My first guest post

I wrote a guest post for a blog of the author who wrote Creativity in the Classroom.

It is a classic line: If the teacher is bored, we have a problem! In this guest post, Melanie Carbine describes a math lesson that is an example of both creative teaching, and teaching for creativity. Like many creative activities, it emerged from a moment of need. Here’s Melanie.

View the post here:

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Be Ok

“Open me up and you will see I’m a gallery of broken hearts.
Just give me back my pieces.  Just give them back to me please
and let me hold my broken parts.

Be Ok












I just want to know that maybe  I will  be ok.”

Thank you Ingrid Michaelson.
Click on the drawing to link to the music video.

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Constructing a Modrian Square

Piet Modrian, is known for his rectilinear paintings, grid-based squares that were left mostly white with some filled in with primary colors.  Definitely modern art…you know 1920’s.  Apparently, his work was dismissed at first as good enough only for tile patterns.  He really did influence the way space is divided, not necessarily symmetrical but fractal–in a golden spiral sense.  (I just wanted to see how many math concepts I could squeeze into one sentence.)


I used the three constructions I covered in the Algebra Prep’s unit on constructions: copying a segment, bisecting a line and bisecting an angle.  I left the construction markings for reference; they’re color-coordinated with the directions.

I should have left more space white, but I got carried away with the colors 🙂  You should make one too.

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Valentine’s Day in Math

I made some math-y valentine’s day cards.

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I thought the Newseum was text-heavy.  But, I loved that it was a mix between a photography exhibit with the Pulitzer Prize photographs downstairs and an archive with 30,000 newspapers archived for viewing upstairs.  I was also way excited to see Thomas Paine’s writing kit.

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Guardian Angel

An amazing thing happened this afternoon.  I was suffering a little bit from post break up distress (from quitting my job at the after school program) after lunch, but I didn’t have to rush out of the school (before) the end of the day.  So, I started cleaning up my flipchart lessons for the week and recording grades into the online gradebook.  While I was working, the other resource teacher came in to tell me “I’ve heard many good things about you and I don’t say that lightly” and shake my hand.  On the way out of the school, I crossed paths with the assistant principal who hired me.  She also mentioned that a student was speaking well of me to her as well that day.  She asked if human resources had contacted me to interview for a teaching position and encouraged me to tell the other teachers that after my month I’m available to substitute per diam.  Overall, it was encouraging.

I also got home at 4pm and almost didn’t know what to do with myself.  I had a phone conversation, made myself some dinner, and I worked on a drawing for an hour and a half.  One of my students asked for a guardian angel praying.  I took some inspiration from the Winged Victory in the Louvre.  The process of drawing is always interesting.  I have a few quick sketches that just look horrible, and then a couple working out the geometry of the position, and then somehow it works out.

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Washington D.C. in the Fall

I feel that every city has a trade off.  If the landscape is beautiful, the population diverse and the city artistic, it rains for 2/3rds of the year, rains ice in February or never has snow.  With that said, I do really like D.C. though I feel the art/culture is lacking.  I’ll try and show it without using too many pictures.

Part I                                                                       Part II
National Aquarium                                                Ropes Course
Weekend in New York                                           Potomac at Night
Ocean City                                                                Georgetown
Assateague Island                                                   Monuments and Museums
Shenadoah Camping Trip                                     Nannies at the Park
Philadelphia                                                             Afternoons at Trax
Gettysburg                                                                Fairy Houses
Antietam Candles                                                    Zoolights
Mt Vernon                                                                National Christmas Tree

I’ve switched out swimming for yoga, coconuts for beets.  I wish I had more pictures, that night at the Shakespeare Folger’s Library, lunch at Teaism or more pictures of people.  …not done.

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