Questions tagged [secondary-education]

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

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4
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2answers
81 views

How to define “axes with the same scale” in Secondary/High School?

It's easy to recognize visually when an orthogonal coordinate system has its axes in the same scale. See, for instance, the following image. But I'm trying to write down a precise definition of it. ...
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0answers
87 views

Should teaching how to write a formal proof be a part of a standard mathematics education? [closed]

There is good reason for teaching how to write a formal proof as part of a standard mathematics education. Mathematicians think that the logic of the proofs they write is completely obvious, but our ...
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2answers
95 views

Topics for undergraduate seminar for mathematics educators

There are some general questions about potential topics for undergraduate seminars: topics for an undergraduate Math seminar Undergraduate Math Seminar topic I am looking for topics for a 15-hour ...
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2answers
122 views

Should we stop using traditional compass in schools & start/encourage adopting compasses like “Slide N Measure” or “Safe-T” compasses instead?

I think using the traditional compass with those styluses that can literally be used to hurt or accidentally hurt someone are very dangerous. Most people don't use these in day-to-day life anyways, ...
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2answers
141 views

2D drawings of 3D objects in printed school textbooks: orthogonal or perspective?

There is a tradition in the use of orthogonal projections to represent 3D objects in printed school math textbooks. On the other hand, perspective projections represent better the way as we "see" real ...
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4answers
167 views

About the effectiveness of self-studying maths (compared with other subjects)

An important feature of mathematics is that it is relatively easy (compare to many other subjects) to know whether or not one's understanding is correct. There are plenty of ways to check: one can ...
7
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3answers
172 views

Evaluating textbooks in math and physics

I’m currently interested in textbooks, especially the ones in math and physics that are used at the high school, undergraduate and graduate levels and, given the experience of the people on this ...
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5answers
2k views

What are strategies for teaching that the altitude of a right triangle creates two similar triangles?

If you draw the altitude to the right triangle as shown, it is easily seen that $$\triangle KLM\sim\triangle KNL\sim\triangle LNM.$$ This in turn leads to several interesting proportional relations ...
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4answers
426 views

How should I convince a student who proved $1=-1$

One of my high school students who has ZERO knowledge on complex numbers and the modulus function has showed me the following algebra: $$(16)^{\frac{1}{2}}=(16)^{\frac{2}{4}}=((16)^2)^{\frac{1}{4}}=...
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2answers
120 views

I find high school math very hard compared to middle school? [closed]

i hope i can get some help on how to get better at high school maths i find them very difficult compared to middle school. Whats the big difference so i can work on it ?
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4answers
180 views

Has the equation $\log(x-10)=3+\log(x-3)$ a *substitutable* solution in $\mathbb{R}$?

Could we say it has one when substituting the $x$ value into the original equation? Obviously, to solve the trascendental equation one has to operate the two terms with logarithms, reducing the ...
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1answer
49 views

On a special degenerate conic

I have a question on MSE that maybe can be better posed here. The question is about degenerate conics, and especially the case of two parallel lines, as in the equation $ 𝑥^2+2𝑥𝑦+𝑦^2=1$. ...
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14answers
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Why is learning mathematics compulsory?

In most education systems, Mathematics is a compulsory subject from primary school all the way to the start of university. A common reason given is that essential concepts like addition and ...
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16answers
6k views

How do I show students the Beauty of Mathematics?

I teach many high school students, and all of them complain about being unable to fully understand mathematical concepts. I try to show them the joy of learning and deepen their understanding through ...
5
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5answers
274 views

How to intuitively understand how the trig ratios are calculated

I've asked a question on Math Stack Exchange, but it was suggested it might be a better idea to post it on this Educators instead. Here's the question link: https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/...
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2answers
135 views

Tips and References for a 15 days Course on Math

I'm going to participate in a course (as a teacher) where I'm suppose to teach high school math to high school students in about 15 days during the year. Each class has about 1 hour long. Now, I think ...
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6answers
2k views

Allowing nonstandard mathematical language and/or notation

How important is enforcing standard mathematical language and/or notation? Today, I was questioned by a writing instructor as to how vital it is to correct students when they explain something using ...
3
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2answers
161 views

Introducing quadric surfaces in high school

I am presenting an enrichment session on 3D geometry and quadric surfaces to able 15-year-old secondary school students. They know algebra but not calculus. They have learned about equations of ...
5
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4answers
225 views

What math courses should I take in order to become a secondary math educator?

Seeing as this is the math educator site, perhaps someone can help me out: I am looking to become a math teacher, but I am having a hard time figuring out which math courses I need to be taking. ...
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6answers
2k views

How much symbolic calculations before plugging in actual values?

My son is in high school (France, 2nde) and I was watching how he solves math exercices. This led me to the following question: when are students expected to plug in actual values in their ...
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4answers
1k views

Acceptability of creative questions in assessments

I am a math teacher and I have been for a decade now. One of the foundations of my philosophical approach to teaching has to do with Synthesis. For the purposes of this query, I consider Synthesis to ...
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6answers
5k views

Is short division taught these days and if not, why not?

tl;dr I'm interested in opinions on short division. Below I discuss my experience dealing with young children and long division versus short division. For those that don't know of it, wikiHow has a ...
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0answers
93 views

How to teach year 3 undergraduate courses to high school students?

I see on the webpage of a high school math summer program, SuMac, that they will cover some algebraic topology in a period of several weeks. And they covered every aspect of this subject, including ...
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3answers
457 views

Doing research projects when one's knowledge is limited: is it preferable?

In some universities, high schools, and summer programs, students are required to do their own research project in maths and write their own essays/research papers. At the same time, however, many ...
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7answers
2k views

Should we teach simple content quickly or slowly?

The title might be a bit not specific, so let me give an example. In China, Japan, Korea, etc, there is a type of problem about chickens (or crane, or anything with two legs) and rabbits (4 legs) in ...
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1answer
94 views

How to teach geometric patterns? [closed]

I would like to know how to teach geometric patterns in secondary school. I want to elaborate worksheets, which could include different kinds of strategies related to this topic. Are there resources ...
14
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8answers
2k views

How should I introduce the Chain Rule

I'm halfway through my first year of teaching AP Calculus to high school seniors. It's been going generally well, but I'm feeling like I really could have done better getting them into the Chain Rule....
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1answer
177 views

Equality as “makes” vs equality as “equals”

A problem I often encounter while introducing students to equations is that of changing the conceptual image of the equation symbol $=$ from "results to" to "is equal to". To be more precise: In the ...
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7answers
5k views

Learn university maths or train for high school competitions: which is better?

I sometimes see people arguing against concentrating too many resources in high school maths competition (such as IMO) training. Their reasons they give are usually the following: Competitions are a ...
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4answers
1k views

Co-curricular lessons between geometry and chemistry?

My school is hyped about the promise of co-curricular education and they are giving the math and science teachers paid days off to develop lesson plans that synergize our learning goals. I'm on ...
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4answers
591 views

Favorite secondary math manipulatives?

I read this is the mathematics educators stack exchange so hopefully this is the right place for this question. I was curious what is your favorite math toys, manipulatives, math games, or tools to ...
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5answers
912 views

Teaching a student who refuses to learn

How to deal with a student who refuses to learn? I've met a few of those over the years as a a private-class math teacher. They don't want to learn anything about the subject. Some of them are just ...
4
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1answer
82 views

In preparation for exams: question bank or questions with omitted particulars?

I have been doing a little bit of experimenting when it comes time to review with the class in preparation for the final exam. The last handout I have been giving my students has usually been a ...
17
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8answers
5k views

Prisoner's dilemma formulation for children

I am preparing an introductory course on Game Theory for children (between 10 and 17 years old). In the course description, I want to include a prisoner's dilemma in order to catch children's ...
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22answers
6k views

Quote to show students don't have to fear making mistakes

I have some high school students which seem to be afraid of making mistakes. They are hesitant to make exercises in class because they want their course notes to be super clean, without any mistakes. ...
2
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2answers
216 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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5answers
471 views

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

Have there been any major content (not pedagogical) 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 ...
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7answers
315 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 ...
8
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1answer
547 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)...
8
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1answer
203 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
437 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 ...
3
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1answer
103 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
260 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
174 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" ...
8
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1answer
196 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
259 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
123 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 ...
2
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1answer
109 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 ...
6
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2answers
142 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 ...
6
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2answers
169 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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