping us."

Oh yeah, what happened?

"We used baking soda instead of baking powder and they turned out really bad."

How's that like our quiz?

"We can know what we are doing but make a simple error and it messes the whole problem up."

So what would you rather do: know how to cook the waffles and use the wrong ingredients or use the right ingredients but not know how to cook?

"I'd rather make the mistake with the ingredients."


"Because all I have to do is use the right stuff and the waffles would've been good."

Is that easier to correct than if you had all the right stuff but you didn't know how to cook?

"Yeah. A lot easier."

Monday, October 4, 2010

Adventures in Pedagogy: Context Clues

Dawson and I are watching an episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and the narrator opens with the usual recap of previous happenings.  Towards the end, he says something like:

"...and Anakin Skywalker thwarted the nefarious plot."

So I ask Dawson, "What does nefarious mean?"

"What do you mean, Dad?"

What's nefarious mean?  The guy just said that Anakin thwarted a nefarious plot.

*he thinks for a second*

"Well, it must be really bad because he was talking about the evil scientist."

It never ceases to amaze me how these teachable moments just fall in my lap.  I just have to be paying enough attention to them and take the time to ask a couple of questions.

I wonder how many of them I actually miss, though.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Adventures in Pedagogy: Order of Operations

Nevan (8) goes to the counter to grab a pack of gum from a box that contains four different flavors.  He says, "Hey Dad, look.  There's four different kinds of gum in here."

Oh, yeah?  How many of each kind are there?


Then how many packs of gum are in the box?


Really?  How do you get ten?

"Yeah, we've eaten two."

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Adventures in Pedagogy: Syllogism and Detachment

On our way home Aidan (5) asks, "Dad does it hurt Jesus' hands when we drive?"


"Does it hurt Jesus' hands when we drive?"

What do you mean?

"Our truck drives on tires."


"And the tires have pokey things."  (read: tread)


"And the pokey things hurt the road."

Yeah, kind of, I guess.

"And Jesus' hands are under the road holding it."

Why do you say that?

Dawson (12) says, "Dad, I think he thinking of 'He's got the whole His hands...'"

Is that what you mean, Aidan?

"Yeah.  So then, when we drive, it hurts Jesus' hands, right?"