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I train mathematics educators who want their students to be better problem solvers.
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    The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) emphasizes mathematical modeling, or “link[ing] classroom mathematics and statistics to everyday life, work, and decision-making” for all grade levels with Math Practice 4.  Some content standards are easier than others to connect to everyday life, and often the more abstract the standard is, the more challenging it is to [...]

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    Many teachers reading the Standards for Mathematical Practice are confused by what “Model with Mathematics” (Math Practice 4) means.  I define mathematical modeling as the process of taking an often real-world context, turning it into something you can manipulate with mathematics, and then returning to the context with the new knowledge.  For example if you want [...]

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  • 05/30/13--02:25: Going For A Carnival Ride
  • About two months ago I had the opportunity to work with a class of struggling 8th graders in a support class.  I chose to do the ticket option lesson with them and wanted to share my experiences and some student work samples.  From my previous experiences working with these students, I knew they struggled mathematically [...]

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    Several years ago I had a profound moment that led me to completely rethink what it meant to understand mathematics.  I was still in the classroom and had been working with 6th graders on adding and subtracting mixed numbers.  My formative assessments and observations showed that most students were proficient, and I felt pleased. To [...]

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    When teachers begin to implement problem-based learning, several questions consistently come up and I have a slide to discuss them during my presentations. At the 2014 California Math Council (CMC) North conference in Asilomar, Michael Fenton mentioned that these questions would be worth sharing in a blog post. Anyone else think @robertkaplinsky should write a […]

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  • 09/27/16--09:00: 4 Ways To Assess 3-Act Tasks
  • One of the most common concerns about implementing 3-Act Tasks (also known as problem-based lessons, application problems, or math modeling problems) is “How do you assess them?” Here are the four ways I use most often.

    The post 4 Ways To Assess 3-Act Tasks appeared first on Robert Kaplinsky.


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    [This is one of a series of posts that explore real world examples of mathematical modeling to help educators better understand its applications. The most important post to read is this one about spies and analysts, which is a context I refer to in each of the posts.]  I believe that there is still a…

    The post Math Modeling Can Tell You Who’s Pregnant appeared first on Robert Kaplinsky.


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    Sometimes we do something just because that’s the way it’s always been done. This happens in sports just like in education. For example, consider the high jump. You’re probably familiar with the basic idea of seeing how high someone can jump over a bar.   What you may not know though is that athletes have…

    The post What If We Didn’t Teach What A Calculator Can Do? appeared first on Robert Kaplinsky.


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    For years I’ve been trying to find a way to talk about mathematical modeling that made sense to me. I’ve finally found something I’m happy with and it has to do with the differences between spies and analysts. I’m sure this sounds strange, so let me explain. The United States’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is…

    The post Mathematical Modeling: Do You Need Better Spies Or Analysts? appeared first on Robert Kaplinsky.


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    [This is one of a series of posts that explore real world examples of mathematical modeling to help educators better understand its applications. The most important post to read is this one about spies and analysts, which is a context I refer to in each of the posts.]   Do you remember reading about the…

    The post Math Modeling Can Get You Kicked Off A Plane appeared first on Robert Kaplinsky.


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    [This is one of a series of posts that explore real world examples of mathematical modeling to help educators better understand its applications. The most important post to read is this one about spies and analysts, which is a context I refer to in each of the posts.]   You’ve probably heard of US News…

    The post Math Modeling Can Pick The Best Colleges appeared first on Robert Kaplinsky.


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    [This is one of a series of posts that explore real world examples of mathematical modeling to help educators better understand its applications. The most important post to read is this one about spies and analysts, which is a context I refer to in each of the posts.]   What if I told you that…

    The post Math Modeling Can Tell Amazon Which Products To Recommend appeared first on Robert Kaplinsky.