I don't think math education needs that much of a change... decent students generally have a good grasp of basic geometry, algebra, and calculus by the time they're out of high school. I know people who've gone on to do math PhD's who started with basic calculus their freshman year in college.
This has, of course, little to do with how good a particular teacher is or isn't.
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Thread: reforming math education

08112008, 05:15 AM #31Madman's azure lie: a zen miasma ruled.
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I razed a slum, Amen.
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08112008, 05:28 AM #32
I was a math moron! I wish someone could make that stuff intelligible for me.
Verbalbased subjects  great. Mathbased subjects  disaster. To make matters worse, I have absolutely no spatial skills. NONE. I was a spatial moron. Literally  I always got in like the 15 percentile on those damned spatial tests  it's so bad, I cannot even drive. Uh, wait, 15 percentile is like the lower 15, right? See what I mean?!?!?!?!?! I can't even do that, for heaven's sake. Someone shoot me.
Okay, with a hopeless case like me, maybe no reform could make me make sense of all that gibberish...But perhaps, just maybe, if they could find a way to bring association or verbal matters into it, I could make sense of it.If you are interested in language, words, linguistics, or foreign languages, check out my blog and read, post, and/or share.

08112008, 12:50 PM #33
I think that math can be a hard subject for many people to like.
Math doesn't come so intuitively for many people and many will struggle with the subject.
I think it's important for those who struggle in math to have teachers who try to show students how beautiful numbers can truly be teachers who encourage students to develop their math skills.
I was someone who got math pretty quickly but my math classes were soooooooooooooo boring.......MBTI Type: iNTj
Enneagram Type: 3w4 sp/sx

08122008, 12:29 PM #34
This is one of the things that Singapore math excels at. Most US math teachers (I should say those who teach math through algebra I) struggle to come up with how the knowledge blocks of math fit together because they weren't taught it this way and they, too, memorized equations.
I just worked with a whole group of math teachers who didn't realize that by emphasizing 1/3 as "one of three" they'd blocked some of their students from grasping that 1/3 could also be 2 of 6. Students vehemently defended, on film, that you couldn't have thirds if you had more than three objectsa result of only teaching the area model of fractions, not the set and distance (number line) models that, together, prevent such misunderstandings from forming. The teachers were, well, humbled as they realized how their compartmentalization of curriculum, in the name of keeping things simple, had blocked student growth...edcoaching

08122008, 03:41 PM #35
^Is there a central source indentifying all the ways particular basic math concepts need to be presented?
That would be enlightening enjoyable for me to read.
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08132008, 10:04 PM #36
there really isn't such a resource, mainly because people still think that what works for them will work for everyone.
Here's a sample from the fractions sequence we worked out for 6th graders who are 2 years behind. They "got" it and stayed really engaged. We id'd around 15 key concepts and designed multiple activities to ensure mastery of each, changing up learning styles...
Divide something into equal parts. Each equal part is a fraction of the whole. Name each part as a fraction of the whole. Identify how many parts make one whole (4/4’s = 1)
• Have 3 students stand
•What fraction is wearing tennis shoes? Sweaters? What other fractions can you use to describe the group?• Have all students use 3 color tiles to build a shape that’s 1/3 blue, 1/3 red, 1/3 green
• Ask whether there’s a way to divide the group in half.
• Add another student and get them to name the two halves as half and 2/4.
• Have them do the same fractions with more tiles.• Sometimes fractions aren’t isolated—it’s spaces or areas, so let’s look at a number line.
• Have students bring examples to the document camera. Emphasize, “You’re saying there’s a third, but I see 6 pieces? Where is the one? Where is the three?”
• Model making a line with 6 parts. Use tiles to mark off the line. Make sure the line extends past 0 and past 1 to plant the connection with rational numbers.•How many parts are there? How can we name these parts? Mark 0, 1/6, have students work with you to label up to 6/6. Ask for another name for 6/6.Assessment: make a number line about 8ths and label the parts. Also, label a segment that doesn’t start at 0 that equals 3/8.
• Have them make a number line about fifths on whiteboards and use different strategies—not using a tile for evenness this time. Talk about the methods they used and which method is more accurate.
• Have them mark 2/5 with their fingers. Then ask them to move their fingers so that their line segment doesn’t start at zero and show 3/5. Emphasize that we don’t count the marker lines but the parts.edcoaching

08152008, 12:33 AM #37
 Join Date
 Aug 2008
 MBTI
 ENTJ
 Posts
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The problem with math is that not enough people are motivated to learn it.
Now if enough people learned that by being good at math and programming, you could have more money than you knew what to do with in several lifetimes (read: James Simons, David E. Shaw, Bill Gates, Sergei Brin), I wonder how many would flip open those textbooks.
The stereotypes against math in America by children is the biggest challenge. The second biggest challenge is the lack of quality teachers due to the lack of competition in public schools.I am an ENTJ. I hate political correctness but love smart people ^_^

08152008, 12:35 AM #38
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