Ten Skills Every Student Should Learn

A recent eSchool News article by Meris Stansbury lists ten skills cited by its readers as being most important for today’s students to acquire: Read Type Write Communicate effectively, and with respect Question Be resourceful Be accountable Know how to learn Think critically Be happy The list is interesting to ponder. I would not argue that any…… Continue reading Ten Skills Every Student Should Learn

Uncover the Hidden Game

The title of this posting is the title of a chapter in “Making Learning Whole”, by David Perkins (2009), which I mentioned in my previous posting.  I recommend it highly. What is the “hidden game” in High School mathematics? What mindsets, approaches, techniques, etc. do those comfortable with the work asked of them rely upon, yet…… Continue reading Uncover the Hidden Game

Equivalence Deserves More Attention

Most students taking courses in Algebra or higher seem quite comfortable with the idea of “equivalent fractions”: improper or unsimplified fractions all of which evaluate to the same decimal value. An example would be $latex \dfrac{2}{3}=\dfrac{4}{6}=\dfrac{12}{18}=\dfrac{60}{90}=0.\overline{666}&s=2&bg=ffffff&fg=000000$ To create such fractions, multiply whatever fraction you wish to start with by 1 (the multiplicative identity) in the…… Continue reading Equivalence Deserves More Attention

On the origin of algebra problems

As you are solving a math problem, have you ever wondered how textbook authors come up with algebra problems that have simple answers? Just as you use inverse functions to solve an algebra problem, problem authors reverse the solution process to create a problem: they start with the answer. From there they use the same…… Continue reading On the origin of algebra problems

Word Problems… !#$%@;*!!

Word problems can be… frustrating.  Most of their reputation arises from their use of words to describe a quantitative problem.  And if the problem’s author did not choose their words very carefully, you’ve got Trouble (with a capital T). So why are so many word problems assigned? Because they are more similar to the quantitative…… Continue reading Word Problems… !#$%@;*!!