## Multiplication Table Slide Rule

Using Publisher, I’ve created a slide rule for multiplication tables (up to 10×10). To use it: — Print it out and cut along the dotted line. — Move the 1 on the bottom part to any single digit on the…

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Using Publisher, I’ve created a slide rule for multiplication tables (up to 10×10). To use it: — Print it out and cut along the dotted line. — Move the 1 on the bottom part to any single digit on the…

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A friend of mine, a father, recently posted this item on his Facebook feed. It’s from Pearson, and he was struggling figuring it out. I also had to read it several times to figure it out. This is a large…

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I was recently wondering why Euclid, the geometer, published a proof that there is an infinite number of primes. I should have known that his proof is geometric. It is: “Let A, B, and C be distinct lengths that cannot be…

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Algebra, Arenas of mathematical mastery, Education, Geometry, Mathematics

I have borrowed from a colleague a copy of G. A. Wentworth’s Plane and Solid Geometry, copyright 1899 and published 1902 by The Athenæum Press of Boston. I enjoy reading old textbooks because they either reinforce or give lie to certain…

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The Internet is in a tizzy yet again about the evils of mathematics education. At least Common Core isn’t being demonized quite as front-and-center as in the recent past, but still. This time it’s about pizza. Which means every mathematics…

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First of all, let me get this out of the way: “Hey, you kids! Get off my lawn!” In this post, I comment on the notational shifts from what I was trained in back in the 1980s and what textbooks…

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Algebra, Arenas of mathematical mastery, Education, Geometry

In this post, I’ll discuss two issues. First, I’ll look at a problem taken from a major textbook, and explain why the solution is wrong. Then, I’ll discuss why this particular problem bothers me in the greater context of mathematics…

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Arenas of mathematical mastery, Education, GeoGebra, Geometry, Mathematics

Here’s another meme criticizing the Common Core: The criticism is that the student has provided a fully correct answer and gotten dinged for not providing an estimate. This is, of course, taken as yet another illustration of why Common Core…

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Elementary school students spend most of their time working with counting numbers, that is, the non-negative integers. As students progress through secondary school, they work increasingly with non-integers, eventually entering the complex number plane. However, many of them maintain the…

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Abstract Unit, Arenas of mathematical mastery, Education, Language, Mathematics

I often discuss mathematics with my six-year-old son. As a teacher, my goal is to try to pinpoint where it is that student understandings go astray. As a parent, my goal is to teach my son some mathematics. We’ve discussed…

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A common mistake students make when adding fractions is to add both the numerators and the denominators (I’ll use a special symbol to reinforce that this is not proper addition): \[ \frac{2}{5} \heartsuit \frac{3}{7} = \frac{2+3}{5+7} = \frac{5}{12} \] The general approach…

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I noted in an earlier post that in 1893, Milne used “are” as a casual speech reading of the equality sign, rather than the “is” that I’m used to. Adam Liss notes that “are” is also used in Danny Kaye’s…

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