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Newsletter: Math Forum Internet News No. 18.9 (1 Mar 13)
Posted:
Mar 1, 2013 12:00 PM



1 March, 2013 Vol. 18, No. 9
THE MATH FORUM @ DREXEL INTERNET NEWS
MathPickle  Yo: A Math Teacher's Blog Report of the 2012 National Survey of Science and Mathematics Education
*************************************************************** Register now for the T^3 International Conference in Philadelphia, March 810, 2013. Come celebrate 25 years of connecting teachers and technology!
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MATHPICKLE
http://mathpickle.com/K12/Videos.html
Want to put your students in a mathematical pickle?
MathPickle's free videos, which pose rich math gems to engage the spectrum of student ability, include  Fibonacci Mutant Bunnies  Amoeba Squares  Kajitsu  Ballast Puzzles  Area and Perimeter of Animals  Locker Room Prank  ... and dozens more Select a grade band for PDF solutions, presentations in PowerPoint and Keynote formats, and other supporting materials.
MathPickle advocates the establishment of a set of thirteen $1,000,000 unsolved problems  one for each grade K12  with the prize money to be split between the person who solves the problem and their most inspirational K12 teacher. The final selection of these thirteen problems, and a discussion of the merits of the million dollar prize money, will take place in Banff (Canada) this November:
http://mathpickle.com/K12/$1,000,000_Problems.html
Believing that "we learn best through hard fun," creator Gordon Hamilton serves as resident mathematician at a Calgary school. A board game designer and founding member of the Game Artisans of Canada, Hamilton holds a PhD in Mathematical Biology.
\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/
PoW taking place: math problemsolving moment of the week
"As the student solutions below show, there was some variation both in the expressions and in how you made the comparison. Finally, while we don't generally feature solutions that did not use algebra, I'm including Andrew's here because it's kind of neat...."
 Riz, commenting on the Algebra PoW's Latest Solution
http://mathforum.org/pows/solution.htm?publication=4183
\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/
YO: A MATH TEACHER'S BLOG
http://ynaughtmath.blogspot.com/
Nico Rowinsky, who has taught middle school math for more than a decade, began blogging this past school year. Posts on his blog, subtitled "In search of some initial value and going from there," include
 Teaching an Old Word Problem New Tricks: PART II  What happens when you've never even heard of a square root  Let the toothpicks fall where they may  The Abstraction of a Histogram  Proportional Representations and Other Boring Words  What Makes a Great Math Teacher?
Last week, Rowinsky released his first novellength piece of fiction, entitled Sally Strange: And How She Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Grade 7 Math. It opens with this sentence: "If I was given the choice between going to math class or going to the orthodontist for a tightening, I'd probably choose the orthodontist."
Check last Thursday's blog post to read a foreword, written by the professor emerita who founded the Mathematics Education Centre of the University of New Brunswick  and to score a discount code:
http://ynaughtmath.blogspot.com/2013/02/grade7mathclassthenovel.html
\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/
Now taking place: math education conversation of the day
"That may be true, but there is also truth in the converse: passionate mathematicians, those with strong platonic/aesthetic inclinations, often have a hard time in current academia. For one thing, there are no 'generalists' anymore. There is no place for such a concept today."  dan.ms.chaos, posted to the sci.math discussion
http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=8454533
\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/
REPORT OF THE 2012 NATIONAL SURVEY OF SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS EDUCATION
http://www.horizonresearch.com/2012nssme/researchproducts/reports/technicalreport/
A report came out last week about a survey that garnered the participation of 7,752 science and mathematics teachers in schools across the United States.
The Report of the 2012 National Survey of Science and Mathematics Education (NSSME)  the fifth in a series dating back to 1977  provides uptodate information and identifies trends in the areas of teacher background and experience, curriculum and instruction, and the availability and use of instructional resources.
Data tables include
 Prevalence of Block Scheduling  Factors Seen as Inhibiting Effective Instruction in the Randomly Selected Mathematics Class, by Grade Range  Mathematics Classes in Which Teachers Report Using Various Activities at Least Once a Week, by Grade Range  Amount of Homework Assigned in Classes per Week, by Subject and Grade Range
Characterizing the percentage of schools offering schoolbased programs to enhance interest and achievement in math as "strikingly low," this NSSME also finds that
 at a time when only 62% of the K12 student enrollment is White and nonHispanic, roughly 90% of mathematics teachers characterize themselves that way  mathematics teachers tend to feel less well prepared for finding out what students thought or already knew about the key ideas to be addressed in a unit, and anticipating what students might find difficult in it  43% of elementary mathematics classes use the Internet weekly, compared to just 26% of middle school mathematics classes and 11% of high school mathematics classes  the two factors seen as most serious problems for mathematics instruction are low student interest in the subject and low student reading abilities
Freely download NSSME  supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through a grant to Horizon Research, Inc. (HRI)  one chapter at a time; or in one fell swoop, as a 3.7M document.
\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/
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The Math Forum @ Drexel ** 1 March 2013
An archive of all the Math Forum newsletters and directions for subscribing can be found at http://mathforum.org/electronic.newsletter/ <head> <title>The Math Forum Internet News</title> </head> <body> <table width="800" border="0" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"> <tr> <td height="105" background="http://mathforum.org/electronic.newsletter/images/all_top.gif"> <div align="left"> <table width="100%" border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"> <tr> <td width="4%" height="72"> </td> <td width="45%"> </td> <td width="46%"> </td> <td width="5%"> </td> </tr> <tr> <td width="30" height="26"> </td> <td><font color="#333333" size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sansserif"><strong>1 March, 2013</strong></font></td> <td><div align="right"><font color="#333333" size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sansserif"><strong>Volume 18 No. 9</strong></font></div></td> <td width="30"> </td> </tr> </table> </div> </td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td height="297" background="http://mathforum.org/electronic.newsletter/images/all_columns.gif"> <table width="100%" border="0" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"> <tr> <td valign="top"> <table width="605" border="0" align="right" cellpadding="11" cellspacing="0"> <tr> <td width="135" valign="top">
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<p> <font color="#003399" size="2" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sansserif"> <strong>In This Issue</strong> </font> </p>
<! Start  Table of contents >
<p><font size="2" face="Arial, Helvetica, sansserif">MathPickle</font></p> <p><font size="2" face="Arial, Helvetica, sansserif">Yo: A Math Teacher's Blog</font></p> <p><font size="2" face="Arial, Helvetica, sansserif">Report of the 2012 National Survey of Science and Mathematics Education</font></p>
<p> </p>
<p> <img src="http://mathforum.org/pd/images/continuum.pd.jpg"; width=45><br /> <font color="#003399" size="2" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sansserif"> <strong>Online PD</strong> </font> </p> <font size="1" face="Arial, Helvetica, sansserif">Free: <br> <a href="http://mathforum.org/pd/#sessions">Orientation Sessions</a><br /> <p>
Paid: <br> <font size="1" face="Arial, Helvetica, sansserif"><a href="http://mathforum.org/pd/#courses">Problem Based Learning Courses</a></font>
<p> <font size="1" face="Arial, Helvetica, sansserif">Graduate Credit:<br /> <a href="http://www.drexel.com/onlinedegrees/educationdegrees/certmlt/index.aspx">Mathematics Teaching and Learning Certificate</a><br /> </p>
<p> <a href="http://www.drexel.com/onlinedegrees/educationdegrees/msmlt/index.aspx">Master's Degree</a> </p>
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<! Start  Newletter content >
<center> <table width="100%" cellspacing=0 cellpadding=0> <tr> <td width=40> </td> <td> <p align="center"> <font color="#000000" size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sansserif"> If you prefer to receive a textonly version, please send a note to <a href="http://mathforum.org/electronic.newsletter/mfin.faq.html#feedback">the Math Forum Internet Newsletter editors</a> and we will subscribe you to that list.<br> You can also subscribe via <a href="http://mathforum.org/kb/rss/rssmessages.jsp?forumID=212">RSS feed</a>. </font> </p><hr> <p> <font size="2" face="Arial, Helvetica, sansserif"> <p><font size="2" face="Arial, Helvetica, sansserif"> <p><strong><font color="#003399">MathPickle</font></strong></p> <p align="center"> <a href="http://mathpickle.com/K12/Videos.html">http://mathpickle.com/K12/Videos.html</a> </p> <p> Want to put your students in a mathematical pickle? </p> <p> MathPickle's free videos, which pose rich math gems to engage the spectrum of student ability, include </p> <ul> <li> Fibonacci Mutant Bunnies </li> <li> Amoeba Squares </li> <li> Kajitsu </li> <li> Ballast Puzzles </li> <li> Area and Perimeter of Animals </li> <li> Locker Room Prank </li> <li> ... and dozens more </li> </ul> <p> Select a grade band for PDF solutions, presentations in PowerPoint and Keynote formats, and other supporting materials. </p> <p> MathPickle advocates the establishment of a set of thirteen $1,000,000 unsolved problems — one for each grade K12 — with the prize money to be split between the person who solves the problem and their most inspirational K12 teacher. The final selection of these thirteen problems, and a discussion of the merits of the million dollar prize money, will take place in Banff (Canada) this November: </p> <p align="center"><a href="http://mathpickle.com/K12/$1,000,000_Problems.html">http://mathpickle.com/K12/$1,000,000_Problems.html</a></p> <p> Believing that "we learn best through hard fun," creator Gordon Hamilton serves as resident mathematician at a Calgary school. A board game designer and founding member of the Game Artisans of Canada, Hamilton holds a PhD in Mathematical Biology. </p> </font></p>
<hr> <p><font size="2" face="Arial, Helvetica, sansserif"> <p align=center> <dl> <dt> <i><font color="#003399">PoW taking place: math problemsolving moment of the week</font></i> <p> <dt> "As the student solutions below show, there was some variation both in the expressions and in how you made the comparison. Finally, while we don't generally feature solutions that did not use algebra, I'm including Andrew's here because it's kind of neat...." <dd>  Riz, commenting on the Algebra PoW's Latest Solution <dd> <a href="http://mathforum.org/pows/solution.htm?publication=4183">http://mathforum.org/pows/solution.htm?publication=4183</a> </dl> </p> </font></p>
<hr> <p><font size="2" face="Arial, Helvetica, sansserif"> <p><strong><font color="#003399">Yo: A Math Teacher's Blog</font></strong></p> <p align="center"> <a href="http://ynaughtmath.blogspot.com/">http://ynaughtmath.blogspot.com/</a> </p> <p> Nico Rowinsky, who has taught middle school math for more than a decade, began blogging this past school year. Posts on his blog, subtitled "In search of some initial value and going from there," include </p> <ul> <li> Teaching an Old Word Problem New Tricks: PART II </li> <li> What happens when you've never even heard of a square root </li> <li> Let the toothpicks fall where they may </li> <li> The Abstraction of a Histogram </li> <li> Proportional Representations and Other Boring Words </li> <li> What Makes a Great Math Teacher? </li> </ul> <p> Last week, Rowinsky released his first novellength piece of fiction, entitled <i>Sally Strange: And How She Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Grade 7 Math</i>. It opens with this sentence: "If I was given the choice between going to math class or going to the orthodontist for a tightening, I'd probably choose the orthodontist." </p> <p> Check last Thursday's blog post to read a foreword, written by the professor emerita who founded the Mathematics Education Centre of the University of New Brunswick — and to score a discount code: </p> <p align="center"><a href="http://ynaughtmath.blogspot.com/2013/02/grade7mathclassthenovel.html">http://ynaughtmath.blogspot.com/2013/02/</a><br><a href="http://ynaughtmath.blogspot.com/2013/02/grade7mathclassthenovel.html">grade7mathclassthenovel.html</a></p> </font></p>
<hr> <p><font size="2" face="Arial, Helvetica, sansserif"> <p align=center> <dl> <dt> <i><font color="#003399">Now taking place: math education conversation of the day</font></i> <p> <dt> "That may be true, but there is also truth in the converse: passionate mathematicians, those with strong platonic/aesthetic inclinations, often have a hard time in current academia. For one thing, there are no 'generalists' anymore. There is no place for such a concept today." <dd>  dan.ms.chaos, posted to the sci.math discussion <dd> <a href="http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=8454533">http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=8454533</a> </p> </font></p> </dl> <hr>
<p><strong> <font color="#003399">Report of the 2012 National Survey of Science and Mathematics Education</font> </strong> </p> <p align="center"> <a href="http://www.horizonresearch.com/2012nssme/researchproducts/reports/technicalreport/">http://www.horizonresearch.com/2012nssme/</a><br><a href="http://www.horizonresearch.com/2012nssme/researchproducts/reports/technicalreport/">researchproducts/reports/technicalreport/</a> </p> <p> A report came out last week about a survey that garnered the participation of 7,752 science and mathematics teachers in schools across the United States. </p> <p> The Report of the 2012 National Survey of Science and Mathematics Education (NSSME) — the fifth in a series dating back to 1977 — provides uptodate information and identifies trends in the areas of teacher background and experience, curriculum and instruction, and the availability and use of instructional resources. </p> <p> Data tables include </p> <ul> <li> Prevalence of Block Scheduling </li> <li> Factors Seen as Inhibiting Effective Instruction in the Randomly Selected Mathematics Class, by Grade Range </li> <li> Mathematics Classes in Which Teachers Report Using Various Activities at Least Once a Week, by Grade Range </li> <li> Amount of Homework Assigned in Classes per Week, by Subject and Grade Range </li> </ul> <p> Characterizing the percentage of schools offering schoolbased programs to enhance interest and achievement in math as "strikingly low," this NSSME also finds that </p> <ul> <li> at a time when only 62% of the K12 student enrollment is White and nonHispanic, roughly 90% of mathematics teachers characterize themselves that way </li> <li> mathematics teachers tend to feel less well prepared for finding out what students thought or already knew about the key ideas to be addressed in a unit, and anticipating what students might find difficult in it </li> <li> 43% of elementary mathematics classes use the Internet weekly, compared to just 26% of middle school mathematics classes and 11% of high school mathematics classes </li> <li> the two factors seen as most serious problems for mathematics instruction are low student interest in the subject and low student reading abilities </li> </ul> <p> Freely download NSSME — supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through a grant to Horizon Research, Inc. (HRI) — one chapter at a time; or in one fell swoop, as a 3.7M document. </p> </font></p>
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