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Jonathan Halabi
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Jonathan Halabi

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In anticipation of this, a student three years ago asked for y = e^x, and when there were no responses, he "semi-planked" from the top of a chair, arcing his back, in a wonderful approximation of an exponential. He's a junior in English at SUNY Geneseo... hope that creativity takes him far.

Jonathan
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Jonathan Halabi

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Patrick, I teach from Algebra 1 to Ap Calc AB, and the higher the level, the easier the teaching. The most challenging courses I teach, by far, are Algebra 1 and Geometry. And, I think I do the greatest good in those classes.

I whole-heartedly agree with the premise of this post. Very well done.

Jonathan
Curiously, there is no pressure on schools to teach Shakespeare or Faulkner to ever younger students. In English, common sense prevails: if the student is exposed to a particular bit of literature at an appropriate age before graduation, that's good enough. In math, however, it is widely ...
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+Patrick Honner Oh, man, do I work. The only time I have received a full class ovation was in Calculus. http://jd2718.org/2011/10/17/every-teacher-should-have-one-of-these-in-their-career/

But there's just no way to compare teaching kids who are prepared for advanced high school mathematics with giving younger kids their first taste of proof in geometry, or teaching algebra to kids who still trip on fractions, or confuse x^2 with 2x. The level of challenge for the teacher is much higher with the younger kids.

There are schools where math teachers' programs generally include one older prep and one younger prep. This is even more striking in 6-12 schools (Fieldston, at least when I visited 10 years ago, did this). I've also seen it this year (I'm on sabbatical, and have visited a dozen schools, of various types, in and out of the City). I think this is an excellent idea.

Teach down for one year, and see if you don't agree.

Jonathan
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As I was leaving to return to NYC, found my car wouldn't start. Towed to M&R, they diagnosed the problem - needed a part and installation. Discussed the wisdom of waiting until I got home, but it was clear that I'd have trouble making it. They had me out in a couple of hours, and while they charged more than my mechanic at home would have, they were certainly fair and within reason. And two days later they called me to check if I got home ok. Five stars for the service (minus one for the price)
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