Fraction Myth Debunked

by on June 29, 2012 in Reflections with No Comments »


Introduction

The hottest discussion topic among mathematic educators within Metropolitan College of New York revolves around the idea of what mathematic skills our students should have. The biggest concern arises when students face failure with fraction concepts. The advancement from secondary to post-secondary education demands that students should have already mastered these skills in elementary school and demonstrated computational proficiency during the Accuplacer entry examination. However, newly admitted and even some continuing students continue to struggle with concepts of fraction addition and fraction subtraction. So, many students believe that mastery of fraction skills will never be achieved. This belief is a myth.
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How To Use a Comma

by on June 6, 2012 in Must Reads with No Comments »


The New York Times has always been good at coming up with intellectually relatable witty titles for the articles it posts to its website, and University of Delaware Professor Ben Yagoda’s recent post, “The Most Comma Mistakes,” is no exception. Now, before you do anything else, take a second look at the sentence you just read. You will notice that it is rather long (40 words) but that it contains only three commas. “How can that be?” you might wonder. “The longer a sentence is, the more commas it needs, right?” Well, that isn’t necessarily incorrect, but it’s not correct either. In fact, it’s one of those things people think is true when they don’t actually have any idea about what they’re talking about. For the truth is that if everyone took a moment to learn the basic rules of comma usage, they would find that it’s not all that difficult to master.

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What is the Deep Nature of Reality?

by on May 26, 2012 in Fresh From the Field with No Comments »


Since the beginning of time humanity has been looking at the surrounding world as a book of nature and continually trying to study it through different views and approaches, which later in time, developed into sciences like mathematics, physics and chemistry etc. Over time, many scientific discoveries were made and many theories aiming to explain these scientific advances emerged.

Why should we care?

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Learning to Fail

by on May 18, 2012 in Must Reads with No Comments »


Many parents love to tell stories of the formidable hurdles they faced growing up, like the classic “I had a to walk uphill both ways in the snow to get to school” tale. My mother’s version of this story harkens back to her time in graduate school. There, on numerous occasions, her art school profs would make an interesting comment about one of her works in progress . . . and then tell her to destroy it. Or they would destroy it for her. Entire clay torsos were lobbed off in anatomy sculpture class and canvases were whitewashed in color theory. She speaks of the shock this always produced, but then notes the invaluable lesson learned: her development depended largely on learning how to fail better and better.

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Subscribing to a Global Classroom

by on May 2, 2012 in Must Sees with No Comments »


I used to feel like I wore an imaginary cone-shaped hat with the words DUNCE scribbled in bright red marker in my mathematics classes. The world of numbers and equations was always troublesome for me. My earliest memory of mathematics involves me crying over my workbook in grade school as I struggled with long division. I still have nightmares about that experience. Read more about Math Phobia here.

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Math Phobia

by on April 18, 2012 in Reflections with 1 Comment »


Introduction

Math is the most feared subject in the American school system. Students ranging from lower-level to college-level seem to dread the subject.

Math phobia is serious issue in America, and many cartoonists and other individuals seem to communicate the issue in funny cartoons to remind us continuously that it’s not an individual problem but the entire county’s problem. The more people become aware of widespread math phobia, the more likely that they will take the necessary steps collectively to address it.

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To Go or Not To Go (to college)?
That is the question

by on April 3, 2012 in Reflections with No Comments »


A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education about two sisters with divergent academic paths has made me think about the question “What is the point of attending college?” Is the answer: to acquire a wealth of knowledge about a variety of topics that scholars and administrators have determined are worth exploring? To meet eager and like-minded learners with whom you will mesh on a personal and intellectual level and start the Next Great Company? Or is it to obtain a certificate that by its sheer existence proves you are qualified for a higher position—and thus a higher paycheck—at your current job?

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Learn the Rules to Break Them!
(except in this case)

by on March 29, 2012 in Reflections with No Comments »


Sometimes as teachers, we pull from our ever-expanding bag of tricks all sorts of odds and ends that we hope can catalyze a student’s comprehension, inquiry or motivation. These tools can be nuanced, direct, or bluntly manipulative. The weirdest such oddity I recently “pulled out” was in an APA workshop for a CA class: I actually found myself telling students to refer to the MCNY APA guide as their holy text while students here. How corny. What’s worse, I repeated the same line in three such workshops.

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Grammar Humor

by on March 15, 2012 in Must Reads with No Comments »


Artist, web designer, and part-time grammarian, Matthew Inman, writes and draws all the content on his hilarious web page, The Oatmeal. His site features witty, satirical, comic-like illustrations ranging in topic from “Netflix splitting in two” to “What it’s like to own an Apple product”. Inman even has an entire category of comics dedicated to grammar. In the link below, he has put together a hilarious and informative comic on what he considers the “most feared punctuation on earth”, the semicolon. His illustration, which is available for purchase, reminds us that learning grammar can be fun!

Click here for Inman’s fun with the semicolon.

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Solving Brain Teasers

by on March 8, 2012 in Must Sees with No Comments »


Introduction

Society expects teachers to successfully facilitate students’ cognitive development. But cognition occurs when taught material makes sense and is affected by emotional development. Recognizing that neither teachers nor students are educated in pieces, but rather as part of a larger educational system, we must address many variables that affect students’ attitudes, morale, and school performance. One of these variables is the ongoing training in problem solutions in a classroom setting. Lately, I have been thinking about how a student’s intellectual growth and confidence are improved via finding solutions to brain teasers.

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