Questions tagged [secondary-education]

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

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27
votes
15answers
4k views

How do I teach algebra?

I find that soon I'll be working with high school students that are struggling with math. In particular, we'll be talking a lot about algebra and some basic trigonometry. The latter I have experience ...
25
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9answers
2k views

Teaching students to find and correct their own errors

Many students have a fairly good grasp of the topics they are learning but fall down because they miss fatal errors in their work. Some don't check for errors at all, while many simply can't find them....
50
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14answers
11k views

How can we help students learn how to read their textbook?

In most secondary and early undergraduate courses, students purchase expensive and carefully-written textbooks. These textbooks contain, roughly, three things: Exercises and Answers Reference ...
13
votes
4answers
753 views

Wiggins' question #12

There's an interesting read: Conceptual Understanding in Mathematics by Grant Wiggins. In that text the author proposes "a test for conceptual understanding" which should be given "to 10th, 11th, and ...
37
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5answers
2k views

Effects of early study of advanced books

Context: There was recently a question on Math.SE: Inferior to Other Younger and Brighter Kids which starts as follows: I'm a high school student (Junior/Grade 11) and I'm currently studying ...
13
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7answers
850 views

Where do you find math tasks?

What the title says. I got my degree in math last year and now I'm working on a master's independent study project through my education department finding math tasks for K-12 curriculum aligned with ...
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 ...
22
votes
3answers
8k views

Why aren't logarithms introduced earlier?

I've always been puzzled by the unequal treatments of square roots and logarithms in school mathematics. In the United States, most students know what a square root is before they enter high school (...
16
votes
11answers
2k views

Factoring quadratics where the coefficient on the $x^2$ term does not equal 1

so we are working through various methods of factoring quadratic equations and the students seem comfortable factoring basic quadratics such as: $$x^2 - 7x + 12 = 0$$ by finding the factors of $12$ ...
11
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7answers
2k views

How can you be perfect at maths (highschool)?

I'm in my last year of highschool. And I'm aiming for a perfect grade in maths. The problem is that this year is the hardest year of maths I have ever faced in my entire life. Especially derivation ...
93
votes
35answers
19k views

What female mathematician can I introduce to my High School students?

I enjoy talking about Pythagoras when I teach the Pythagorean theorem. I sometimes mention Descartes when introducing Cartesian coordinates. And Leibniz and Newton are mentioned in many calculus ...
9
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4answers
1k views

Secondary Geometry Curriculum Sequencing?

I am currently student teaching, and the main class that I am focusing on is a secondary geometry class. I am currently following my classroom mentors curriculum sequence which looks something like: ...
11
votes
2answers
719 views

Physical vs. Virtual manipulatives in the high school classroom

I notice that geometry students frequently have difficulty with representations of 3-dimensional objects in 2 dimensions. Today, we worked with physical manipulatives in order to help visualize where ...
11
votes
3answers
448 views

How to teach a student algebra who misses too much previous knowledge?

I am now tutoring a student in Grade 9, who falls behind in math study. He lacks the basic understanding of operations and inverse operations, and have trouble dealing with negative numbers and ...
42
votes
37answers
17k views

Real-world examples of more “obscure” geometric figures

As part of my secondary geometry class I like to hook students by presenting real-world examples (usually images I find online or have taken myself) of different geometric shapes from real life. For ...
23
votes
13answers
17k views

Ideas for high school pure maths projects

I am thinking of giving my high school students some pure maths projects to do. It is a lot easier to think of some interesting stats projects but not in pure maths. The students' maths background are ...
40
votes
14answers
16k views

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 ...
25
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9answers
7k views

How to justify teaching students to rationalize denominators?

I'm teaching an "intermediate algebra" college course ($\approx$ junior high school or beginning high school algebra) and we have a bunch of problems on rationalizing denominators. How do I motivate ...
28
votes
10answers
5k views

Is Euclid dead? or Should Euclidean geometry be taught to high school students?

Apparently Euclid died about 2,300 years ago (actually 2,288 to be more precise), but the title of the question refers to the rallying cry of Dieudonné, "A bas Euclide! Mort aux triangles!" (...
29
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5answers
3k views

What fraction of the population is incapable of learning algebra?

In the comment thread of this academia.SE question, the following generated some strong reactions: My very different (community-college) perspective is that the math discipline will end up as a ...
20
votes
9answers
2k views

The definition of natural log and e

I'm asking this question from the point of view of an introductory non-rigorous calculus instructor. Calculus textbooks have different approaches about how to define $e$ and $\ln$. For example, my ...
16
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4answers
2k views

Remedial students struggle with factoring $x^2+bx+c$ and $ax^2+bx+c$

Remedial students have seen quadratics before but, perhaps they don't elicit positive memories. The textbook (designed for people taking the course for the first time, not for remedial students) ...
16
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4answers
6k views

Worldwide collection of final examinations in mathematics

I am interested in comparing mathematics (and also physics) final examinations from all around the world for the highest secondary school qualification in the particular country. Especially I am ...
16
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8answers
2k views

How to teach Mathematical Induction mathematically?

I am exhausted of teaching Mathematical induction to my little brother. I have given him many examples, Domino effect, aligned shops of hot dogs etc and every time he says that he got it but when I ...
22
votes
8answers
692 views

Is it good to have solutions of homework published?

At a course at the university, the students have to do homeworks every week which will be graded and discussed in exercise groups. Is it a good idea to put "official" solutions of the homework on ...
20
votes
4answers
715 views

How to help motivate math when tutoring low level algebra (High school)

I was tutoring a student today and we were doing basic factoring of quadratics and expanding terms like $(x+2)(x+5)$. Now he ended up being able to do this by the end of our 2 and a half hour session, ...
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 ...
6
votes
3answers
502 views

Explaining how to study mathematics [closed]

Today on the process of explaining how to study Mathematics to my students, I said that Mathematics is just like a language. To learn a language, first we have to know its alphabet, grammar, ...
10
votes
1answer
320 views

How, now, shall we teach math online?

Now that everyone has had the experience of teaching math in an online/remote/synchronous/asynchronous format, and looking forward to more of this in the Summer and Fall terms, how do we change our ...
6
votes
3answers
278 views

Should one justify formulae in middle school?

Consider two possible lesson outlines: Check homework. Show a visual demonstration for the area of a circle, e.g. https://tube.geogebra.org/student/m279 Calculate the area of a circle as an example. ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Phrasing the Van Hiele levels in student-friendly language

I teach high school geometry and see many of my students fall in to the trap of "it looks like it, so it's true" -- a Van Hiele Level 0 to 1 thought process. For instance, when talking about parallel ...
4
votes
4answers
418 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 younger ...
0
votes
2answers
444 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 ...
72
votes
20answers
18k views

Impressive common misleading interpretations in statistics to make students aware of

Statistics are used everywhere; politicians, companies, etc. argue with the help of statistics. Since calculations are needed for the interpretation of statistics, such things should be taught in ...
28
votes
17answers
7k 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 ...
21
votes
9answers
3k views

“A computer program IS a proof”: Introducing rigor via programming

This provocative essay Igor Rivin. "Some Thoughts on the Teaching of Mathematics—Ten Years Later." Notices of the AMS, Jun/Jul 2014. (PDF download link). suggests that a discussion of Igor'...
24
votes
2answers
912 views

Student Poisoned Experience with Math

I’d like to start off with saying I am not a teacher so I don’t know how much of this is already trying to be addressed in math education throughout the world. In talking to and tutoring fellow ...
23
votes
7answers
3k views

A Non-Unique Factorization of Integers!

I'm going to introduce my students to the fundamental theorem of arithmetic (uniqueness of integer factorization to prime factors), and I don't want them to take the uniqueness for granted! To make my ...
20
votes
5answers
4k views

Real time interactive whiteboard for tutoring math

I have reposted this question on Software Recommendations. I'm looking for a web app for tutoring math remotely to high school and junior high kids that ideally has the following: Build in graphing. ...
22
votes
4answers
791 views

A Series of Unfortunate Examples!

All of us know, when teaching, the "right" choice of examples is important. Though, making the "right" choice is one of those things that are easier said than done. Here is the story of a series of ...
24
votes
6answers
952 views

How to present $\Bbb Z/n\Bbb Z$ to highschool level audience

I have the oportunity to talk to a highschool class about mathematics, the topic I got to present are the integers modulo $n$, ie, $\Bbb Z/n\Bbb Z$ , however I don't want to be very heavy and formal, ...
15
votes
1answer
742 views

Is there any evidence about the effectiveness of “table proofs” in pre-college mathematics education?

I remember when I took geometry in high school, like most students it's where I was formally introduced to proofs. However, the way we went about them was strange, it really felt like symbol ...
14
votes
6answers
216 views

Books/(auto)biographies/references on how mathematicians study/studied (as students)?

As Geoff Pointer commented: [...] As a composer I've learnt a lot from studying famous composers why wouldn't that also apply to studying maths and mathematicians of note as well? [...] Are there ...
11
votes
4answers
711 views

What does the research say about direct instruction vs. student centered approaches

I have heard contradicting views that both parties say are research based. Specifically, I am looking for research on which teaching methods (direct instruction or student centered approaches) are ...
28
votes
10answers
1k views

What are argument one can give to students on the definition $0^0$?

From high school to introduction courses in university, the expression $0^0$ is some (psychological) problems. High school students just apply it to their calculator and either the result is $1$ or ...
21
votes
10answers
4k views

Pi or Tau? How should the circle constant be taught?

Tau ($\tau = 2 \pi$) has more merits in its application, but pi is the established standard in industry and education. Is the trade-off of teach-ability of circle concepts worth the subsequent ...
9
votes
6answers
395 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Integrate Coding into the Geometry Curriculum

My supervisors want to see coding integrated into the ninth grade Geometry class. This class is mostly concerned with proofs--not too much algebra. These students know a decent amount of the visually ...
32
votes
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 ...
32
votes
8answers
7k 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 ...