Republic of Mathematics blog

Posts Tagged ‘word problems

What math teachers should know about memory, 2: working memory

Posted by: Gary Ernest Davis on: April 21, 2011

Mathematics teachers commonly complain that their students do not memorize facts, definitions¬† and formulas. In a previous post I described Hermann Ebbinghaus’s experiments on rote memorization, and his finding that memorization of nonsense syllables decays exponentially. What we teachers of mathematics want is for students to recall, at least for the very next class, what […]

Beginner's mind: seeing the mathematics

Posted by: Gary Ernest Davis on: January 22, 2010

My colleague has a Ph.D. in mathematics and two young children – 9 and 11 years of age. She writes the following account of her children’s engagement with a word problem: Yesterday my 9 year old was struggling with the following problem: “Suzi and Joey had the same amount of money. Then they went shopping. […]