Category Archives: photo

Should We Tell Them?


“The rule for the square of a binomial”:  Spotted with a 12th grader Homework on Pearson’s My Math Lab

Should we tell students exactly what to do?
Categorization is one of the most important skills in Math and one of the most important takeaways for future Math classes and in  general.

The question above creates teaching and learning questions:
“Should we tell students what to do based on rules?”
“Can students (even) remember rules?”
“What would be the answer to this problem?”



Fortune Cookie: How Many Steps in a Mile?

A mile walked with a friend contains only a hundred steps

The experience of walking a mile with a friend can be so engaging that it may feel like only a hundred steps.
But mathematically speaking, those would be mighty BIG steps.
With 5280 feet per mile, 100 steps would make each step 52.8 feet: almost twice as long as the long jump record set in 1991 by Mike Powell.  Dividing 5280 feet by 29.375 feet/step is about 180 consecutive long jumps which would likely make anyone forget they were taking a walk with a friend (not to mention, we did not count the long runup to the long jump).

Surely this fortune from the Chinese restaurant: “A mile walked with a friend contains only a hundred steps” is using a metaphor.  Usually for most people, there are about 2000 steps in a mile.

So grab a friend and take a walk and feel only 5% of your steps!!