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# TAG: teaching methods

#### Making the lie true

We at my university regularly sell quite a big lie.

At Open Day and the Ingenuity STEM Showcase and any number of outreach activities, students do puzzles and play with construction toys and walk around with ropes and draw curves on balloons. Whether we say it explicitly or not, there is a message there that says: […]

#### Why mathematical induction is hard

Students find mathematical induction hard, and there is a complex interplay of reasons why. Some years ago I wrote an answer on the Maths Education Stack Exchange describing these and it’s still something I come back to regularly. I’ve decided to post it here too.

Some reasons why students find mathematical induction difficult.

These come from a […]

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#### Book Reading: You’re Not Listening

This blog post is about the book You’re Not Listening by Kate Murphy, and in particular my reactions to it from a teacher’s perspective.

First, I want to apologise to Chelsea Avard for borrowing the book from her little student leadership library and holding onto it for a whole year while I got round to reading it […]

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#### Arbitrary mnemonics

A mnemonic is a mental trick to help you remember things. People use them all the time for all sorts of things, like the traditional colours of the rainbow (ROY G BIV), the order of the letters in the English alphabet (a song to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star), the order of operations […]

#### Twelve matchsticks: focus or funnel

One of my favourite puzzles is the Twelve Matchsticks puzzle. It goes like this:

Twelve matchsticks can be laid on the table to produce a variety of shapes. If the length of a matchstick is 1 unit, then the area of each shape can be found in square units. For example, these shapes have areas 6, […]

#### Twitter and how not to treat my students

I have learned a lot from Twitter about how to treat my students, and most of it has been through being treated in ways I do not like. Recently I have been searching my own tweets to find things I’ve said before, and as I’ve dipped into old conversations, several unpleasant feelings have resurfaced when […]

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#### The curse of listening

I am often saying how important it is to listen to students, and that I am fascinated by student thoughts and feelings. When students say I am a good teacher my usual response is to say it’s because I have spent the last eleven years in a situation where I get to listen to lots […]

#### Who is worthy to ask stupid and smart questions?

This post was going to be part of the Virtual Conference of Mathematical Flavours, which you can see all the keynote speakers and presentations here: https://samjshah.com/mathematical-flavors-convention-center/. The prompt for all the blog posts that are part of this conference is this: “How does your class move the needle on what your kids think about the doing of math, or what counts as […]

#### 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 started writing this post!)

So much has happened in […]