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What do you think this means? - Queue — LiveJournal
July 29th, 2003
12:32 pm

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What do you think this means?
In the context of high school mathematics standards:
Judge the meaning, utility, and reasonableness of the results of symbol manipulations, including those carried out by technology.


Bonus points if you can come up with a sample exercise.

(10 comments | Leave a comment)

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From:curly_chick
Date:July 29th, 2003 09:43 am (UTC)
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You lost me at "hello". You lost me at "hello"..

Sorry bad reference...
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From:queue
Date:July 29th, 2003 10:07 am (UTC)
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I didn't say "hello".

Sorry, another bad reference.
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From:magid
Date:July 29th, 2003 09:54 am (UTC)
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Once the kids do the math operations, do they know what the number at the other end means, such as knowing which units (apples, square centimeters, pounds/square inch, whatever) the answer is in, whether it's a useful number (was there obviously a math error, does it need to be rounded to the nearest unit or whatever to make sense in context, etc.).

A room is 10 feet long x 20 feet wide. Amy is going to stain the floor of the room using three coats of stain. A gallon of stain covers 500 square feet. How many gallons of paint should Amy buy?
If the kid comes up with a decimal answer, mathematically it's relevant, but the kid needs to know to round up to the nearest gallon.

What can I redeem bonus points for?
[User Picture]
From:queue
Date:July 29th, 2003 10:04 am (UTC)
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That makes some sense, I guess. I just wish standards were written clearer in general. If I recall, the Florida standards are much better than the New Jersey ones.

Really, you need to come work here. There's an empty cubicle right next to mine, so I could just ask you questions over the wall. Just say the word, and I'll talk to the department heads about you.


What can I redeem bonus points for?

How about food of some sort?
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From:magid
Date:July 29th, 2003 10:32 am (UTC)
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I'm not particularly current on the different state standards, but I do remember being impressed with the VA SOLs (Standards of Learning), which were a reasonably short list of mathematically clear things kids should be able to do by the end of each year. Things like solve a quadratic equation by graphing, factoring, or using the quadratic equation. Nice, simple, clear.
(Deleted comment)
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From:queue
Date:July 29th, 2003 10:10 am (UTC)
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The language of mathematics standards is such a bizarre, incomprehensible, bureaucratic subset of the language of mathematics. It's really amazing what reasonably intelligent people can come up with when they work as a committee.
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From:beowabbit
Date:July 29th, 2003 11:19 am (UTC)
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Judge the meaning, utility, and reasonableness of the results of symbol manipulations, including those carried out by technology.

The meaning, utility, and reasonableness of the results of symbol manipulations, including those carried out by technology, is very poor. Moreover, the results of symbol manipulations, including those carried out by technology, should not wear that sweater with those socks.

Now, do I graduate high school?

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From:beowabbit
Date:July 29th, 2003 11:43 am (UTC)
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Now, do I graduate high school?

Of course I don't, since my verbs doesn't agree with my subjects.

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From:queue
Date:July 29th, 2003 11:45 am (UTC)
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That is no impediment to graduating high school in the United States.
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From:emotionalgoat
Date:July 29th, 2003 03:56 pm (UTC)
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Gosh... I can understand trying to get a kid to judge the utility of the results of symbol manipulations, but the "meaning" and "reasonableness" of the results of symbol manipulations? That's getting pretty philisophical for something as scientific as math. Plus, how the heck would you find out if your computer (or other random aspect of technology) agrees?

Describe why your brain prefers to break down:
p(x) = x (3x + 2x - 5) + 1

to the more humanly workable:
p(x) = 5x^2 - 5x + 1

and what would happen to all those useful tidbits like proper makeup application, purity tests, and your patented cuteness algorithm if you didn't allow your brain to create the symbol manipulations? Would they melt out of your ear like so much warm jello? What does your scientific calculator think about all of this? Why?

I'm glad I'm not in High School anymore.
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