Statistically speaking, if you ask 30 people what they think, you can pretty accurately make predictions or assumptions about the thoughts of much larger groups. For instance, I am a woman, so my opinion on something could proportionately apply to one thirtieth of all women. However, my ethnicity, my age, my marital status, the country I live in, my educational level (called demographics) and so on, does affect my ability to speak for 1/30th of those women, or of any group with whom I have something in common. Demographically then, I can safely say that my single voice could project the ideas and feelings of millions of people around the world. You will find something that you might agree with, or that you might violently oppose, or any feeling in between. Through my voice, I encourage you to find your voice.

## 4 thoughts on “About”

1. Thank you. I’m not sure how to do that, though. Could you walk me thru what I would need to do?

1. Hi, I just read your comment on Justin Lanier’s website. It is as follows, “I am exploring the idea of teaching math without numbers, and I believe the introductory method of teaching proofs that you use would fall into this category…”
I am extremely curious. Did you put this plan into action? Sounds fantastic and something I would love to experiment with.

Thank you,
Susan Collier

1. Hi Susan,
The idea of math without numbers is, for me, a way of sharing concept before sharing algorithm. Math isn’t JUST answer getting. It is the rich process of discovery and delight in seeing the patterns. For example, Unit 1, statistics, the idea is learning how to interpret the data depending on the presentation. Generally kids are asked to calculate a bunch of numbers from the data, which they will do without any clue as to why these numbers are important.
I used box plots as an opportunity to teach “without numbers”. I took away the number line below the plot, and we examined the shape and form and usage – why use this shape? Why divide into four parts? Why whiskers? It helps students when they see beyond the number assigned by the data to the reason for assembling the data in what seems an arbitrary fashion (to them!). Range finding without understanding is subtraction to many, and just number-finding, if they have no context for why finding that number is so important.
I asked them what Standard Deviation is. Several students replied in unison, “it’s the answer.”
I haven’t thought thru the whole course yet, (Alg II) but I will try to be more faithful to blogging about what is working and what is not. Thanks for the push!