Math News You Can Use.

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 I have not updated these pages in years because according to my hit counter, hardly anyone ever finds their way here. But there are some articles and links that I want to keep for myself for use in blog posts and webpages...

I have seen that over the years the links and articles get moved or lost so it was a good idea to cut and paste the article not just the link...but that makes for some LONG pages. Hopefully some of these will stay up for a long time and not get lost down the memory hole. But you will notice if you go to the archives that many of the links don't work anymore.  Anyhow here are some.

"One of Ma's four questions was to divide 1 3/4 by 1/2 and to make up a story for this problem. Only 9 of the 23 American teachers gave the correct answer in an appropriate form (3 3/4 or 7/2 or 3.5). Several gave incomplete answers like 14/4 or 28/8, whereas six gave no answer. All 72 Chinese teachers gave the correct answer in an appropriate form. Many of the American teachers who answered correctly were merely recalling a procedure (invert the denominator and multiply) that they could not explain. The Chinese teachers not only knew how to divide fractions; most of them could also suggest alternate methods that would have enabled them to connect division of fractions to a student's prior knowledge, or to alert a good student to approaches that might be simpler under some circumstances."

Assessment, of course, is an essential part of teaching. But the high-stakes tests which affect teacher retention and school survival consistently lead to bad teaching, as time and energy are wasted on the shallowest of test prep strategies, not to mention the pressure to cheat. Moreover, they force teachers to rush through each standard superficially, in order to say it's been "covered". This sort of teaching does not yield understanding, and is in fact in direct contradiction with the professed goals of the CCSSM.

Apparently, the new Common Core-aligned tests will be better indicators of understanding than their predecessors. If this is true, it would be excellent news, but then those tests should be put in the hands of the teachers, so they can use them to improve their practice. If they are used in the punitive way tests have been used since No Child Left Behind / Race to the Top, there is no chance for the Common Core to be successful.

Ultimately, she decided, the mathematics was more important than the teaching...

It wasn’t the first time that Americans had dreamed up a better way to teach math and then failed to implement it. The same pattern played out in the 1960s, when schools gripped by a post-Sputnik inferiority complex unveiled an ambitious “new math,” only to find, a few years later, that nothing actually changed. In fact, efforts to introduce a better way of teaching math stretch back to the 1800s. The story is the same every time: a big, excited push, followed by mass confusion and then a return to conventional practices.

The trouble always starts when teachers are told to put innovative ideas into practice without much guidance on how to do it.


Only when the company held customer focus groups did it become clear why. The Third Pounder presented the American public with a test in fractions. And we failed. Misunderstanding the value of one-third, customers believed they were being overcharged. Why, they asked the researchers, should they pay the same amount for a third of a pound of meat as they did for a quarter-pound of meat at McDonald’s. The “4” in “¼,” larger than the “3” in “⅓,” led them astray.

The Art of Pi – A Colorful Data Visualization

12 Dozen Places To Educate Yourself Online For Free
Not news but I put this here so it's easy for me to find again. GREAT list of links.

Go to the archives.

"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed." ~[attributed to some say] Mark Twain

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