I was taken back, today, by a recent post in a large math teacher forum. The writer was kindly offering his new foiling video which is extremely well done. What this tells me, though, is that foiling is still being offered as a legitimate way to help students through math classes. Even with Sara Van … More Foiling: When longevity is not a good thing
For the first decade of my teaching career, I never saw a math textbook that didn’t relegate the “story problems” to the C section…and teachers didn’t expect many of their students to get them right. With the advent of the Common Core State Standards, though, teachers are feeling a compelling push for students to be … More Word Problems: when math students can’t solve them
I have taught “difference of squares” and “perfect squares” for over ten years using various traditional instructional techniques including “compare and contrast;” but this year I tapped into Google Drawing to increase the intensity of student engagement. I copied and pasted a group of expressions from the exploration in our CPM textbook so when my … More Examining Structure in Special Quadratics with Google Drawing
Why Dan Meyer will always be a math family favorite. Dan Meyer’s famous Graphing Stories continue to be useful to me as a high school algebra teacher as I move more into inquiry based learning to engage my students. Here’s an example of how students can develop Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for algebra while … More Meyer-Graphing Stories in Algebra 1
Most my Algebra 3 students are taking the class because they were too weak to move onto a rigorous 4th year of high school math. They struggled with Algebra 2. For that reason, I consider them to be a good testing ground for pedagogical strategies. Such is the case with logarithms. Textbook instructions typically look … More Logarithms: a simple trick to avoid tricks
Once in awhile a middle school teacher in my district asks me questions that make me blush…at my own hesitations. Today Evan (fake name) asked, “Could you help me with the conceptual understanding of factors? …I would like to make sure my instruction/definition of factors is a fit for any level of mathematics.” Evan had found … More Factors and Primes: Oh really?
“Your son is behind in his math.” What do these words mean and how are they typically understood by parents? Of course that varies from classroom to classroom and district to district, but one message seems lost in the translation, “Parent, you need to pitch in here or this situation could have serious consequences in … More Lying to parents