All posts by mathconfidence

How do you stack up?


Above are the class averages for 3 9th grade Algebra classes.

When you get back a Math test test your score isn’t that important.  What’s more important is how you did compared to the rest of the class.   If you got a 90 and the class average is 70 you rock! If you got a 90 and the average is 95 not so much!

Why Open Book Exams? The Answer is NOT in the Book

The answer is NOT in the book!!!!  I found this out the hard way in college as some profs allowed us to use our books during engineering exams which only help if you know how to do the problem solving.  I never took the Professional Engineering  (PE) exam but you can bring any books you like!!

Now as a prof, I allow open book/notes and design exams to inspire critical thinking and  metacognition (awareness and understanding of one’s own thought processes).  Samples will be posted after Monday’s final exam.



Study with the Brainiacs or Chill…”Dropping” to the Lower Math Class

Should students stay struggling in an uncomfortably challenging environment with the brainiacs?
or is being the king/queen of the mountain in the lower Math preferable?

Has the s been working to their capacity?  If so then a change may be warranted, otherwise we may be ‘rewarding’ them for putting in little effort and now in the lower class they can really chill.

It Might be More Work!!!

When asked to solve non right triangle trig

which is a mulitstep problem that benefits from writing down all of the  many steps

so the problem solving took some twists and turns and what shouold have taken 1 or 2 minutes was now taking 6 or 7

When asked why he was not writing it down,

My own son, 17, gave this response