Category Archives for "All"

Time Management


For the first time this year, I allow my students to decide when they were going to take their tests (Yes, you read that right!). I wanted to make sure that when my students took their test they were going to do their absolute best rather than try to cram, cheat or stay up all night to take a test they were not ready to take.  There are some obvious downfalls to this idea as some students simply used this as a way to delay the work they needed to do and simply cram or cheat at the very last opportune time they were allowed to take the test, but I rolled the dice on this and am committed to making it work for my students best interest.

I reviewed my process carefully and found it was not my system that was wrong but my implementation that was the flaw.  Students needed a way to manage their time to break down their tasks to help them prepare and take the test.  I came up with a couple of steps that I now offer to students when a test is coming up:

  1. “When are you going to take the test?  If today is the answer then great! I will assume that you have prepared yourself to do your absolute best on this assessment and have completed all of the required work to do so.  If you are not going to take the test today when will you? What is the exact date you are going to decide to take the test to give me your absolute best?” Write down then date and log it in your calendar. If a student does not take the test on that date they are penalized one letter grade.
  2. “What have you done to prepare for your test?  Up to this moment what have you done?” I require all of my students who are going to take their test to complete all of their homework.  This is something I will discuss in another blog.  “What else have you done?  Have you reviewed the material in your notes? Have you watched my YouTube videos?  Have you come after school for help or sought help from others?”
  3. “What are you going to do to prepare for your test?  If you are not going to take your test today then what are you going to do to help yourself prepare for this test?  Look at the date you have decided to take the test.  Now break down that date into three different time segments.  For each time segment write out exactly what you want to accomplish. (i.e. complete these homework assignments or seek tutoring for this many hours). Giving a broad answer will not cut it.  You need to attach dates to what you are going to do and hold yourself to them.”
  4. “How will you hold your feet to the fire?” This is a common expression used to mean how are you going to hold yourself accountable.  I hold a weekly review with my students where I go over what they have accomplished and what they need to do to prepare for their test.  I cannot do this  for every student but the idea is for them to  take ownership of their grade in preparation of their test.  I am here to assist and inspire them with the hopes they will take some responsibility for their behaviors.  In the beginning stages students need help as most of them have never been taught this lesson or how to implement it.
  5. “What if I fail?  We have all been here and it is not a great feeling.  Education is not a ‘you get it or you don’t’ type thing. It is about constantly working towards an understanding.  If you fail to follow your own guidelines and learn the material you must go back and visit what you did right and what you want to improve upon.  In the county I teach in, they understand this and have opportunities for students to to do class and grade recovery although this is not ideal.
I hope my five steps will help you in your classroom in preparing for your tests whether your teacher, school or county have the same beliefs as me about education or not.  If you are still stuck on having to take a test with everyone else in the class on a specified date then change your timeline and mindset to meet that deadline.  This is something I do not see colleges changing or every school in the country so it just means that you will have to know what you are going to do, when you are going to do it and follow through.  Time management is about laying out everything and tackling each task at a specified time. Small blocks eventually build a house but they need a blueprint and a manager to tell them when and where to place each block.
Best of luck with your future endeavors and please let me know if at anytime I can be of more assistance for you!



My vision of math education

Your Online Math Tutor (
Hello there again,
I am not a big writer. Hence my vast collection of Youtube videos and lack of an actual blog. When I have something important to say I make a video for it.
With that being said I am making some new videos on answering some of the great questions posed by students, parents and teachers. Those videos will be coming soon and I can’t wait to share them with you.
In the mean time I want to share some of my most recent videos with you that give a little insight on who I am and how I feel about education.
Learning should not be finite when we test our students () . We need to create timelines for student growth and also understand the importance in how we grade student work ()  to make sure that we give students quality feedback to learn and grow. Grading and preparing students for assessments is why I have made changes in my own classroom policies of when should homework be due () . These ideas are all what have spawned a new vision for me as my makeover in math education () .
Not everything starts with the teacher. As parents and students we have a responsibility for our actions and learning () . It all starts with a seed in your beliefs ()  and perpetuates from there. Believing in yourself and maintaining a focus ()  on what you desire to achieve is the essence of success.  In class you have to get very detailed in what you want to achieve by setting goals for yourself () . Goals that are important and give you something to strive for every day.  Working hard is something that I consider being one of the great secrets of being a successful student. (
I hope that some of my videos have helped you with your math education or even inspired you to think differently about how you perceive learning in todays classrooms.  I hope we can move away from the days when teachers looked down upon students () and move forward to the days of teachers helping every student being the best they can be.
I don’t have all of the answers and sometimes make mistakes in my videos ()  that are rather funny. However I do care about education and spreading the vision that if you can do math you can do anything () . I understand math is not what life is all about and that we have to lead a balanced life. I have a lot of other interests besides math ()  and I strongly believe that those interests need to be pursued.
Thank you for taking the time with me to read this email and I hope you found the content useful for yourself or someone you know.  Please feel free to share and if at any point you don’t feel that I am providing you quality information. You may subscribe below. It will hurt my feelings but only encourage me to keep creating better and better information for all.