My True Love: Using Visualization as a Tool to Think With

Posted: December 17, 2013 in factoring, family math, on-line learning, polynomial factoring, Uncategorized, visual math

In the last week before winter break, it is tempting to let the curriculum go a little, to kick back and enjoy my students without my mathematical lens. NOT! For me, there is much more pleasure in going deeper into curriculum. If there is something to let go of, it is the “schoolishness” of some math that we do.  In the video below, I was able to revel in one of my favorite topics: factoring polynomials.  This method, based on thinking of products as area and factors as dimensions, was taught to me by Dr. Tom Kieren, an exceptional scholar and educator.

I would like to see this kind of factoring in all our high school classrooms.  It demonstrates three features of a well chosen algorithm:  transparency, error resistance, and memorability.

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