Category Archives: Curriculum

Specifics about subject matter.

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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We Get What We Test For

My post on “fast fractions” elicits the occasional vehement objection to the mechanical nature of the algorithms.  I too would object, though not apoplexically, if the post claimed that those rules were all you need to know (plus reducing to lowest terms) … Continue reading

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A Pre-Quantitative Literacy Course

Our state, Oregon, is beginning to rethink the prerequisite course to our general college level quantitative literacy (QL) courses.  The course in question is called Math 95.  It covers sections of the high school algebra II curriculum.  The college level … Continue reading

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I Saw a White Horse Today – Proving Algebraic Identities or Not

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Thinking about Quantitative Literacy and High School Algebra

The state of Oregon is adjusting curricula for Math 95 – Intermediate Algebra, a non-college-level course and Math 105 – Contemporary Algebra, a college-level course that “surveys various practical areas of mathematics.”  I forwarded these thoughts to those working on … Continue reading

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Essay Questions in Beginning Calculus Classes – An Example

Occasionally I rant about separating  tests for skills from tests for understanding.  Here is an example of an essay question designed to see if a student knows the different methods of locating a local minimum value. Though this question is still less about concepts … Continue reading

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It’s All Math so Let’s Give Up

I’m getting the sense that math is being set up as the fall guy.  The purported  barrier between the upper 15% of us (See Average is Over) and the rest of us is mathematics.  The idea is  that competency in … Continue reading

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