Hi everyone!

I decided to join this thread as I have been reviewing some 7th Grade Common Core Math curriculum for next school year's use; in my opinion  this curriculumdoes tie hands-on real life activities to problems. It is titled,  Big Ideas Math by Ron Larson and Laurie Boswell.

Quoted for educational purposes only:

Page 3 Section 1.1 Activity:Finding Speed and Velocity
Work with a Partner. The two column table shows the height of a fireworks parachute

Time (seconds)  and Height (feet)

ANNA COMMENTS/QUESTION: Students use the table to answer the following question. (However, an alternate time and height data table could be built from experiential data where students were outdoors testing and collecting their own data for height and speed.  How might this not be considered part of the math problem?)

a. How many feet does the parachute move each second?
b. What is the speed of the parachute. Give the units.
c. Is the velocity positive or negative?
d. What is the velocity? Give the units.

The next set is titled, "Inductive Reasoning"
4. Copy and complete the table.
Velocity (feet per second) -14 I 20 I -2I 0 I 25 I -15I
Speed (feet per second)   - students complete this part of table.

5. Find two different velocities for which the speed is 16 ft per second.

6. Which number is greater -4 or 3? Use a number line to explain your reasoning

7. One object has a velocity of -4 feet per second. Another object has a velocity of 3 feet per second. Which object has the greatest speed? Explain your answer.
My point is that I think it may all depend on how real life applications are used as to whether they could be considered "math" or not.  

On Sat, May 18, 2013 at 9:15 AM, kirby urner <kirby.urner@gmail.com> wrote:
> Sometimes I call what I teach "Gnu Math", a pun on
> "New Math" and an
> accurate reflection of what we owe the GNU project,
> in liberating us from
> the high costs of intellectual property owners who
> planned to squeeze it
> out of us until the cows came home.  Now we have
> power tools galore, and
> have started work on tractors:
> http://www.ted.com/talks/marcin_jakubowski.html
> Kirby

Here is a direct quote from something I'm writing back to
a student, in this "correspondence school" I teach at
(DETC is the certifying body, once the State license is
obtained -- we're a startup and still navigating these

I'm not revealing anything that will give an "artificial
boost" to other students i.e. if they find this first
regarding Python4, Project 1, so much the better.

I claim real insights into abstract algebra are possible
in this project, a manifestation of my confidence about
this "Gnu bridge" twixt STEM math and STEM engineering.

We're not just using graphing calculators anymore in
Kansas, provided Dorothy is lucky enough to get "girl
scout math" in her corner (I use "gsm" as an abbreviation
for the kind of community service DIY based computational
thinking the scouting community is more known for, what
with geocaching and the like).


You have seen how basic calculator operations + * - / are mapped to
special name methods __add__ __mul__ __sub__ __truediv__. The
same is true for ** (powering):  it maps to __pow__.

The first two tests, of reverser * reverser and squarer * squarer are
easily modified to become tests of reverser ** 2 and squarer ** 2

    def test_inverse(self):
        reverser = Composable(reverse)
        nulltran = reverser ** 2
        for s in "", "a", "0123456789", "abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz":
            self.assertEquals(nulltran(s), s)

    def test_square(self):
        squarer = Composable(square)
        po4 = squarer ** 2
        for v, r in ((1, 1), (2, 16), (3, 81)):
            self.assertEqual(po4(v), r)

As to the guts of your method, I am optimistic about it passing
these tests.  Some additional assertRaises might be nice.  Note it's
a ValueError, not a TypeError, that a negative integer exponent
should raise (in the world of multiplication == composition, f**-1
is taken to be an "inverse function" but w're not trying to dive that
deeply into abstract algebra here).