Jul 272014
What math can students learn from the way we teach algorithms?

It is a bunch of procedures. That’s how people perceive algorithms are. And they are right. Algorithm has been defined as 1) “step-by-step procedures that are carried out routinely”; 2) “a precisely-defined sequence of rules telling how to produce specified output information from given input information in a finite number of steps”. It is no wonder then that teaching algorithms is perceived by many as teaching for rote learning and produces not conceptual knowledge but procedural knowledge. Teaching algorithms promotes [...]

Jun 012014
Teaching the Derivative Function to Grade 10

Most Grade 10 syllabus do not yet include the concept and calculation of derivative. At this level, the study of function which started in Year 7 and Year 8 on linear function is simply extended to investigating other function classes such as polynomial function to which linear and quadratics belong, the exponential function and its inverse, rational function etc. There is no mention of derivative. This should not prevent teachers from deriving functions based on the properties of the function students [...]

Apr 172014
Application of the Discriminant

The discriminant of a quadratic equation, ax2 + bx + c = 0 is D = b2 – 4ac. If D>0, the quadratic equation has two distinct roots; if D<0, then the equation has no real roots; and, if D=0, the we have two equal roots. Let’s apply it in the following problem. What is the equation of the line tangent to f(x)=x2 at the point (2,4)? Solution using the idea of discriminant The function f(x) and the line y=mx+k [...]

Apr 162014
Guest Post: 4 Awesome Kids’ Math Games

If you’re a math teacher and are looking for fun ways to motivate your class or lighten the atmosphere, here are some great kids’ math games to help you along. Needless to say, the kids are definitely going to love them! Fun Kids’ Math Games – Fun Classroom Ideas for Teachers 1. Simple Mental Math Game Skills – Number sense, computational fluency Grade –1-5 Instructions: Ask the students to put away their notebooks and pens and pay close attention to [...]

Mar 052014
Types of Problem Solving Tasks

The phrase ‘problem solving’ has different meanings in mathematics education. Even its role in mathematics teaching and learning is not clear cut. Some view problem solving as an end in itself. Others see it as starting point for learning. Nevertheless, here are some of the types of problem solving tasks we would see in textbooks and teaching. They are arranged according to cognitive demand. Remember that learners will only consider something a problem if they experience some sort of barrier [...]

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