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The Algebra Blues

By Dr. Eugene Maier

Whenever I think about a conversation I had with my granddaughter, I get the blues. She was in a seventh grade advanced math class and they were studying algebra. I asked her how it was going. She showed me her homework.

Her solution of a simple equation like 2x + 10 = 16 required 5 lines. First she had written down the equation. Next she had written "2x + 10 - 10 = 16 - 10, subtract 10 from both sides." Then, "2x = 6, collect terms." And so on.

Manipulatives and Metaphors

By Dr. Eugene Maier

"Manipulates," the saying goes, "are a bridge to the abstract." Presumably, I suppose, from the concrete. But. given the image the word 'bridge' conjures in my mind, the metaphor seems wanting to me.

Organization

Classroom Focused, Mission Driven

The Math Learning Center (MLC) is a nonprofit organization serving the education community. Our mission is to inspire and enable individuals to discover and develop their mathematical confidence and ability. We offer innovative and standards-based curriculum, resources, and professional development. Our products and services are used by educators throughout the United States and in many international locations.

Playing by the Rules

By Dr. Eugene Maier

The Oregon Department of Education released its annual school report card last week. The report, as mandated by the state legislature in the massive Oregon Education Act for the 21st Century, is to contain information on "student performance, student behavior, and school characteristics." In addition the report must include data on some 16 areas that are specifically named, including, among others, attendance rates, school safety, dropout rates, facilities for distance learning, and local bond levy election results.

The Testing Pall

By Dr. Eugene Maier

It's that time of the year when the tests score from all the schools in the state—by grade level and subject matter—have been released to the press. As a consequence, the papers are filled with reportage, statistical analyses, editorial opinions. and readers' comments about what it all means.

Teaching the Basics

By Dr. Eugene Maier

“City school officials want more basic math,” the headline said. Given the current educational climate, it's a headline that might have occurred in any number of papers. This one happened to be in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. I noticed it when in Pittsburgh for a conference.

What Did You Get Out of That?

By Dr. Eugene Maier

The topic of discussion at the math education seminar was a research study that compared "outcomes of a traditional and a reform calculus course in terms of students' retention of basic concepts and skills after the passage of time."