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Volume 22, Number 11

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 March 17, 2017                                  Vol. 22, No. 11


   Yes, But Why? | Goodnight, Numbers | New Visions, Renewed


                          YES, BUT WHY?

 The Yorkshire teacher behind the popular blog "Solve My Maths"
 recently published his first book, and it's now available
 for pre-order.

 Author Ed Southall introduces "Yes, But Why?" by recalling
 that, as a youth, "Getting the right answers wasn't enough.
 Where did they come from? What was the point of each step for
 each solution?" The maths education specialist at the
 University of Huddersfield goes on to emphasize how algorithms
 work, where mathematical rules come from, and why
 they're important.

 For imponderables such as "Why are fractions and decimals
 neither odd nor even?" and curiosities such as a modern
 language that uses a base-27 number system -- sprinkled with
 green "teacher tips" in between -- freely download a sample of
 his Sage publication:


 Southall has subtitled his first book "Teaching for
 Understanding in Mathematics." For more by the part-time
 secondary school teacher, check out his richly illustrated blog
 of "puzzling questions that purposefully minimalise the amount
 of information explicitly given." Posts at,
 which date to June 2014, have included "Perimeter Problem #1,"
 "Probability Spinners," "Mr. Men #9," and "sPythagoras":



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

 "The technique M. was using is a lot like the way some famous
 Greek mathematicians first approximated the value of pi, long
 before calculators or computers could help."

 - Max, commenting on the Pre-Algebra PoW's latest solution


                        GOODNIGHT, NUMBERS


 Also hitting shelves now is the first math picture book by
 Danica McKellar.

 "Goodnight, Numbers" allows children to say goodnight to the
 objects all around them -- three wheels on a tricycle, four
 legs on a cat -- thereby connecting with the numbers in
 their world.

 After playing the role of Winnie in the sitcom "The Wonder
 Years," author McKellar graduated summa cum laude from UCLA,
 majoring in mathematics. She went on to speak before a
 Congressional committee about why the math scores of U.S.
 children lag behind those of kids from many other countries,
 and why girls especially begin to shy away from math in
 middle school.

 McKellar first appeared in these pages a decade ago after the
 publication of her first book, "Math Doesn't Suck: How to
 Survive Middle School Math without Losing Your Mind or Breaking
 a Nail." For her other popular math titles, visit her site:



    Now taking place: Math education conversation of the day

 "We hooked up with our community college the year we offered
 it.... Our course got cut due to budget cuts so I don't have a
 curriculum available."

 - Tricia, posted to the secondary (grades 9-12) discussion
   group of the Association of Math Teachers of New York State


                      NEW VISIONS, RENEWED


 Do you find that your algebra and geometry students are able to
 solve problems but often can't explain their reasoning?

 New Visions for Public Schools has resources to help you
 provide focus, rigor, and coherence for your students. Their
 free curriculum is organized around a handful of Big Ideas:

getting-started/curriculum-components/big-ideas/ Pacing calendars support unit design; and the project's Regents Tools allow access to support information: Another feature unique to New Visions' curriculum is the use of instructional routines to support teachers in using different tasks with the same lesson structure:
getting-started/curriculum-components/instructional-routines/ On Wednesday, the New York team launched a re-designed website to bring coherence to its five different curriculum projects, which previously had separate websites, each with its own look and feel. Orient yourself with the project's page "Getting Started": To sort through New Visions' 740+ materials by standards, keywords, and type (e.g., "contemplate then calculate"), use the resource search: All this original content was developed through an i3 grant, Accessing Algebra Through Inquiry, in collaboration with the Silicon Valley Math Initiative and the Boston Teacher Residency. -|-\-/-|-\-/-|-\-/-|-\-/-|-\-/-|-\-/-|-\-/-|-\-/-|-\-/-|-\-/-|- CHECK OUT OUR WEB SITE: The Math Forum at NCTM Online PD Online Workshops Ask Dr. Math Problems of the Week Powerful Problem Solving Mathematics Library Math Tools Teacher2Teacher Discussion Groups Join the Math Forum Ask Dr. Math Books Facebook Blogs Twitter Feed SEND COMMENTS TO: _o \o_ __| \ / |__ o _ o/ \o/ __|- __/ \__/o \o | o/ o/__/ /\ /| | \ \ / \ / \ /o\ / \ / \ / | / \ / \ An archive of all the Math Forum newsletters and directions for subscribing can be found at

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