tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.comments2014-07-23T15:26:04.753-04:00Out In Left FieldKatharine Bealshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/02838879769628392605noreply@blogger.comBlogger3793125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-67427907320600812572014-07-23T15:26:04.753-04:002014-07-23T15:26:04.753-04:00The German Abitur includes the grades earned in th...The German Abitur includes the grades earned in the last two years of high school (Gymnasium.) Thus, it does include classwork; there is also a separate grade awarded each term for oral participation in class. So teacher-pleasing behavior and homework completion are significant components of the Abitur.<br /><br />Theodore Dalrympole pointed out in 2005 that the French Bac's rigor has been significantly diluted: <i>French educational certificates have undergone the same grade inflation as British ones: for example, the proportion of children who pass their bac nowadays is more than five times what it was in 1970. In other words, the bac is not the guarantee of ability and accomplishment that it once was, and employers must make their choices on other grounds than a debased certification.</i>. http://www.socialaffairsunit.org.uk/blog/archives/000669.phpCranberrynoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-2241354302798624862014-07-23T15:05:28.936-04:002014-07-23T15:05:28.936-04:00I can't resist commenting that no part of the ...I can't resist commenting that no part of the curriculum is under more continual threat here in England than A-levels. They are absolutely hated by the educational establishment who would much rather have a broader diploma, perhaps including more vocational elements, than have A-levels as the "gold standard" for university admission. Only the politicians have saved them for this long. oldandrewhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/10754487569367573087noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-22410347940306392162014-07-23T13:31:26.990-04:002014-07-23T13:31:26.990-04:00I agree and disagree with your final comment '...I agree and disagree with your final comment <i>'Surely some people will see this child, however gifted, as overly rigid in her mathematical reasoning and problem solving skills. But here's my take: when it comes to mathematics, (or, for that matter, engineering, accounting, pharmaceuticals, surgery, piloting airplanes, operating machinery, or, dare I even say it, educating our children), "wanting to know which way is right" is a pretty reasonable desire--especially when it comes to one of the Common Core's main obsessions: all those "real-life situations." '</i><br /><br />In engineering,it is important to recognize when a method is correct, but it is also very important to realize that there is not just one way that is right. Indeed, engineering is all about finding right ways to solve problems, and there are few design problems that have only one solution. Students who are locked into "finding <i>the</i> answer" make poor designers and engineers. <br /><br />And engineers do need to learn how to write up their designs and their mathematics in a way that makes it clear that they have done it correctly. So the goals of Common Core are good at heart.<br /><br />But…<br /><br />There is little to write about mathematics in a meaningful way at the level of elementary school students, and even few high school teachers can tell what is important to write about and what is just drivel from a practical standpoint. So mandating that those who are clueless about what is important to write teach students to write something is unlikely to have a positive outcome.gasstationwithoutpumpshttp://gasstationwithoutpumps.wordpress.com/noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-3329097928901616502014-07-22T10:56:17.257-04:002014-07-22T10:56:17.257-04:00Shoot me now. I scored 800 on the English SAT and...Shoot me now. I scored 800 on the English SAT and 5 on the AP English test (yes, many years ago) and this approach would have flummoxed me. Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-52329318988471826462014-07-22T10:17:17.486-04:002014-07-22T10:17:17.486-04:00I do appreciate the comparisons between modern and...I do appreciate the comparisons between modern and less-modern math texts. Sometimes the comparisons are quite illuminating. However, today's comparison does not really work. A speed test is very different from a concept-builder. The Everyday Math page looks like a concept builder. However, I completely agree that at some point, the curriculum needs to remember that building concepts is a stepping stone to the ultimate goal of getting right answers (without a calculator).S Goyahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/18373952981169252818noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-2890541872958195102014-07-17T00:37:24.729-04:002014-07-17T00:37:24.729-04:00This is great. It explains why the series is calle...This is great. It explains why the series is called "Conversations on the Rifle Range." It shows how a really good lesson can be structured. And it portrays a successful teacher in action in a real world setting. Pleasure to read.Christopher Mahonhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16533841919640950923noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-72571262796718593502014-07-16T10:30:34.234-04:002014-07-16T10:30:34.234-04:00I've told our kids that a lot of prealgebra an...I've told our kids that a lot of prealgebra and algebra are about learning how to keep track of your minus signs.Auntie Annhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/05777983027361603449noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-17589325442933395122014-07-16T08:12:53.780-04:002014-07-16T08:12:53.780-04:00Negative numbers are sneaky things that cause all ...Negative numbers are sneaky things that cause all sorts of problems. In the college algebra classes I used to teach, I made a point of showing how, like CT, a minus sign is really a factor of minus 1. I would have students draw circles around each term and each factor of expressions and equations and have them put the negative signs in as factors of the terms. This clears up many problems for them. If the term was a fraction or a rational expression, I would show them how that minus one factor could be put in the numerator or the denominator. Putting a stray minus sign in the middle of a fraction (at the dividing line) was very confusing for them.<br /><br />I would show them that:<br /><br />-3/4 = (-1)(3/4)<br /><br />-3/4 = ((-1)/1)(3/4)<br /><br />-3/4 = ((-1)(3))/4<br /><br />-3/4 = (3)/((-1)(4))<br /><br /><br />How about<br /><br />-3/4 = (3)/((-1)^-1(4))<br /><br />Procedural fluency leads to understanding because fluency implies success and success in all problem variations implies understanding.<br /><br />Algebra II is very hard for students because they have to expand their simple algebraic understandings to ones that can handle the manipulation of any complex situation, as with minus signs. When they try to apply their simple understandings of algebra and fail, many see it as a sign of rote learning and use that to justify all sorts of silly educational ideas.<br />SteveHhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03956560674752399562noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-34566215726923808452014-07-15T14:54:02.586-04:002014-07-15T14:54:02.586-04:00I know she was right for the reason you pointed ou...I know she was right for the reason you pointed out. She probably did not understand why in the context of the number line explanation and certainly not in the context of the distributive propery. I don't care that she did not understand why, which is why I was "shakily, guilty" confident that procedural fluency leads to understanding.Barry Garelickhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/01281266848110087415noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-37568761469955899162014-07-15T14:28:51.332-04:002014-07-15T14:28:51.332-04:00“OK. So what you’re really doing is adding two neg...“OK. So what you’re really doing is adding two negatives. It’s really (-7) + (-3).” I showed this on a number line.<br /><br />“So if you have two negative numbers, you just add them and put a minus sign in front?” she asked. <br /><br />Actually, applying the distributive property, she's right. (-7) + (-3) = (-1)(7) + (-1)(3) = (-1)(7+3) No worries!C Thttp://www.blogger.com/profile/01178189190498225759noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-46966341131116258932014-07-14T09:43:21.645-04:002014-07-14T09:43:21.645-04:00When I was young, teachers always said that math w...When I was young, teachers always said that math was a universal language--- you could sit down with someone from another country and do math together, even if you didn't speak each other's language.<br /><br />How is math a universal language if you have to write an essay on every concept?<br />Deirdre Mundyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/14357363160387734552noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-2706511779318927832014-07-13T15:26:15.361-04:002014-07-13T15:26:15.361-04:00They now have a ready excuse for anything: It'...They now have a ready excuse for anything: It's out of my hands, it's the Common Core! What's not to like?Auntie Annhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/05777983027361603449noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-51782774841372768902014-07-10T07:25:03.099-04:002014-07-10T07:25:03.099-04:00 Jaime H,
Thanks for sharing. I love the idea of ... Jaime H,<br /><br />Thanks for sharing. I love the idea of ELA students writing essays about the standard algorithms!Katharine Bealshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/02838879769628392605noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-26300099476978673262014-07-10T07:23:34.939-04:002014-07-10T07:23:34.939-04:00Anonymous,
I was going to ask you how your comment...Anonymous,<br />I was going to ask you how your comment is relevant to this post (i.e., are learning disabilities bogus?), until I looked around and noticed that you've cut and pasted it all over the Internet. However, I've decided to leave it up as a curiosity.Katharine Bealshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/02838879769628392605noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-42352557166490342132014-07-10T04:11:38.717-04:002014-07-10T04:11:38.717-04:0012 Part essay that exposes psychiatry as a bogus s...12 Part essay that exposes psychiatry as a bogus science<br />http://antipsychiatry.org/<br /><br />Inventor of ADHD: “ADHD is a fictitious disease”<br />www.currentconcerns.ch/index.php?id=1608<br /><br />Co-Founder of DSM admits there is no way to scientifically prove that mentall illness is real<br />www.cchrint.org/psychiatric-disorders/psychiatrists-on-lack-of-any-medical-or-scientific-tests/<br /><br />One year old babies and younger being put on psychiatric drugs<br />http://www.infowars.com/babies-on-psychiatric-drugs-crime-with-no-punishment/<br /><br />Psychiatric Drugs Shorten Life Span by 15 years on average<br />www.stopshrinks.org/reading_room/antipsych/psych_drugs_shorten_life.html<br /><br />Psychiatry is based on lies and falsehoods<br />http://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/the-lying-liars-who-lie-about-psychiatry/<br /><br />Psychiatry is a fake science<br />http://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2012/09/05/more-evidence-psychiatry-is-a-fake-science/<br /><br />http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/ciencia/ciencia_industrypsychiatry26.htm<br /><br />Every human emotion is now a "mental illness"<br />http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/ciencia/ciencia_industrypsychiatry27.htm<br /><br />Ten Myths about Psychiatric Drugs<br />http://www.metzelf.info/information/myths.html<br /><br />Studies show psychiatric drugs have no benefits and are dangerous<br />http://childhealthsafety.wordpress.com/2011/08/17/three-new-studies-show-%E2%80%9Cpsychiatric-drugs-provide-no-benefit-and-are-dangerous%E2%80%9D/<br /><br />Psychiatry is now giving 3 year old children drugs<br />http://www.anh-usa.org/medicaid-psychiatric-drugs/<br /><br />Psychiatric drugs make you sicker<br />http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/2012/03/05/are-psychiatric-medications-making-us-sicker/<br /><br />A few free eBooks talking about how psychiatry is a massive hoax<br />http://www.psychiatric-help.org/PSYCHIATRIC-HELP/default.asp<br /><br />A list of THOUSANDS of psychiatrists who have committed crimes against their patients<br />http://www.psychcrime.org/database/Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-78515835873584694012014-07-09T20:22:28.573-04:002014-07-09T20:22:28.573-04:00This is my favorite quote from Professor W. Stephe...This is my favorite quote from Professor W. Stephen Wilson<br /><br /> “There will always be people who believe that you do not understand mathematics if you cannot write a coherent essay about how you solved a problem, thus driving future STEM students away from mathematics at an early age. A fairness doctrine would require English language arts (ELA) students to write essays about the standard algorithms, thus also driving students away from ELA at an early age. The ability to communicate is NOT essential to understanding mathematics. There will always be people who think that you must be able to solve problems in multiple ways. This is probably similar to thinking that it is important to teach creativity in mathematics in elementary school, as if such a thing were possible. Forget creativity; the truly rare student is the one who can solve straightforward problems in a straightforward way.”Jaime Hnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-22204037323896156872014-07-07T22:53:49.119-04:002014-07-07T22:53:49.119-04:00I love the twos, and can imagine its bittersweet t...I love the twos, and can imagine its bittersweet to see them disappear. So great that it's 2, V, and peace. Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-55355783702377304382014-07-07T13:22:30.456-04:002014-07-07T13:22:30.456-04:00Understanding is a fuzzy idea, and there are diffe...Understanding is a fuzzy idea, and there are different levels of understanding. Also, there is no simple path of understanding first and then skills; an idea which pervades a lot of modern math education pedagogy. Also, words can get in the way. A student may know how to do something but won't know how to put it into words - actually, to know what words might make a teacher happy. I see too many reform or discovery approaches that focus too much on words and not on whether the student can actually do the problems. Understanding is not tested by words, but by whether the student can do the problems.<br /><br />There are also too many problem variations and words get in the way. How can you show understanding of manipulating fractions with just words? Worse, what happens when you get to more complicated rational expressions? Students have to practice, practice, practice. Understanding will come as skills develop. Some pedagogues see what they think is rote learning and decide to give up and rely on fuzzy words.SteveHhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03956560674752399562noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-17415144366274014382014-07-03T19:38:28.669-04:002014-07-03T19:38:28.669-04:00Has he considered a career in HVAC? He could work ...Has he considered a career in HVAC? He could work with all sorts of fans and ventillation systems, and a deep knowledge of fans would seem less quirky coming from a repairman......<br /><br />And people would pay him MORE than 10$!<br />Deirdre Mundyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/14357363160387734552noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-68026859007917463712014-07-02T15:42:02.237-04:002014-07-02T15:42:02.237-04:00Ugh. I have run into too many teachers who pride ...Ugh. I have run into too many teachers who pride themselves on being tough to the extent that they lead my daughter to despair. Some people respond very badly to this approach.FedUpMomhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00951858601020687242noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-15713188664287712632014-07-02T13:49:39.455-04:002014-07-02T13:49:39.455-04:00My two-week-old likes to stare at our bedroom ceil...My two-week-old likes to stare at our bedroom ceiling fan. I noticed her focusing on its dark stationary star-like shape almost as soon as we came home from the hospital. Her face clearly showed wonder when I turned the fan on! Go, ceiling fans!C Thttp://www.blogger.com/profile/01178189190498225759noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-33665108793550418002014-07-01T08:12:27.291-04:002014-07-01T08:12:27.291-04:00Build the box? My solution for that is a tersely w...Build the box? My solution for that is a tersely worded note that we don't have the supplies to do ridiculous homework assignments.<br /><br />Funnily enough, the teachers never know what to say to that.Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-44198379549621676432014-06-28T12:30:31.450-04:002014-06-28T12:30:31.450-04:00The participation of parents/guardians in events o...The participation of parents/guardians in events of this type is a logical and positive step in caring about and supporting a child's education beyond the brick-and-mortar school building.<br />It then seems reasonable to conclude that the participating parent/guardian also is providing some measure of support for the education process at home.<br />A bit of extra help in navigating the ship of becoming a better student, if you will. Barry, as always, I look forward to the next installment. Thank you for sharing your teaching experiences, impressions and frustrations. In part, my take-away is: Do not curse the darkness, light one candle of hope, build on the positive and move forward. CL.Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-58723063500566051462014-06-26T09:16:03.008-04:002014-06-26T09:16:03.008-04:00lgm: Local control does have its drawbacks. My sma...lgm: Local control does have its drawbacks. My small town voted 3 times against joining the multi-town union HS being built in a neighboring town. The "againsts" were of the sentiment that "our HS was good enough for my great-granddad and my kids, so it's good enough for my grandkids". As predicted by the supporters, when the new HS opened (my sophomore year)we lost several good HS teachers to it and couldn't replace them with the same quality. The school joined another union district after I graduated, but it wasn't and still isn't as good a school as the union the town refused. Instead of town HS of 125 kids or less, the new schools had about 600, so teachers could teach only their specialty (our sci teacher had to teach 4 sciences) and the school could offer more classes, AP classes,more vocational classes and more extracurriculars. Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-14141772919094511962014-06-26T08:15:25.629-04:002014-06-26T08:15:25.629-04:00It is not the wall hangings. It is the noise (adul...It is not the wall hangings. It is the noise (adult aides, fellow students) and the boredom from trying to concentrate thru that noise on the words of students who have not learned to speak coherently or stay on topic.lgmnoreply@blogger.com