Category Archives: Problem Solving

“Teaching” Proofs

We recently began trig proofs. I love trig proofs. To me they are a joyful puzzle. My students don’t quite share my sentiments. /understatement Today I heard: “I don’t know where to begin“, “This takes too long“, or “Show me … Continue reading

Posted in First Year, Math, Problem Solving | Tagged | 4 Comments

Grasping at Straws

We’ve been exploring the ideas of similarity and congruence in my freshmen classes. Today the students developed congruence by SSS – with straws. Supplies needed: drinking Straws (1-2 per student), string (dental floss was too slippery), and scissors. Question 1: … Continue reading

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Sketchpad & Data Tables

I was making a Sketchpad activity and discovered that you can collect measurements in a table. The full instructions on how to do so are here (search for “Tables”). It’s relatively painless. Select the measurements, go to the Graph>Tabulate menu. … Continue reading

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What’s Normal?

We’re about a third of the way in The Pit and the Pendulum unit and I think most of the cherubs are getting a nice understanding the importance of sample size, controlled experiments, and representing data with histograms. After our … Continue reading

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That’s One Option

There are four minutes to go in the period when one of the deans shows up at my door, just to give me a heads-up. I ask for a volunteer to finish the problem we just started. One of the … Continue reading

Posted in First Year, Math, Problem Solving | 1 Comment

No, not that Po

Last week the freshmen started a new unit based upon The Pit and the Pendulum. The first day was spent reading and discussing an excerpt from the story. Poe is a tough read. It can be especially confusing if you’re … Continue reading

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The Three Conspirators

Sometimes students find a way to deal with peers who aren’t pulling their own weight. The recent discussion on group work reminded me of a remarkable instance of this happening about two years ago. I was working as a special … Continue reading

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