Top 10 Posts of 2009

[Photo by Mike Licht,]

Can you believe we’re almost a whole decade into the no-longer-new millennium? Traditionally, the last week of December marks a time to look back and to look ahead: What have we accomplished this year? And what comes next?

More specifically, for bloggers:

  • What did people like to read?
  • And how can we give them more of it?

Maria beat me to it. John did a twist on the topic. And here is my own retrospective look at the most popular blog posts from this year, along with related blogging goals for 2010.

Warning: All Lists are Biased

I’ve checked the total post views count as of Wednesday morning, December 30th. Any such list is biased toward posts that appeared earlier in the year. It’s almost impossible for anything written in November or December — even something as popular as Narnia math — to work its way into the Top Ten.

Continue reading Top 10 Posts of 2009

Have a Mathy Christmas

A mathematical Christmas? You bet! For instance, I just noticed that Raymond Smullyan’s The Lady or the Tiger is finally back in print. My family and my math club students have enjoyed many of the puzzles in this book over the years, and I can’t think of a better stocking stuffer for the mathophile in your family.

(I do hope that means the rest of Raymond Smullyan’s puzzle books will be coming back, too!)

In the holiday gift-giving spirit, I’ve started making a list. Check out the links below for more mathematical Christmas present ideas.

Continue reading Have a Mathy Christmas

Math Teachers at Play #21 via Math Mama Writes

The math carnival is posted and ready for your browsing pleasure:

Puzzlers, riddlers, thinkers, doers, novices, experts, come one , come all! First off, in honor of the number 21, is a puzzle, fresh from the oven.

The Numberland News runs personal ads. 21 was looking for a new friend and put an ad in…

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Narnia Math: Elementary Problem Solving 4th Grade

[Photo by armigeress.]

In 4th grade, math problems take a large step up on the difficulty scale. Students are more mature and can read and follow more complex stories. Multi-step word problems become the new norm, and proportional relationships (like “three times as many”) show up frequently. As the year progresses, fractions grow to be a dominant theme.

As a math teacher, one of my top goals is that my students learn to solve word problems. Arithmetic is (relatively) easy, but many children struggle in applying it to “real world” situations.

In previous posts, I introduced the problem-solving tools of word algebra and bar diagrams, either of which can help students organize the information in a word problem and translate it into a mathematical calculation. The earlier posts in this series are:

In this installment, I will continue to demonstrate the problem-solving tool of bar diagrams through a series of ten 4th grade problems based on the Singapore Primary Math series, level 4A. For your reading pleasure, I have translated the problems into the universe of a family-favorite story by C. S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

UPDATE: Problems have been genericized to avoid copyright issues.

Continue reading Narnia Math: Elementary Problem Solving 4th Grade