The Computer History Museum is definitely an amazing treasure in the Bay Area, and specifically in Silicon Valley. CHM's Revolution exhibit takes guests through the first 2000 years of computing, from abacuses and early calculators, punched cards, analog computers, to early computer companies, real-time computing, personal computers, and the internet. If you've never visited the museum, I definitely recommend adding it to your list of things to do in the SF Bay Area.
McGraw Hill's Everyday Math curriculum has been PAUSD's adopted math curriculum for the past seven years and have experienced both support and criticism from the community and teachers. One of the complaints was the variety of math strategies students are taught and how this might confuse students. Some family members and teachers question why teaching so many strategies is helpful when the traditional algorithm works. While I understand that perspective, I have always been a proponent of learning multiple ways to do something so that there can always be many options and tools to complete the task at hand. An analogy or story I've used with students in classrooms, and parents while supporting principals at their info coffees and parent ed nights to explain the "why" of learning multiple strategies goes like this. "One day as I was driving home, there was a construction crew digging up the road I always drive down. Oh well. I guess I can't go home today." Students always respond, "No! Just take another street."
Napier's Bones reminded me of the lattice method of multiplication, a method that's quite popular with the fifth graders I've taught. It's truly amazing to see how methods of calculating and computing we teach today have origins in history. I wonder if John Napier's method was the foundation to the lattice method.