Trying to find math inside everything else

At my math department meeting yesterday I wanted us, as a department, to get some alignment on the various ways we talk about certain topics. I often get students in the complain “But that’s not what my middle school teacher said!” And so I don’t want them to arrive in Geometry and shout “But that’s not what Mr. Cleveland said!” So I want to tighten things up vertically.

But as we sat there, it was hard to think of specific examples of things we can change. One was the “slope formula,” which could be \frac{y_2 - y_1}{x_2 - x_1} or \frac{y_1 - y_0}{x_1 - x_0} or just \frac{\Delta y}{\Delta x}. We can to the conclusion that it should be the third across the board, but that’s maybe the only agreement we made. (Glenn’s vertex form idea was also brought up, which I convinced 2 of the 3 other teachers about.)

I did bring up Nix the Tricks, and I think I convinced my principal to buy us all copies, so that we can get some uniformity that way. But I need some feedback before the next meeting – what are some things (not necessarily tricks) that we could be more consistent about? As Glenn said in that post, if we’re going to be arbitrary [about notation and wording], at least let us be arbitrary consistently.

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Comments on: "Aligning Vocabulary and Notation" (1)

  1. Thanks for supporting Nix! We are looking at vocabulary and notation sections as the next additions. There are google docs for each at NixTheTricks.com and I’m trying to figure out how to format the sections (mix them in the current chapters or make new chapters?). Check them out and please leave comments!

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