Author Archives: Mark Schommer

Why do we continue to teach…

Recently, a common question has been repeatedly posed to me, one which makes me uncomfortable on several levels. The first being that the answer seems so simple that it begs me to wonder why bother asking it. The second being that the answer, although simple, makes me wonder if we are doing the best we

Teaching Math through Art

On a Sunday afternoon when my family finally had a free moment, my wife took us to the Woodson Art Museum to view the Walter Wick exhibition. Walter Wick is the photographic illustrator of the I SPY series, and the author/illustrator of the Can You See What I See? series.  This exhibit inspired me to think about

A New Perspective: Asking Questions Without an Answer

In my previous blog, Questions that Spark Student Curiosity, I discussed ways to ask questions that would engage students. France Snyder commented, “What is the best way to evaluate our students? What is the effect on our students’ engagement, retention, and transference of skills? What is overall best for our students?” I’ve thought a lot

A New Perspective: Asking Questions that Spark Student Engagement

Recently I had the opportunity to observe three teachers working on the same lesson. None of the lessons were outstanding. Nor were any of them horrible. Each teacher had different strengths and weaknesses.  There were strong differences in student engagement, uses of technology and how they positioned themselves in the classroom.  However, the biggest difference

A New Perspective…iPads in the Classroom

My students came in this year like most years, bright and ready to begin a new year with one major change.  Each and every student had an iPad.  As with the start of most years things went fantastically well in the beginning.  Then I quickly realized how much trouble I was in.  My classroom management and quality

A New Perspective…Mathematics Retention

It has been said for many years. “I’m not sure last years teachers did such a great job. Students don’t even know (fill in your major topic that students should remember from a previous year).” Teachers had very little way of fixing this without practically going to last years teachers and accusing them of poor

A New Perspective…Inquiry Based Learning

There are numerous studies that point to the need for instruction to be inquiry based.  Personally I cannot disagree.  What a student can figure out on their own versus being told will stick with them for years to come.  However I cannot help but think it is not just the inquiry process that enables the learning.