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Category Archives: Curriculum
PEMDAS Strikes Again
Our precalculus 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
Posted in Classroom Happenings, Curriculum, Teaching
Tagged Logarithm expressions, PEMDAS
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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
Posted in Curriculum, Pedagogy, Teaching
Tagged fast algorithms, math testing, understanding algorithms
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A PreQuantitative 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
Thinking about Quantitative Literacy and High School Algebra
The state of Oregon is adjusting curricula for Math 95 – Intermediate Algebra, a noncollegelevel course and Math 105 – Contemporary Algebra, a collegelevel course that “surveys various practical areas of mathematics.” I forwarded these thoughts to those working on … Continue reading
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
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