Here are links to posts on my Math Education Blog that you might find interesting.
If you are so moved, you may comment on the posts, and/or subscribe to the blog.
We often ask students to simplify expressions. What is the purpose of this? When is it appropriate? How much is too much? I discuss all this here.
Factoring trinomials is another activity that takes up a lot of time in algebra classes. In this post, I present an approach to this topic based on hands-on activities and visual connections.
Teachers don't have a lot of time on their hands, and yet many end up spending some of the time they have creating curricular materials. In this post, I discuss how teacher-created materials fit in the broader universe of math education.
New on my website.
Functions can be represented in different ways: formula, graph, table. This is a huge part of the secondary school math curriculum, but it can also be an important pedagogical tool. Many years ago, I wrote about the power of activities where students are asked to go from graph to formula: Make These Designs. The technology has changed, but the underlying concepts remain essential.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about asking students to go from data points to formula: Functions from Tables. I added a new directory (Recognizing Functions) where I link to lessons and activities along these lines, including classic labs and a new unit about `y = kx^n`: `n^(th)` Power Variation and its Teachers’ Guide.
This is an introduction to base 5 arithmetic, by Betta and Tom Fisher-York.
Suitable for math clubs and upper elementary school enrichment.
Tweaks, Updates, and Stats
- I tweaked and updated:
- The site's home page
- Applets Directory (links to the interactive GeoGebra pages on the site)
- Virtual Grid Paper (the most popular page on my site)
- Some Rights Reserved (almost everything on the site is free for non-commercial use)
- Directory of Directories (possibly a good entry point to the site?)
- Complex Numbers (including games!)
- Nothing Works! (my cheerfully titled manifesto from 2005)
- My résumé (take a look if you're thinking of hiring me as a consultant)
- The Place and Purpose of Puzzles in Math Curriculum
- Parabolas and Quadratics (lots of links!)
- According to Google, these were the most popular pages in the last three months (I am not including the pages mentioned elsewhere in this newsletter):
- Virtual Pentominoes (a perennial addictive favorite)
- Proving Pick's Formula (why is it so popular? I don't know)
- Geometry Labs (free download — lots of hands-on activities)
- Search (an important feature, given the hugeness of the site)
- Algebra: Themes, Tools, Concepts (a whole textbook, free download)
- Function diagrams (yet another representation — a powerful and underused pedagogical tool)
- Algebra Manipulatives (comparison and history) and The Lab Gear (the best!)
- For a Tool-Rich Pedagogy (some philosophizing, and many links)
- Geometry of the Parabola (yes, parabolas are not just algebra!)
- Geometric Puzzles (lots of links)