3 May, 2013
Volume 18 No. 18
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In This Issue

College Entrance Exam Math Prep

Math with Bad Drawings

Infinite Tangents


Online PD

Orientation Sessions

Problem Based Learning Courses

Graduate Credit:
Mathematics Teaching and Learning Certificate

Master's Degree


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College Entrance Exam Math Prep


Know a high school junior taking the SAT or ACT in the coming month? Need a free, interactive library of the most complex math problem types found on those college entrance exams? Then check out the College Entrance Exam Math Prep site.

Click the blue "Application" tab and "Start SATACT EduCAD" button for a math problem typical of those standardized tests. A timer will start counting down from ten minutes. The "show next step" button provides a hint about the strategy to take; keying in a correct answer triggers a similar but more difficult new question.

We first learned about the freshly-launched collegeentrancetestprep.com through e-mail last week from one of its creators, who also developed the popular Flash Cards for Kids site — first featured in these pages sixteen years ago!

PoW taking place: math problem-solving moment of the week

"The first thing I did was draw a diagram representing the two planes, their path, and the amount of altitude gained by each one, in the form of right triangles. The hypotenuses of the right triangles is the path of each plane and the speed, the base of the triangle is the ground, and the height of the triangle is the altitude gained by each plane. I pretended each plane flow for 1 hour...."
- Nicole, highlighted in the Geometry PoW's latest solution

Math with Bad Drawings


A high school teacher began blogging last month "about the things I like [and] also about the things I can't do." By juxtaposing the two and "owning up to weakness and drawing strength from successes," Ben Orlin hopes to "capture the contradictory state of the teacher, of the mathematician."

Orlin's posts from Oakland, California — illustrated with dry-erase marker art that he says his fiancee "charitably" rates as average for a sixth grader — already include

  • What I Show My Students When They Get the Right Answer for the Wrong Reason
  • Fistfuls of Sand (or, Why It Pays to Be a Stubborn Teacher)
  • What It Feels Like to Be Bad at Math

Now taking place: math education conversation of the day

"So is it a matter of right or wrong? I'm not sure.... It seems to me Common Core analysis type questions are the perfect place to have this discussion with a geometry class. In theory, all students should be able to reason and think in this manner (and certainly may have been, had the Common Core been allowed to be phased in from kindergarten on up). In reality, I certainly realize that many, many students are not ready for this kind of thinking — but this kind of thinking and discussion is exactly what geometry education needs."
- Elizabeth, posted to the secondary (grades 9-12) discussion group of the Association of Math Teachers of New York State

Infinite Tangents


Curious to hear the voices of other mathematics teachers from around the US as they process their practice? Then listen in on this secondary math education podcast.

Since March, Ashli Black has conducted in-depth interviews with

  • Daniel Schneider, aka "Mathy McMatherson"
  • Tina Cardone, blogger of Drawing on Math
  • Avery Pickford, who tweets @woutgeo

Before joining the Illustrative Mathematics project as its Director of Social Networking, Black taught for six years in Edmonds (Washington), where she earned the Outstanding Educator Award from the Mountlake Terrace High School PTSA. Catch her "edu-nerd-speaking" with the fellow alumni of the Park City Mathematics Institute (PCMI) listed above before posing them questions such as

  • When did you know you were a teacher?
  • Are you you when you teach?
  • If you could give one gift to the teaching community, what would it be?
  • What question do you have for the community at large?


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