A Tactical Maneuver?

When I was ten years old I was given a toy plastic machine gun. It looked like a slightly smaller version of the real thing. It came in a plastic carrying case and included a grenade launcher. Assembly was required. It actually shot plastic bullets which were fired using percussion caps. Imagine giving kids tiny… Continue reading A Tactical Maneuver?

Fifty-Fifty

Several years ago, my wife and I were attending a fund-raising event. Following the meal, a high school student came around with fifty-fifty tickets. He approached our table. “Fifty-Fifty tickets. One for two or five for three.” I spoke, “You meant, one for two or three for five, right?” “That’s right. That’s what I said.… Continue reading Fifty-Fifty

Calculator Features

It was a beautiful spring morning and my class was in the Chemistry lab. While the students were carrying out their activity I approached one of them and quietly slipped a calculator to him. I whispered, “John, I want you to pretend this is yours and take it with you when we go outside. This… Continue reading Calculator Features

Out of Proportion

Over the years I tried different marking schemes and procedures. Nearing the end of my career I think I finally settled upon a system that made sense – to me anyway. One of my consistencies, however, was that I would tell students that if they were ever unhappy with a mark received, to come and… Continue reading Out of Proportion

By the Numbers

By the Numbers In the world of mathematics, a factorial is the product of a whole number and all of the whole numbers below it; for example, four factorial is equal to 24 (4 x 3 x 2 x 1). The symbol to indicate a factorial is ! (an exclamation mark), so four factorial is… Continue reading By the Numbers