# When Factors Put on Their Dancing Shoes

What’s the narrative? That question, so fundamental to any novel, may not sound as relevant when applied to mathematics. Take, for example, the topic of factors: 1, 2, 4, and 8 are factors of eight; 3, 5, and 7 are not. Where is the inherent drama in these relationships? In most elementary mathematics curricula, there … Continue Reading ››

# “Data Games”—Getting the Math Right in Math Games

As a parent and math educator, I'm always on the lookout for high-quality, fun apps that help my sons and other young people develop their understanding of math. There are a large number of math games for mobile devices and PCs being churned out, and many articles being written in popular ed tech blogs and … Continue Reading ››

# Testing… 1, 2, 3… testing. This is a test. This is only a test.

Nothing like your back going out to make you feel old. Happens to me every few years, and comes out of the blue. Last time it was when I was brushing my teeth. This time it was tying my shoes. Anyway, after a hospital visit I was told to take a couple of days … Continue Reading ››

# When Factoring Gets Personal

As an author of Sketchpad activities, I like to think that I can pose good problems for students to solve. But as I visit elementary classrooms and watch students use Sketchpad, I realize that a large part of the enjoyment they derive from using our software comes from creating their own problems and sharing them … Continue Reading ››

# Innovative Learning Conference Report

On Friday I attended a conference that I'd never been to before, the Innovative Learning Conference. The conference is held on the grounds of Nueva School, a rather posh private school in Hillsborough, CA that serves gifted students, and it's a lovely setting for engaging in deep thinking about education. The … Continue Reading ››

# A Puzzling Math Situation

Why is 6 scared of 7? Because 7, 8, 9. A silly little play on numbers I know, but this was the response from my younger daughter when I asked her for some “fun math inspiration” for writing this article.  Surprisingly, I was inspired. I started thinking about number and logic puzzles and asking myself why … Continue Reading ››

# The Finger Calendar: An Algorithm at Your Fingertips

At the start of this year, I was reminded of the Finger Calendar method my mom taught me when I was growing up. According to her method, you can figure out the day of the week for any date in history. You just need to calibrate your fingers for the given year. For example, my birthday … Continue Reading ››

# When a Silent Board Game Speaks Volumes

I love Sandy’s metaphor of the waves of educational reform: As a teacher of mathematics since the mid-seventies, I have seen a lot of “waves” of reform come and go. All promise increased student performance with the implementation of the latest bells and whistles…. The latest “wave” of reform is the Common Core State Standards. I was … Continue Reading ››