Those ever changing rules

Posted on August 15, 2014

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Nifty keen-o — http://www.nctm.org/publications/article.aspx?id=42799 will let you download an article listing some of the big conceptual confounders.   It has been really helpful for me to begin talking about integers with the idea that we may be uprooting some well-entrenched models of what math means:   that “plus” always means add and make a number bigger.   (The article says that the expiring rule is that “adding makes things bigger,” but that’s not really enough here; -3 + 5 *is* ‘making things bigger,’ but unless the students are visualizing number lines, they’re subtracting to get the answer if they’re doing it right.) 

    So!  It’s Friday Before The Real Thing starts.   I have successfully exported an “apk” file and downloaded to my adorable Galaxy Tablet.   A student has used it.   I realized then that I really do have a fleet of beta testers here… and since I’m right here to explain anything, it’s not beta testing that makes people even more confused.   Happily, things I was afraid woudl be confusing weren’t (at least for my sample of one); she just clicked and poked until it work.   There are a few things I need to make more clear on the small screen, and I need to put in reasonable icons isntead of the random images for “right” and “wrong,” and a couple of other little design changes to even begin, but the best was when she said “it would be so cool to be able to watch the videos on youtube, and then do it on my phone!”    

    Okay, Camtasia, HERE WE GO…

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