Tag Archives: math

Why meaningful math problems are defined out of online assessments

Dan Meyer said:

at this moment in history, computers are not a natural working medium for mathematics.

For instance: think of a fraction in your head.

Say it out loud. That’s simple.

Write it on paper. Still simple.

Now communicate that fraction so a computer can understand and grade it. Click open the tools palette. Click the fraction button. Click in the numerator. Press the “4″ key. Click in the denominator. Press the “9″ key.

That’s bad, but if you aren’t convinced the difference is important, try to communicate the square root of that fraction. If it were this hard to post a tweet or update your status, Twitter and Facebook would be empty office space on Folsom Street and Page Mill Road.

It gets worse when you ask students to do anything meaningful with fractions. Like: “Explain whether 4/3 or 3/4 is closer to 1, and how you know.”

It’s simple enough to write down an explanation. It’s also simple to speak that explanation out loud so that somebody can assess its meaning. In 2012, it is impossible for a computer to assess that argument at anywhere near the same level of meaning. Those meaningful problems are then defined out of “mathematics.”

via http://blog.mrmeyer.com/2012/what-silicon-valley-gets-wrong-about-math-education-again-and-again

In many cases your student peers aren’t burdensome, they’re essential

Dan Meyer said:

most software for individualized instruction fails to connect learners in the kinds of productive debates Brendan describes. And that’s by design. Individualization is the watchword. Don’t let yourself become burdened by your classmates! But in many cases your peers aren’t burdensome. They’re essential. And the software fails to distinguish one case from the other.

via http://blog.mrmeyer.com/2014/tools-for-socialized-instruction-not-individualized-instruction/comment-page-1/#comment-1968224

If you’re functionally equivalent to a YouTube video…

Dan Meyer said:

Teachers are a great medium for lots of things that a YouTube video isn’t. “Conversation, dialogue, reasoning, and open questions,” as I put it in my post. If you, as a teacher, aren’t taking advantage of your medium, if you’re functionally equivalent to a YouTube video, you should be replaced by a YouTube video.

via http://blog.mrmeyer.com/2012/what-silicon-valley-gets-wrong-about-math-education-again-and-again

Countdown to ISTE 01: Math education blogs (aka THE PUSH 2014)

The Push 2014If you were asked to nominate a very short list of blogs for math educators to read / subscribe to, what would you share? Please submit to the list! (there’s a form at the end of this post)

What are some excellent math education blogs that P-12 math educators should be reading? We need both elementary and secondary examples. Please contribute, see the responses, AND share this post with others so that we can get the best list possible.

What math education blogs would you recommend? http://bit.ly/1h19CpJ Please share with others so we get a great list! #mathedchat #edtech

Thanks in advance for helping with this initiative. If we all contribute, we should have a bevy of excellent subject-specific blogs to which we all can point. Please spread the word about THE PUSH!

[Next up: Science education]

—–

What is THE PUSH?

Every day between now and the ISTE conference, we work together to identify excellent subject-specific blogs that are useful to P-12 teachers. Why? Several reasons…

  • To identify blogs that P-12 teachers can use to initially seed (or expand) their RSS readers (e.g., Feedly, FlipboardReeder, Pulse)
  • To facilitate the creation of online, global (not just local) communities of practice by connecting role-alike peers
  • To create a single location where P-12 educators can go to see excellent subject-oriented educational blogging
  • To highlight excellent disciplinary blogging that deserves larger audiences
  • To learn from disciplines other than our own and get ideas about our own teaching and/or blogging

We are looking for blogs with RSS feeds – particularly from P-12 educators – not sites to which we can’t subscribe. This is an effort to update the awesome but now heavily-spammed list we made 5 years ago!

Sioux Central students are making trebuchets, learning physics [VIDEO]

Are your students learning physics by making trebuchets, catapults, and ballistae? Why not? Students in the Sioux Central (IA) Community Schools are and they’re having a blast! (literally)

Are you not entertained?! Great work, Dan Strohmyer!

Google + Siri = Dumb people in math?

Google recently announced its tip calculator:

Google calculates tips

And of course Siri + WolframAlpha can do the same (along with more advanced math equations):

Siri tip calculator

We continue to outsource mental tasks to our mobile devices. Cue the ‘tech is making us all dumber’ pundits…

As our mobile computing devices evolve to become even easier and more powerful, the question of what math knowledge and skills [or insert other topic here] we still need to memorize and retain in our lives is an open one. And if we don’t memorize certain things, how will we be able to critically analyze and validate the information our devices (or others) give us?

Food for thought this Monday…

Math lacks a fundamental narrative

Mike Thayer says:

Baker’s complaint about math education (NOT MATH!), as I read the article, is that it lacks a fundamental narrative. That is, we expose our students to “hairy, square-rooted, polynomialed horseradish clumps of mute symbology that irritate them, that stop them in their tracks, that they can’t understand.” We do this for a variety of reasons: it’s on the test, it’s the next unit in the (Common Core) curriculum, it’s what they need to take the next course, etc. We spend no time at all on the great story, which is of math itself and the power we humans have gained by its use. As a result, we produce large numbers of students who (mostly) think of math as that disconnected, irrelevant, annoying, frustrating subject.

via http://hyperbolicguitars.blogspot.com/2013/08/nicholson-baker-algebra-2-and-equity.html

The Kafkaesque universe of classroom math

Uri Treisman says:

When you visit most math classrooms it’s like you’re in a Kafkaesque universe of these degraded social worlds where children are filling in bubbles rather than connecting the dots. It’s driven by a compliance mentality on tests that are neither worthy of our children nor worthy of the discipline they purport to reflect.

via http://blog.mrmeyer.com/?p=17047

The Common Core standards are supposed to be about bigger ideas and fewer of them?

All of the Finnish National Standards for Math, grades 1-9, fit on just 9 pages. In contrast, our K-8 Math Common Core Standards fit on 70 pages along with another 145-page appendix of requirements for grades 8-12.

via http://dianeravitch.net/2012/12/20/a-teachers-critique-of-the-a-common-core-standards

A Japanese approach to Khan Academy

Got 13 minutes? Watch this video from Michael Pershan. Plain and simple, American math teachers teach differently than Japanese (and other international) math teachers. What would Khan Academy look like if it came from Japan? Well, it would look more like the work that Dan Meyer’s doing

Michael’s video was the winner of the #MTT2K prize. Happy viewing!

Switch to our mobile site