First Levels: Sentence Starters


As silly as it may sound, providing sentence stems or “fill in the blanks” can give your kids the scaffold they need to achieve a higher level of success.

7 Ways To Add Complexity


Adjusting a task’s complexity to match a student’s skill is key to success in the classroom, but how can you change the level of complexity?

Top Puzzlements from July

From my weekly Curiosities and Puzzlements mailer, here are the most frequently clicked links from the past month: A running octopus Everyday objects, transformed into something new A time-lapsed painting of a tiny hotdog What do 2,000 calories look like? A 142 mph tennis serve slowed waaaay down Sign up for free at!

Are you using Wolfram Alpha for math data?


Intriguing, authentic data can make or break a math project. I keep a list of bookmarks to surprising data I’ve found around the web. But what if you know what data you want to find? Sure, you could Google it, but an even better source is Wolfram Alpha, especially if you’d like to work with […]

Small Groups Aren’t Just For Struggling Students


Small groups can both add and reduce complexity to a task. I know that I always let my advanced students just “work on their own.” But think about the power of bringing your five top kids together (even for ten minutes a week) and pushing them a little.

Bad Behavior or Lack of Complexity?


Differentiation means being aware of both a student’s skill and the complexity of a task. And it’s easier to adjust a task in the short term than to change a student’s skill.

Review: Creativity For Everybody


My friend Kathryn Haydon recently released a book called Creativity For Everybody. It’s a very quick read and a nice overview of creativity. My favorite qualities of this book are: Each pair of pages stand on their own. You can flip anywhere and read the idea without being lost. In fact, the authors expressly encourage […]