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Topic: Re: To K-12 teachers here: Another enjoyable post from Dan Meyer
Replies: 2   Last Post: Aug 28, 2013 1:24 AM

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Richard Strausz

Posts: 4,621
Registered: 12/4/04
Re: To K-12 teachers here: Another enjoyable post from Dan Meyer
Posted: Aug 27, 2013 4:57 PM
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> On Aug 27, 2013, at 10:46 AM, Richard Strausz
> <> wrote:

> > Let's talk specifics. Here is the most recent post
> from Meyer.
> >
> >
> >
> > Please share briefly what you like and what you

> don't about the pedagogy. It does seem to fit nicely
> into Algebra.
> There is no algebra here Richard. And the original
> text isn't any better. I don't like anything about
> this particular example.
> To fix this lesson into an algebra lesson one would
> have to determine analytically what the area is of
> the circle the pennies occupy and what is left over.
> They would have to determine the diameters of circles
> that circumscribe pennies arranged in groups of 1, 2,
> 3, 4, etc. I am not asking for a general exact
> solution of "n" pennies, but I am asking for exact
> solutions of specific cases. And we would explore a
> little with pennies and a compass. It is very
> important to get the spatial model right. But then it
> becomes geometry and expressions. Is what I am
> suggesting too advanced? Maybe for an average class,
> but then again, that is why I really dislike this
> example of a problem. You don't use problems like
> this in an algebra class if the algebra of the
> problem completely escapes the classes ability. And
> avoiding the algebra altogether as Dan (and the book)
> does it not a solution.
> Algebra is not about predicting and measuring. It is
> about symbolic reasoning, period. These "busy work"
> examples are no substitute for building symbolic
> reasoning. I am open to an amount of operational
> stuff in the class. But not to the point where there
> isn't any symbolic reasoning left. I think my rule of
> thumb where 25% of the class can be operational while
> the other 75% should be symbolic reasoning is a
> pretty fair and decent standard.
> Bob Hansen

So far, there are two 'voters'. I say that an exercise which helps students answer the question 'How can you fit a quadratic function to a set of data?' broadens the usual scope of an algebra class in a positive way. You vote 'No'.

I do wish that more classroom teachers would post to Math Teach. I'd love to hear their thoughts, too.


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