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…

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When is it algebra and when is it arithmetic?

In the post Algebra vs Arithmetic, I distinguished between arithmetic and algebra by arguing that it has nothing to do with the use of letters. That algebra is about letters and arithmetic is about numbers is an oversimplified view of algebra and can create misconceptions. Here are more ways of characterizing algebra. The following excerpts…

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Free Fractions Pamphlet

I just want to promote in this post James Tanton’s latest pamphlet on fractions. It’s FREE for download. Just click Pamphlet on Fractions. Tanton writes: If fractions are pieces of pie, then what does the multiplication of fractions mean? (You can’t multiply pie!) If fractions are proportions, then what are their units? Amount of pie per…

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