Tag Archives: math literacy\numeracy

Cultural Literacy: Algebra

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on algebra if you can use it.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Leonardo Pisano AKA Fibonacci

OK, math teachers, here is a reading on Fibonacci and its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

The Weekly Text, January 3, 2020

Let me begin by stipulating that where math teaching is concerned, I leave a lot to be desired.

So, several years ago, when I was tasked with developing a math and science literacy unit for struggling learners, I had little time and few ideas, so I began planning one of my standard literacy units. Fortunately I had a couple of colleagues to coach me on some of the actual math work (and thanks to Nate Bonheimer and Jeremy Krevat for this). I’ve been posting lessons from this unit as I’ve gone along.

This week’s Text, therefore, is this lesson on the concept of solving problems. This lesson begins with this extended context clues worksheet on the verb solve (it’s used both intransitively and transitively) and the noun solution. These definitions of solve and solution can serve either as the teacher’s copy or as a learning support. This problem set and comprehension questions serves as the second piece of work for students. Here is one version of the answer key and here is another. Finally, here is the answer-key template if you decide to develop this lesson further and need it.

Let me end where I began: I am not a particularly deft math teacher, so this is not, by this blog’s standards, a superior piece of work. However, it may well work as a framework for a number of lessons on understanding the lexicon we use with mathematics.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Golden Section

Golden Section: (golden mean) A geometrical proportion known at least since Euclid and regarded as a universal law of the harmony of proportions in both art and nature. The common formula is: to divide a finite line so that the shorter part is to the longer part as the longer part is to the whole.”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.

3 Parts of an Atom

“Proton (positive) * Neutron (neutral) * Electron (negative)

The proton is stuck like a plumb pudding together with its neutron partners, wround which whiz the much smaller electron particles, within a space known as the electron cloud. This whole mysterious building block of life is held together by the power of electromagnetism to form atoms, which are listed in all their wonderful variety in that evocative list known as the Periodic Table of Elements.

Democritus, who brilliantly analyzed that the entire universe was ‘all in flux’ back in the fifth century BC, was the first to speculate about an atom–though our focus on the essential building block of life has somewhat shifted back a bit, since we have learned that quarks like beneath the surface of both protons and neutrons.”

Excerpted from: Rogerson, Barnaby. Rogerson’s Book of Numbers: The Culture of Numbers–from 1,001 Nights to the Seven Wonders of the World. New York: Picador, 2013.

The 2 Things Game

“[1] People love to play the Two Things game, but rarely agree about what the two things are. [2] That goes double for anyone who works with computers.

A few years ago, Glen Whitman was chatting with a stranger in a California bar. When he confessed to this stranger that he taught economics, the drinker replied without so much as a pause for breath, ‘So what are the Two Things about economics? You know, for every subject there are really only two things you really need to know. Everything else is the application of those two things, or just not important.’ ‘Okay,’ said the professor, ‘One: Incentives matter. Two: There’s no such thing as a free lunch.’

Inspired, Glenn started playing the Two Things Game and recording some of the results on a web page (Google ‘Whitman’ and ‘Two Things’ and you’ll get there). But it’s more fun to try it for yourself–and especially good if you find yourself at a dinner next to a self-important professional. Here are some of the best of Whitman’s:

Finance: [1] Buy low. [2] Sell high.

Medicine: [1] Do no harm. [2] To do any good, you must risk doing harm.

Journalism: [1] There is no such thing as objectivity. [2] The end of the story is created by your deadline.

Theatre: [1] Remember your lines. [2] Don’t run into the furniture or fall off the stage.

Physics: [1] Energy is conserved. [2] Photons (and everything else) behave like both waves and particles.

Religion: [1] Aspire to love an unknowable god. [2] Do this by trying to love your neighbour as much as yourself.”

Excerpted from: Rogerson, Barnaby. Rogerson’s Book of Numbers: The Culture of Numbers–from 1,001 Nights to the Seven Wonders of the World. New York: Picador, 2013.

The Weekly Text, November 22, 2019

Alright, I’m reaching the end of today’s burst of publishing. This week’s Text is a series of four context clues worksheets starting with the noun symmetry and continuing with the noun asymmetry, then the adjectives symmetrical and aysmmetrical. These are heavily used words in a variety of learning domains; students really ought to know them, which is why they merit their own Weekly Text. Put another way, the concepts these words represent cut across fields of knowledge to such an extent that these words are quintessential to learning itself.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.