Questions tagged [teaching]

The tag has no usage guidance.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
37
votes
13answers
18k views

Why do we teach complex numbers?

In algebra II, USA, we teach our students complex numbers. However, after algebra II, they never use complex numbers until pretty much complex analysis. The whole point of teaching them complex ...
35
votes
18answers
8k 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 ...
28
votes
10answers
8k views

How should a student's inefficient calculation be pointed out?

One time I watched a student solve the equation $0 = (x-2)^2-9$ for $x$ like this. $$\begin{align*} 0 &= (x-2)^2-9 \\0 &= (x^2-4x+4)-9 \\0 &= x^2-4x-5 \\0 &= (x+1)(x-...
20
votes
6answers
2k views

Teaching indefinite integrals that require special-casing

I encountered the following concern when teaching indefinite integrals. I believe that many of us may overlook this. May I be wrong? Let's consider the following example. Find the indefinite ...
16
votes
1answer
368 views

Addressing fundamental math errors

I am looking for ways I can correct fundamental math mistakes. I am currently tutoring someone taking a course which is a cross between first year calculus and grade 12 functions. In high school he ...
15
votes
6answers
599 views

Is it a good idea to have one or two or three classes on basic logic before teaching $\varepsilon$-$\delta$ in Calculus?

I am teaching Calculus I and will be teaching it again. To me, the $\varepsilon$-$\delta$ definition of limit is one of the key ideas of Calculus; learning calculus without learning $\varepsilon$-$\...
15
votes
7answers
3k views

Students strictly follow the steps and notations in sample problems without understanding them

It's just an observation, but I'll be highly appreciated if anyone with experience in teaching (or TA-ing) lower-division calculus can explain this phenomenon in detail. I'm one of a TAs who's ...
15
votes
7answers
822 views

How should I introduce the concept of a function to a precalculus student?

My brother has not taken a math class in $10-15$ years. He is studying for the GRE so I have been teaching him a chapter or two from my precalculus book. So far, he has learned (and excelled at) basic ...
15
votes
6answers
886 views

What is a better way to explain these claims about limit are not true in general?

As a TA who led calculus* 1 and 2 discussion section and holds office hour** in the previous year, I heard the following (wrong) arguments several times. $\displaystyle \lim_{x\to \infty} \sqrt{x+1}-\...
14
votes
4answers
954 views

As a TA, how to reduce imprecise notations/statements in students' exams

I'm not a course instructor, just a TA of the first quarter calculus course who lead discussion sections and grade exams. When grading the midterm, I found large number of students showed some ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

Is it better to provide students with guided notes or to have them write their own notes, or both?

When I taught calculus, I posted my notes after the lecture. Then I had the students fill out a mid-quarter evaluation, and a lot of them wanted me to post my notes before class. What I started ...
13
votes
3answers
255 views

Repeating basic material in exercise class at university

I am a teaching assistant in mathematics at a university in Continental Europe. The course for which I am an assistant is a third year course, so usually the students are expected to know the basic ...
12
votes
16answers
6k views

How does one tutor an A-level student past the derivative paradox?

Background: I am new to this site, but have 1500 reputation on the main Maths Stack. I am (age-wise) a secondary student of maths, but for a very long time have been informally learning at home and ...
12
votes
6answers
724 views

teach that $\frac10$ not defined properly

there're some students, who belive that $$\frac10 = \infty $$ I need to teach them that this is not true and $\frac10 $ is undefined, mathematically and give a good picture (for their minds) what is ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

How to teach abstract algebra for the first time?

I am a Ph.D student in computer science. I am TAing one course this semester, which requires the basics of abstract algebra like rings, fields, ideals, and basic theorems about them. I have done two ...
12
votes
1answer
276 views

How can I be more prolific as a maths teacher with my visual handicap?

I have a chronic visual handicap and am in need of adequate level of accessibility support while learning and teaching mathematics from and to the visually challenged as well as the sighted. I'm ...
11
votes
4answers
647 views

What is most motivating way to introduce Fermat's Little Theorem

What is the best way to introduce Fermat’s Little Theorem (F$l$T) to students? What can I use as an opening paragraph which will motivate and have an impact on why students should learn this theorem ...
11
votes
4answers
221 views

What are the best places online where math educators can discuss their experience?

As a math teacher I often experiment new things (for instance non obvious ways to use technology in the classroom, or new ways to teach something), and I think it would be useful if I could share my ...
11
votes
1answer
923 views

How to denote angle?

I'm teaching mathematics on my free time for young pupils. Once I have seen that they denote angles like $\angle ABC$. But sometimes I have difficulties to understand whether they mean an angle or its ...
11
votes
4answers
852 views

Teaching algebra to visually impaired or blind students

I am currently writing an independent project investigating the teaching and learning of algebra for students with a visual impairment. I am struggling to find literature specifically about teaching ...
10
votes
6answers
3k views

Greatest common divisor applications

What are some real-life applications of gcd? I am looking for a motivating way of introducing this topic in an elementary number theory course.
10
votes
2answers
3k views

Why are all educational textbooks copyrighted? ©

I had an idea to improve education in my country with the help of textbooks by popular authors. I thought to publish videos on YouTube with comments and practical explanations about what the author ...
10
votes
1answer
3k views

Diagram of Methods to Solve Differential Equations

I am currently trying to build a flow chart to visualize all tests there are to tell whether an ordinary differential equation is solvable and how to solve it. This is for tutoring purposes. The ...
10
votes
3answers
438 views

How to teach Leibniz and Newton's notation

There has been many posts here and in MSE about different notations of differentiation. See for example this, this and this. However, those questions only deal with the common misunderstanding about ...
10
votes
2answers
476 views

Is there research to back up the claim that math classes help develop analytical skills?

When I teach math classes, one goal I have in mind is to help students develop the cluster of thinking skills usually called analytical skills or critical thinking skills. And I think that math ...
10
votes
2answers
277 views

How important is it to show students an application of the topics seen in an undergraduate course?

I am currently designing a proof-based Math course for my University. I already designed and ordered all of the theoretical content in the course and included some ad hoc exercises for practicing each ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

The Future of Worksheets - will they still be used or abandoned?

I run a German website for mathematics education. We produce lessons, each of which contains various kinds of media, such as an introduction, videos, wikis, software, worksheets, and online tests. We ...
9
votes
3answers
382 views

Integral calculus from the modern viewpoint

This is a soft question. What is the purpose of teaching techniques of integration at the college level? More specifically, in the sense of putting integration into practice, what value does ...
9
votes
1answer
732 views

How to (or should one) distinguish between lowercase and uppercase letters orally when lecturing?

I sometimes teach calculus in English whereas it's not my native language. For example, during a course about antiderivatives, how do you (orally) pronounce $f$ vs $F$? Which are the best? "the ...
9
votes
3answers
287 views

How to motivate students to do proofs?

I am finding it difficult to motivate students on why they should how to prove mathematical results. They learn them just to pass examinations but show no real interest or enthusiasm for this. How can ...
8
votes
4answers
297 views

Examples of informal explanations that cause misconceptions

Every good teacher knows that giving an informal explanation (that is, an explanation not based on strict definitions and maybe making use of metaphors, intuition, or everyday language) of a ...
8
votes
4answers
567 views

Elementary physics course for pure math student

Are there any mathematical departments which present the course "elementary physics" for pure math undergraduate students, separately? Is there a way to present this course with the most pure ...
8
votes
3answers
295 views

Is proof-based exercise-oriented math course without solution an effective way to teach pure math?

In recent years I have seen several courses in pure math in the undergrad level (year 2, 3, 4) such as real analysis and topology where the entire course consists of: notes written during the lecture ...
8
votes
1answer
869 views

Should $\varphi$ be monotone in the integration by substitution?

I'm trying to calculate $$\int_{\frac{-\pi}{2}}^{\frac{\pi}{2}}\sin t \cos^3 t\,dt$$ using integration by substitution $$\int_{\varphi([a;b])} f(x)dx=\int_{[a;b]} f\left(\varphi(t)\right)|\varphi'(t)|...
8
votes
2answers
249 views

How can I get a better result making math videos with a tablet?

First question in this stack. Here it goes: So, I had this 2 or 3 year old intuos tablet and I said why not? And started doing my own videos. I've been making my own videos for my students last couple ...
8
votes
1answer
180 views

How can I deal with the time pressure of teaching a short course?

I am an undergraduate applied math student. In about a month, I will be teaching two nine-hour math courses (one precalculus, one calculus) to a small group of motivated high school students. My broad ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Students understand during course but can't solve exam

I am teaching a math class where the students, most of them, tell me that they can understand the materials given by me during the course. I test them during the course too and they seem to get it. ...
7
votes
3answers
561 views

Graph theory teaching materials for young students

Does anyone have any good sources to teach upper primary so grade 7 students basics on graph theory? The only ones I can find are for like upper middle school and high school, and having trouble ...
7
votes
2answers
178 views

Should basic exercises be solved before formulas are introduced?

I was watching (as a fellow teacher) a lecture on arithmetic progression. It so happened that a formula was rapidly introduced and used. The formula was $a_i = a_1 + (i-1)r$ (I trust the terms ...
7
votes
3answers
210 views

References for graduate education

A search in Google returns lots of studies and thinkings about teaching in undergraduate schools. Could anybody come up with any research/references about teaching in graduate schools (graduate ...
6
votes
3answers
684 views

Is there a more intuitive way to solve combined rates of work problems?

I am helping my brother study for the GRE and we have come across some problems like this in my old precalculus textbook: 1) Karen and Betty have been hired to pain a house. Working together, they ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Why convert to sums of two squares?

Why bother writing a given integer as the sum of two squares? Does this have any practical application? Is there an introduction on a first year number theory course which would motivate students to ...
6
votes
3answers
421 views

How to introduce group theory to a general audience in 15 minutes?

How to introduce Group Theory to a general audience in 15 minutes? I know that it will be quite tough to introduce Groups to a general audience in such a short time. So what will be a good way to ...
6
votes
4answers
250 views

What are other strategies for a 7 year old for addition and subtraction besides counting fingers?

We recently received feedback from our 7 year old daugther's school teacher. One of the things mentioned was that our daughter still counts her fingers when she does addition and subtraction. The ...
6
votes
3answers
252 views

How to overcome the frustration in teaching and doing research at the same time

I understand that this website is designated particularly for teaching-related topics. However as many of us do agree that being a lecturer, we are supposed to run both teaching and research duties at ...
6
votes
0answers
82 views

Converting an Online Course Back to In-Person

As I wrap up my Spring semester online courses, I'm starting to think about next Fall when (hopefully) our university will return to full in-person classes. Because of COVID, over the last year I have ...
5
votes
3answers
372 views

L'Hopital's Rule: Why do we need it?

I'm preparing a design/teaching experiment for my Curriculum Design Course right now. I've decided to cover L'Hopital's rule with a student I've been working with for a year, so skill wise he's ready ...
5
votes
4answers
261 views

How to become a good teacher in the classroom when first starting to teach?

This semester is my first time to teach Calculus II in a classroom which contains around 25 students. (In fact, this is a discussion class.) I didn't have much experience about teaching. For instance, ...
5
votes
1answer
648 views

Is the current education system as bad as most critics and famous pure mathematicians try to convey? [closed]

Throughout elementary, middle and high school mathematics is quite merely about memorizing concepts and formulas, understanding the theorems (without their proofs) and applying acquired knowledge in ...
5
votes
3answers
289 views

How to teach to draw graphs of quadratic equations without knowing calculus?

In the country I'm living we learn how to draw the graph of quadratic equations such as $y=x^2$ or $y=x^2+5x+3$ before knowing calculus (in fact we don't even learn calculus until we begin the ...