
Re: Invitation to contribute to book for beginning teachers
Posted:
Jul 10, 2013 10:32 AM


> > On Jul 9, 2013, at 11:10 AM, Richard Strausz > <Richard.Strausz@farmington.k12.mi.us> wrote: > > > I recommend that beginning math teachers find some > teacher blogs to follow and participate with. > > > > Here is an algebrarelated post to check out with > links to a number of others: > > > > http://blog.mrmeyer.com/?p=17391 > > > > Richard > > > > I think you mean dejected math teachers, not > beginning math teachers. > > For example, the post you referenced is just another > example of Dan taking an algebra problem from a > textbook, removing the algebra, having the students > apply arithmetic, and never returning to the algebra. > > The original problem gave two real world scenarios > that can be modeled with linear equations and then > asked the student to... > > 1. Model the two scenarios with linear equations. > 2. Graph them. > 3. Solve them (as a system of equations). > 4. Identify the solution with the graph. > 5. Explain what all of this means. > > This is algebra and it involves translating > quantitive situations into mathematical (symbolic) > expressions and manipulating those expressions as a > means to an end. In this case, the big idea is the > ability to see that while a single expression is > insufficient information for a solution, multiple > expressions is. The second big idea is the algebraic > sense to see why this is true through manipulation > and substitution. > > Instead, as he always does, Dan removes ALL of that > algebra and replaces it with an exercise involving > guessing and arithmetic. He calls this "lowering the > floor on the task". But what task is he lowering the > floor on? The task of determining which cable company > is the cheapest? Hardly, and besides, any real > teacher can see that this wasn't even the point or > the task of this exercise. Dan is lowering the floor > on HIS task. Dan is lowering the floor on the task of > teaching algebra to his students. The main gist of > his argument for doing so is that students are simply > too stupid and too uninterested to understand > algebraic reasoning or its purpose. And judging from > his own poor understanding of the art, he shares > their angst. > > Is this really what you want to tell a beginning math > teacher? > > I would think a teacher would have to have several > years of experience getting the short straw and > teaching the hardest groups of students before they > get this dejected about teaching algebra. > > Bob Hansen
Do you have any blogs, books or other suggestions for a new teacher? If so, please add them to this section.
Thanks  Richard

