Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Five Things I Learned at PCMI: Wednesday 7/1/15

1. Besides being a champion pinball player, Bowen Kerins is a project developer for the CME Project (part of EDC’s Center for Mathematics Education) and has had a hand in writing their high school textbook series. The most striking feature of these texts is the way that the subtle scaffolding from the morning problem sets is mirrored in each section. While I’m not endorsing Bowen’s book wholesale, I know that these scaffolds can create strong habits of mind in students. Check it out here:

2. Even if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably get somewhere if you just start. While this may apply to many of the morning math sessions, today this lesson is about hiking. We hiked up Park City Mountain, but instead of finding the correct trailhead, we just started hiking up the steepest ski trail. Eventually we came across a park ranger who directed us to the trail, but we never would have gotten to the top if we didn’t start at the bottom.

3. Utah has the most restrictive yet nuanced alcohol laws of any state.

4. I can find the center of a circle using Euclid: The Game, level 13 in 4 moves. However, the game says that the minimum possible number is 3 moves. Hmm...

5. I have learned a new vocabulary of math puns. PCMI participates in the Park City Fourth of July Parade, and we had a brainstorming session. When you get a bunch of math teachers, grad students, and professors in room and ask them to think of math puns that relate mathematics to American independence, you know you’re in for a good time.

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