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30 September 1998 Vol. 3, No. 39A THE MATH FORUM INTERNET NEWS - SEPTEMBER 1998 DISCUSSIONS This special issue of the Math Forum's weekly newsletter highlights interesting conversations taking place during September of 1998 on Internet math discussion groups. For a full list of these groups, with links to topics covered and information on how to subscribe, see: http://mathforum.org/discussions/ If you would prefer to receive a discussion group newsletter every other week instead of once a month, or if you would like a Web page with links to current interesting conversations across a variety of groups, please let us know by writing to: the Math Forum Internet Newsletter editors ______________________________ + ______________________________ SEPTEMBER SUGGESTIONS: AMTE - the mailing list of the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators, archived by the Math Forum at: http://mathforum.org/epigone/amte/ - "Multiplication charts" (23 Sept. 1998) http://mathforum.org/epigone/amte/brensmexyax/ - "Basic Facts" (24 Sept. 1998) http://mathforum.org/epigone/amte/shingsningspar/ Should children know their multiplication tables? Should they be allowed to use calculators in the classroom to find basic facts? Can calculators teach multiplication facts? A spirited discussion with tips for teaching multiplication from Wayne Bishop, Randolph Philipp, Marilyn Simon, Julita Lambating, and Ruth Parker; a game from Stephen Sproule; and citations from Andy Isaacs to the NCTM Standards on computational competence and mastering basic facts. ______________________________ + ______________________________ AP-CALC - the Advanced Placement Calculus mailing list, hosted by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and archived at: http://mathforum.org/epigone/ap-calc - "new new math limit" (10 Sept. 1998) http://mathforum.org/epigone/ap-calc/fryflehclin/ "I recently saw a course objective for first semester calculus that suggested that the student will learn to find the limit of a function defined by a table, a graph or an analytical expression. I practically swallowed my tongue. Anybody else see a problem with this?" - Geoff Hagopian ______________________________ + ______________________________ APSTAT-L - the Advanced Placement Statistics mailing list, archived by the Math Forum at: http://mathforum.org/epigone/apstat-l/ - "Standard Normal Tables" (20 Sept. 1998) http://mathforum.org/epigone/apstat-l/nimbilverm/ "Does the Ap Stat test include questions that will require standardizing data and using normal tables or can my students just use the TI-83's Normalcdf (lower bound, upper bound, mean, st. dev.) and Invnorm (percentile, mean, st. dev.)? ... my students justifiably want to know why they are using a table when they all have a TI-83." - Paul Chiment ______________________________ + ______________________________ MATHEDU, a mailing list set up to discuss issues in Mathematics/ Education at the post-calculus level, and archived at: http://mathforum.org/epigone/mathedu/ - "Diagrams and formal arguments" (14 Sept. 1998) http://mathforum.org/epigone/mathedu/gerdtenpex/ "Bob Burn and I have been working on a revision of his book Numbers and Functions. This is a first course in epsilon-delta analysis. In particular we are planning to include many more diagrams. We find ourselves in a dilemma. On the one hand diagrams certainly make understanding more profound, more rounded and deeper. On the other hand, one of the things one is (normally) trying to introduce to students in this course is a more formal method of arguing.... "Since one of our objectives is to teach students to argue more formally and to distinguish formal arguments from appeals to the intuition, we would be very dissatisfied with responses from mathedu that told us not to bother with formality. Incidentally, the two-column method was emphasized on this list a few months ago. Its use is one of the many things we have learned from the list." - David Epstein ______________________________ + ______________________________ NUMERACY, for those interested in the discussion of educational issues around adult mathematical literacy, archived at: http://mathforum.org/epigone/numeracy/ - "Order of Operations" (15 Sept. 1998) http://mathforum.org/epigone/numeracy/stoclangkimp/ "Can anyone help me with this math hint and accompanying example given in a book I used this spring with an ABE class? The hint reads 'All operations above a division line must be completed before the division can be performed.'..." - Esther D. Leonelli "...we wrote a chapter called "Where do we start?" which attempted to demonstrate what order you needed to do the operations, but through everyday applications related to shopping, etc., using money. Using these applications we tried to show that in order to write down 'our' calculations and get the answer you know you should get, you need some conventions so that everyone (including when we use the calculator) gets the same answer..." - Dave Tout "One of the interesting things about the order of operations is that it is only necessary to consciously think about it for written expressions (in other words, expressions in which the order of computing the problem has been determined by someone else). As soon as we see what practical situation the calculations relate to we have a sense of the order to apply the operations in." - Brian G. Cann ______________________________ + ______________________________ We hope you will find these selections useful, and that you will browse and participate in the discussion group(s) of your choice. CHECK OUT OUR WEB SITE: The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/ Ask Dr. Math http://mathforum.org/dr.math/ Problems of the Week http://mathforum.org/pow/ Internet Resources http://mathforum.org/~steve/ Teacher2Teacher http://mathforum.org/t2t/ Discussion Groups http://mathforum.org/discussions/ Join the Math Forum http://mathforum.org/join.forum.html Send comments to the Math Forum Internet Newsletter editors |

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