Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Someone told me

If you work yourself to the limit and giv eyour all, then you will see what you are capable of accomplishing. Never be satisfied with less than your best. You know when you feel something is your best because you will be proud of it.

I know people like this and they make me want to be better.

Great National Honors Society

Monday, December 7, 2009

My Teaching Philosphy is growing

I see the positives in people rather than differences.

The positives I speak of are easy to find. It makes for good classes and good times.

In my courses I always stress effort, but I also speak to finding positives.

Proportionally I want the right mix of questions and group work. Ideally lessons are learned everyday and every way. Effort is the actually not how you get through the journey, it is the journey. I want to be smarter and better than I was yesterday.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


An eraser is the most vital tool a student can carry. In education you either have it or you don't. Sometimes you need to get things right without making mistakes but not in education.

Even on a movie set, I watched a documentary that showed a director acting numerous camera and microphone men how to improve a shot. JJ Abrams
Erase your fears and look at a world where we all learn from our mistakes. As a professional teacher and student myself, I feel free to make mistakes I can learn from and I see how mistakes are sometimes thrust upon those who least expect it. Like a student who thinks they aced a test only to get a D because they used the wrong formula.

Lean into the discomfort. And then start over again each daynew. Now clean off your out look.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Rachel's Challenge

What makes it for me, in education, is when students take an unspoken cue and realize they just learned something. I see more value in people after today.
Craig Scott was lived on April 20, 1999. He then took up the challenge to build something more for not just public schools but the overall educational well being. The character of our country matters to him. I am proud to have met him, Rachel and their family.

Character is what you do when no one is looking, and no one will even find out.

Well Rachel and Craig, we found out.


Saturday, October 31, 2009


Is learning important to you?

I would say yes the most important. I am a teacher.

Is being being right the first time important?

No not really. As long as you get it eventually.

This is scary becasue when I was a high school kid, it was the other way around. I made a lot of mistake until I got it.

Twitter and other Media is not all bad

I use to think twitter was not a good thing. People get addicted to Internet networking sites and end up with an unhealthy lifestyle.

I believed everyone got addicted. In fact it is useful to connect. The multiple Media outlets make TV shows( like intervention), use the Internet(takes it further), and tweet through twitter as a forum to reflect, connect and brainstorm. My parents never had that. I watched the Intervention at Comcast on demand and I realized I was behind in my thinking. We need to share our stories from throughout the country because cultures spread when they feel free to share. Twitter helps not hurt.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New Skills

I want to develop new skills all day everyday. At 28, I am still trying to develop new skills. As I watched the chorus and band concert tonight, inside Paulus auditorium, I thought about taking up a new instrument. Piano perhaps. One new skill I have mastered lately came at the Patriot Place fundraiser. I started up Ice Cream scooping. Even the workers there, mostly high school students and one college graduate boss, claimed I was a natural. That is not a direct quote but you get the idea.

In the spirit of the night, by the way great concert, I want to make an instrument a new skill. Then I want to learn to fly a helicopter. I just want to keep learning.

One skill I recently revisited, but not a newly learned skill, was my balling skills. I am getting my moves back and I will be taking down all basketballers in town soon.

Point is I am never done learning. Never stop learning not once ( 5 words)

p.s. Great work chorus and band at the concert. My heart has a special place for all of the band members. Percussionist 4 life.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blog Period CE

Ticket Problem/ Systems of Equations

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Population Control

Question is Respond to the following statement. The world is slowly becoming over populated. Is that true? Is it possible to over populate the planet, if so what can be done for population control. Some countries have a limits on the number. Be careful and tasteful and nonviolent.

Systems/ Ticket Problems

Create your own... and it can't be about lean pockets

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Zero slope and no slope

Real world Zero slope and no slope

Monday, September 28, 2009

Period CE Geomtery Living by Numbers

What connections to your life can you make when reading the Wired article

Friday, September 25, 2009

Period D homework geometry

Name you rbest reading strategy so far. Make sure you include the quote

Friday, September 18, 2009

FINd the percents of the following

Before you start your assignment go online and find out if your ius accurate you may need to change you data/ scatter plot to reflec the proper data. For instance if you thought that the price of gas grow over time but you searched the web you would find it goes up and down.

Answer and show all work on a separate sheet of paper, that will be collected Tuesday

What is the percent of increase from $5.00 to 10.00?

What is the percent of increase from $7.00 to 9.00?

What is the percent of decrease if a $12.00 shirt goes on sale to 6.00

What is the percent of decrease if a $11.00 shirt goes on sale to 7.00

What is the percent of decrease if a $15.00 shirt goes on sale to 4.00

What is the percent of decrease if a $15.00 shirt goes on sale to 14.00

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sonic Project

3 statistics

Should you , if you were wealthy enough, Open a sonic franchise?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Google Reader

I have been waiting for something to come along for the internet. Then google reader took that idea of headlines and updates to a new level.

You will not have to waste time looking through your favorite websites to see if there is a new update. Google reader takes your website of choice and makes puts them on a webpage. Then it updates you with new posts as soon as your favorite site updates. Then you just go to this one site for all your favorite sites new happenings.

I thought this was a good idea. What will happen next.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


You are not done getting a lesson perfect...

ALways learn the new methods(technology)

Create a better lesson when a lesson is struggling.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Distance Problems

Draw a picture

#1) 2 trains depart from Pittsburgh . One train is traveling east at 40mph and one west at 30mph.
Write an equation to determine when the trains will be 245 miles apart. When will they be 245 miles apart?

Don't forget your heading.

#2) Two cylists begin traveling in the same direction on the same bike path. One travels at 20milesper hour, and the other travelign 14mph. When will the cyclists be 15 miles apart?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Studying is practice, just like sports

Today is the last day for seniors. If you study for your final you need to practice. Effort is the key to success. Practice is a big part to having efficacy.

I want questions. What does simplify mean? What does solve mean? What does verify mean? I just taught a Pre-calculus lesson to geometry students during an impromptu observation by my boss. I wanted to challenge my honors class. I sometimes feel like a magician, I don't want to give too much away. But I ultimately give away my general learning secrets before math. Here are some.

A teacher will not always go to be there is one. You should take very good notes. Students should tolerate others and appreciate diversity. Reading is fun. Studying is not looking it is practicing. Listening is a key to being well liked. Knowing your surroundings well is what makes you well-rounded.

I said, when guest lecturing at a college class, I don't know if I should tell you what to expect from teaching. I was being honest, these were future teachers but I didn't think it was fair that they get to know all the hardships. I really think you learn on your own better. Teach yourself. If you were terrible at teaching or running or at baseball at hockey, then do it better next time. I think going though something on your own and learning while you go threw it is much better than anything I could say. If you appreciate me I will share. Even if they don't appreciate I will still share some. I am a teacher after all, and it is my job.

Dread, no dread here

I don't dread school. My high school experience was actually fun. I think it shows. If teachers create a "learning is never over" environment rather than "stress the test" environment then they can pull knowledge (and great lessons) out of kids.

I have fun teaching. Work shouldn't be a place you have to go, you should choose to go. I live by that code. Math ( and all subjects) shouldn't be something you have to do but you should want to tackle. If you get the fun (or Positive energy) you get the want. If you get the want, you don't have to worry if the students will ask you a pivotal question taht will make the lesson so much better than if you just give away the knowledge. They just will.

They will want to.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Summer Blockbusters

I have seen 4 great movies this summer. And the season for big movies is still young.

In order of greatness
4) Angles and Demons
3) Wolverine
2) Terminator Salvation
1) Star Trek (unexpectedly great)

Books I have read this year- In no particular order
Born Standing up (Steve Martin)
Brass Verdict
The Music Lesson

Saturday, May 9, 2009


If you have charisma, then you can send a message. Teaching is not an exact science, but it is a message. I know algebra and I memorized the order of topics to teach graphing linear equations. As you go up levels, students can handle more quantity of steps per day, but the system stays the same. I have the routine in my brain, both from teaching it over two dozen times and reading/talking about it in graduate classes. When you have nothing, as I did 4 years ago, you can't help but sense that it was all done for a reason. Steve Martin once said "It is possible to will confidence". It is necessary to will charisma. Be happy and smile. When you sense a class is missing the point and they may be thinking your not knowledgeable, be confident.

Be confident your lesson is yours and good days are a great feeling andwill return. Remember those days are a flash in the pan. I remember how hard it was to be good for a class period and how I had to will charisma. Whether it is teaching a group of unmotivated seniors a week before exams, taking over a vacating teachers classes 2 months into the school year, or asking to take the toughest students for your class be charismatic. A wise man once said feelings work outside in. Studies prove that to be true. If you are with a charismatic person and they are happy, you will be happy. If you are with a charismatic person and they are down, you are more likely to be down. In my career I try to get find feelings that are locked inside and make those feelings along with good ideas come out. That is why I smile so much.

Friday, May 8, 2009

This one is for the Teachers

When you are in front of a group of people you get, like actors, afraid of forgetting your lines. Teachers have more than just lines to remember. They need to remember the lesson order, activities, talking points, and questions. The first thing I was told about college hockey was don't trip over the blue line when your name is announced. Big strong men afraid. Everyone has fears but I challenge myself each and every time I see something that brings fear. I challenge myself to not be afraid. It is innate and all great teachers are great at looking at an incident as a chance to face what otherwise is frightening. This innate characteristic brings out the "I don't even see fear" side of me. I take fear as a different feeling completely. I take it as a passionate moment that only happens when your alive. I love to take on more responsibility in the presence of fear. Give me the opportunity to topple the obstacle. George Washington felt that way and he lost more battles than he won. People saw him as a failure but he didn't crack under certain peril.
It is a uniquely unexplainable feeling but I will tell you what happens. Teach a lesson on quadratic equations and create non-problems. Build up the lesson by scaffolding around the mistakes that kids make. If you are factoring don't tell them to write Not Factorable. Tell them to keep going and reply to the question about factoring with, "not factorable is not an answer it is a concept". It very well is factorable but not with whole numbers is the correct answer. Now look at the new Star Trek movie and tell me Captain Kirk isn't the epitome of a fearless man. In the latest installment Kirk beats the unbeatable college test. No one passes the drill because it is meant to show that men are meant to face fear in life. This is like factoring. No one can factor x^2+2x+5=y... I want students to, not fail, but realize there is something more. Hear this strange concept. At Kirk's college, you are meant to fail in the face of fear. Feel the fear and realize you will not make it. Teaching professionally has helped me to see something I have inside. I am near sighted and far sighted when faced with insurmountable obstacles. That is why I am able to have the character I have. Character, to me, makes looking at fear as a part of life possible. Character is doing the right thing when no one is looking and no one will ever find out you did the right thing. Kirk and Washington believed this.
I do my homework and get ready for each day planning what will happen. I think everyone should plan their day: teachers and students and accountants and insurance agents and athletes and administrators and CEO's.

I leave my cell phone in the car and the world behind me at times. When I go into a movie theatre it is to be taken away and sometimes it takes me right back here.

Eric Grasso

Friday, May 1, 2009

Create a volume word problem

Answers go on the ning. Also on the ning is your project proposals.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Somethings do change

What happens in high school happen all the time. I noticed when a student is really good at a subject or sport they get razzed. It doesn't change when you get older, adults get that too when they work. It is usually in good fun. But when you are young it stems from the others not know how you think.

The big question on the minds of the people who poke fun is simple. Why don't I get it yet?

I read an interview with Howard Gardner ( Multiple Intelligence). And his explanation makes all the responses of that have a tone of "why don't I get it" simple. We are all different. There isn't one IQ test that shows we are smart people. There are multiple ways to be intelligent. Everyone has their own level of intelligence. There are 8 and I recommend we understand that we can be great at one and need work in another. But we all, not just teachers, need to distinguish different intellectual strengths and styles on the fly.

Good news is you should be able to learn multiple ways. Both from a human and digitally( media)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

How to be Good precisely

I am constantly searching for how to be a good teacher. My talent was low at the start and after the first two years I knew I had to leave the profession. I left math and went out into the country. I took the warning of my father who said, you need to come back you won't find a job anywhere but Florida.
Although I never thought of being successful, I was average at Marketing and teaching, I had to begin on my own. I had to travel on my own. No friends was a way of being on your own. I only knew how to watch TV, play video games, and sit on the stoop when it got to late. That is where I found my niche. I found teaching English , history and science were hard but I didn't know so I tried to do it anyways. I was terrible at teaching math but I was great at one thing, taking the best from all teachers. I think there will be a time when we, teachers, can all find time and teach a subject outside of our discipline. Plan and link the unlink able. I realized I am not fearless but if I wasn't I was gong to be memorable. Soon I started to take what works from the other teachers. I believed no matter if it was science teachers or history teachers it was key to have more than just the opening act material. Be the headliner. We can learn and be taught.

How to be consistently good ?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Waiting and Seeing what comes from the future

History has been changing a lot lately. The world seems to not be able to handle a financial crisis one second, followed by a feeling that hope can be restored the next. Schools should teach more than just one history month at a time. Every disaster seems like the most trying time in history. I read that this recent recession was called the worst since the Great Depression. It is my experience that we overexaggerate. Lets teach how Americans get to live their dreams by looking at a big picture. We have troubles and we fix them over time. Positives from the last four months. We are all able to be the president and change the world. The more the line between what we can and can't achieve are blurred the more we can see time and understanding can heal any crisis.

I see a world where the history classes are relevant. I think of the ways we disagree and how it needs to grow. I watch conservative talk shows I see they are all short sighted. There is a chance we are going to come out of this. There is a chance this will all happen again in 10 years. But we will bounce back.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

My Goals as a teacher

1) Have each person I teach have an Ah-ha moment. If you haven't seen that look on someones face, it looks as if that person can fly. Great for life confidence.

2) I want to help people even those I can't see or meet I think I do that each time I help a student. Under my instruction a kid uncovers math but more importantly how they learn. Now when they become the adult, or the teacher, they will be able to teach with patience, passion, and job joy.

3) Have integrity. Do the right thing when no one knows and no one will ever find out.

These may seem like sappy goals, but I am not going to leave ( that was another tree reference) without stating my goals in life. These are the goals that ground me. Having a job makes me happy. My brother, cousin, and cousin's husband have all lost their jobs in the past monthes. I know now what I have been missing while I watch their journeys unveil themselves. The joy I felt when I was lucky enough to received a job from Norton.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Board Gamers

Name your top five board games..

Thursday, March 19, 2009

6 Word Summaries

"Don't stop learning until last breathe"

"My Life Would Suck Without You" Thanks to Kelly Clarkson

Tops from today

"Please do not stop the music"

"Sally was a camel not horse"

"May the Force Be with you"

What is yours?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The technology we use

If we use technology in education more than lecturing then we have a chance to reach more students ( not just from the classroom). Some teachers are fishing in barrel by lecturing for an hour and a half but we still can't catch anything. But use technolgy as bait and it's like fishing in a barrel using dynamite. You will get them. How do you learn best? Even kids in elementary school use computers for touching up pictures. ( that was from a PC commercial on TV) Everyone can be reached using technology.
The "technology is math" idea is something I heard from a student and it caused me to ask a different question. Isn't technology used for everything? If you want to cure cancer use technology. Cars , electricity, and computers were all impossible but now they all exist. Isn't everything technology?Even my idea of holograms being on every students desk is now possible. It even seems like TI has the calculator for everything I just mentioned. We now need the new free thinkers, our students, to find new ways to use technology to teach. And in the process the next great idea will come. That is what I want to do my entire life; seek a great idea to share and let back into the ocean. That would make me the happiest. Until I catch it again.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

There is no perfect

Is there a perfect lesson? My first two years of teaching I asked myself that every day and I had a lot of crazy ideas come from this question. I once thought teachers were limited so my theory was to make the best math lesson. The theory running through my mind combined technology, media videos, and lecture into one perfect lesson . I saw the future math classrooms in the country running a computer program like Max Headrum. Or like the diner scene from Back to the Future part 2 starring Michael J. Fox. The person in the classroom would turn on the TV ( by the way the lesson would be designed and starring me, but I will be in another location teaching everyone via satillite) and then the monitor would just sit there like typical bathroom monitor. There would be one way to teach (my way because I want to be the best math teacher); standard form, graphing equations and other math lessons. It is evident this was wrong. I couldn't see that I was naive, but I was. I was unprepared. The only way to give, guide, or recieve the right kind of message was to realize there is no perfect lesson. The only certainty is there are forever new kinds of lessons for new different people. Foster original and new ideas everyday and that should be the same constistant lesson. Hopefully more poeple will become curious and filled with questions just that one. Crazy idea huh?

Monday, March 2, 2009

We borrow too much

Standard of living has gone up with the internet allowing us to see the LA and richy people lifes. We know immmediately and the ADD levels go up. We can't continue this. Change the children.

The banks will not be all ok in 8 monthes.

The govenment will hire enough people and take over the banks one weekend, like they did in the 80's with the Coninential Illinios Bank. The govenment will take over the banks . Someone has to buy up the Toxic assets.

Obama has to clean up Bush's mess... No He had th eperfect mentality that is all . A metality of I have money so everyone does.

The Obama campaign may be known as the one who saved the world not just saved the American Dream. That is strange considering right now he is a failure at making a himself understood. He is abused everywhere. We are abused by the standard of living.

I will see if 5 million buys some mortgages. I would like to buy low and sell higher. And that is why I will succeed. But that is why everyone has failed. They didn't see it coming.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

What a great game

I know many of you are Algebra 2 pro's, but I am teaching elimination and need ideas for how it could be made fun. If you have any ideas let me know. Thanks

Monday, February 2, 2009

Alan November Technology Meeting

Alan November is a bright, witty, funny, curious, enthusiastic, educated, global, extremely intelligent, and genuine man.

Doing what I do passionately has created unique relationships with all my classes. School works when everyone works toward a culture. Technology is a big part of culture. We should all be better at using it.

Technology helps forge relationships with Skype, demonstrate lessons with videos, and teach with podcasts. I am proud of how our students presented their many classroom uses for technology. Technology, i.e. the Internet, was not intended to be used inappropriately. Alan inquired as to how students feel technology is used. They all communicated their feelings well. Students make better connections when technology is utilized within a course. They use it all day to talk, text, and email. As a professional my need is to understand in order for connections to be made for students. In the meeting room, at the Library, Alan connected through understanding. Alan showed, through his understanding, what is happening globally. Technology is here to stay and we are smart enough to be great users of it. Today everyone in the room, especially the kids, made a connection.

Current and future understanding in school and life depends greatly on taking advantage of technology. Desire establishes connections that create relationships. That is something we all want from life. One thing is certain, we all understand technology is now.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Grant Writers to the Zoo with you

In one of my classes a student said we should take a field trip. I told him something that applies to all classes. If you can make a trip relate to the cirriculum, the grant writers will find the money to make it happen. Algebra I is moving on and next we will tackle tickets problems with systems of equations and inequalities. Geometry will be working on 45-45-90 triangles and 30-60-90 triangles. If you find a trip that works I will run it by the bosses and then run with it. Reply with ideas and we shall discuss later or bring them to my attention before school or after school.