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A Lemon of a Lesson

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 of Calculus. How do you begin a lesson? In my in-service teaching days, I would motivate my activity by first “setting the stage” (launch phase)….

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Parent Who Criticized His Son’s Math Program Is Sued By Curriculum Company

Parent Who Criticized His Son’s Math Program Is Sued By Curriculum Company

“A group of families in Wake County, N.C., have pushed for months to get the district to stop using a controversial new curriculum. Now the company behind the curriculum is suing one of the most vocal parents for defamation.” I’m not really surprised by this confrontation. The math wars have faded from the news in recent days, but they have not gone away. They only have taken on a new form. Any time a school district tries to adopt a…

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Doing mathematics-the difference between deep and superficial knowledge

Doing mathematics-the difference between deep and superficial knowledge

Math education does not need reform as it equates to rearranging chairs on a sinking Titanic. We need to build a new ship. (Source) If I am advocating anything, it is only the obvious (and time-tested) idea of “learning by doing.” If I have a method, it is only to convey my love for my subject honestly, and to help inspire my students to engage in a delightful and fascinating ADVENTURE – to actually do mathematics, and to thereby gain…

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Wanna do* Adventures

Wanna do* Adventures

In our investigations of children’s understanding of the mathematics of data, we identified ideas that were particularly interesting or empowering to children, and watched where they spontaneously made mathematical games and challenges for themselves. Interwoven with this process was our own deepening understanding and enjoyment of this branch of mathematics. Taking cues from children’s aesthetics as well as our own, in effect we found the “game in the math” rather than putting math in a game. And, almost by necessity,…

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Doing Dynamic Math & Tech Adventures

Doing Dynamic Math & Tech Adventures

Helping students to improve their problem solving ability is one of the major goals of mathematics education. The dynamic math approach is intended to help facilitate that ability. Preliminaries Students should be organized for small groups activity. Each group chooses a “captain” who will be responsible for sharing his groups decisions. Room arranged appropriately for group activity. Computer and projection device setups are ready to go. Since you want to facilitate “conversation” try calling on students rather than responding to…

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Welcome to Episode One – The Road Sign Problem – Introduction

Welcome to Episode One – The Road Sign Problem – Introduction

Welcome to a new approach towards teaching and learning math with technology. I could call this approach lessons or activities but I prefer to call them adventures because I hope that each adventure will bring a new perspective on learning math with technology. This idea has been on my back burner for a long time and it’s finally ready to go. Keep in mind that this is also a learning experience for me so  I also call it a work…

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The Lineup: Who Doesn’t Belong and Why

The Lineup: Who Doesn’t Belong and Why

In each problem below you will find a group of four numbers or expressions. Three of the numbers belong to the same family. The other number is trying to fool you into thinking he/she belongs with the other three by wearing a disguise. Pick out the number or expression and explain why that number doesn’t belong to the family. 1. Circle the number or expression that doesn’t belong to the family and explain why. 2. Circle the number or expression…

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