August 24, 2007
Volume 12 No. 34

In This Issue

Enhanced Problem Packet for Teachers

NASA: STS-118 Education Resources

Math Motivation


Free Online

For teachers of students in grades 3-5:
Tools for Building Math Concepts

For teachers of students in grades 5-9:
Using Technology and Problem Solving to Build Algebraic Reasoning

For all students:

For students in grades 9-10:
the MathMentor


Enhanced Problem Packet for Teachers

Get more out of the Problem of the Week (PoW) experience with our new enhanced problem packets. Now a standard accompaniment to the Current PoWs, each packet includes:

  • problem
  • answer check (the same one that students may view on the web after they submit their solutions)
  • our solution
  • scoring rubric specific to the problem
  • notes about common mistakes we have seen
  • ideas for implementing the problem in the classroom
  • range of student solutions (including solutions at a developing level)

To focus on providing this increased support and making visible the "hidden" curriculum around problem-solving and writing, some Current PoWs will draw from past puzzles to which students have already submitted. Their solutions and explanations will enrich the accompanying packets of those Current PoWs. We'll still write and post brand new problems this year; the packets for those will lack student work.

Non-members may sample packets by first registering a trial account:

NASA: STS-118 Education Resources

Twenty-two years after first being selected as Christa McAuliffe's backup in the Teacher in Space Project, Educator Astronaut Barbara Morgan was one of five mission specialists on the space shuttle Endeavour.

NASA provides educational resources organized by grade band:

Grades K-4

Grades 5-8

Grades 9-12

Post Secondary

Informal Educators

Math Motivation

Michael Sakowski started his website to provide some answers to the question, "Where will I ever use algebra?" As he states on his site:

"Sound familiar? In an arithmetic class, you can point out many applications like retail markup, gas mileage, medical doses, etc., but what about algebra? For example, where will the average person make use of methods [for solving] algebraic equations? Why would the average person need to know how to find the inverse of a function?

"Hopefully, after viewing the examples on this site, your students will clearly see that the process of learning higher mathematics provides valuable skills in deductive reasoning and symbolic reasoning in addition to math skills used directly in science and engineering applications."

We discovered Michael's site from his post on the Math Forum's Teacher2Teacher (T2T) service:


This newsletter is provided as a service of The Math Forum, an online educational community for mathematics hosted by Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA.

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