What’s In a Name

Who can ever remember which is the minuend and which is the subtrahend? Why couldn’t they be called something easy, like “addends,” where both have the same name!? So simple. It makes sense that they have different names since commutative property doesn’t apply to subtraction. The two numbers at play have different roles. Sure. I can be convinced of this. But still, why couldn’t we have agreed upon slightly less foreign terms? Terms that fit within my vernacular. I was curious about the etymology of these words, hoping upon hopes that knowing the background might help me remember which one is which. Here’s what I’ve found, hopefully it will help you, too… Continue reading

“Well, when I wrote it myself I thought about it more.”


The most recent blog by Exit 10A references Dan Meyers’ suggestion that we all “be less helpful.” Tracy Zager talks about her frustration with homework in a way that struck a chord with me. This is all related, I swear…

So often I meet with teachers. We cover topics such as formative assessment, standards-based lessons, academic discourse, high quality tasks. We read Hess’ Matrix, Dylan Wiliam, Jeff Zwiers, Smith & Stein, and so much more. We watch TED Talks and YouTube videos. Teachers get excited as we talk about inquiry lessons, incorporating engineering and science. We plan gorgeous lessons that are matched to students’ ZPD and challenge them in new ways finding inspiration from Marilyn Burns, Kathy Richardson, Van de Walle and so many like them. And then the ball drops… Continue reading