See Part 1 of my notes from Phoenix: A Brief History of Math Education (NCTM President Matt Larson's presentation.)Here is Part 2.Growth Mindset: telling is not teachingIn his short session, Dylan Kane pointed out that talking about growth mindset may be helpful to students "in the middle". But there are students in our classes who… Continue reading More Notes from NCTM Phoenix

# Tag: Algebra

## Reading Algebra

Symbol sense is an essential part of mathematical literacy. It is the understanding that undergirds effective symbol manipulation, and perhaps more basically the ability to interpret and create algebraic expressions. Symbol sense, like number sense and operation sense, is not learned so much through listening to a teacher. Rather, it grows as one gets practice… Continue reading Reading Algebra

## Partitions

In this post, I will outline my approach to this partition problem:How many ways can you write a positive integer n as a sum of three or fewer positive integers? Partitions are a standard topic in number theory, but I will limit myself to this specific question. I started trying to figure it out after… Continue reading Partitions

## Eclectic

In between June 27 and August 4, 2016, I presented seven to ten workshops (depending on how you count) ranging from a couple of hours to four days. I share most of the handouts, resources, and slides on my Summer Workshops site. (See below my signature for more details on what's there.)The site will remain… Continue reading Eclectic

## New(ish) on my Web site

I will probably blog much less during the summer months, given that I am leading many workshops, one after another, with little breathing time in between. I will also probably do little updating of my Web site, so this is a good time to let you know of some recent additions and tweaks.New: An excellent… Continue reading New(ish) on my Web site

## In Defense of Algebra 2

Novelist Nicholson Baker wrote a cover story on "The Case Against Algebra II" for Harper's in 2013. More recently, political science professor Andrew Hacker wrote a book (The Math Myth) challenging Algebra 2 and its sequels. Some day, I may respond to their arguments, but I am addressing this post to the math teachers who… Continue reading In Defense of Algebra 2

## Making a Vector in Desmos

A couple of years ago, during a workshop on transformational geometry, a participant objected when I used and recommended GeoGebra and not Desmos. Her main argument was that students love Desmos. Fair enough, but that does not make up for the fact that Desmos is mostly about graphing, while GeoGebra includes the many basic and not-so-basic… Continue reading Making a Vector in Desmos

## Hoping to see you soon!

Here is a list of my upcoming appearances, ranging from 20 minutes to a full week. Perhaps you can attend one of them!NCTM National Meeting in San FranciscoA Hands-on Approach to Operations and Equivalent Expressions Thursday 14 April, 8:00-9:15am. 3022 Moscone WestThis is a hands-on Lab Gear workshop aimed at grades 6 to 8. The… Continue reading Hoping to see you soon!

## Factoring a Sum of Cubes

A correspondent who teaches math to 9th graders writes:I was looking at factoring the sum and difference of two cubes and was wondering if you have any input as to how to teach it for true understanding.I have not taught this topic much, if at all, in Algebra 1, as it strikes me as rather… Continue reading Factoring a Sum of Cubes

## Visual Algebra

I will be teaching two instances of my Visual Algebra workshop this summer: grades 7-11, June 27-30, in Oakland; and grades 6-9, July 25-27, in Saint Louis. (More info). This is probably the topic I have presented the most often in the last 25 years.To many students, not to mention teachers, parents, and administrators, algebra… Continue reading Visual Algebra