Weekly Math Updates
December 20, 2006
We all have a lot to be thankful for this Christmas. Not only are we blessed to have children to be concerned over, but we have had the blessing of improving their lot in life by working at improving their future educational experience. The gift of a good education is something that can't be understated, and it helps those most who could least afford to do without it.
I hope you'll permit me to share a little Christmas thought. Most often in our lives we don't know when God has reached out and blessed us. It requires a moment of self-reflection each day to look back on the experiences we've had and try to recognize those experiences that blessed our life that day. The easiest type of blessing to recognize is when someone else has done something for us to lift our burden and lighten our load just a little.
It seems to me the great test of life is two-fold: First, recognizing God's hand in our lives; and second, in being God's hand in others' lives. Sometimes it's through our conscientious decision to reach out in service to someone else in their trials and afflictions that those people come to realize God's hand is in their life. Some people never recognize it without the influence of another providing that act of kindness.
During this Christmas season, I hope each of us will reflect on our blessings and commit to do something good for someone that is unable to lift their life's load. That single act of charity may have an effect more far reaching than you will ever see in this life, but perhaps through the eternities you will be gratified beyond measure for the ripple effect of your small effort. As King Benjamin said in the Book of Mormon, "when ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God."
District Finishes Math Rubric
I received a copy of the district's "rubric" (spec sheet) this week to be used in selection of the math programs to let each school choose to use. It's a combination of constructivism and instructivism. The sad thing is, they've developed this and it's going to be meaningless come late Spring when the new Utah math standards are completed. ASD might as well toss darts at a board if they're not going to wait for the standards to pick the programs from...unless they pick really strong programs like California has done.
In God We Trust Donations
I would like to thank those of you that made additional donations last week. One individual donated $100 alone. What greater gift can we give our children than to learn "In God We Trust" is our daily motto? So many people don't understand that message.
We still need just over $1,100 to ensure all the classrooms in the district have a poster. If you can spare even $5 to help put a few signs up in Alpine School District, please donate today. $5 puts up 10 posters. If you can spare $25, that would help an entire school have posters. For just $25 you can help positively influence hundreds of students on a daily basis. Think of the hundreds of dollars you're saving in tutoring and supplementation in the future because of the improvements we've made to math in our district. Click this link to donate now:
There won't be an email next week but for the following week, I will send a free copy of Ozzie (the 2nd best word game ever) to the person who comes up with the best caption for a New Year's resolution comic. Hit reply to this email to send it to me and if for some reason it doesn't go through, just use the "contact me" form on my website.
Dan Olsen's Math Article
Create culture of expectations in education
"The leadership of each institution has to make improvement a priority for it to work. Successful organizations have long learned that what the "boss" says is what gets done. So, unless presidents of each institution "walk the walk" and create a culture of expectations, nothing will happen."
Glasnost, Perestroika and Graphing Calculators (by John Dewey)
Till next week,
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