Showing posts from October, 2005

Keep focus on your math teaching

Recently some mathematicians have been involved in thinking what is important to teach in school mathematics, and what should the school standards say.

They were alarmed at the long list of skills and knowledge found in many state mathematics standards. Quoting from their workshop essay:

In every grade, the mathematics curriculum needs to be carefully focused on a small number of topics. Most mathematics instruction should be devoted to developing deepening mastery of core topics through computation, problem-solving and logical reasoning.

They are recommending focusing on whole-number arithmetic and place value in the early grades, measurement being an important, closely connected theme. After mastering that, they said focus should next be on fractions & decimals, and then onto percents, ratios, and proportions.

This, in my opinion, sounds almost obvious.

But if you read some state standards for mathematics instructions, they abound with various objectives and skills - tons of stuff t…

Teaching proportions

Many times kids do learn how to solve proportion problems in school (they manage to memorize the steps), but that seems to get forgotten in a flash after school is over. Maybe they only remember faintly something about cross multiplying but that's as far as it goes. How can we educators help them learn and retain? I finally posted the article about how to teach proportions.

Teaching so the child passes the standardized test....??

An interesting article discussing how yearly standardized testing has affected school mathematics: teachers are required to teach a curriculum that is 'mile wide and inch deep' and don't have time to teach any topic in depth so students could truly understand it. They don't get to master much anything.

In homeschool this is much easier to avoid.

U.S. children left behind:
When tests drive curriculum, no one masters anything

Great 'n' FREE math worksheet software

Different people send me their website links from time to time, for me to check and consider adding to the site. That's nice, as it saves me the trouble from looking for new links and sites.

The other day I got this link: The Jefferson Math Project,, and I truly found a fantastic "deal" on it, if you want to call it a deal, since it's free:

They offer a free Worksheet Builder software made by Prentice Hall. It has a database of thousands of ready-made questions for every subtopic of algebra, advanced algebra, and geometry. You just browse the questions and add those you wish to your worksheet, and then print it. You can change the number values in the question to make it different, though essentially the same.

It also has libraries of questions for standard test practice (again, algebra, advanced algebra, and geometry).

As such, it is for high school, but from the site you can also download an additional Saxon Library of questio…

What's going on at

Hello everyone,
I am trying to get started on blogging. Thought I'd share what is going on at the site right now. I'm trying to provide 'screenshots' or example pages from the ebooks, as pdf files, so they would show the pages just exactly as they are. That work is going to take some time. Right now I've gotten ready the Geometry ebook, Fractions 1, and Fractions 2.

Another thing is I'm preparing an article about how to teach proportions.

And, the teaching tips section is going to get reorganized and some content added from the old ebook preview pages. Again, this process will take some time.