Want to put your students in a mathematical pickle?
MathPickle's free videos, which pose rich math gems to engage
the spectrum of student ability, include
Fibonacci Mutant Bunnies
Area and Perimeter of Animals
Locker Room Prank
... and dozens more
Select a grade band for PDF solutions, presentations in
PowerPoint and Keynote formats, and other supporting materials.
MathPickle advocates the establishment of a set of thirteen
$1,000,000 unsolved problems — one for each grade
K-12 — with the prize money to be split between the person
who solves the problem and their most inspirational K-12
teacher. The final selection of these thirteen problems, and a
discussion of the merits of the million dollar prize money,
will take place in Banff (Canada) this November:
Believing that "we learn best through hard fun," creator Gordon
Hamilton serves as resident mathematician at a Calgary school.
A board game designer and founding member of the Game Artisans
of Canada, Hamilton holds a PhD in Mathematical Biology.
PoW taking place: math problem-solving moment of the week
"As the student solutions below show, there was some variation
both in the expressions and in how you made the comparison.
Finally, while we don't generally feature solutions that did
not use algebra, I'm including Andrew's here because it's kind
- Riz, commenting on the Algebra PoW's Latest Solution
Yo: A Math Teacher's Blog
Nico Rowinsky, who has taught middle school math for more than
a decade, began blogging this past school year. Posts on his
blog, subtitled "In search of some initial value and going from
Teaching an Old Word Problem New Tricks: PART II
What happens when you've never even heard of a square root
Let the toothpicks fall where they may
The Abstraction of a Histogram
Proportional Representations and Other Boring Words
What Makes a Great Math Teacher?
Last week, Rowinsky released his first novel-length piece of
fiction, entitled Sally Strange: And How She Learned to Stop
Worrying and Love Grade 7 Math. It opens with this sentence:
"If I was given the choice between going to math class or
going to the orthodontist for a tightening, I'd probably
choose the orthodontist."
Check last Thursday's blog post to read a foreword, written by
the professor emerita who founded the Mathematics Education
Centre of the University of New Brunswick — and to score a
Now taking place: math education conversation of the day
"That may be true, but there is also truth in the converse:
passionate mathematicians, those with strong
platonic/aesthetic inclinations, often have a hard time in
current academia. For one thing, there are no 'generalists'
anymore. There is no place for such a concept today."
- dan.ms.chaos, posted to the sci.math discussion
Report of the 2012 National Survey of
Science and Mathematics Education
A report came out last week about a survey that garnered the
participation of 7,752 science and mathematics teachers in
schools across the United States.
The Report of the 2012 National Survey of Science and
Mathematics Education (NSSME) — the fifth in a series dating
back to 1977 — provides up-to-date information and identifies
trends in the areas of teacher background and experience,
curriculum and instruction, and the availability and use of
Data tables include
Prevalence of Block Scheduling
Factors Seen as Inhibiting Effective Instruction in the
Randomly Selected Mathematics Class, by Grade Range
Mathematics Classes in Which Teachers Report Using Various
Activities at Least Once a Week, by Grade Range
Amount of Homework Assigned in Classes per Week, by
Subject and Grade Range
Characterizing the percentage of schools offering school-based
programs to enhance interest and achievement in math as
"strikingly low," this NSSME also finds that
at a time when only 62% of the K-12 student enrollment is
White and non-Hispanic, roughly 90% of mathematics
teachers characterize themselves that way
mathematics teachers tend to feel less well prepared for
finding out what students thought or already knew about
the key ideas to be addressed in a unit, and anticipating
what students might find difficult in it
43% of elementary mathematics classes use the Internet
weekly, compared to just 26% of middle school mathematics
classes and 11% of high school mathematics classes
the two factors seen as most serious problems for
mathematics instruction are low student interest in the
subject and low student reading abilities
Freely download NSSME — supported by the National Science
Foundation (NSF) through a grant to Horizon Research, Inc.
(HRI) — one chapter at a time; or in one fell swoop, as a