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## Whole Number Division with Semi-Concrete Base Ten Blocks

### § August 26th, 2011§ 4 Comments- Add yours§ Filed under Teaching Math, Technology in Education§ Tagged alternative algorithms, base ten blocks, division, division algorithms, Elevated Math, manipulatives, Maryscott Glasgow, place value, semi-concrete, teaching math, whole number operations, YouTube

Helping children develop conceptual understandings, making math learning relevant, and integrating discovery and skills-based learning are all important.

In the blog post The First Steps in Developing Conceptual Understanding of Place Value I shared my 2nd grade grandson’s experience in learning two and three digit addition and subtraction.  He had been learning to add and subtract digits without any understanding of place value, so I introduced the operations using non-proportional objects to teach re-grouping. § Read the rest of this entry…

## Relevance: Discovery, Skills-based, and Manipulatives

### § August 23rd, 2011§ 4 Comments- Add yours§ Filed under Teaching Math§ Tagged base ten blocks, discovery learning, manipulatives, Maryscott Glasgow, Relationships, Relevance, Rigor, skills-based learning, The 3 R's Framework, The International Center for Leadership in Education, University of Virginia, whole number division, William C. Lowery, YouTube

Recently I penned My Last Math Class and shared how I made math learning real for an unique group of students.  Following on its heels, I shared information on the 3 R’s —Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships— coined in 2010 by The International Center for Leadership in Education.

Now I want to expand this theme into another area of math education and discuss what is more meaningful and effective — discovery learning or skills-based learning.  Much material is available to fuel this debate, but I don’t lean towards one or the other.  I am quite comfortable with my seat on the fence, where I have a vantage point. § Read the rest of this entry…

## Can Salman Khan Teach Math?

### § July 27th, 2011§ 10 Comments- Add yours§ Filed under From the Elevated Math Team, Teaching Math§ Tagged Ben Rimes, David Wees, Elevated Math, Khan Academy, Lewis Hall, math, Pythagorean theorem, Salman Khan, teach, Will Richardson, YouTube

In the past few weeks I’ve been reading what others have been saying about Khan Academy and decided to watch some of the videos. Since I had forgotten about limits in calculus, I watched a video about that. I promptly fell asleep. His voice is pleasant enough, but I’m a visual person I need more stimulation than having a lesson scratched out on a blackboard. But I didn’t give up.  I tried a video where I knew the subject well. On Monday we ran a blog post on the Pythagorean Theorem so I decided to see what Khan had done on this subject. Here is Khan’s version where he proves the theorem.  And here is the Elevated Math version. (We just put this up on YouTube.) Khan’s proof takes around eight minutes while Elevated Math’s takes only a minute. You be the judge which is better. The big difference, besides the proof itself, is in production value.  Along with the one minute explanation Elevated Math has another 19 minutes of  instruction on right triangles, animated graphics, problem-solving, practice and immediate feedback.  The Khan video is free while the Elevated Math lesson costs less than the price of a Starbucks cup of coffee.

What I find interesting is Khan’s “flipped” classroom idea where he proposes that lectures are used as § Read the rest of this entry…

## Does It Take a ‘Th.D.’ to Understand the Pythagorean Theorem or Just an Internet Search?

### § July 25th, 2011§ 1 Comment- Add yours§ Filed under Teaching Math§ Tagged Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bing, Elevated Math Darth Vadar, Good Will Hunting, Google, Kindergarten Cop, Maryscott Glasgow, Matt Damon, problem solving, Pythagorean theorem, Scarecrow, Wizard of Oz, Yahoo, YouTube

“Back where I come from, we have universities, seats of great learning, where men go to become great thinkers.  And when they come out, they think deep thoughts and with no more brains than you have,” as stated by the Wizard from Oz in 1939.  According to him, a Th.D. diploma (Doctor of Thinkology) is all that is needed for Scarecrow to spout off the Pythagorean theorem (albeit his definition was slightly off).  I think my middle school math students would have supported the Wizard’s notion that it takes some kind of diploma to be able to understand the theorem and recite it, but that was before the days of the Internet.  Nowadays, anyone who has any  kind web-surfing device and web access can find a wealth of information about the theorem.  No diploma required!  Just do a Google, Yahoo or Bing search.

Newly posted on YouTube is an animated illustration and explanation of the theorem.  This is a short sequence from a lesson (M8.7) in the Elevated Math app. Another Elevated Math lesson (A18.4) uses the Pythagorean theorem in finding distance between two points. Elevated Math is in the App Store in iTunes.

In your Internet search you will find teaching videos that feature robotic teachers, boring lectures, great info with no people, waterwheels demonstrating the concept, Darth Vadar explaining the theorem,  and even § Read the rest of this entry…