Saturday, July 9, 2011

Big Picture

In the last year at Progressive Academy, our team has been working on creating an atmosphere and culture where learning is the bottom line. Students are encouraged to find their passions and experiment with them. It has been a journey that has led us to seek out other like minded organizations and people who would like to join us in our evolution. Among these organizations, Big Picture Schools have been the most relevant and successful model (ahem, role model).

Inspiring, resourceful, organized, generous, are at the core of the people in the Big Picture organization. These past two days our team worked with Mari Ruddy to generate ideas and routines that will help organize the program that we all dream of. It was an intense workshop. Initially, we took the time to scrub away all of the possible resistance, and with our new vulnerability we moved into creating a courageous and meaningful team. The small amounts of fear, and hesitance were challenged and transformed into excitement, and determination.

We continue to get more creative and ambitious, and I am look forward to unveiling it to the students, families and staff.

Monday, April 18, 2011

I heart Vi Hart

The challenges to bring relevant and engaging lessons to the classroom are made easier with bloggers and mathematic extremes like ViHart. Today, the students engaged in creating mobius candy button strips.

One student exclaimed "how could anyone have gone this far in life without being introduced to the mobius strip. "

Monday, February 14, 2011


1. Show the first 60 seconds of the filling a water container video.

2. Ask class:
Take bets: How long will it take to fill? (record in Google document)

3. Pictures: Give out Screen shots at any time before 1 minute. Any additional minute after lowers the group's score.

4. Using Google Documents (50minutes): In Google documents or excel, and the board, groups will present how they solved the question. Share your document with

5. Score = (absolute error)*(clock reading of final screen shot – 1 minute). Lowest score wins.

6. Discussion:

Was there something special about the technique? Did the number of data points help in accuracy? Did some groups take lots of data points? Others just 2? Did anyone try it with the single screen shot? What did you assume when you decided to use just 2 or three measurements? Is that always safe to assume? (This goes back to the Daily Show snow video, which is brilliant BTW.) How many data points would you need to be more confident in your assumptions?

If we assumed the fill rate (height vs. time) is constant, then everyone should get the same answer, right? But who had more uncertainty in their measurements? Are there particular techniques which would minimize the uncertainty in measurement?

Leave it to Dan to try to get his readers to turn the most boring video ever into something more exciting! (What’s next, ?)