Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Five Things I Learned at PCMI: Tuesday 6/30/15

1. There is a paired down version of Geogebra called "Euclid the Game" in which players construct a given figure with limited tools (you start with points, segments, rays, and circles). Each figure you construct can be used as a tool in later levels. For example, once you make an equilateral triangle, a “draw equilateral triangle” button appears. It’s a great way to learn Geogebra and understand the Euclidian notion of constructions. Try it here:

2. To quote Bill McCallum, “The high school standards were written with the assumption of four years. Last time I checked, there were four years in high school, however apparently there are many who think there are not”

3. Again Bill McCallum, “I don’t think that aggressive testing and high standards can exist at the same time, at least not this way. Something has to give, and I think Common Core has unintentionally started a conversation about assessment… However, I think that PARCC and SBAC are one of our greatest hopes for changing the testing landscape. These people are trying hard, and although the test bank is small, we’re moving in the right direction… Of course the standards can be seen as difficult, but isn’t the idea to set high standards? Many of the issues we face are unfortunately policy issues… But, who owns the Standards anyway?”

4. Although not immensely publicised, there is a Common Core progressions document for Geometry by Hung-Hsi Wu of University of California, Berkeley. Here it is:

5. I have met the local wildlife, including: four goats (one pregnant), two horses, a family of badgers, a few magpies, and five pocket gophers.

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