Hi, I'm Michael Pershan.

This is my website.

My name is Michael. I’m a math teacher and a writer. I grew up in Skokie and have lived in Upper Upper Manhattan since 2010. My wife and I have three kids. It is sometimes very crowded but all things considered NYC is a nice place to live. I currently teach at St. Ann's School, in Brooklyn Heights. Feel free to email me. I use gmail, and my email address is the same as my twitter handle.

I often write about teaching, education and research. I have a blog, but recently I've been writing about research and education in a special section on my site.

I wrote a book about teaching with worked examples, Teaching Math With Examples.

You can read an excerpt from it and you can also see some of my own example activities.

I spoke with Ollie Lovell on his podcast about worked examples. Craig Barton has been kind enough to have me on his podcast a few times to chat about examples. I think this talk at the ResearchED conference captures a lot of what excites me about worked examples. This talk on self-explanation fills in some of the gaps. This talk at the Global Math Department fleshes the picture out further.

Some other education-related things that can give you a sense of my work:

  • I tweet, mostly about education, and I send out emails to share anything I publish along with anything I think is cool or interesting.
  • I have a blog about teaching, and if you go searching you'll find some older blogs of mine as well.
  • I wrote an essay called "Teaching Rachel" about research, multiplication, failure, and encountering your own limitations in the classroom.
  • "Where My Cynicism About Education Ends" is an attempt to articulate what is worthwhile about school.
  • There's a section of my website dedicated to education research on things like grading, homework, and tracking.
  • Though I haven't updated it in a while, I maintain a website called mathmistakes.org collecting and understanding student work. On that site I also posted a project I did for Justin Reich's group at MIT along with lessons for introducing complex numbers that I wrote together with Max Ray-Riek.

The rest of my writing on education and teaching is scattered across several blogs and websites, unfortunately. At one point a few years ago I tried to collect some highlights but it's incomplete.

I also write other things that have nothing to do with teaching, some of which have been published.

I'm an enthusiastic and frequent contributor to The American Bystander, which Newsweek called "the last great great humor magazine." I write short stories, shorter humor pieces, super-short jokey things, and photo captions.

Here are some examples of my work:

You can also find my work on online humor sites such as Slackjaw, Two Fifty One, and Points in Case.

Alice Walker is a wonderful writer who has published some nutty things about the Talmud and Jews. I wrote "The Talmud Responds to Alice Walker."

I wrote an essay, "A Time to Die," about talking about death with my children. The essay touches on the time that my own high school, an Orthodox Jewish yeshiva, slaughtered a lamb in the parking lot for educational purposes.

The philosopher Hilary Putnam passed away in 2016 and I wrote this obituary.

Here are some quotes that I like. Here is a wiki I haven't updated in a while. Here's an idea for something that I haven't really done yet.