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Ten years

On the 23rd of July 2008, I started my first day as coordinator of the Maths Learning Centre at the University of Adelaide. Today is the 23rd of July 2018 — the ten year anniversary of that first day. (Well, it was the 23rd of July when I┬ástarted writing this post!)
So much has happened in […]

Posted in Being a good teacher, How people learn (or don't), Isn't maths cool?, Other MLC stuff | Tagged , , |

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Fairy Bread

Fairy bread, in case you don’t know, is an Australian children’s party food.

Here’s how to make fairy bread: take white bread, spread it with margarine, and sprinkle with hundreds and thousands. Now cut into triangles and serve.
Notes:

It has to be white bread. If you try to make fairy bread with wholemeal bread, or multigrain bread, […]

Posted in One Hundred Factorial, Other MLC stuff | Tagged , |

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Actually, I am a maths person

I am a mathematician and a maths teacher. Therefore it is an occupational hazard that any random person who finds out what my job is will respond with “I’m not a maths person.” The most frustrating people are my own students who I am trying to tell that my actual job is to help them […]

Posted in Being a good teacher, Thoughts about maths thinking | Tagged , , |

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Childhood memories

Two books I’ve read recently have encouraged me to investigate my memories from childhood. In Tracy Zager’s “Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You’d Had“, she urged me to think about my maths autobiography to see what influenced my current feelings about maths. In Stuart Brown’s “Play“, he urged me to think about my play […]

Posted in How people learn (or don't), Thoughts about maths thinking | Tagged , , |

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Money and me

In the online resources for Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You’d Had, Tracy Zager provides information about the benefits of writing a “math autobiography”. I really have tried to do this, but I am having a lot of trouble organising my thoughs and memories. However, I reckon I can track some of my memories […]

Posted in How people learn (or don't), Thoughts about maths thinking | Tagged , |

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My cat’s bottom

Did you know that cats have scent glands just inside their bottoms that are constantly being filled with liquid and are squeezed as their poos come out, and if their poos are too skinny the glands are not squeezed enough and get over-full making them very painful and inflamed? Neither did I, until my cat […]

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Elsa’s Freedom

Disney’s Frozen came out on DVD last week and my family and I watched it on Saturday. It’s a very good movie with an excellent theme about the real nature of true love which is not usually seen in a “princess movie”. There are also two different stories about freedom, which is pretty common in […]

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Life Impact

The University’s current slogan is “Seek Light”, but the one we used to have before that was “Life Impact”. I have decided that at least for myself I would like to keep the old one, because recent events have shown me its true meaning.
My mother-in-law Merle died almost two weeks ago, and last week was […]

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Why I’m not a “lecturer”

Every so often a student asks me why I am not a “lecturer”. Often it happens after I’ve helped them understand something from their course, or (as it did this week) after I’ve given a revision seminar on some topic from their course.
Now I do realise that they are giving me a compliment by saying […]

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Birth stories in the MLC

One of my favourite memories of the Drop-In Centre happened not too long after I started here. One of our regular visitors happened to be pregnant at the time, and as always happens when parents are in the presence of a pregnant woman, it wasn’t long before we began swapping birth stories. And not just […]

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