In the course of my bloggy spring cleaning, I’ve made some terrible discoveries. Some of my favorite resources have disappeared off the internet. Or perhaps they’ve moved, and I just haven’t found their new homes.
Do you know where these websites went?
A Very Short History of Mathematics
This irreverant romp through the history of mathematics by W. W. O. Schlesinger and A. R. Curtis was read to the Adams Society (St. John’s College Mathematical Society) at their 25th anniversary dinner, Michaelmas Term, 1948.
Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine found a copy, but I’d love to replace this link with the article’s new location:
[Warning: Do not attempt to read this article while drinking coffee or other spittable beverage!]
La Habra’s Math History Timeline
This timeline featured math discoveries, publications, and other tidbits — from paleolithic number bones to the present. I mentioned this in my earlier note, but I’ll repeat the request: If you know where this site went, please tell me.
Here are links to the Wayback Machine’s archive:
- Pre-historic and Ancient Times 1,000,000 B.C. – 500 A.D.
- Middle Ages 500 – 1400 A.D.
- Renaissance 1400 – 1550 A.D.
- Reformation 1517-1598 A.D.
- Baroque Era 1600-1700 A.D.
- Enlightenment 1700-1789 A.D.
- Age of Revolutions 1789-1848 A.D.
- Age of Liberalism 1848-1914 A.D.
- 20th Century … 1914-present A.D.
Word Problems in Russia and America
Apparently, the Wayback Machine does not archive pdf files. The original site of Toom’s “extended version” 159-page book has a link, but it goes nowhere.
In this case, however, there is good news. I found a “2010 update” version with only 98 pages, but it appears the difference is a matter of typeface and line spacing, not a cut in content:
- Word Problems in Russia and America
[Fellow bloggers: If you linked to the old version, edit your posts!]
I highly recommend this paper to anyone who is interested in teaching elementary math (or remedial math at higher grade levels). Consider this point, about the value of word problems:
The youngest children need some real, tangible tokens, which often are called manipulatives. That is why coin problems are so appropriate in elementary school. American educators enormously exaggerate importance of manipulatives in the literal sense, but don’t know what to do with older children. In a few years children’s imagination develops so that they can use imaginary or mental manipulatives … [T]he main educative value of word problems is that they serve as mental manipulatives, paving children’s road to abstract thinking.
This fits perfectly with my experience of teaching. It is through working a large number of varied, multi-step word problems that my students develop their number sense and ability to think abstractly. And the amazing thing is, word problems are easier for young children than just-plain-arithmetic calculations! Children can make a mental picture of the problem and apply common sense in a way they are not yet able to do with plain numbers.
So why do American elementary math programs have comparatively few word problems, and mostly pathetic one-step problems at that?
All Odd Numbers Are Prime
Wait… By using the “classic” version of the Wayback Machine, I was able to reach a 2008 version of the page:
Can anyone find the site’s current location?
Update: Yippee! The original is back! Gdargaud.net is loading properly as of 4/15/2011, and here’s hoping the glitch never comes back.
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