TNDOT 5: The Party of the First Part

This multi-TNDOT is a little different, not as high a level or as old school as the previous ones, but the questions still seem pretty wild. We haven’t thought about the questions at any length, but conceivably they could also be used to challenge/tease younger students.

The TNDOT consists of two questions, each with two parts, from the 1911 Victorian Pass Algebra Matric exam. The exam paper instructed students to answer only one part from each question but we run a tough blog here and all readers are expected to answer all questions. As usual, commenters might refrain from posting answers too quickly, so that other readers have a chance to have a go. Have fun. Continue reading “TNDOT 5: The Party of the First Part”

TNDOT 3: The Remainders of the Day

Here’s a third entry in our Teaching New Dogs Old Trigs Tricks series: the first three questions from the 1907 Victorian Matric Algebra exam.* As well as the computational aspects, readers might be interested in contemplating what was expected for the proof parts, as well as how one might fruitfully present such results to students now, a century later.

*) TNDOT 2 is also in the process of being updated. Stay tuned.

Continue reading “TNDOT 3: The Remainders of the Day”

Bernie’s Valiant Effort

As some relief from the heavy lunacy of the AMT debacle, here is a light little story, a lead-in to a second little story to come soon. A couple weeks ago, we were contacted by Simon the Likeable, asking if we had any “old (or new) texts” containing an introduction to matrices suitable for not-so-strong Year 10 students. Simon wanted to avoid using the school’s current Year 11 text, which the students would use next year, but also his inclination was to use an older text. Continue reading “Bernie’s Valiant Effort”

Goin’ Back to Dallas, Texas

This post is about Dallas, which, it must be noted, is one of the most sterile, soulless cities in existence. As such, it is obligatory to begin with the excellent Dallas, Texas performed by the very excellent Austin Lounge Lizards:

On with the post.

We had thought of writing further on California’s recent foot shooting, of screwing up mathematics for everyone in the name of equity. And then came the story of Cambridge, Massachusetts schools killing off early algebra for everyone in the name of equity. But it is all so painfully stupid, and familiar, nothing much needs to be said; yelling “Harrison Bergeron” pretty much covers it. While reading about all this stupidity, however, we came upon a report suggesting that Dallas was doing it right, or at least a hell of a lot righter. Continue reading “Goin’ Back to Dallas, Texas”

Yes More Mr. Nice Guy: Tom Peachey’s New Blog

On occasion, I get objections to the nastiness of this blog: “Why can’t you be nicer?”, and so forth. The answer is that I can’t because I can’t: my blog is fuelled by my disgust and anger at the perversion of mathematics education, and of education in general, and of our entire culture. That’s the way it is. But there is a solution: have someone else be nice for me. Continue reading “Yes More Mr. Nice Guy: Tom Peachey’s New Blog”

New Cur 5: Non-Reoccuring Decimals

Last year, we held a competition: What Are the Arguments FOR the Draft Mathematics Curriculum. The winner was officially no one, partly because everyone was too cynical to take the competition seriously, and partly because everyone’s cynicism was very largely justified. Still, we decided to declare John Friend the winner, for his suggestion in a different competition. John’s suggestion was an elaboration from Year 8 Number:

investigating the use of pronumerals to represent recurring decimals as their equivalent fractions, for example, let \color{RawSienna}\boldsymbol{x = 0.\bar7} then \color{RawSienna}\boldsymbol{x = 0.77777..} and \color{RawSienna}\boldsymbol{10x = 7.77777...} therefore  \color{RawSienna}\boldsymbol{10x \mbox{ \bf - } x = 7} and 9x = 7 so \color{RawSienna}\boldsymbol{x = \frac79} (old AC9M8N03)

This elaboration has been removed for the approved curriculum.

Continue reading “New Cur 5: Non-Reoccuring Decimals”

New Cur 4: Golden Moments

ACARA’s draft mathematics curriculum contained innumerable head-slappers, including the following content and elaboration from Year 8 Number (which we posted upon here):

recognise and investigate irrational numbers in applied contexts including certain square roots and π (old AC9M8N01)

investigate the Golden ratio as applied to art, flowers (seeds) and architecture

That has changed. In its stead, ACARA’s approved Curriculum has
Continue reading “New Cur 4: Golden Moments”