Questions tagged [primary-education]

For questions about the mathematical education in the first years in school (ages approx. 5-10).

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12
votes
1answer
363 views

Teaching K-8 math in the style of “A Mathematician’s Lament”

Here's a link to the full paper, colloquially known as Lockhart's Lament: Link: https://www.maa.org/external_archive/devlin/LockhartsLament.pdf In the context of K-8 learning materials that take ...
15
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13answers
4k views

How to teach binary numbers to 5th graders?

I already tried the direct approach, starting with "this is how it works". That turned out ok but took too long and was boring for all of us. My second attempt was using the twofingered alien. This ...
9
votes
1answer
330 views

New app teaches math really fast. How does it work?

There's a new story about an app that "teaches UK pupils 18 months of maths in six weeks". Assuming this result is true (and such claims need a strong justification), what could be the cause of this ...
10
votes
2answers
203 views

Using terminology for the different concepts of rational number

In elementary maths education literature, they distinguish multiple concepts that rational numbers are used to represent: fractions, quotients, ratios, rates, and possibly more. These words seem to be ...
8
votes
2answers
223 views

Teaching “and a half” early, possibly before general proper fractions

Fractions are a well-recognised issue in maths learning, with all sorts of complex issues involved. One particular aspect of this is difficulty recognising fractions as numbers which describe the size ...
14
votes
3answers
619 views

The interplay of memory and mathematical performance

As mathematicians and mathematics educators we very often see the Dunning-Kruger effect in action. Our calculus students are certain that they are masters of Calculus because they took the AP exam. To ...
12
votes
2answers
817 views

Are women better math teachers for little children?

Once in a discussion a colleague told me that he thinks: It is better to use women to teach maths to little children including preschoolers and children in elementary school. Also it is better to ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

How to explain 1000 - 1 using the american method

I have developed a small Android app. The app is a pocket calculator for addition and subtraction, in which the calculation is explained via both video and audio. If it is unclear please have a quick ...
28
votes
6answers
1k views

What is the rationale for the absent (+) in mixed fractions?

Why are students taught to represent one and a half as $1 \frac{1}{2}$ rather than $1 + \frac{1}{2}$? This mode of expression seems standard at least throughout North America. I believe that it is bad ...
15
votes
5answers
995 views

Cost and benefits of compartmentalization in k-12 curriculum

This is a soft question perhaps not well suited for the format of the site but I'm interested to hear opinions from this community on this topic. K-12 mathematics textbooks (understandably) divide ...
14
votes
12answers
1k views

Should students get full credit for getting the correct answer (without work)?

Pre-algebra If the student is taking this branch of mathematics, they are expected to show their work because they're expected to solve specific problems in a certain way. Ex, when they're solving ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching

Does anyone know of any course called Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching? Where is this course taught? If it's not a course, is there any workshop about this? Or possible a book? It's not knowing ...
10
votes
6answers
837 views

What is a logical way to introduce probability and statistics to students that don't know fractions or percentages yet?

Students are exposed to sets very early in their education, so my first inclination is that this would be the best method to give children in the early primary grades an introduction to probability ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

Traditional “long” method of multiplication versus grid and partial products — evidence of better outcomes?

I'm not a math teacher but am actively involved in teaching my children mathematics (elementary age). I learned the traditional "long" approach to multiplication, but the school systems now emphasize ...
36
votes
12answers
6k views

Is it advisable to avoid teaching “multiplication as repeated addition”?

I've had this discussion with a couple of friends. I argued that teaching multiplication as repeated addition isn't a good idea because it doesn't help children differentiate between the two ...
46
votes
3answers
6k views

How do blind people learn mathematics?

I am interested in how blind people learn mathematics at any level, but particularly before college. Math is often taught using a lot of visualization; how does this work with blind people? My ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

The seven benchmark numbers?

I was presented with a power point slide by a friend about math education and one of his slides talked about "the seven benchmark numbers". He said that: The seven benchmark numbers to develop a "...
52
votes
14answers
14k views

Student: Why not use a calculator?

The kid I am teaching math (subtraction for large numbers right now) just said this is all too easily done by a calculator, why don't we use it? Well, I did tell him that you can only learn more ...
16
votes
6answers
1k views

Fun games for children [closed]

I'm looking for fun games for children (from 4 to 12 years) used in learning math concepts. They can be offline or online games.
11
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8answers
777 views

Symmetry - practical usages

My girlfriend is studying to become a math teacher, and asked me what I have ever used symmetries for. I'm a web developer, and do some designing from time to time, so I answered that symmetry have ...
7
votes
1answer
313 views

Who put the skew in my Skittles? Have there been studies as to which candy has a fairly uniform distribution of flavors?

Since the beginning of time, candy has been used to illustrate the principles of distributions in early lessons on statistics. A recent informal study seems to indicate that the flavors of Skittles ...
28
votes
4answers
3k views

Books about elementary mathematics written like a good undergraduate textbook

I've never seen any really good expositions of elementary mathematics (middle school or earlier). A good college-level textbook, written for people with an interest in mathematics, reads like a novel ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

Teaching 100 x 100 times tables

First, why bother: I teach and play math with my son in the mornings. It's a lot about letting him enjoy learning, so the curriculum (my intentionally vague vision of how we'll proceed) is flexible. ...
48
votes
14answers
5k views

Should we say that fractions “are” or “represent” numbers?

I never gave this a second thought until a friend who works in education brought it up the other day. Should we say that a fraction like $\frac{1}{2}$ "is" a number, or "represents" a number? In ...
13
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4answers
2k views

Confirmation bias in math education

Confirmation bias is a quality of human mental processes which makes us tend to think in terms of positive examples and tests that would confirm our working hypothesis, rather than negative examples ...
10
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4answers
268 views

Problems sets for instruction

What resources are available for any grade level K- 12 that are aligned with the Common Core Mathematics Standards and Mathematical Practices that have sets of problems or problem banks that can be ...
19
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3answers
1k views

What is Discovery-Learning, and why is it so controversial?

In my home province Discovery Learning is getting a substantial amount of pushback. I've been trying to follow the discussions, but have been struggling because I can't seem to get a clear answer as ...
14
votes
5answers
711 views

Community College Remedial Mathematics difficulties for students

I've been teaching remedial mathematics for the better part of a decade, and I've noticed a big trend in my classes lately. Many of my students are able to grasp the more complex ideas but still ...
17
votes
3answers
208 views

How can creativity be incorporated into elementary school mathematics?

Creativity is the core of research mathematics. However, most introductory math consists of learning fixed rules to perform basic, essential mathematics. Thus, for many elementary school students, ...
19
votes
11answers
1k views

How can I familiarize elementary school students with infinities larger than $\aleph_0$?

Cantor's discovery of the existence of more than one infinity was a revolutionary change in human knowledge. He defined the notion of counting by bijections and showed that one can use infinities as ...
27
votes
7answers
5k views

What was the problem with New Math? Why did it end?

During the 60s, people in the US (and also in Europe), school curricula introduces New Math where students began with set theory in the first grade before learning to perform addition or ...
28
votes
10answers
2k views

What are the arguments for and against learning multiplication table by heart?

I think, a lot of students are bothered by learning multiplication tables by heart, in particular when it comes to numbers greater than 10. Why should one learn (or not learn) these things by heart?
13
votes
1answer
175 views

Teaching functions/mappings early

Functions and mappings are usually introduced late in the curriculum, and functions of arity two or more are considered "advanced" (many don't even see them before college). On the other hand, the ...
15
votes
1answer
150 views

How do online practicing websites decide how much practice / repetition is 'enough'?

I've worked with a few online programs that present students with drills / exercises / etc. for a period of time before deciding that they've 'done enough' for the day (e.g. Reflex Math). How do these ...
14
votes
3answers
245 views

According to Common Core standards, what math skills are beginning Kindergarteners supposed to have?

I remember looking once at what chikdren in Kindergarten were expected to know, and it was quite a bit. I have a young son, and would like to know: What is a Kindergartener expected to know about ...

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