Michael has been teaching math for over 40 years. He was a high school math teacher for San Francisco Unified School District from 1969 - 2001. During his teaching career Michael wrote his own curriculum to teach geometry using familiar objects like patty paper, tennis ball cans, and string. This classroom material eventually became the innovative textbook "Discovering Geometry". In addition to "Discovering Geometry", he has published "Patty Paper Geometry", the "Mathercise Series", "What’s Wrong with This Picture?", "Smart Moves" and "Pirate Math." He also writes for various math newsletters and makes videos about teaching math. Michael continues to serve as a master teacher and mentor to other teachers. He officially retired from teaching high school in 2001 and now does professional development workshops with school districts and math conferences throughout the world. He currently volunteers weekly at a San Francisco elementary school. Michael often says working with the fifth grade class is the “highlight of his week.”
I believe students learn with a greater depth of understanding when they are actively engaged in the process of discovering concepts (inquiry learning) and we should delay the introduction of proof in geometry until students are ready. Until Discovering Geometry, no textbook followed that philosophy. I was also involved in a Research In Industry grant where I repeatedly heard that the skills valued in all working environments were the ability to express ideas verbally and in writing, and the ability to work as part of a team. I wanted my students to be engaged daily in doing mathematics and exchanging ideas in small cooperative groups.
Professional Organizations and Awards - former President of the San Francisco Mathematics Teachers Association (SFMTA) - former Editor of the SFMTA newsletter - California Finalist Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching (1997) - San Francisco Math Teacher of the Year (1996)
B.A., Mathematics, 1968, San Francisco State College Standard Secondary Teaching Credential, 1969, San Francisco State College M.S., Mathematics, 1976, College of the Holy Names California Community College Credential, 1977, College of the Holy Names CMC-N Asilomar conference every year for 40 consecutive years (except sabbatical year), National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) national conferences (1989–2014). Attending at least three or four NCTM conferences a year (1990-present). During sabbatical 90-91 school year and leave of absence 97-98 school year visiting/observing/consulting with schools across USA. Graphing Calculator inservice (1995), Math TASKS (93-94), Computer inservice (1985), Discrete Math seminars (USF, SFSU 1986), Cooperative Learning inservice (1987), Secondary Curriculum and Master Teacher Program (SFSU 1987), Woodrow Wilson Geometry Institute (1987).
Partial List of Past Projects and Clients - Speaker at NCTM conferences (1991-present) - Mathematics and Science Conference, San Jose, Costa Rica (2002, 2006) - AMESA Conference, Durban, South Africa (June 2002) - Australian Math Teachers Association (May 2002) - Tasmanian public schools in Hobart, Tasmania (May 2002) - International Schools in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Beijing, China (2004) - California Department of Education - Consortium Mathematics Project - Department of Defense Schools - Math For America - DG Adoptions: Miami Dade School District, etc.