I Used to Know That PDF

by Chris Waring I need to start out by saying that I am not the target audience for this book so it was never going to be one of those things that changed my life.The reason I like to read these books is that I come across interesting or novel ways of explaining concepts that become invaluable in teaching practice.

This book actually had quite a few gems in it (and that is not surprising given that Chris is also a maths teacher).Nice way of explaining negative numbers (which is always a killer with juniors)and areally cool Venn diagram using historical figures and baldness (yes....baldness).I came across something that will definitely help in explaining like terms (which again kids seem to really struggle with when algebra is first introduced) and a really nice pictorial representation of Pythagoras' Theorem.

There were one or two issues I had and they just may be due to different terminology/teaching practices in different countries.

"Anything inside a bracket gets done first and any subtraction comes last"

I personally hate the BODMAS, BOMDAS, PEDMAS or BIDMAS (as Chris uses) as kids seem to think that division comes before multiplication and addition comes before subtraction.Trying to re-teach them that they are done at the same time (just left to right) is hard once they have the acronym firmly in their mind.I prefer:

B
O
DM (As it appears left to right)
AS (As it appears left to right)

Also, we don't refer to mode and median as measures of the average.Mean is another word for average and mean, mode and median are all measures of central tendency (or where the centre of the distribution tends to be).Again this may just be due to international differences.I worked as a statistician for many years and average was not a generic term for all three measures.

Lastly, the whole cylinder as a prism.Technically, it is not - but I have seen a few books now that gloss over that fact because it is simpler (and I am happy to go with that given that it is mathematicians who make the definitions).

Overall, this was a really well written book and a must for someone looking to refresh base level maths skills.Thanks Chris for some great teaching ideas :-)


Book tags: used know that pdf, download, pdf, chris waring

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