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Volume 3, Number 2

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12 January 1998                                   Vol. 3, No. 2


SkyMath | SchoolNet Word Problems for Kids | MATH-TEACH: Calculators


A site for middle school mathematics teachers from the
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR).

The SkyMath Module, "Using the Science and Language of 
Patterns to Explore Temperature," includes lesson plans for
15 activities with reproducible masters in English and Spanish.
They take at least six weeks to cover:

   1. Brainstorming: Temperature and Temperature Changes 
   2. Be a Weather Watcher 
   3. Introduction to Blue Skies 
   4. Reading Celsius and Fahrenheit 
   5. Make Your Own Temperature Scale 
   6. Making a Rule to Convert Between Fahrenheit and Celsius 
   7. Is Our Room All One Temperature? 
   8. How Can We Describe Our Room Temperature? 
   9. Sampling and Comparing Temperatures 
  10. Line Graphs 
  11. Exploring the StowAway Data 
  12. What's Been Happening? 
  13. Were the Predictions Correct? 
  14. Answers and Questions 
  15. Presentations and Reflections 

The SkyMath curriculum is designed to use real-time weather 
data to involve classrooms in hands-on mathematics, engage 
students in purposeful projects, and inspire reflection and 
communication. It aims to demonstrate that acquiring and 
using current environmental and real-time weather data will 
promote the teaching and learning of significant mathematics, 
consistent with the NCTM Standards.



   GRADE 5: If a ball is dropped from a height of 100m,
   each time it hits the ground it bounces 3/5 of the 
   height it fell. How far will the ball have travelled 
   in the 5th bounce?

   GRADE 8: The Adams family was going to buy a car for 
   $5800. The car dealer offered the Adams family two 
   options for buying the car. They could pay the full 
   amount in cash, or they could pay $1000.00 down and 
   $230.00 a month for 24 months on the installment plan. 
   How much more would they pay for the car on the 
   installment plan? 

   GRADE 11: It takes 4 1/2 minutes for Elton John to 
   listen to his favorite song on a record recorded at 
   45 r.p.m. (revolutions per minute). One day, Elton 
   accidentally played this record at 33 1/3 r.p.m. 
   What was the number of revolutions required to play 
   the song? How long did it take to play it at 33 1/3 

From Rescol Canadien/Canada's SchoolNet, this site provides
approximately 50 questions designed to help improve students' 
problem-solving skills for each grade from 5 through 12. 
Hints are available for difficult problems, and teachers
may request complete solutions via email.



  Recent conversations on the newsgroup MATH-TEACH range 
  from the advantages and disadvantages of calculators
  to parental input, curriculum decisions, the difficulty
  of designing and evaluating educational research, and
  whether children have the right to choose when and how
  they will use available technology. 


  "Calculators PS":

  "Calculator story":

"Take a simultaneous equation problem... 'You have Kona coffee 
 at 2.50 a pound and Colombian coffee at 3.75 a pound. How many 
 pounds of each do you need if you want a blend of 50 pounds of 
 3.00 coffee?' It used to be that setting up the problem was 
 the easy part and grinding out the answer was the hard 
 (although somewhat trivial) part. With the ti-85, that is 
 reversed, except that setting up the problem is critical and 
 not trivial at all. And this is where students are having 
 difficulties and need the most work and practice." - Kim Mackey

"In Ohio, they used to have sales tax tables to help clerks 
 calculate the sales tax. Now, with laser scanners, it is all 
 done automatically. Telling an employer that your students 
 can do all those calculations in their heads will not convince 
 them to junk the scanners. The employers are not going to give 
 up the accuracy and efficiency." - Karl Casper

"Why does the pendulum have to swing so far to one extreme?  
 Learning math facts doesn't have to deaden thinking.  That is 
 a premise that is unproven and that I believe is causing so 
 many problems for reform. Does the rote learning that is 
 necessary to learn French in a classroom a mind-deadening 
 thing?  No it's just boring and I'd rather do it in Paris. 
 But it doesn't ruin your ability to think." - Susan Friedman

"Mathematics is not button pushing; it is not number facts; 
 it is not computational skills; it is not shapes. Yet all
 of these are part of the vehicle for teaching mathematics."
 - Ron Ferguson

 The few excerpts we can offer here don't begin to do 
 justice to the discussions, so we encourage you to visit
 the Math Forum's MATH-TEACH archive. For information about
 this discussion group, see:


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