Sunday, April 18, 2010

Odds and Evens Week of 4-19-10

I've decided to post a few headlines from various sources (Ed WQeek, NYTimes, other blogs, etc.) over the past few weeks. I will not post links to most of these or make comments at this time. I believe they speak for themselves...

  • Stand and Deliver Teacher Dies of Cancer
  • Is Teaching A Marathon or a Sprint?

  • U.S. Needs Better-Trained Math Teachers To Compete Globally
  • U.S. Falls Short In Measure of Future Math Teachers -- American college students earned a C on a new test comparing their skills with their counterparts in 15 other countries.
  • Teacher Training No Boon For Student Math Scores -- A major federal study concludes that intensive teacher professional development in math did not immediately improve test scores.
  • The Boys Have Fallen Behind
  • Merit Pay For Students Fails to Raise Score, Study Finds -- Research suggests that payments can boost achievement if they reward behavior conducive to learning, rather than test scores themselves.
  • Both Value and Harm Seen in K-3 Common Standards -- While some view the proposed expectations as valuable guidance, others worry that they are inappropriate for youngsters.
  • What They're Watching -- The Ten Most Popular Course Lectures Available on You Tube
  • An Open Mind -- Putting free courseware online was a first step in reimagining education. What now? Wiki U’s, smart courses and, maybe, learning

A new website, LearnBoost, is launching 0n 4-19-10. It looks like the developer, Matthew Hunter, and his team put extensive thought and planning into this. It compiles some of the top news stories in education and readers can move their favorite articles up the ladder by voting on them.

So where are MathNotations math contests for 2009-10. Sorry, folks, I'm just too overwhelmed to put this together for the year. However, I have been considering having my 2-year old grandson compose some questions!

Anyone actually looking at the videos I've been posting on my You Tube channel, MathNotationsVids?  I can see a few views but, without any responses or comments, it's hard to tell if this is worth continuing. I probably will because I enjoy it!

Stay tuned!

"All Truth passes through Three Stages: First, it is Ridiculed...
Second, it is Violently Opposed...
Third, it is Accepted as being Self-Evident."
- Arthur Schopenhauer (1778-1860)

You've got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You've got to be taught
From year to year,
It's got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught.
--from South Pacific


Ricochet said...

I passed the link to your videos to a teacher who is teaching upper level math - I hope she uses them.

I am going to start with the 3x = 2x in my repeater algebra 1 class. I am teaching a really simplified version of the class trying to get them to pass but this fits what we are doing now: solving equations. I will try to introduce xy = 4y - but am not sure I can get the whole class to understand the nuances.

Dave Marain said...

Hi Ricochet!
I appreciate your support of these efforts. Don't worry about any class getting all the nuances -- that's why I simply offer these ideas, allowing each teacher to reject or modify as needed.

Before, giving them the equation in the video, I would consider a simpler equation in two variables like x + 2y = 10 and ask them to find five solutions using integers (forces them to consider zero!!). This way you can introduce the idea of an ordered pair (use an x-y table to list the pairs) and relate it to coordinates one can plot. Yup, that's pretty ambitious for one lesson just to motivate some silly problem on some video but if I were observing the lesson I would rate it ten stars! Certainly more than one inch deep!

After the intro examples I might try:

Ok, x ⋅ y = 4 ⋅ y
In your groups, you have to find TEN PAIRS of numbers to replace x and y by to make this true. For example, does x = 4 and y = 11 work? You CANNOT use the same number (value) for x in ALL of your pairs! You also CANNOT use the same number (value) for y in all of your pairs.

The top 3 winning teams are each paid $500 out of your pocket of course OR , as an alternative, bring many bags of M&M's with you!