Ability Grouping, Foreign Language, and Math

I see a lot of writing in the math education community against homogeneous ability grouping, tracking, etc. It’s a difficult topic for me because I recognize the biases that often go into those things and the inequity they promote while also feeling like there are times and situations in which some students need something like grouping/tracking. I’ve been puzzling over these conversations, not sure how to feel or think, for at least a year now.

I’m still in that place, but now I’m in that place with a story to tell about experience with a mix of heterogeneous and homogeneous ability grouping. It’s actually a story I’ve had all along, but I didn’t realize it. Continue reading

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My Favorite Theorem: Liouville’s Theorem

Evelyn Lamb and Kevin Knudson have started a new podcast called My Favorite Theorem. In each episode, they have a mathematician as a guest, and that guest talks about their favorite theorem. They also have to pair that theorem with something, often a food. This inspired me to think about which theorem is my favorite (not difficult) and what food I would pair with it (more difficult). Continue reading

Park Reviews: Kennywood

This was my second trip to Kennywood, but the last one was in May 2005, so it had been a while, to say the very least. They’ve only added one new coaster, Sky Rocket, in the meantime, so that was my top priority.

It’s funny. That’s 2005 trip included a couple of days at Cedar Point and a day at Kennywood. When I went back to Cedar Point last year, it felt like coming home; the layout of the park seemed deeply familiar. I knew the park. I didn’t need a map. That’s not how Kennywood was at all. The coasters were familiar, Phantom’s Revenge in particular, but I remembered nothing about the park itself. (You’d think I’d remember walking through the tunnel under the road, but nope.)

If I were to go back again, I think I would remember it better now, but I still don’t think it’s a place that’s every going to give me the feeling that Cedar Point does, that feeling of slipping into my right and natural place. That’s not a negative to Kennywood, but it’s an interesting contrast.

On to the rides! Continue reading