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31 March 1999 Vol. 4, No. 13A THE MATH FORUM INTERNET NEWS - MARCH 1999 DISCUSSIONS This special issue of the Math Forum's weekly newsletter highlights recent interesting conversations 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/ Replies to individual discussions should be addressed to the appropriate group rather than to the newsletter editor. ______________________________ + ______________________________ MARCH SUGGESTIONS: AMTE - the mailing list of the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators, archived by the Math Forum at: http://mathforum.org/epigone/amte/ - The teaching of our teachers (3 Mar 1999) http://mathforum.org/epigone/amte/flermsterdni/ "...most [of our] students have trouble understanding what they are doing. They can tell you how to divide fractions, but they cannot tell you what dividing fractions means. How do we, as teacher educators, help our students to understand the 'why's of math, instead of just the 'how's? Are there now, or have there been, programs that address this issue?... How are they helping students understand math in ways that will make them better teachers? Has research been done that investigates the impact of this type of course on prospective teachers' attitudes toward, and ability to teach, mathematics?" - Aaron Dvorsky "...this is the problem that I face with nearly every student every semester... It is clear that the 'old way', the traditional, rote learning method, was not successful in teaching math to students... Here are some ideas, necessarily brief..." - Frances Stern "...even though students [may be] processing ideas in multiple ways, the representations tend to become uniform. This inhibits the appreciation of mathematical thinking and ultimately the creativity..." - John Grant McLoughlin "...Maybe we need to scale back our initial expectations and help preservice teachers with concrete strategies... What I'd really like to do is to follow them into their first few years of teaching and push them to keep conscious about what they are trying to accomplish in their mathematics teaching..." - Susan Friel An ongoing and wide-ranging discussion that offers concrete examples for teaching specific skills in the classroom and explores ways of providing models for pre-service teachers, asking such questions as whether some people are "naturally averse" to math and whether it is true that "teachers teach the way they were taught," with some participants posting links to syllabi they have used in teaching elementary education courses and sharing information about the field experience component of their courses. You are invited to participate in the conversation. ______________________________ + ______________________________ CALC-REFORM - a mailing list hosted by by e-MATH of the American Mathematical Society (AMS) and archived at http://mathforum.org/epigone/calc-reform/ Read a discussion sparked by a quote from Anthony Ralston's paper, "Let's Abolish Pencil-and-Paper Arithmetic": "... just as attaining number sense is the essential goal of teaching arithmetic, attaining symbol sense should be the essential goal of algebra..." - posted by Jerry Uhl - Ralston paper (9 Mar 1999) http://mathforum.org/epigone/calc-reform/pherdfeesul/ - Re: Ralston paper, paper & pencil calculus (10 Mar 1999) http://mathforum.org/epigone/calc-reform/floizunsner/ See also: - PPA and MA (13 Mar 1999) http://mathforum.org/epigone/calc-reform/therglaygle/ - What is PPA and MA? (12 Mar 1999) http://mathforum.org/epigone/calc-reform/bluterdbray/ ______________________________ + ______________________________ HISTORIA-MATEMATICA - a virtual forum for scholarly discussion of the history of mathematics in a broad sense, among professionals and non-professionals with a serious interest in the field, archived at http://mathforum.org/epigone/historia_matematica Why Euclid gives geometric constructions in Book II that one might well expect to be postponed until after the general theory of proportion was developed, a thread begun by Roger Cooke: - Euclid, Book II (14 Mar 1999) http://mathforum.org/epigone/historia_matematica/dwimandphex/ See Heinz Lueneburg's March 23 post, offering a link to dvi files in German from his number theory class, which draws on Euclid's Books VII, VIII, and IX. ______________________________ + ______________________________ 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/ Mathematics Library http://mathforum.org/library/ 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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