Search All of the Math Forum:

Views expressed in these public forums are not endorsed by NCTM or The Math Forum.

Notice: We are no longer accepting new posts, but the forums will continue to be readable.

Topic: Improving questions we ask students
Replies: 63   Last Post: Jul 28, 2014 8:29 AM

 Search Thread: Advanced Search

 Messages: [ Previous | Next ]
 Gary Tupper Posts: 544 Registered: 12/3/04
Re: Improving questions we ask students
Posted: Jul 12, 2014 11:05 PM
 Plain Text Reply
 att1.html (3.8 K)

On 7/12/2014 6:28 PM, Robert Hansen wrote:
> Rob:

I hesitate to respond to your message, in case I get drawn into an
/Alice in Wonderland/ tunnel... However I'll giver a try

>... And if students don?t yet know the concept of *average* then they
can?t possibly be thinking about why it is important.

Perhaps they will benefit from an example of what an average is, prior
to a statement of what the concept 'is'. I can imagine a teacher
explaining to a class that they could put all their lunch moneys into a
pile & then redistribute it equally so that each student has the same
amount.... <Caution: if you are a teacher, be aware of the possibility
of some involved parent taking umbrage at "income redistribution"!>

>These are 6th grade students. You don?t need to waste yet another day
with math avoidance, just walk into the classroom and ask them ?How do
we (teachers) >determine your final grade?? and go from there.

But wouldn't the more astute little tykes say that teachers' pets get
the higher marks & the trouble-makers lower?

>Start with the average of two scores, then 3, 4 etc. Ask them why it
is useful in the end to give an average score rather than a list of 30
scores.

Students may not see the need for a single number, rather than two or
five. The class might consider a student who has written 5 math tests.
He can either tell his poor old man: "my average on the last 5 math
tests was 64% - or - he could say "I got 80% on the 1st four and 0% on
yesterday's."
Maybe his mom is trying to quit smoking: "I have had 7 cigarettes in the
last week: 1 day on an average" vs "I had 7 cigs a week ago but none since"

So: Students: when would a single number be good enough? monthly class
absenteeism? maybe to compare all the grade 6 classes. Or tardiness?

>And there isn?t a *rule* and I don?t know why you keep using that
term. There is a generalized definition, the sum of the values over
their count, but that has >to be interpreted over many contexts. With a
straight list. With something like 3 kids scored 100 and 2 scored 50,
what was the average score? To something >like, the average of two
numbers is 30 and one of the numbers is 50, what is the other number? It
isn?t that I don?t find it important to make mathematics >applicable to
the student. I do this more than any activity you have yet to post an
example of.

These are the 'mathy' topics that should indeed be mastered. But if
there is some context (why we might want to use averages) I would hope
the success ratio might be higher, on average;)

> 40 years ago you would be teaching math for daily living. Somewhere
in those 40 years the political forces decided that you should instead
pretend to teach >advanced courses like algebra to very unprepared
students.

Do I sniff a conspiracy? & if so, why?

> Bob Hansen

Gary Tupper

Date Subject Author
7/9/14 Richard Strausz
7/11/14 Dave L. Renfro
7/11/14 Robert Hansen
7/11/14 Robert Hansen
7/11/14 Richard Strausz
7/12/14 Robert Hansen
7/12/14 Richard Strausz
7/12/14 Robert Hansen
7/12/14 Robert Hansen
7/12/14 Gary Tupper
7/13/14 Robert Hansen
7/13/14 Robert Hansen
7/13/14 Bishop, Wayne
7/13/14 kirby urner
7/13/14 GS Chandy
7/13/14 Richard Strausz
7/13/14 Richard Strausz
7/13/14 Robert Hansen
7/13/14 GS Chandy
7/13/14 Richard Strausz
7/14/14 GS Chandy
7/14/14 GS Chandy
7/14/14 kirby urner
7/14/14 Anna Roys
7/14/14 Robert Hansen
7/15/14 Anna Roys
7/15/14 Robert Hansen
7/16/14 Louis Talman
7/16/14 Anna Roys
7/16/14 Robert Hansen
7/16/14 Robert Hansen
7/14/14 Robert Hansen
7/14/14 Bishop, Wayne
7/14/14 Robert Hansen
7/14/14 Bishop, Wayne
7/14/14 GS Chandy
7/14/14 GS Chandy
7/15/14 Richard Strausz
7/15/14 Anna Roys
7/15/14 Robert Hansen
7/15/14 kirby urner
7/16/14 GS Chandy
7/16/14 Richard Strausz
7/16/14 Robert Hansen
7/16/14 Richard Strausz
7/16/14 Robert Hansen
7/16/14 GS Chandy
7/16/14 israeliteknight
7/16/14 GS Chandy
7/16/14 israeliteknight
7/16/14 Richard Strausz
7/16/14 Robert Hansen
7/16/14 Anna Roys
7/17/14 Bishop, Wayne
7/17/14 Robert Hansen
7/16/14 Robert Hansen
7/16/14 Robert Hansen
7/17/14 Anna Roys
7/17/14 Robert Hansen
7/16/14 Richard Strausz
7/16/14 GS Chandy
7/17/14 GS Chandy
7/17/14 meetlesli
7/28/14 israeliteknight

© The Math Forum at NCTM 1994-2018. All Rights Reserved.