Teaching & Learning

Honors math courses

Weston, of course, is really Lake Wobegon, where all the children are above average®. Weston’s only public high school has just two levels of math courses: the higher level is called honors, the lower level college-prep. Everyone is above average…. Read More ›

Intellectual growth

I’m examining an Algebra II book that looks really good so far (Discovering Advanced Algebra: An Investigative Approach, by Murdock, Kamischke, and Kamischke — if you’re interested). But a statement in the Note to Teachers got me thinking: Students will… Read More ›

Phys Ed online?

OK, we’ve heard of online math courses and writing courses, but phys ed???? Even as I type this, I’m listening to a report on NPR about the online phys ed option for students in the Minneapolis Public Schools. Hmmm….

Helpful volunteers

Three of my sophomore students have volunteered to set up a website for use by our Math Team. They’re designing a database to contain Math Team problems and answers collected from the last n years, typing many hundreds of problems… Read More ›

Notes on a textbook

This note, written by a junior, was attached to the precalculus book she was returning: Dear Mr. Davidson, Here is my book. I have enjoyed it thoroughly. I read it when I was feeling down, and it raised my spirits…. Read More ›

Life after exams

It’s tough to keep kids focused and engaged after they’ve finished their final exams. As I blogged earlier, our math exams were on the 14th… but school continues until the 23rd! Everyone knows that tests and grades are all that… Read More ›

Beware the Algebrator

Yes, there really is a product called The Algebrator. Their slogan is, “You Type in Your Homework Problem. Algebrator does the Rest!” Here is an excerpt from one of their ads. What’s wrong with this picture?

Too hot to think

It wasn’t a great day for taking math exams. I opened up the windows and doors in my classroom at 7 AM to get some cross-ventilation, but when the exam started at 7:35 it was already 83 degrees in my… Read More ›

Amusing calculus book?

The pseudonymous Rudbeckia Hirta writes about “the most amusing book ever written about calculus”: The Historical Development of the Calculus, by C.H. Edwards. I know, you don’t think the competition for most amusing calculus book is very stiff, but I’m… Read More ›