Tag Archives: math literacy\numeracy

A Learning Support on Equivalent Fractions

Wrapping up on a very productive Friday, here is a learning support on equivalent fractions if you can use it. I’m compiling an inventory of materials to teach kids who–like me–struggle with the subject. If you find these useful, be on the lookout for more in the next couple of weeks.

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.

A Glossary of Words Related to Decimals Math

Maybe you can use this basic glossary of fractions terms that I just whipped in preparation for teaching this material to my math class.

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.

Term of Art: Dyscalculia

“Dyscalculia: Impairment of the ability to do arithmetic.

[From Greek dys– bad or abnormal + Latin calculare to count, from calculus diminutive of calx a stone + ia indicating a condition or quality]”

Excerpted from: Colman, Andrew M., ed. Oxford Dictionary of Psychology. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.

A Glossary of Basic Fractions Terms

I’ve been assigned a math class this year; the domain in general is not one with which I did well as a student, so I am, needless to say, insecure about teaching it. I just whipped up this basic glossary of fractions terms–although I’m not sure now whether or not this is for my students or myself. In either case, this document contains all the basic terms students needs to know to understand the basic structure and nature of fractions.

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.

14 and Bach

“By giving each letter a number from its order in the alphabet you can deconstruct the name ‘Bach’ as follows: 2 for the B, 1 for the A, 3 for the C, 8 for the H—which makes 14. A pleasing mirror, or reversal, of this number can also be formed from ‘J.S. Bach’—which gives 41. This pseudo-science of substituting numbers for letters is known as gematria, (or abjad in Arabic) and has innumerable variations depending on whether or not you include vowels or which language you translate back to or transcribe into. It has often appealed to creative minds and may have been behind Bach’s playful manipulation of the number 14, achieved by itself (in the fourteen canons of the Goldberg Variations for instance) or in pairs of sevens that occur throughout his work.

Gematria is a very ancient tradition, particularly in the Near East, where it has often had official sanction, with poetic inscriptions commissioned by rulers to reveal the date of the publication of a book or the construction of a building. There are examples dating back to Sargon II of Assyria (in the eighth century BC). In the first century AD gematria became a recognized tool of Jewish hermeneutical scholarship and it was tradition respected by many of the Ottoman Sultans. It seems only to have taken root in the imagination of Western Europe, however, in the seventeenth century.”

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 City’s 12 Great Livery Companies

Mercers * Grocers * Drapers * Fishmongers * Goldsmiths * Merchant Taylors * Skinners * Haberdashers * Salters * Ironmongers * Vintners * Clothworkers

Medieval London was a free city that governed itself through the interconnections between its wards, its parishes, and the guilds that controlled the various aspects of trade. The twelve great livery companies are the richest and oldest of the guilds whose foundation charters (though often much older) can be securely dated to fourteenth-century documents. They were (and are) managed by a clerk but controlled by a Master, a number of wardens and a court of assistants elected by the liverymen and freemen of the company. Access is through patrimony (descent), servitude (apprenticeship to a guild member) or redemption (a fee).

Liverymen famously squabbled about order of precedence. It is said the origin of the phrase ‘being at sixes and sevens’ is the Skinner and Merchant Taylors’ dispute and eventual agreement to exchange being number 6 and 7 in the hierarchy.

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.

Year 1

“Our Western dating system–BC (Before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini–Year of Our Lord)–was conceived in the sixth century by a Romanian monk called Dionysius Exiguus, and came into widespread scholarly use after its adoption by the Anglo-Saxon historian the Venerable Bede. Prior to that, European historians dated years according to the Roman consul who held office in a given year.

Working in Rome, Dionysius declared that the current year was 525 AD, based on the birth of Christ taking place in the year 1 (there being not Western concept at the time of zero). Gospel historians later decided that Jesus was actually born a few years earlier, between 6 and 4 BC. Dionysius, it seems, may have wanted to disprove the idea that the end of the world would take place 500 years after the Birth of Jesus. That would have made it 6000 years after the creation, which was believed to have taken place 5500 years before Christ. Dionysius himself estimated, based on cosmological readings, that the end of the world would take place in 2000.

The CE/BCE (Common Era) designations, increasingly used to secularize history, are widely regarded as modern, politically correct innovations but were in fact introduced by Jewish historians in the mid-nineteenth century. But for those who might want an alternative, there are plenty of other dating systems. The Jews start their calendar in 3761 BC; the Mayans, in 3114 BC; the Chinese, with the start of the Yellow Emperor’s reign in 2696 BC; the Japanese in 680 BC; the Muslims, with the emigration of the Prophet Muhammad to Medina from Mecca in 622 AD; the Copts, with the Year of the Martyrs in 284 AD, while the Ethiopian Church starts the clock back in 5493 BC.”

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.