Monthly Archives: May 2012

Scientific method

(Image credit: Jack Amick)   When many people think of science, they think of the tools of science, much like the photo of a traditional science lab above shows. They think of beakers, and hypotheses, and labs, and think that this is science. Playing with the tools of scientists does not make one a scientist, […]

Toxins in schools

(Image credit: Schockwellenreiter) It occured to me today that schools spend an enormous amount of effort to ensure that they are free of toxins for students. We ban common allergens from the school that are life-threatening for some students (like peanuts) and we build our schools so they do not contain asbestos insulation or lead […]

Paulo Freire reflects on his life

Interview from 1996 World Conference on Literacy, organized by the International Literacy Institute, Philadelphia, USA.   I watched this interview of Paulo Freire, and I thought what he had to share is so important that I took the time to transcribe the interview, which you can read below.  A conversation with Paulo Freire "If you […]

Teaching probability

My colleague found an activity to do with his 5th grade class, similar to this one. Basically, he gave the students 10 coins each, and asked them to put the 10 coins on a number line (with numbers from 1 to 12) with a partner. Each round they roll 2 six-sided dice, find the total, […]

PISA results from 2000 to 2009 for Canada

I noticed through this blog, that the CBC had published the PISA results for Manitoba (released as charts) for 2000, 2003, 2006, and 2009. I wanted to verify the results they had posted, especially the mathematics data, so I went and looked up the data for myself on the Stats Canada website (which you can […]

Culture and counting

Not convinced that there are cultural nuances in how we understand and define math? Watch the following short video (see http://www.culturecognition.com/ for the source) in which a child explains the number system his culture uses to another child.     There are other areas in which we understand mathematical concepts differently depending on our culture. For example, […]

We didn’t do any math yesterday

  Yesterday, I was covering a colleague’s math class at the last minute, and he had made photocopies of a chapter 1 to 7 review. I looked at the review sheets, and the grade 10 students in front of me, and decided that it was unlikely that the review sheets were going to be useful. […]

Interesting ways to use Google Apps in the math classroom

I just found this presentation from more than a year ago on some interesting ways to use Google Apps in a mathematics classroom. I noticed that it had been edited slightly, so I did some more edits and thought I would share it here. You can help edit and curate it here. I could imagine […]

On motivating mathematics education

Here is a funny comic from the Fake Science blog.   The problem is, there is a kernel of truth in this satirical comic. Given most problems we will encounter in life, we would use a ruler to find the third side of a triangle. Obviously I think that there are good reasons to learn […]

Unidirectional instructional mediums

  Derek Muller has done research on the effectiveness of science videos. To summarize his research in brief – when you present only the correct information in a science video without the possible misconceptions that students may have, students learn less (but feel better about the experience) than if you present information in a science […]