Syntax Junkie
  • Member for 6 years, 5 months
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How can teachers warn students about common mistakes without causing the student to make the mistake?
Accepted answer
32 votes

This is a 100% subjective opinion, but it is based on teaching in various venues for close to 20 years (although none of that teaching was pure math). Also, my college calculus courses are close to ...

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Issues with "equals", where does this come from and how do I combat it?
15 votes

I can't add much more than what has been stated already. But I come from a programming background, so maybe this example may add a different perspective (or explain some problems interpreting equals ...

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When should a kid have memorized the multiplication table?
11 votes

I hope I can contribute an answer with a story. I failed one grading period in 3rd grade math because I stubbornly refused to memorize the multiplication tables. At that age I understood that ...

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How does a student learn to 'dig behind the scenes' or 'feel' math like a Fields Medallist?
10 votes

This question makes me think of the James Gleick quote on two kinds of genius: "There are two kinds of geniuses: the 'ordinary' and the 'magicians'. An ordinary genius is a fellow whom you and I ...

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How does a student learn to 'dig behind the scenes' or 'feel' math like a Fields Medallist?
7 votes

Take a look at this article: The roles of reification and reflective abstraction in the development of abstract thought: Transitions from arithmetic to algebra (Tracy Goodson-Espy, 1998) http://link....

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How to respond to “solve this equation” in a basic algebra class
6 votes

I was never a professional mathematician, and I am no longer a professional educator. I hope this answer isn't too far off the mark. I think the problem is the expression "solve the equation." I ...

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Why's math more complicated to understand than philosophy?
5 votes

I'm apologizing in advance for the subjective answer but I think a short story is the best way I can organize my thoughts around this. I started out in Medicine in the mid 1990's. But I was unhappy. ...

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Examples of Innumeracy
4 votes

I would check out some of the work of Edward Tufte (http://www.edwardtufte.com). His book The Visual Display of Quantitative Information is replete with examples of deliberate and accidental mis-use ...

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Students problems with reasoning, not exactly math
3 votes

There is a paradox here. Implication IS tricky. Part of the reason is it's REALLY HARD to avoid implicit assumptions in human scenarios. The only absolute way to avoid assumptions is to translate ...

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Inquiry about my note-taking skill
3 votes

What works for me may not work for you. But here goes with what worked well for me: I used the textbook as my notes. It had an index and was better written (and prettier!) than my handwriting. ...

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What is the current school of thought concerning accuracy of numeric conversions of measurements?
2 votes

You're both right, depending on the domain of discourse and the rules of engagement. In pure math, the traditional expectation is that the numbers given are exact unless stated otherwise, and answers ...

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Presenting ways to find a resultant force
1 votes

I hope this approach isn't too elementary for your question. I taught myself trig during the summer between my junior and senior year in high school, and developed the following approach. For the "...

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Moving lines in schematic diagrams
1 votes

I'm not 100% sure I understand the question, but here's my hunch. The base skill to be learned in moving lines within a diagram is two-fold: Learning to the see the graph of a function in your head, ...

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Explaining the phrase "in terms of"
1 votes

Your students may be wondering "What is the value added of the expression 'in terms of'." In the example you gave: Solve the following equation for y in terms of x: 2y+3x=1, you could just as easily ...

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Explaining the phrase "in terms of"
1 votes

I had similar problems with the phrase "such that" as taught in set-builder notation. Still--40 years later--I don't like the expression "such that." It's just not a phrase I would ever use ...

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