Category Archives: Common Core

Innovative Approaches to Computer-Based Assessment, Part Two

In my previous post, I shared Dan Meyer's analysis of what's wrong with computer-based mathematics assessments. Dan focuses his critique on the Khan Academy's eighth-grade online mathematics course, identifying 74% of its assessment questions as focusing on numerical answers or multiple-choice items. This is a far cry from … Continue Reading ››

Can Computer-Based Assessment Model Worthwhile Mathematics?

Several weeks ago, Dan Meyer described his experience of completing 88 practice sets in Khan Academy's eighth-grade online mathematics course. His goal was to document the types of evidence the Khan Academy asked students to produce of their mathematical understanding. Dan's findings were disappointing: He concludes that 74% of the Khan Academy's eighth-grade questions were either multiple choice or required nothing more than … Continue Reading ››

Iteration in the Complex Plane

The cover story of the April 2014 issue of Mathematics Teacher is on "Iteration in the Complex Plane", by Robin S. O'Dell. It sounds like pretty advanced mathematics, but is surprisingly accessible with The Geometer's Sketchpad. It's all based on the surprising principle that you can multiply two complex numbers very easily if … Continue Reading ››

Discovery by Dragging

A few days ago I led a webinar on the Common Core and Sketchpad for Sketchpad beginners, and I showed four Sketchpad activities aligned with both the Content Standards and the Standards for Mathematical Practice. I mixed it up a bit by showing two … Continue Reading ››

What Does Rowing Have to Do with Teaching Mathematics?

Harry congratulates a rower after sweeping Yale for his last time.
Harry Parker died this summer, two weeks after coaching the Harvard rowing team to yet another sweep of all four races (varsity, JV, freshmen, and spares) against Yale and two days after accompanying his 1980 … Continue Reading ››

Starting with Sketchpad Activities on Day One in High School

In my previous two posts, I listed some of the new Dynamic Number project activities (for grades 2-5 and grades 5-8) that engage students in manipulating and investigating dynamic mathematical objects from day … Continue Reading ››

Starting with Sketchpad Activities on Day One in Grades 5-8

In the Dynamic Number project, one of our goals has been to create activities in which students actually experience mathematical objects by creating them, manipulating them, and investigating them. (George Lakoff and Rafael Núñez describe, in Where Mathematics Comes From, how students' abstract mathematical concepts are grounded in … Continue Reading ››

Difficult Questions. Keep ’em coming.

I was recently reminded of how important it is to evaluate student interaction when determining the professional development needs of a school or teacher.  I’ve written about this in prior posts and included a reference to a useful tool for conducting this type of evaluation.  But, sometimes fancy rubrics are not necessary. I was … Continue Reading ››