Put Your Money Where Your Math Is

I enjoyed my first trip ever to Albuquerque, and really enjoyed conversations I had with teachers who came by our booth at the NCTM regional. As usual, I needed to convince people to ignore their impulse—based on years of using of Microsoft products—to avoid the Help menu, and explore the amazing resources in the Sketchpad 5 Learning Center. And many middle school teachers were excited by the prospect of using TinkerPlots for the Common Core statistics and probability standards.

My favorite teacher was the young and enthusiastic local teacher that Karen describes in her blog post. He told us how much he loves the Interactive Mathematics Program and was thrilled to learn how he might incorporate more Sketchpad into his courses. His comment still sticks with me: “You go around to all these sessions that talk about incorporating real-world contexts into mathematics and they come up with some lame word problem, but my IMP students work with real contexts all the time.”

And speaking of real-world contexts, I’d like to share more data—represented in a variety of displays—as part of my continuing series on quantitative reasoning in Occupy Wall Street. My trip to Albuquerque coincided with “Move Your Money Day,” which reminded me about the time a year ago when I finally realized that 9.99% is less than 13.99%.

After a long and frustrating experience with Chase, I was finally able to close all my accounts with them in favor of my small local credit union. Only after I had decided to move my money for reasons of customer dissatisfaction did I discover that my credit union credit card rate (9.99%) was actually considerably lower than the big bank rate (13.99%).

In my last blog post I discussed the quantitative reasoning inherent in the OWS definition and many of the signs people carry. This time I share the images I’ve received over Facebook in the last few days. I encourage you to examine them for how they represent data and what the data means. Click on them to see their sources. Finally, here is a short compelling video that elaborates on the numbers that motivate OWS.

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