Archive for April, 2011


Why Not Let Students Know Everybody’s Score?

Should a teacher return a marked quiz face down to protect a student’s privacy, or face up, where it can be seen by the entire class?

At Russian School of Mathematics, we distribute checked tests face up. It’s a practice that years ago brought me into a spirited discussion with the father of a bright fifth grader I’ll call Mike.

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Does America Need A Common Curriculum?

In math there are very important topics that must be studied in a proper sequence. Unfortunately current lack of curriculum allows teachers to occasionally skip some subjects altogether. I once realized that one of my ten grade students had no idea about circles. When I brought it up with his public school teacher, she answered to my utmost amazement — “I don’t do circles, I don’t like them.” With all my respect to local control this is not a way to teach math. Circle must be studied whether the student goes to school in Hawaii, Minnesota, or Massachusetts.