Re-Teach Idea

Re-Teaching Idea Background My Algebra 1 class has miserably failed to demonstrate minimal proficiency with the basic tenets of graphing linear equations.  The class average was under 50% on a very basic quiz, one whose questions were well covered during the week.  Further, during the week, not a single student reported difficulty with independent practice, … Read more


This article helps you to understand the role of homework and how to better motivate students to complete their homework.

Mathematical Literacy

Mathematical Literacy Integrating Literacy Development Opportunities in Your Instruction   A few years ago I attended a professional development seminar designed to help American math teachers integrate best practices and strategies required for their students to be successful with the Cambridge IGCSE program.  I was a guest “reference-source,” in the seminar because of the success … Read more

Teaching Square Roots Conceptually

Teaching Square Roots Conceptually   teaching square roots How to Teach Square Roots Conceptually If you have taught for any length of time, you’ll surely have seen one of these two things below. 24−−√=62–√   or     4–√=2–√24=62   or     4=2 MathType@MTEF@5@5@+=feaagKart1ev2aqatCvAUfeBSjuyZL2yd9gzLbvyNv2CaerbuLwBLnhiov2DGi1BTfMBaeXatLxBI9gBaerbd9wDYLwzYbItLDharqqtubsr4rNCHbGeaGqiVu0Je9sqqrpepC0xbbL8F4rqqrFfpeea0xe9Lq=Jc9vqaqpepm0xbba9pwe9Q8fs0=yqaqpepae9pg0FirpepeKkFr0xfr=xfr=xb9adbaqaaeGaciGaaiaabeqaamaabaabaaGcbaWaaOaaaeaacaaIYaGaaGinaaWcbeaakiabg2da9iaaiAdadaGcaaqaaiaaikdaaSqabaGccaqGGaGaaeiiaiaabccacaqGVbGaaeOCaiaabccacaaMc8UaaGPaVlaaykW7caaMc8+aaOaaaeaacaaI0aaaleqaaOGaeyypa0ZaaOaaaeaacaaIYaaaleqaaaaa@479C@  Sure, this can be corrected procedurally.  But, over time, they’ll forget the procedure and revert back to following whatever misconception … Read more

Vestiges of the Past Making Math Confusing

Something in Math HAS to Change Convention is a beautiful thing.  It allows us to use symbols to convey little things like direction or a sound.  We can piece those things together to make larger things, and eventually use it to create something like what you’re reading now.  There are no inherent meanings to these … Read more

Why Does the Order of Operations Work?

Why does the order of operations help us arrive at the correct calculation?  How does it work, why is it PEMDAS?  Why not addition first, then multiplication then groups, or something else? I took it upon myself to get to the bottom of this question because I realized that I am so familiar with manipulating … Read more

Cube Roots and Higher Order Roots

other roots Cube Roots and Other Radicals Square roots ask what squared is the radicand. A geometric explanation is that given the area of a square, what’s the side length? A geometric explanation of a cube root is given the volume of a cube, what’s the side length. The way you find the volume of … Read more

Addition and Subtraction of Square Roots

add subtract square roots Mathematical Operations and Square Roots Part 1   In this section we will see why we can add things like 5 2 +3 2 MathType@MTEF@5@5@+= feaagKart1ev2aqatCvAUfeBSjuyZL2yd9gzLbvyNv2CaerbuLwBLn hiov2DGi1BTfMBaeXatLxBI9gBaerbd9wDYLwzYbItLDharqqtubsr 4rNCHbGeaGqiVu0Je9sqqrpepC0xbbL8F4rqqrFfpeea0xe9Lq=Jc9 vqaqpepm0xbba9pwe9Q8fs0=yqaqpepae9pg0FirpepeKkFr0xfr=x fr=xb9adbaqaaeGaciGaaiaabeqaamaabaabaaGcbaGaaGynamaaka aabaGaaGOmaaWcbeaakiabgUcaRiaaiodadaGcaaqaaiaaikdaaSqa baaaaa@3A0D@ but cannot add things like 2 5 +2 3 MathType@MTEF@5@5@+= feaagKart1ev2aqatCvAUfeBSjuyZL2yd9gzLbvyNv2CaerbuLwBLn hiov2DGi1BTfMBaeXatLxBI9gBaerbd9wDYLwzYbItLDharqqtubsr 4rNCHbGeaGqiVu0Je9sqqrpepC0xbbL8F4rqqrFfpeea0xe9Lq=Jc9 vqaqpepm0xbba9pwe9Q8fs0=yqaqpepae9pg0FirpepeKkFr0xfr=x fr=xb9adbaqaaeGaciGaaiaabeqaamaabaabaaGcbaGaaGOmamaaka aabaGaaGynaaWcbeaakiabgUcaRiaaikdadaGcaaqaaiaaiodaaSqa baaaaa@3A0D@ . Later … Read more

What Do Grades Really Mean?

What Do Grades Mean The following is highly contentious.  Many of the situations discussed here should ultimately be considered on an individual basis.  The purpose of this is not to create a rubber-stamp solution to all problems that arise with grade assignment and student ability and or performance, but is to provide a general framework … Read more

Exponents Part 2

two Exponents Part 2 Division In the previous section we learned that exponents are repeated multiplication, which on its own is not tricky. What makes exponents tricky is determining what is a base and what is not for a given exponent. It is imperative that you really understand the material from the previous section before … Read more