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Monthly Archives: March 2011
Why I am a Square
It hurts me to deny a student’s request for an exception to class policy – to be able to turn in a late assignment, or to make up a missed quiz, and the like. My premise is that whatever the … Continue reading
Posted in Classroom Happenings
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Whither Basic Algebra
An article about a design class prompted the following question. What would a redesigned math curriculum look like? Current middle school/high school mathematics is in a deep, wellworn rut. It is mostly focused on developing algebra skills useful for getting closed … Continue reading
Posted in Curriculum, Rants
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Memorizing Formulas
I ask my intermediate algebra students to memorize the derivation of the quadratic formula. Some moan and groan but I reply that this is what I expect from an “A” student. I also explain that the act of memorizing the … Continue reading
Posted in Classroom Happenings, Curriculum, Pedagogy
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When Students Get OnLine Help from WolframAlpha
This term I had my intermediate algebra students turn in a graph of . They had to show all their work. One of my students used WolframAlpha to check his answer. He came to me with this image. He said, … Continue reading
Posted in Curriculum, Pedagogy, Rants, Uncategorized
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Idle Hands
For some reason I developed an urge to do some arithmetic calculations. There is supposedly a narrative from a science fiction short story where planetary explorers are returning to earth and all their computers go down. An historian that they … Continue reading
Posted in Math and Me, Math Explorations
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Why I Enjoy Teaching
What excites about teaching is the organization and presentation of ideas. It always seems like I learned this stuff the hard way and I want to explain how easy (and fun) it really is. There is some selfdelusion in this … Continue reading
Posted in Curriculum, Math and Me
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