Equation Editor in Google Docsmeans that anyone with a computer that can go online is able to do his or her math work in a word processor. The built in equation editor is easy to use, and offers a convenient way of inserting mathematical notation and maths symbols into a document. Perhaps the only thing that would make this equation editor more useful would be keyboard shortcuts for each of the symbols.
1. Don’t start with the Math. The teachers have discussed how many students shut down if you start with the math. Rather than introducing formulas, vocabulary terms, and numbers, start with problems, puzzles, and situations. Rather than using the problem to practice math – introduce a problem that requires math to solve it.
2. Try to avoid text-only problems. Some students struggle to start a math problem because of difficulties with langauge. Where possible, start with images, videos, manipulates or hands-on introductions to the math. Chunking out the sub-questions or giving them one at a time isn’t really a solution – find ways to get rid of the written language completely. Dan Meyer‘s name has come up many times as the master of this.
We hear a lot of design manifestos around here. But Bret Victor’s stuck out: He wants to kill math. He’s no Luddite, though — he thinks mathematics is one of the most powerful, transcendent ways humans have for understanding and changing the world. What he wants to kill is math’s interface: opaque, abstract, unfamiliar, hard. “The power to understand and predict the quantities of the world should not be restricted to those with a freakish knack for manipulating abstract symbols,” he writes. Now he’s created a prototype iPad interface that turns differential equations into something that doesn’t feel math-ey at all: visual, intuitive, and touchable.
Before the end of the school year I had a discussion with a mum who asked what her child could do in order to continue to be successful in math (e.g. “successful” in a very general, “life skills” sense). “Sam” had always struggled with math and had finally reached a place where she felt successful. Yay!
Mum and I had a great chat, and together (together in the true sense of the word as she had many excellent ideas as well) we came up with the following list of suggestions. & so … If you had been a fly on my classroom wall you would have seen two women, working together, creating & building on the ideas of one another for the child.
(The Bonus: In the end I feel that I benefited as much as they did.)
This is a really great collection of advice for you to click through to. I strongly recommend it.
By the way—I really feel like there’s not a lot of content on here for Math teachers. What tags are you using? Who do you follow that really hits into math?
Enter Desmos, a startup out of Connecticut, that has built a graphing calculator alternative that may shake up the industry on two key fronts: it’s Web-based, and it’s free.
Do we need students to spend $100 on a graphic calculator?
So much potential—if only it worked in HTML5 instead of Flash. Then it’d be available on the over 200 million iOS devices out there. There’s always this app for less than $2. Still much cheaper than my old TI-83 Plus.
A geometric construction of the parabola. The blue point is called the focus, and the horizontal line is the directrix. The blue lines show all the points which are at an equal distance from the red point and the blue focus point. The point of the blue line directly above the red dot contributes to the parabolic curve, because the parabola is defined as the set of all points equidistant to the focus and the directrix. [more] [code]