It’s entirely possible to fall in love with mathematics if the context is right, like the ”perfect storm,” where all the elements come together. Beyond the day-to-day usefulness of math, mathematics can be dynamic, fascinating, and empowering. Intrinsic motivation should drive learning. The math curriculum should be open-ended and allow for student and teacher creative…

Read more## In Pursuit of the Wannado Curriculum

The main issue in schooling is addressed in this wonderful comic by Lynn Johnston. In my book, The WannaDo Curriculum, I make a distinction between “want to do” and “wanna do.” In the former, what you aim for is what it takes to achieve good grades. The latter involves engaging in an activity that children…

Read more## Imagining the Unimaginable

In her book Imaginable, Jane McGonigal draws on the latest scientific research in psychology and neuroscience to show us how to train our minds to think the unthinkable and imagine the unimaginable. As a math educator for 50+ years, I find my self thinking more and more about what math educators don’t think (Imagine) enough about. …

Read more## Eratosthenes Measures the Earth

Noonday Project Here is a letter that appeared in the AMTNJ (Association of Math Teacher of New Jersey) newsletter in 2010. That’s the last time that CIESE participated in the project. Dear Colleagues: Twice a year I give a shout out to all that can hear about my favorite collaborative project called the Noonday Project…

Read more## Math via Pi Day Stories is Powerful Stuff

March 13, 2022 Recently I have been thinking about the importance and power of … storytelling in teaching and learning mathematics. Through … storytelling, students can engage in ways that develop a positive mathematical identity in which they see themselves as thinkers and doers of mathematics and as a mathematician. – Trena Wilkerson – President…

Read more## What I did during the Pandemic

Now that we have a vaccine and there is a light at the end of the Pandemic tunnel, I want to share with you what I did to keep my sanity during this time. I took on the fractions barrier challenge. Let me explain. I was reading an article by Tom Loveless in which he…

Read more## Scenes from Dynamic Math Classrooms

June 3, 2021

Read more## My Trip to Number Town

The problem many people have with school arithmetic [fractions] is that they never get to the meaning stage; it remains forever an abstract game of formal symbols. Keith Devlin, The Math Instinct This is particularly true when students are confronted with fractions. Not only are they overwhelmed by the myriad of rules one has to…

Read more## An Online Math Activity: Pool Paths

April 1, 2020 With the advent of the Coronavirus and closed schools, NCTM has made available webinars for their upcoming 100 days of professional learning starting today, April 1. I tried to sign up for the opening session this evening but it was already closed out. A thousand teachers were already signed up. Can you…

Read more## The Shrinking Mississippi River Story

Something that your math teachers may have left out when teaching about graphs is that graphs tell stories. And it’s the stories that make the math more interesting. In lesson 3.6 Mr. Jacobs (1) tells the story of Mark Twain’s prediction about how the length of the shrinking Mississippi River will end up. Read the…

Read more## Video: Quantum Physics for 7 Year Olds & What Teaching is all About

I’ve always been intrigued with physics ever since I nearly failed it in my freshman year. What was it about physics that I found so difficult? Well fast forward 57 years and I’m now taking this course “Exploring the Universe (ETU): A Non-Mathematical Look at the 20th Century Physics and Cosmology” to find out why…

Read more## Note to CLIME Community

As I mentioned in a previous blog, CLIME has retired from being an affiliate of NCTM (June 1, 2019). But that doesn’t mean I’ve retired from working towards my vision of math education. My new blog is http://dmcpress.org and it will continue to inform my vision. See SAMR image below. In some recent posts (here…

Read more## A Lemon of a Lesson

Jo Boaler writes: Can I think of a question that students can talk about in groups to get them interested in the ideas before they are taught? For example, in a Calculus lesson, a teacher could ask students to think about how you would calculate the volume of a lemon before learning the formal methods…

Read more## Retirement Opens a Window…

Retirement is an opportunity, a new beginning, fresh possibilities … or so they say. But what if you retired in 2007? Isn’t it almost time to wrap it up? Well, the answer is no, because I haven’t crossed off everything on my bucket list. So maybe a bucket list is not a good metaphor for…

Read more## All about Rigor (Or is it Rigor-mortis?)

Recently President (of NCTM) Trena Wilkerson wrote: Consider these three “Rs” of mathematics: students should engage in rigorous and challenging mathematics that is relevant to their lives and is responsive to their background experiences, cultures, interests, and knowledge.” Math educators seem to love the term rigor, but for 9th and 10th-grade students it scares the…

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