Community Digest

Top new questions this week:

Is there a virtue to learning how to compute by hand?

I have been professionally tutoring a wide range of students (from elementary school through graduate school) for many years. Most of them are from the United States. I generally focus on helping my ...

reference-request primary-education arithmetic-operations arithmetic middle-school  
asked by Geoffrey 50 votes
answered by Ryan G 46 votes

Which product of single digits do children usually get wrong?

(I was inspired by the comments in this answer to ask this question.) I have some multiplication table cards from Kumon that have a list of commonly mistaken multiplications: $7\times 8,4\times 8,11\...

primary-education arithmetic-operations multiplication-table  
asked by Joel Reyes Noche 24 votes
answered by Adam 40 votes

Why are all educational textbooks copyrighted? ©

I had an idea to improve education in my country with the help of textbooks by popular authors. I thought to publish videos on YouTube with comments and practical explanations about what the author ...

textbooks technology-in-education teaching reference-books book  
asked by Saynov Dias 10 votes
answered by Ben Crowell 32 votes

Why teach the algebraic Calculus?

In the context of a standard undergraduate Calculus sequence, I've noticed there is a big emphasis on teaching the algebra part of Calculus. What I mean by this is that a student may feel more ...

calculus  
asked by Fox Mulder 7 votes
answered by James S. Cook 6 votes

Why are so many online sources "wrong" about directional derivatives?

I noticed many seemingly reputable online sources have "incorrect" description of directional derivatives for real-valued functions in several variables. Here, by "incorrect" I ...

calculus vector-calculus  
asked by ssquidd 7 votes
answered by Adam 4 votes

Difficulty in explaining sample space

I am running into problems explaining to my students in high school what exactly is sample space in probabilities, especially with identical objects. For example, according to Q6.2.3 of this UIC ...

secondary-education probability  
asked by user15538 6 votes
answered by Ryan G 6 votes

I need strategies for tutoring a bright, motivated student currently taking college algebra who just doesn't seem to retain the things I teach

I have a college student who I've been tutoring over the past two semesters. He's a hard worker and quite bright. Unfortunately, I do not feel like I am having much success in helping him learn ...

undergraduate-education  
asked by Dargscisyhp 6 votes
answered by guest 4 votes

Greatest hits from previous weeks:

How to explain the difference between the fraction a / b and the ratio a : b?

I found it difficult to explain the difference between the fraction a / b and the ratio a : b. This subject is for pupils of grade 5. So is there a real difference between them and how to explain the ...

primary-education fractions  
asked by Abdallah Abusharekh 16 votes
answered by Burt Furuta -6 votes

Fun set theory for kids

Are there some fun results in set theory to set as landmarks while introducing to kids? For example, while introducing graph theory to kids, I could explain isomorphism via a pentagon and pentagram, ...

secondary-education primary-education set-theory  
asked by athos 14 votes
answered by A. Goodier 21 votes

What is the most difficult concept to grasp in Calculus 1?

I would say it is not the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus, but rather some notion connecting limits and continuity, perhaps the $(\epsilon,\delta)$-definitions of limits and continuity. But I would be ...

undergraduate-education calculus limits  
asked by Joseph O'Rourke 18 votes
answered by Sue VanHattum 20 votes

Is there a name for paths that follow gridlines?

I'm writing up an activity where students are looking at pathlengths that follow along gridlines. Is there a word or phrase that is commonly used to describe those paths, but doesn't include ...

geometry terminology  
asked by David Elm 9 votes
answered by Andrew Sanfratello 22 votes

How do you explain concavity of a polynomial without any calculus?

How do you explain the concavity of a polynomial without any calculus? As the title suggests, I am struggling to explain when given a graph of a polynomial, how we determine when it is concave up or ...

precalculus  
asked by 2132123 12 votes
answered by Steven Gubkin 23 votes

What is the mathematical value of children learning and being tested on Roman numerals?

My 11 year old child recently took an important numeracy test. One of the questions required her to know that M = 1000 in Roman numerals. This made me very angry: I could not see how this relatively ...

testing test-design  
asked by Bob Tway 32 votes
answered by Paul92 72 votes

Why we have to be so precise in Geometry?

Previously I've explained some basic things of graphs to my kid, such as planar, $V-E+F=2$. Now when I introduce geometry, he asked, "Why we have to be so precise in Geometry?" Indeed, in ...

geometry  
asked by athos 8 votes
answered by Pedro 42 votes

Can you answer this question?

Why students do not notice sign of plus/minus?

My child in grade 3 often needs a reminder because in a task where he needs to do addition he would subtract instead of adding or v.v ignoring the signs given in a task. He would also forget adding ...

primary-education  
asked by gpuguy 2 votes
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