Monday, September 17, 2012

Why HS Math Scores are Low(er)

Thank you Professor Ellis for breaking down and clarifying why are students are having difficulties in math. I'm waiting, not so patiently, for the legislature and leadership to 'get it'!

Why HS Math Scores are Low(er)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Answer It

Here is another post that made its way around the internet. I found it on facebook. It is a great warmup for the 7th grade math student reviewing Order of Operations (often known as PEMDAS - a.k.a. "Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally", standing for: Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, and Subtraction).

Many adults missed this question and 'verified' the incorrect answers on their computers and calculators (simple, or older, calculators are not programmed to manage the mathematical Order of Operations). An interesting experiment is to type this mathematical sentence on a simple calculator and also type it into a scientific calculator. You will get two different answers. (It is important to type the whole sentence and then hit the equal button, otherwise hitting enter or equal acts like inserting parentheses into the sentence and this will change your answer).

There was a lot of debate about 'clarifying' the mathematical sentence by using parentheses. I shuddered to read statements like, "It depends upon how you 'interpret' the mathematical sentence." One of the great aspects of mathematics is that there are agreed upon rules that disallow the need to 'interpret'. Interestingly, and a testament to how different brains work, many people remembered the expression, "Please excuse my dear aunt Sally", but couldn't apply PEMDAS correctly and got the answer wrong.

Spoiler alert!!! The answer is 7.

Many people got 1, and some people got 5 for an answer.

Multiplication and Division are on the same 'level' of the operations 'ladder'. PEMDAS should actually look like
Multiplication and Division are done by whichever occurs first in the mathematical sentence, and the same applies for Addition and Subtraction. Either way, Multiplication and Division need to occur before Addition and Subtraction.

Therefore, our problem is reduced to 6 - 0 + 1 = 7.

Verizon Math Fail

I have posted this one before, but was thinking of it recently and thought it worth a revisit. The half hour tape is entertaining and worth a listen. If you don't have that much time, start at minute 15, when the supervisor gets on the phone.

A shortened version makes a perfect lesson for 7th grade students, math or science, when learning the importance of units.

Verizon Math Fail

Edited Version of Verizon Math Fail

Monday, August 27, 2012

No, Algebra Isn't Necessary

I am posting this article, which has, itself, been reposted.

We have been told that Algebra is a 'gateway' course. That notion has come from data looked at from a certain perspective. I take a different view and am thrilled to see that Valerie Strauss and Roger C. Schank agree.

In stripping the Arts, Vocational Arts, Fine Arts, Music, Physical Education, Foreign Language and the Humanities, from the middle school and high school curriculum, we have removed areas of interest where many students found their passion and bliss or found something that they were good at, something they could own. What a shame.

No, Algebra Isn't Necessary

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A New Way to Google

Check out this video!

Marin County Math Tutor
Credentialed in Mathematics - Pre-School to Adult Education
Highly Qualified as per the 'No Child Left Behind Act'

Catch up in the Summer!

Is your child or teenager:
not doing as well in math as you would have hoped?
struggling with basic concepts?
afraid of math?
falling behind the other students?

Perhaps a few tutoring sessions during the summer will help your child.

The general plan is to meet with your child or teenager, assess the problem and help the family implement a plan to build success in the coming year.

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