Category Archives: Teaching

FOIL is Verboten

My students and I have a habit of referring to the act of multiplying two binomial forms as FOILing, recalling the acronym FOIL (First, Outer, Inner, Last) for remembering the process.  My excuse for using the term  is that they use … Continue reading

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Here’s What You Don’t Get to Do

I started last Monday’s Precalculus II class with this little speech(edited). “Here’s what you don’t get to do.  When you have children, you don’t get to say, “I was bad at math.”  Because you are good at math.  You could … Continue reading

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Derooting with Radicals

My students were working in pairs on this problem, One group, looking for perfect square factors, had gotten this far, One person asked the other, “Now what?”  The other replied, “Just deroot the x to the eight and the y to the … Continue reading

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PEMDAS Strikes Again

Our pre-calculus class was going over how to combine sums and differences of logarithm expressions into a single logarithm when Steven Orton (He gave  permission to use his name.) asked, “What about PEMDAS?”  PEMDAS is an acronym used for remembering … Continue reading

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Rubrics as Data – Part II

I am continuing to study, “What happens when we amalgamate rubric data?”  Part I is here.  This part will consider how to treat rubric data as a sample from a larger population. The same assumptions as in Part I apply: “Questions … Continue reading

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A Thought on Living Forever

This came to me as I was reading a profile of Derek Parfit, recently deceased, in the New Yorker, specifically this quote. My death will break the more direct relations between my present experiences and future experiences, but it will not break … Continue reading

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Making Space in My Brain

On the Wednesday, after election Tuesday, I took a decisive step.  My mental health was in jeopardy.  I would fight to eliminate a habit – a preoccupying, distracting, futile fifty year old habit. My students tell me that I have never … Continue reading

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