Questions tagged [secondary-education]

For questions about teaching mathematics in secondary education (in most countries approx. ages 10-18).

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1answer
61 views

High school maths textbook for talented students

I am looking for a math textbook. I'm 15 and I'd like to complete algebra 2 geometry and perhaps something about probability/ number theory or trigonometry would be nice too. Later I wanna do ...
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3answers
188 views

Would a 1990's educated person need additional content knowledge to tutor high school mathematics today?

Have there been any major content (not pedagogy) changes in the basic US high school mathematics curriculum since the mid-1990's? More specifically, if I wanted to become a tutor of high school math ...
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7answers
196 views

How to show $3(\log_2 n)^5 < \sqrt{n}$

I am teaching final year high school students and needed to persuade them of the following fact: There exists an $n_0 > 0$ such that for all $n>n_0$, $$3(\log_2 n)^5 < \sqrt{n}$$ Plotting ...
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1answer
423 views

An alternative to “two column” geometry proofs

I'm a high school teacher in New York State (US), starting in on my first year of teaching Geometry. One of the things that really intrigues me is that the Regents exam (the state-mandated final exam)...
7
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1answer
184 views

When (and why) did geometric means of more than two numbers exit the secondary curriculum?

In contemporary US secondary mathematics textbooks, geometric means occasionally make a brief appearance. For example: In Geometry, students learn that when an altitude is dropped to the hypotenuse ...
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4answers
364 views

Why is absolute value difficult?

My understanding is that students find absolute value to be challenging to learn or understand. Off the top of my head, I can come up with two possible reasons for this. Absolute value is a piecewise ...
2
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1answer
96 views

Entry Test for Statistical/Data Science class

If there is a Data Science class (for final year high school students, not necessarily from the same school) with the following syllabus: Python programming (first 3 meetings) Data cleaning and ...
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4answers
233 views

Inefficient methods

I see many teachers use slow methods to solve a given problem where there's another faster methods that doesn't demand much more effort. I'm not looking for mistakes like saying that $a$ is the slope ...
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2answers
158 views

Interpretation of how to define “bigger” and “smaller” real numbers

This is a variant on the question small real numbers. I have a disagreement with someone about the meaning of "bigger" real numbers. Say we have the real number $-1.$ Is $0$ "bigger" or "smaller" ...
7
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1answer
186 views

Scientific results on the usefulness of physical units in secondary education?

When we encounter "real world problems" in math, one can chose different levels of detail with regard to units: from leaving them out completely up to using them everywhere. I'd argue that both ...
3
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6answers
252 views

What is an interesting high-school level topic to discuss using Mathematica or Geogebra?

I have to choose a topic to give a presentation. The topic should be high-school level or at most Linear Algebra 1 and Calculus 1. Conics and polygons in the Euclidean geometry are some fine topics ...
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1answer
99 views

How to formulate this type of arcsin problem?

Reading and commenting on What are some common ways students get confused about finding an inverse of a function? I was kindly set straight that the use of $\sin^{^{-1}}(x)$ to mean $\arcsin(x)$ has ...
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1answer
96 views

Explicit Cross Method

When factoring quadratic expressions $ax^2+bx+c$ it is common to the guess and check factors (AKA the cross method). This would involve factoring $a$ and $c$ and considering particular combinations ...
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2answers
120 views

Curriculum for Advanced 6th Graders

Next year I volunteered to lead the math class for a group of 6th graders (ages 11 - 12). Here are the pertinent details: About 5 - 8 (U.S.) students, for about 45 minutes, 3 days a week (they'll ...
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2answers
155 views

What are some tips for framing a graph in the most readable, relevant, and aesthetic way, for secondary education mathematics?

When I say "framing," I mean things like choosing zoom, x-axis/y-axis step, horizontal/vertical shift from the origin, choosing how/when to number steps, labeling axes, as well as, purely aesthetic ...
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0answers
173 views

why don't we do labs in/for math?

(this is in the US and at a high school level) why don't we dedicate a day of the week each week to do a lab for math for exploration? I mean we already do that for Earth Science, Physics, Chemistry ...
5
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3answers
221 views

Complex numbers and encourage justification

In remedial algebra, we learn that the graph of $y=(\sqrt x)^2$ is only in the first quadrant. We know this is the correct graph for the equation. This is because we know $y=x$ and $x \ge 0$. However,...
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1answer
147 views

Integrated math curriculum in different countries

One of the selling points of re-hashed American 1990s high school math programs is that they are "integrated", that is, combine algebra, geometry, statistics, trigonometry just like the European ...
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4answers
337 views

Why do standard geometry textbooks not start with trigonometry?

Throughout my geometry course, I was given many theorems and postulates, which I was were expected to memorize and apply. At the time, I sorta went along with it, but I couldn’t help but wonder where ...
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6answers
262 views

Book recommendations on mathematics education focusing on geometry

I will be teaching Euclidean geometry to future teachers, and I am feeling a bit lost (I know geometry, but I am not that familiar with mathematics education). Is there some recent (as concise as ...
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2answers
118 views

Mathematics Research at Secondary Level (High school Level)

I am a future teacher and am interested in incorporating a mathematics research unit where my students do their own research on an unsolved problem. I have a couple ideas on problems, but am ...
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3answers
107 views

How can I measure the mathematical computation skills of high school students through a test?

How to analyze the level of difficulty of mathematical computation of a problem on a standard mathematical test designed for high school students? I mean how to choose some indices that can reflect ...
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4answers
300 views

How to deal with students who object to me teaching material that won't be in the exam?

I sometimes encounter students who ask questions like 'Why are we learning this if it won't be on the exam?' If there is time to spare I like to teach interesting applications or natural extensions of ...
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2answers
158 views

How can I help a student who is constantly struggling in an honors Algebra II (high school) class

I am tutoring a student who is in an honors Algebra II class. The class is definitely advanced and the student hasn't been exposed to this kind of material. The teacher is going beyond algebra II and ...
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3answers
311 views

The royal road to calculus

In the early 1900s Felix Klein lay out his vision for secondary mathematics curriculum. He wanted schools to teach calculus, so that universities would not be burdened by it. And at the core of the ...
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2answers
259 views

Mainstreaming math student

I'm working one-on-one with a student who is part of a sponsored refugee family. He's bright and a good learner, but has had a lot of interruptions to his education. No indication of any learning ...
5
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0answers
214 views

Teaching methods to make a weak student good at math? (particularly student from social science background)

I am currently teaching a high-school student, 1st grade Social Science. He is weak in mathematics. My initial strategy was to explain basic concept but with high repetitions, so that he can have a ...
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3answers
5k views

Difference between high school and college calculus courses

I am curious why students who take calculus in high school often do so poorly in college calculus. I am an instructor at an engineering college and I've noticed a decent number of students who have ...
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1answer
91 views

Making modular arithmetic interesting for school kids

This is a pattern even school kids could discover (when gently pointed to). I never did conciously, and cannot remember to have been pointed to explicitly, neither at school nor later: $$\color{red}{\...
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2answers
173 views

Presenting ways to find a resultant force

To begin with I am working in a high school classroom where the students are working on the applications of vectors. The beginning of the lesson is about calculating direction and magnitude of vectors ...
3
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0answers
132 views

How to explain angle hunting to students

$I$ is a point of the circle of diameter $JK$. The perpendicular bisector of $JK$ cut the semi-circle not containing $I$ at $M$. Let $N$ and $P$ be the orthogonal projections of $M$ on $IJ$ and $IP$. ...
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4answers
526 views

Is the constant term a coefficient?

I'm a baby boomer who was taught that the constant term of a polynomial is a coefficient, being the constant factor for the x^0 term. That's not what's taught today. Current text books are vague on ...
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7answers
562 views

List of realistic extremum problems

I am a student who would like to become a teacher, so I am currently following courses in education. One of the things I learned, is that students like authentic, realistic problems. However, much of ...
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1answer
95 views

UK Secondary School - how advanced (or not) is level 5-8?

My son has just finished his first half-term at secondary school (year 7). I have just received an email saying that the school has set him in a maths class based on current and previous results, and ...
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2answers
367 views

Integrating derivatives over functions problem

I had a question from a student which I'm unable to answer. We were practicing the rule $\int \frac{f'(x)}{f(x)} \, dx=\ln(f(x))$. A student noticed that if applied naively it gives the following ...
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0answers
60 views

When to use row or column vectors in points and translations

A course that my kids are doing in conic sections insists that all positions are represented as standard 2D cartesian coordinates $(x,y)$ (i.e. row vectors), and all translations are written as 2D ...
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5answers
900 views

'Low-algebra' examples of induction

What are good examples of proofs by induction that are relatively low on algebra? Examples might include simple results about graphs. My aim is to help students get a sense of the logical form of an ...
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4answers
406 views

Is This Trick Helpful?

I am no professional educator; I am a student myself! But apparently I come up with useful tricks that help my younger brother do better in maths. I just want to hear your feedback, is all. My ...
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5answers
634 views

Motivation for polynomial long division

In the U.S. students in grades $\{9,10,11\}$ often learn long division of two polynomials, e.g.: $$ \frac{x^4 + 6x^2 + 2}{x^2 + 5} = x^2 + 1 - \frac{3}{x^2 + 5} \;. $$ I believe it is fair to say that ...
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6answers
1k views

Can undergraduate math courses be taught at a high school level? [closed]

Can these be taught at a high school level? multivariable calculus linear algebra abstract algebra real analysis complex analysis (non-measure theoretic) probability theory Maybe even other more ...
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0answers
183 views

What are teachers' expectations on private tutoring in secondary education?

By "tutoring", I mean when parents hire someone to help their child one-on-one. I am referring to secondary education. This "help" can take many forms, some of which are: Re-teaching concepts that ...
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2answers
337 views

Is AP Calculus AB really necessary?

High school student here... This coming school year I'm scheduled to start AP Calculus AB and then my school is looking into taking Multivariable Calculus at a local university. The school's calculus ...
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1answer
133 views

Books similar to “Teaching Developmentally”, but for high school math

I've been extremely excited by my reading of the book Elementary and Middle School Mathematics: Teaching Developmentally by Johan A. Van de Walle et al. Does anyone know of similar books (or other ...
1
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1answer
157 views

Evaluation and feedback using Optical Mark Recognition systems in secondary school

OMR in exit tickets I plan to use an OMR, Optical Mark Recognition systems at the end of (some of) my classes. I want to use the same OMR system for exit tickets scattered over the academic year (...
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4answers
278 views

Small 'new things' to confront talented high-schoolers with

Something my students* often struggle with is how to react on being confronted by 'new things', including functions, notation or definitions for which they are given sufficient definition but with ...
7
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6answers
367 views

Simple, elegant ways to teach the idea of what functions are for the first time

The context In my country, when the concept of function needs to be introduced in math classes, most teachers will simply talk about $f(x)=c$, $f(x)=ax+b$ and $f(x)=1/x$ (constant, linear and inverse ...
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0answers
66 views

Reference for study about good teachers in a US state

Several years ago I have read about a study in a US state where standard test scores were used to identify teachers whose students consistently improved far above the average and then film and analyse ...
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2answers
187 views

Why bother completing the square to find the minimum/maximum of a quadratic function?

Given a question like Find the coordinates of the minimum point on the curve $y=3x^2+2x+9$. students are often taught to solve this by completing the square. The class I am currently teaching ...
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0answers
112 views

Is there a simple rationale for learning “reference angle” I can give a 9th grader?

I'm helping a 9th grader review for his Algebra 2 Regents exam (New York State). They need to know how to find the "reference angle." (I did read Why teach reference angles?.) I haven't found a ...
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5answers
216 views

Why teach absolute mean deviation?

I was helping my niece (7th grade) with homework and one of the topics was the absolute mean deviation. It's basically the same thing as standard deviation except instead of squaring the difference ...