Wonderful Course for NYC/Long Island Teachers

In my last post, I mentioned an amazing l course I took a few summers ago. Each class a different experienced teacher shared their best ideas and lessons. I learned so much, and wished that this had been part of my teacher training.

I took the 9 – 12 version of the course, but they are offering a version geared to grades 6 – 9 starting on October 3. The course is FREE and meets for 15 classes and 3 computer labs over the course of the year at SUNY Old Westbury. I recommend it highly!

Follow the link for all the details.

The Institute of Leadership Training for Teaching Mathematics and Technology

or download the brochure & application.

Brochure                              Application


Like a Butterfly’s Wings in China

A single book that I read as a fifth grader has had quite an impact on my life. Carry On, Mr. Bowditch is based on the life of Nathaniel Bowditch, born in Salem in 1773. Nat loved math (he taught himself algebra and calculus) and showed me how it could be important. He was interested in celestial navigation, and honed these skills during five voyages that took him around the world. Nat famously steered his ship home to Salem during a blinding snowstorm one Christmas, confident in his calculations.

As he used the published navigational tables, Nat found thousands of errors and realized that any of them could cause a shipwreck. He recomputed all of the tables and added clear instructions. Having decided to “Put in the book nothing I can’t teach the crew”, Nat worked patiently with the unschooled crew members. By the end of the voyage, each could calculate lunar observations and plot the ship’s position.

Nat has been my inspiration, both in my studies of mathematics and in my efforts to teach it.

Bowditch’s American Practical Navigator, published in 1802, was just updated in 2002 and is still in use today. Yes, Amazon has it. Here are pix of the copy my husband found for me many years ago.


Do you know what a haversine is?

First Baby Step –

So I’m one of the almost 200 teachers who signed up for the new blogger initiative. Thanks to the initiative for making this happen, and to Julie for her easy-to-follow instructions!

I teach math at a private high school in New York, and am still a relatively new teacher. Other teacher blogs have helped me sort out the contradictory advice on what a “good teacher” does. I’m looking forward to joining in on the conversation!