Category: Math for Elem Teachers

New Math: A Formula for Everything

I think that I will have to start (or end?) every class session next fall with one of these fabulous formulas from New Math. Some of them are obvious (once you see them) and some of them just have me laughing out loud because of the simplistic way Craig Damrauer can depict such a complex subject. A few of my favorites: Inspired by these great formulas, I think we should have a contest to see who can come up with the best “new math formula” for math words like Calculus, Algebra, Statistics, etc. Take your best stab at your favorite math word, and then link here. Here’s my contribution, and then I’m back to work on my dissertation (where all my creative energy is flowing these days). Possibly Related Posts: Teaching in Higher Ed Podcast about ESIL Lens Add Graphs In The World to Courses Bringing the Real World to Your Math Class Every Day Taking the Algebra Out of College Algebra Group Exploration in...

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Fibonacci Sequence in Siftables

“We’re on the cusp of this new generation of tools for interacting with digital media that are going to bring information into our world on our terms.” – David Merrill Jump to 2:20 to see the math example of a Fibonacci sequence in this TED Talk called Siftables.   Possibly Related Posts: Teaching in Higher Ed Podcast about ESIL Lens Add Graphs In The World to Courses Bringing the Real World to Your Math Class Every Day Taking the Algebra Out of College Algebra Group Exploration in...

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Teaching Math with Clickers

Today’s guest blogger is Derek Bruff, Assistant Director for the Center for Teaching at Vanderbilt University. Derek writes a blog you may have stumbled across called Teaching with Classroom Response Systems. Here’s a question I ask the students in my probability and statistics course: Your sister-in-law calls to say that she’s having twins. Which of the following is more likely? (Assume that she’s not having identical twins.) A. Twin boysB. Twin girlsC. One boy and one girlD. All are equally likely Since I ask this question using a classroom response system, each of my students is able to submit his or her response to the question using a handheld device called a clicker. The clickers beam the students’ responses via radio frequencies to a receiver attached to my classroom computer. Software on the computer generates a histogram that shows the distribution of student responses. I first ask my students to respond to the question individually, without discussing it. Usually, the histogram shows me that most of the students answered incorrectly, which tells me that the question is one worth asking. I then ask my students to discuss the question in pairs or small groups, then submit their (possibly different) answers again using their clickers. This generates a buzz in the classroom as students discuss and debate the answer choices with their peers. After the second “vote,” the histogram usually...

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Interesting Results with MathTV

Todays guest blogger is Pat McKeague, author of several textbooks and the mastermind behind the site MathTV.com. Hello, I’m Pat McKeague, and I’m filling in for Maria today. I have created a website called www.MathTV.com where my students and I post videos on mathematics from basic math through calculus. I’m the first one on the left. One interesting observation is that my students have become better math students by making these videos. The other surprising thing is that they love their jobs. All of us that teach know that we understand a topic better after we have taught it. I know that I never really understood calculus until I taught it two or three times. So it makes sense that my students would become better math students after presenting topics on video. In all cases, they are presenting material from classes they have already passed. Even so, they are better at the mathematics in the classes they are taking now. The stronger their foundation in basic skills, the better they are at advanced topics. They have strengthened their foundation by making these videos. The students are paid to make these videos. It is a regular part-time job for them. I have always had trouble getting them to read the book before they come to class. But in their jobs, they don’t mind at all They want to make good...

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