Sunday, October 31, 2010

...Favorite Math Book? Well, uh...let me see...

Well, I am about to ask a rather stupid, or at least risky, question. What is your favorite math book? I fully expect to get a few responses from math teachers, but I hold out little hope that the general populace will have much of an opinion.

As for me, two of the pictures above show my favorite math books, and the other is my least favorite. Can you guess which is which?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

What Kind of a Math-Person are You?

What kind of a math person are you? That's a pretty tough question to answer without some help. So, I will supply some help.

Pick just one of the following problems, and think about how you would go about the math. Would you need tools (paper & pencil, a calculator, just your brain)? If you worked mentally, would you see pictures in your head? If so what would they be? Would you see numbers being carried, borrowed, or traded? Do you see numbers stacked vertically?

Well, here goes...

27 + 53

53 - 27

2,456 divided by 12

27 X 53

Saturday, October 16, 2010

What do you think our kids should be learning in math?

If I were in charge of the math world, I would have classrooms full of calculators, check books, receipts, and bank statements. It seems pretty clear that most "math energy" in our world is spent balancing our assets against our material wishes. It is also clear that many students graduate from high school without these basic skills.
I also think that textbook publishers have a pretty warped view of what real world math is all about. If Bobby, Suzy and Sam have to share any more pizzas, I think that I may become ill (it sounds real world, but it really isn't), ditto for 2n X 48z cubed = the square root of pi.
Having said this, I do deeply value building a deep understanding of basic number sense and mental math abilities. If this ability is developed early, higher math certainly becomes more manageable, and more mundane daily math tasks become less of a mystery.
What do you think?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I Don't Want to be a Hater, but..........

What is the thing that you most hated about math or a math class?

For me, the thing that I could never understand was teachers assigning 53 similar problems for homework! I can remember sitting at home from the age of about 11 to the age of 17 thinking that the teachers must be quite thick if they did not realize that if I could do two problems, I could do 53 problems. We also never went over more than two problems in the classroom. So, I am still confused and angry. I mean, I could have played a million more minutes of soccer under the street light!



Sunday, October 3, 2010

What Fun is Football Without Math?

How does math improve your life?
Maybe it doesn't, but as I sat and watched the lizards get pummeled by the Tide, I really enjoyed understanding all of the math involved in football. It must really stink not to understand things like, "11 carries for 42 yards" or "allowed two TDs in nine red-zone trips".
Today, as I watch the NASCAR race, thousandths of a second or thousandths of an inch could make all the difference in the world, or Jimmie Johnson could just win like always...
So, I challenge you to answer the question. How does math impact your life daily?