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Questions tagged [secondary-education]

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

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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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Why are students taught to take notes in class in secondary school? [on hold]

It's been more than 10 years since I finished high school and at that time, I was taught to take notes during class so I'm assuming a lot of secondary schools are still teaching students to do that ...
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1answer
125 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
221 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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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
103 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
101 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
288 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
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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
287 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
192 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 ...
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0answers
202 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
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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
87 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
161 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 ...
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0answers
126 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
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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
524 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
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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
356 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
888 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
392 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
444 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
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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
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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
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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
126 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 ...
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1answer
144 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
274 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 ...
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6answers
344 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
63 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
172 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
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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
203 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 ...
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2answers
363 views

Middle / High School Math Teachers and LaTeX

All of the middle and high school math educators I´ve encountered choose not to use LaTeX in preparing their documents or presentations. I would assume that most of them had to use the program in the ...
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0answers
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How to introduce trigonometric ratios (HS) through a cognitive model?

I'm teaching a precalculus course and also taking a class on how to teach mathematics constructing a specific cognitive model for different topics. So, I have this assignment to build a cognitive ...
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1answer
172 views

Calculus via a constructivist approach

A high-school teacher in the US whom I know, is teaching AP AB Calculus for the first time. He would like to use a constructivist approach: students explore mathematical problems and ideas and then,...
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1answer
122 views

How can I introduce a speech about the Fibonacci sequence creativiely?

I am a high school senior student. Soon, I am giving a presentation about the Fibonacci sequence and I am searching for a creative way to start my speech. I was wondering whether someone in this ...
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2answers
185 views

Experiences with Venn diagrams as didactic tool for factors, GCD, LCM?

Venn diagrams have got to infiltrate the modern curricula as a way to explain probability theory, discussing sets of events. Not surprising, and we can say that they never left us really in topology ...
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4answers
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How can I help a student who has a “wrong” kind of enthusiasm?

Alice (not real name) is a student in one of my Math 100 (calculus) classes. It's a course offered by my college as a dual credit course at a high school, so the whole class is about 17/18 years old, ...
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0answers
101 views

Why does result depend on procedure in my calculation of surface area using Guldin? [closed]

At present, I teach Guldin's rules for surface and volume of rotation, and give an example task from the textbook. The textbook uses procedure 1 (below) for calculation (below), but I advocate that ...
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4answers
271 views

Teaching congruent triangles non-rigorously

I've just started teaching congruent triangles to a class of 14/15 year olds in the UK. All that they are required to know for the purpose of national exams here is that two triangles are congruent if ...
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3answers
342 views

How to Teach Middle School Students to Read Square Roots?

This exact quote from my standard American Algebra 1 textbook states when first introducing rational square roots: $\sqrt{49} = 7$ is read "The positive square root of $49$ equals $7$." $-\...
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0answers
203 views

implication vs equivalence when solving equations

I remember we were taught in high school (Eastern Europe) the difference between implication ($\Rightarrow$) and equivalence ($\Leftrightarrow$) and were instructed, when solving equations to be ...
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3answers
175 views

Introducing an axiomatic method to high-school students

As well as mathematics I teach IB Theory of Knowledge, which includes mathematics as an area of knowledge. The class are mainly not students with a maths focus, although they all study at least some ...
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8answers
6k views

Helping students who make no effort to figure things out for themselves

When I was a student, it was very much frowned upon to ask for help without making an effort, like how math.stackexchange.com operates (for the most part). In the high school where I work, it is ...
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4answers
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Why is polynomial factorization over the integers part of secondary school curricula?

By "polynomial factorization over the integers", I mean problems and solutions like the following: Problem: Find a factorization into irreducible polynomials for $24x^2 +x - 10$ and ...
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3answers
450 views

The Way We Teach Square Roots

Recently I was watching this interview of Andrew Wiles where a secondary school teacher asked this question: How do you teach square roots? He doesn't answer the question so I'd like to ask it ...
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3answers
177 views

High School Math Course focused on Sports

I am an high school math teacher and want to develop a math course that is totally focused on sports. It would be a senior level course and would focus on the math and analytics of sports. I just ...