14 February, 2014
Volume 19 No. 7
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In This Issue

Free Mentoring

Unsolved K-12 Problems

Summer Workshops for Math Teachers


Online PD

Orientation Sessions

Problem Based Learning Courses

Graduate Credit:
Mathematics Teaching and Learning Certificate

Master's Degree


Free Mentoring


We have mentor groups from Missouri and Pennsylvania giving students feedback on three of the next four Math Fundamentals Problems of the Week — starting with "A Million in Time," now in preview, through the FunPoW that opens Monday, 31 March.

Please have your students submit solutions; and if they receive replies from a mentor, encourage them to revise. Not only will your students learn more, but the mentors will learn, as well!

Want to get in on the fun, but don't have a membership? Register a trial account, which lets you submit to the Current PoWs. This free 21-day demo also gives you access to a sample of the Problems of the Week Library and Write Math alignments to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS):


PoW taking place: math problem-solving moment of the week

"Neither of these students included solutions to the Extra, but you might want to give it a try after reading Ava's explanation. Ava also struggled with the fact that there aren't any numbers. As a result of overcoming that obstacle, she gave this hint at the end of her explanation: 'My advice would be to not get hung up, and to not be afraid to charge into the unknown with variables.'"
- Annie, commenting on the Geometry PoW's Latest Solution

Unsolved K-12 Problems


A conference to "find gems that belong in every child's experience of math" has yielded a YouTube playlist of unsolved math problems for grades K-12.

In the introductory video, conference co-organizer Gord Hamilton explains how open questions remove the stigma of failure and engage a full spectrum of student ability. They also belong in the math classroom much as Mt. Everest deserves climbing: "because it's there!"

The remaining fourteen videos introduce one unsolved problem for each grade K-12, plus a collection of "discards" previously under consideration for kindergarten. Enlivened by simple computer animations and already incorporating feedback from teachers who have used them in their classes, most of the clips play in under five minutes. Fifty seconds into this one, Hamilton lists "fun" and "worthy of mathematicians" among the conference's eight selection criteria for problems:


First mentioned in these pages last year for his MathPickle.com website, Hamilton concludes "there's still a lot of room for you to help" — particularly for grades 6, 7, 8, and 12, as well as in developing stories that would further engage students. Just enter comments in the "share your thoughts" boxes below his YouTube videos.

Now taking place: math education conversation of the day

"This is a very thorny problem and I appreciate the help that people have offered. What I was trying to do was to use the math to make sense of the physics.... I just wanted input because various Internet searches didn't yield anything."
- K_h, posted to the sci.math discussion

Summer Workshops for Math Teachers


The Center for Innovative Teaching (CIT) has announced its summer weekend workshops — some, given by an educator who participated in the conference on unsolved problems, above!

Taking place at the Urban School of San Francisco, CIT's math offerings include

  • Hands-On Geometry: kinesthetic, hands-on enrichment activities
  • Transformational Geometry: rethinking geometry from a CCSS perspective
  • Advanced GeoGebra: sliders, hide-show buttons, animation, sequences, lists
  • No Limits: a concrete introduction to the main functions, geometry of parabolas, dynamical systems

A limited number of public school teachers will receive a 90% discount on their registration fees.

CIT has also extended readers of the Math Forum Internet News a 5% discount for any summer workshop; just use the code MATH2014.


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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