Ever need to find the GCF of two numbers? Here’s a trick for finding the GCF of any two numbers — very quickly. This is an original trick, so I doubt you’ll find it anywhere else online. But most important, it’s easy to use, and it works no matter how large the numbers might be. Also nice … learning this […]

# Archive | Math Instruction Techniques

The category for all things Math Pedagogy.

# MathToons #2

Just an everyday conversation between variables …

# Reader Input on Slope Post

A longtime reader of Turtle Talk, Jeff LeMieux, of Oak Harbor, WA, sent in a suggestion based on my post yesterday about positive and negative slope. Jeff found a way to help students remember not only positive and negative slope, but also the infinite slope of vertical lines, and the 0 slope of horizontal lines […]

# Helping Students REMEMBER the Difference in ‘LOOK’ Between Positive and Negative Slope

Some ideas just slap you in the face. I got slapped this morning as I was flying home from LA to Albuquerque. Those little cocktail napkins they hand out with “beverage service” often give me the urge to write. So this morning, nerdily enough, as I sipped my orange juice at 30,000 feet above the […]

# Journey to the LCM … and Beyond!

In this blog/video I want to take you a little bit deeper into the world of … the LCM! Yes, that fascinating little mathematical entity is beckoning us to explore it further. Several readers wrote to me after I posted my LCM “trick,” saying they want to see me demonstrate WHY this “shortcut” works. One […]

# Cultivating original thinking

An interesting thing happened today. A girl I was working with, who’s had virtually no schooling in geometry, made a brilliant “leap” in a geometry problem. This student was starting a unit on fractions, and the curriculum was describing a standard way of conceptualizing fractions. The book was showing that if you divide a given […]

# Stop the Shotgun Approach to Learning Algebraic Rules

Once in a while I have to hold back my chuckles when I’m tutoring. Here’s a classic situation: a student is looking at part of a problem that has the expression: x times x. He says he thinks the answer is (in order): “2x” Then “2x squared” Then “Zero?” … and on and on. I call this the […]

# Temperature for Positive and Negative Numbers

Kids struggle with positive and negative numbers … that’s a given. But I’ve recently hit on a reliable way to eliminate the confusion … temperature. Using a temperature scale as a model for solving integer problems has several advantages: 1) It’s a system students already know from everyday life. 2) The relationships among positive temperatures, […]

# New GEOMETRY Product on Horizon

New Geometry product on horizon from Singing Turtle Press. Math author Josh Rappaport is coming out with an eBook on geometry. Read this post to find out more!

# Monday the 13th

If Friday the 13th is a bad luck day, does that imply that Monday the 13th is a good luck day? Compose a logical argument for this question. Whoever sends in the best logical argument, arguing either side of this question, wins a Singing Turtle reward. Read the post to find out the details.