Weekly Math Updates

April 15, 2008


  • WMD Store is open
  • UVU's Remediation Rate
  • Google Searches
  • Media Articles
  • Handipoints-Way cool tool for your kids
  • Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (7 minute trailer) (only airs 4/18)

Happy Tax Day!!!  Sorry to all of you that took this as a reminder...

WMD Store is open

Help support the comics and promote the death of fuzzy math. Follow the first link to visit the store and buy a t-shirt, mouse pad, or mug.


Click here to make a donation through Paypal

UVU's Remediation Rate

A little while ago we learned that UVU and SLCC both have very high remediation rates.  I was asked recently if the rate was still as high so I directed the question to Carolyn Hamilton, the chair of the math department at UVU.  This was her reply which she gave permission for me to send out.

"66% is the most current information I have. 66% of incoming students test into Intermediate Algebra or lower. Intermediate Algebra is MAT 1010, and counts for college credit, but it doesn't count toward the general education math requirement. So two-thirds of students entering UVSC are not prepared to take a course which fulfills their general ed math requirement."


Google Searches

Have you ever googled your name?  I bet a lot of you have.  Something I hadn't googled in a long time was "Investigations Math".  Try it out. Gotta love that placement. :)


Media Articles

Essential Qualities of Math Teaching Remain Unknown

Cost is sometimes cited as a barrier to hiring specialists, but another hurdle is the belief that young students benefit from “the nurturing of a single teacher,” rather than being taught by a group of them, said Ms. Seeley, who added that she does not buy that argument.

The possible upside of using specialists “is huge,” she said. Today, most elementary teachers, as subject-matter generalists, are likely to have taken only one or two college math courses at most, she pointed out.

“I don’t care if you have math specialists or not—but I think you should guarantee you have someone teaching math who knows it and likes it,” Ms. Seeley said. An elementary math specialist, she added, is more likely to be “someone who knows math and likes it.”

10,000 Math Teachers Flock to SLC

"I think local people would be surprised at how cutting-edge Utah teachers are," Kuehl said.

"The overall goal every year is to help . . . math teachers learn new ways to be able to instruct all of their students," council spokeswoman Gay Dillin said. "Math is so central to what everyone deals with every day."

Cutting edge??? Hmmmmm.

Math report recommends teachers focus more in depth on fewer skills

"Math builds on itself all the time," said Bonnie Clark, a teacher from West Haven's Kanesville Elementary School who attended the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics workshop. "They've got to know multiplication, division and fractions, for sure, to know algebra."

Yea!!!  Someone states what parents have known and too many educators have ignored!!!

"In fact, many of the recommendations might seem downright obvious to an outsider.

Yea!!! The outsiders are given some credit!!!

    The importance of fractions, the idea that topics shouldn't be revisited year after year without closure and the concept that students should both memorize and understand what they're learning don't seem dramatic on the surface.
    But the ideas aren't as obvious as they seem. Many have been issues of contention within math education for years, including in Utah.
    Utah rewrote its entire math curriculum this year after battles over whether it's best to teach "fuzzy" conceptual math or "kill and drill" computational math."

Yea!!! Investigations math is put down.  BOO to the author who believes there's such a program as drill and kill.  Practice makes perfect, and drill is required for conceptual understanding the same way a pianist must practice to get good and understand the depths of the instrument.


Handipoints-Way cool tool for your kids

OK, this is just really cool and I anticipate the person that made this site is going to do pretty well with it.  Handipoints is a system that allows parents to set up custom charts for kids where they earn two types of points, one toward their allowance, the other toward site credit to buy things like costumes for their characters or watch simple little cartoons on the site.  They get a cat mascot they can personalize and it's a cute looking site.  What's really cool is the system where you can set up multiple charts for them like one for school work, one for doing other positive things which could be playing an instrument, being kind to their sibbling, exercising, etc...  You also can set up a negative chart with the things they have behavioral issues with like yelling or hitting or whatever.  Then you can use a grading system on the site as the parent to rate the job they did and it fractionalizes their points automatically so if a job was worth 4 points and they did a bad job they might only get 2 points.  Check it out here:



Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (7 minute trailer)

Ben Stein has put together what looks like a great film exposing the intolerance of the education system in even considering intelligent design.  The movie will be in select theaters only on 4/18 so if you're interested, get out to it this week.



Till next time,

Oak Norton

If this email was forwarded to you, please go here and sign the petition to get on my mailing list.

Copyright 2005-06, All Rights Reserved