# 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 ››

# Common Core Aligned! Nice new cover.

I’m just back from the NCSM and NCTM national conferences in Indianapolis.  I have nothing but kind words for the city and venues for the conferences.  It is a wonderful location for a conference; additionally, I highly recommend the haggis at MacNiven’s Restaurant and Bar on Massachusetts Ave.Continue Reading ››

# I Hate Math

Picture the scene: You are at the neighborhood barbecue, milling around, eating, drinking and making small talk.  Some neighbors you don’t know well start up a conversation and naturally ask what you do for a living, to which you respond, “I am a math teacher.”  One or more of the following responses probably follows:

# Statistics For All

In my daily search for math news, I found this great clip from TED from 2009 by Arthur Benjamin. The overall message from Professor Benjamin is that calculus shouldn't be the pinnacle of high school math courses that we push all students to strive for, but rather statistics and probability should be the 'mecca' of high … Continue Reading ››

# Applied Math in Chem Lab

I just started taking two science classes, Biology and Chemistry, in the evenings. This week I participated in my first chemistry lab since 1988, complete with safety goggles and a Bunsen burner. It was so exciting! In the midst of all this chemistry, the neatest thing for me was helping another student with the math … Continue Reading ››

# Real-World Problems: Whose World Is It, Anyway?

At a meeting of mathematics supervisors this week there was much discussion about how to meet the needs of struggling learners. I thought of the students I’d worked with over twenty years in the classroom, and of how my kids caused me to rethink my teaching. They asked me a lot of surprising questions. Take this … Continue Reading ››

# The Ancient Abacus: Does it have a place in the classroom?

In a recent post, I shared a video of Conrad Wolfram’s TED talk that explores how the use of computers in the teaching of mathematics leads student to a richer math learning experience. But lately, I've been wondering: Could students find a similarly rich math learning experience through the abacus, a far less expensive … 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 ››

# The Basis for Life on Earth

Schools should use open-source textbooks rather than traditional textbooks. That’s the case David Thornburg makes in a recent blog post on Edutopia. Dr. Thornburg bases his reasoning on last month’s discovery by NASA that a microorganism living in Mono Lake uses arsenic rather than phosphorous to construct its DNA. He is entirely right … Continue Reading ››