# Lollipop Moments

Featured

I knew I wanted to become a Teach the moment I saw them: mystical beings dipped in silver and draped in white; creatures from ancient Greek folklore. They came in a massive wave, surrounding the herd of frosh as we nervously huddled together along the steps of Victoria Hall. Apprehensive and shy, the energy we … Continue reading Lollipop Moments

This is a follow up to a previous post, Intercepts, The Zero Product Property, and Other Such Mathematical Disasters in which I wrote about some common misconceptions I was seeing in my students' work while I was grading a mid-unit quiz. I wanted to dive deep into what the root of the problem was, and … Continue reading Solving Quadratic Equations

# Intercepts, The Zero Product Property, and Other Such Mathematical Disasters

You know when students bomb on a concept so badly that you make sure to really drill it into next year's class so it doesn't ever happen again? Well, my plan completely backfired and then some. While grading the latest quizzes on quadratics, I discovered two conceptual misunderstandings that were emotionally triggering. The results I … Continue reading Intercepts, The Zero Product Property, and Other Such Mathematical Disasters

# Less is More

I have way too much stuff. And, like most people, I continue to accumulate more of it. The other day I found myself at a local Italian market in the small town of San Giovanni, where a charming, middle-aged vendor charismatically overtook a crowd of Italian women. He knew his target well. These were women … Continue reading Less is More

# Grandpa and I

The first time I got a wobbly tooth, my grandfather, with the precision of a surgeon and theatrics of a showman, carefully wrapped thread around it, tied it up in a neat little bow, counted down from three… and yanked as hard as he could at “TWO.”  We avoided a lot of trips to the … Continue reading Grandpa and I

# Language Learning, Part 2: The Process

Part 1 here. Starting point: Absolute beginner. My decision to study Italian started in earnest on January 9, 2022 when I stumbled across a three-part YouTube series by Nathaniel Drew who set out to learn Italian in one week. Granted, one week is not a realistic timeline for me given my goal and starting point, … Continue reading Language Learning, Part 2: The Process

# Language Learning, Part 1: My Why

As a teenager, Saturday mornings meant going to Chinese school; a place in which I was almost certain 100% of my classmates were forced to attend, judging by the unabashed looks of boredom on their faces. I grew up speaking Cantonese largely due to the fact that my grandparents spoke very little English, and for … Continue reading Language Learning, Part 1: My Why

# Seat Finders

One of my favourite math routines are seat finders. I use these right from day one, which gets students thinking and doing math before they even step foot into the classroom. They are low-prep, and easy to implement. The routine works as follows: Greet students at the door and hand them a playing card. They … Continue reading Seat Finders

# Ideas for Building a Community of Learners in Virtual School

Check-In Prompt of the Day How I Use This: I like to begin my first few lessons with a check-in prompt that students respond to in an editable Google Slides document. The prompts vary from general getting-to-know you questions, would-you-rather questions, or may review content from the previous day/week/month...etc. I copy and paste my class … Continue reading Ideas for Building a Community of Learners in Virtual School

# Email Expectations

What is good email etiquette and why should we care?  Before the Digital Age, we picked up the phone and called people. Today, email has become the ubiquitous form of communication and is often mistreated as a form of text messaging. My personal feelings towards email in general are that they are not conducive to deep … Continue reading Email Expectations

# Rewards and Vacuous Praise

I was nine when I learned that kindness could be commodified. Kindness, caring, and compassion were acts you put on only when there were people to witness them. I grew up agnostic, so naturally this excluded God.  The world was too complicated and too chaotic for me to decipher on my own, so I looked … Continue reading Rewards and Vacuous Praise

# Course Expectations

Welcome, Padawan. Ms. Soo here. If you are taking a class with me, you will need to familiarize yourself with my course expectations, along with a bit of Star Wars terminology. A Padawan of the Jedi Order achieves the rank of Jedi Knight upon successful completion of the Jedi Trials. The Trials consist of nine … Continue reading Course Expectations

# Empowered Problem Solving Workshop: My Takeaways

I love it when professional development is purposeful and practical.  I've been following Robert Kaplinsky for some time now and finally enrolled in his Empowered Problem Solving Workshop. My reflection post in the last module of the workshop. Sad it's over... "I don't have time for problem solving in my classroom." TRUST me, I've been … Continue reading Empowered Problem Solving Workshop: My Takeaways