tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.comments2015-03-02T10:42:04.188-05:00Out In Left FieldKatharine Bealshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/02838879769628392605noreply@blogger.comBlogger4118125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-3880367345431258392015-03-02T10:42:04.188-05:002015-03-02T10:42:04.188-05:00I'll go out on a limb here and say the second ...I'll go out on a limb here and say the second set of schools.Barry Garelickhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00335707096785705085noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-40453299737750852282015-03-02T10:33:03.940-05:002015-03-02T10:33:03.940-05:00"problem solving, communicating, persistence,..."problem solving, communicating, persistence, self-awareness, and project management." <br /><br />One would hope that school would not extinguish these skills in students, but children and teens really learn far more of them in their home and community lives. What, after all, is an hour spent helping to clean a house with ones' family?Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-28032817597454809072015-03-02T09:42:11.025-05:002015-03-02T09:42:11.025-05:00I see a lot of that where I am. I
attend the TAP ...I see a lot of that where I am. I<br />attend the TAP sessions. TAP is a grant program in which a coordinator directs what teachers should be doing in various subjects and also conducts<br />evaluations of the teachers four times a year in addition to the principal<br />evaluating teachers. <br /><br />The principal invited me to attend the TAP "cluster meeting" of the math teachers which meets once a week. It's eye opening but painful and hard for me to keep my mouth shut, though I<br />generally do.<br /><br />Anyway, the big thing in math is providing instruction to students on how to "problem solve" and "explain" their reasoning. She talks about flow maps, parallel flow maps, activating "schema". And these are the words used for students, so students use the edu-jargon. Not unusual to hear in a<br />classroom "What do we do next, kids?" Answer: "Activate the problem solving<br />schema".<br /><br />The other day in an eighth grade math class (non-algebra), the teacher (who<br />I happen to like, but who has to toe the line) said the reason they have to<br />write explanations for solving problems is because it is teaching them<br />"metacognition" and he had them repeat the word.<br /><br />The whole thing sucks.<br /><br />I don't have my own students, but I do have to take charge of what are<br />called "Advisory" periods, which is like an attendance taking record room<br />that lasts for 44 minutes. Teachers have them do various activities,<br />usually writing and silent reading, though math teachers will have them work on some math assignments. I have to sub for two advisories, while the<br />teachers attend their respective TAP meetings. I take the opportunity to<br />try my own experiments. I hand out a word problem to everyone and tell them<br />to solve it and to explain how they did it, however they choose to do so.<br />Some just show the math, and I can generally follow what they do. Others<br />use flow maps as they've been instructed otherwise. The majority, though, just do the math.Barry Garelickhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00335707096785705085noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-39481392298277723322015-02-26T22:09:11.343-05:002015-02-26T22:09:11.343-05:00I'm finding #4 hard. It looks like it should b...I'm finding #4 hard. It looks like it should be 2^x, but that's not what it's actually showing. I see the points: (0,1), (1,2), (2,4), (3, sort-of 7), with the last y-coordinate looking a little bigger than 7, but no where near 8.<br /><br />That's not 2^x.Auntie Annhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/05777983027361603449noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-62932712214953068982015-02-26T20:45:09.303-05:002015-02-26T20:45:09.303-05:00I'm going to stand by my grade-level estimate ...I'm going to stand by my grade-level estimate for problem 5. I just plugged (blank), 0.25, 65, and 3 into <a href="http://stattrek.com/online-calculator/normal.aspx" rel="nofollow">this online calculator</a> and it comes up with 62.977 for the height at the 25th percentile. I knew it wasn't going to be a nice number.GoogleMasternoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-23300205357251638572015-02-26T19:48:43.046-05:002015-02-26T19:48:43.046-05:00Extra Credit part 2:
Identify the appropriate gra...<b>Extra Credit part 2:</b><br /><br />Identify the appropriate grade level for each question.<br /><br />I'll go first:<br />1. 4<br />2. 8<br />3. 7<br />4. 8<br />5. 12<br />6. 6<br />7. 7<br />8. 5<br /><br />Disclaimer: I am not now, nor have I ever been, a teacher, much less a teacher of mathematics, nor do I have any children in school, but I <i>have</i> completed all of the above grades satisfactorily.GoogleMasternoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-49236436932715173892015-02-25T09:55:34.990-05:002015-02-25T09:55:34.990-05:00The whole “testing” project has been a study in un...The whole “testing” project has been a study in unintended consequences. I can remember taking them myself in 5th grade. One day in the spring, focused generally on vocabulary and math computation. By the time I had arrived at high school there was a mandatory test in English Writing to be passed before graduation. I am in no way implying that I am a long lost Bronte but I was surprised to find that I had failed. The teacher explained while I had written a lovely essay I had failed to write a thesis with three points and then site them in the text. This was the first year and in the days before test prep was even an idea. Needless to say the next time I passed with flying colors as I knew what was expected. So began the cycle in public schools of test prep that continues to this day. <br /><br />By the time my child started taking tests in 2nd grade, in a private school by the way, weeks of handouts with reading selections and multiple choice questions were given to “get the kids ready”. The test took 2 weeks to administer, each day doing a different section for an hour. I can only imagine the even greater pressure at low performing public schools. Of course if we tie “real-world” consequences people in the real world will want to avoid those consequences and look for whatever, hopefully quick and cheap, method to make it happen. <br /><br />Which brought the next set of unintended outcomes; everyone realized that the rising test scores were not really reflecting rising knowledge. What is the solution, new “better tests”. Of course the tests needed to be harder to prep for and the answer to that was to make them a bit trickier but inevitably this leads to a test writer’s idea of a clever trick being missed by someone who doesn’t have their perspective. More writing, less multiple choice with the result being formulaic answers being emphasized to ensure that the few seconds that the grader spends on your test they are able to quickly see you have completed the checklist. In fact I think that move to greater written assessments on standardized tests is the greatest scandal that has yet to be fully exposed. There is no way to give a mass test and have individual grading be anything other cursory and formulaic. So much for the much vaunted critical thinking. <br /><br />Yet the tests are necessary. We do see that even with similar populations schools are achieving different things. Whether that is curriculum, leadership or teaching we don’t always know but we have a right to know that these differences exist. Of course the disparity between rich and poor will also always exist no amount of clever test writing will take that away. We seem much less concerned about the disparity between top private schools and excellent public schools. <br />Of course I can’t imagine anyone even considering a backwards step towards simpler assessments so we continue on at this hopeless task.Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-40879486471887684172015-02-23T18:00:25.385-05:002015-02-23T18:00:25.385-05:00@Unknown
"Many years ago, I remember reading ...@Unknown<br />"Many years ago, I remember reading an old Columbia adage that the widest street in the world is the one separating Teachers' College from the rest of the campus."<br /><br />As someone who picked up some extra money in college by tutoring, I can say that "education" majors were the dumbest and least-teachable tutoring subjects. And many of these were not just wannabe-teachers, but actual teachers back for additional courses. Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-34264608031702265962015-02-23T16:07:12.647-05:002015-02-23T16:07:12.647-05:00Many years ago, I remember reading an old Columbia...Many years ago, I remember reading an old Columbia adage that the widest street in the world is the one separating Teachers' College from the rest of the campus. Everyone I know says that the ed school at their colleges was an academic wasteland and had the worst teachers.Unknownhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15920300280196375417noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-1797033713802080642015-02-23T11:34:44.640-05:002015-02-23T11:34:44.640-05:00What Auntie Ann said. Prime example: Much ado is ...What Auntie Ann said. Prime example: Much ado is being made over "formative assessments" with seminars on how to do it, books on the subject, etc. Good teachers have been doing this for years: checking for students understanding and adjusting accordingly. It's called "teaching".Barry Garelickhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00335707096785705085noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-54187199985412906442015-02-23T10:25:36.981-05:002015-02-23T10:25:36.981-05:00Because using the same books you have in storage d...Because using the same books you have in storage doesn't keep the money flowing. If you can show that you can get the job done using the same old thing, then your budget will stagnate or shrink. Because every conference teachers and administrators go to is filled with vendors with shiny booths and flashy demonstrations selling snake-oil to the same people who bought last year's snake oil. Auntie Annhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/05777983027361603449noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-15068315745332979322015-02-22T19:26:35.655-05:002015-02-22T19:26:35.655-05:00No. Just no. Keep the ed school dunderheads away...No. Just no. Keep the ed school dunderheads away from the other college instructors. It's bad enough that I get dinged on my observations for stupid stuff like failing to use the right buzzwords in my lectures and not phrasing section objectives in ways that can be "measurable" - never mind I get the objectives verbatim from the textbook itself, and if it's good enough for the textbook author and publisher, I don't see how my dean can have any grounds for objection.<br /><br />Why don't the ed school people just go back to playing school with their stuffed animals like they no doubt did as kids, and leave the rest of us alone?Niels Henrik Abelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00554447042962336254noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-36151887560254024862015-02-21T10:01:34.390-05:002015-02-21T10:01:34.390-05:00The test questions can be drawn from all the skill...The test questions can be drawn from all the skills taught. The test does not have a question from each performance indicator. lgmnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-87878993109952863552015-02-20T17:24:36.230-05:002015-02-20T17:24:36.230-05:00My point is more: why aren't they asking for t...My point is more: why aren't they asking for the "solutions" to the "equations", instead of the "zeros" of the "expression". Why the aversion to an equals sign?Auntie Annhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/05777983027361603449noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-56570062041918749052015-02-20T17:01:03.761-05:002015-02-20T17:01:03.761-05:00Auntie Ann: Equations don't have zeroes but ex...Auntie Ann: Equations don't have zeroes but expression or function can.<br /><br />x+1 has a zero at x=-1<br /><br />Students frequently confuse expressions (which represent a number) and equations (which say that two expressions represent the same number). I think this comes from the habit of people prepending "Let y = " before writing down an expression.<br /><br />Question number 7, by the way, is badly written and badly punctuated and is the most asinine of them all, in my opinion.<br /><br />BTW - I was finally able to prove that I am not a robot. I am usually unable to read the swirly letters the way other non-robots can.bkynoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-73175086355818209002015-02-20T12:35:34.213-05:002015-02-20T12:35:34.213-05:00"zeros of the expression" is a strange p..."zeros of the expression" is a strange phrasing. What do they have against actual equations? Why is everything just expressions?Auntie Annhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/05777983027361603449noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-63096739130425640232015-02-16T09:25:49.729-05:002015-02-16T09:25:49.729-05:00I was an English major in college and studied lite...I was an English major in college and studied literature in grad school, so more than just about anyone, I see the value of reading fiction. Yet, when it comes to autistic students (my son is one), I don't think reading fiction is necessarily useful. <br /><br />With visually impaired students, we recognize that they will learn less than peers when it comes to, say, art appreciation, because of the nature of their disability. Yet with a developmental or cognitive disability like autism, we think that if students just try harder, they will be able to overcome the wiring in their brains that makes interpreting other people's (or characters') emotions and motivations difficult to understand.<br /><br />There is an enormous amount of literature that is not literary fiction that could be appropriate for autistic students. Philosophy, history, or political theory may be sophisticated or difficult, but it won't require students to understand what characters feel or why they act. Even classical or medieval literature, before the early modern period where there begins to be a more psychological or introspective approach to individual characters, could be appropriate to some students. <br /><br />I am worried that I may have to homeschool my autistic child at some point because of inflexible standards like these may be. kimhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/07964409227553670322noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-32166367954408476292015-02-15T15:16:40.352-05:002015-02-15T15:16:40.352-05:00A researcher at the New School for Social Research...A researcher at the New School for Social Research did find that reading literary fiction improved students' theory of mind: http://www.newschool.edu/nssr/faculty.aspx?id=16180.<br /><br />It's important to note that this improvement was not seen when students read popular fiction.<br /><br />Scientific American report on the study: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/novel-finding-reading-literary-fiction-improves-empathy/.<br /><br />An interesting question would be, whether students who do not read at elevated levels would be able to profit from reading literary fiction. <br /><br />Cranberrynoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-25807373383018297822015-02-14T18:37:01.662-05:002015-02-14T18:37:01.662-05:00I think all students should be familiar with cultu...I think all students should be familiar with culturally relevant literature. However, I *don't* think that the focus on literary analysis is helpful for most students. I would much prefer that English courses spend their time on academic writing of all types. And I would prefer there to be a mix of well written fiction and nonfiction assigned--not just in English class, but in history and science as well.Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-44801214030956731132015-02-14T16:15:47.175-05:002015-02-14T16:15:47.175-05:00Possibly because they need to learn to distinguish...Possibly because they need to learn to distinguish between fact and fiction? The lessons learned in lit are going to apply to what they see on the screen and in the drama of real life.lgmnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-70224738456834111212015-02-13T13:35:49.803-05:002015-02-13T13:35:49.803-05:00FYI: Google has scanned Wentworth. It's availa...FYI: Google has scanned Wentworth. It's available here: <a href="https://play.google.com/books/reader?printsec=frontcover&output=reader&id=PxkAAAAAYAAJ&pg=GBS.PP1" rel="nofollow">New School Algebra: Wentworth</a><br /><br />and the answers here (although it's missing pages 34, 35, 42 and 43):<br /><br /><a href="http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=hvd.32044097012702;view=1up;seq=1" rel="nofollow">New School Algebra Answers</a>Auntie Annhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/05777983027361603449noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-37252062721491500972015-02-13T11:21:56.513-05:002015-02-13T11:21:56.513-05:00At least Wentworth explicitly identifies them as a...At least Wentworth explicitly identifies them as arithmetic progressions. Without that label, I could choose any suitable answer in <a href="https://oeis.org/" rel="nofollow">The On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences</a> and justify it.<br /><br />For example:<br /><br />1,5,25,<b>25</b>,625,3125,...<br />https://oeis.org/A121007<br />"Denominators of partial alternating sums of Catalan numbers scaled by powers of 1/5."<br /><br />Similar to https://oeis.org/A121003, "Denominators of partial sums of Catalan numbers scaled by powers of 1/5."<br /><br />Or I could make up a polynomial with the sequence numbers as roots, and add one more root chosen arbitrarily, and declare that the sequence names the roots of the polynomial in ascending (or descending, for the third problem) order.<br /><br />Because, technically, a sequence is merely <a href="http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Sequence.html" rel="nofollow">"an ordered set of mathematical objects"</a>. The definition of <em>sequence</em> says nothing about any relationship that may exist between successive members of the sequence.GoogleMasternoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-75378484738656055812015-02-12T19:35:05.640-05:002015-02-12T19:35:05.640-05:00Those IXL problems belong in the, I dunno, maybe f...Those IXL problems belong in the, I dunno, maybe fourth grade section. I could see them as warm-ups in 6th grade, but they in no way belong in pre-calc.kcabnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-79009161872066708142015-02-12T12:03:33.975-05:002015-02-12T12:03:33.975-05:00ixl.com was there before Common Core, and these pr...ixl.com was there before Common Core, and these problems are the same as they had before, just now the standard they might sort of fit attached to them. Common Core aligned is not the same as Common Core inspired. It is just a bunch of online problems, and then they tried to figure out what standard to label them with when those came along. I think.Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-80066397090393712002015-02-12T11:34:01.812-05:002015-02-12T11:34:01.812-05:00Reminds me of this, by Ze'ev Wurman on a stab ...Reminds me of this, by Ze'ev Wurman on a stab at science standards: <br /><br />http://www.monolithic3d.com/blog/education-to-raise-technology-consumers-instead-of-technology-creators<br /><br />---<br /><br />[...] I was excited when the National Research Council recently published its new Framework for K-12 Science Education, in which it outlines its vision for improving teaching science in America in the 21st century. <br /><br />[...] This certainly looks promising, particularly because the framework for the first time introduces engineering as a subject of study for our K-12 students. Yet as I kept reading the document's 280 pages of lofty prose, I noticed something odd: The framework does not expect students to use any kind of analytical mathematics while studying science.<br /><br />For example, the framework promotes a practice called Using Mathematics, Information and Computer Technology, and Computational Thinking (p. 3-13). Yet one observes that after singing paeans to the importance of mathematics, it only expects students by grade 12 to be competent in "recognizing," "expressing," and "using simple 'mathematical expressions' to see if they make sense," but not in actually solving science problems using mathematics.Auntie Annhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/05777983027361603449noreply@blogger.com