Topic (follow-up to Thursday, 23rd September 2010):
Why I hate/love maths ... Bring a friend/enemy!
As it happened on Monday, 27th September 2010, 19:30 - 21:00 GMT

7:31 pm
ColinTGraham:
Hello everyone, welcome to this week's #mathchat
7:31 pm
ColinTGraham:
If it's your first time, don't try to follow everything, just interact with one or two people #mathchat
7:32 pm
ColinTGraham:
Don't forget to use the hashtag --> #mathchat
7:32 pm
ColinTGraham:
Tonight's topic is "Why I love/hate maths" #mathchat
7:33 pm
ColinTGraham:
So just jump in with as many comments as you like, to start with! #mathchat
7:35 pm
Janshs:
I love Maths because it is possible to show people of any age that they *can do it* #mathchat
7:35 pm
ColinTGraham:
I love maths because... or I hate maths because... or Share a story which you think shaped your opinion of maths. #mathchat
7:37 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Janshs How far does 'it' stretch... arithmetic, geometry, algrebra...? #mathchat
7:38 pm
chris_1974:
RT @ColinTGraham: I love maths because... or I hate maths because...or Share a story which you think shaped your opinion of maths. #mathchat
7:38 pm
Janshs:
@ColinTGraham challenge is good and I also think just plain fun is good, the history of Maths often engages #mathchat
7:39 pm
ColinTGraham:
I love the universality of maths, I've said before that it's the language of the universe, but it is so pervasive too. #mathchat
7:39 pm
chris_1974:
Love maths because its logical. Step step process from what we know to what we want to know... #mathchat
7:40 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Janshs Do you see being offered a challenge or problem to solve as being a strong engaging feature of maths? #mathchat
7:40 pm
KiranArora:
@ColinTGraham I love maths because I find it easy ;) And rewarding when I can solve something. #mathchat
7:40 pm
pavkahu:
I like maths because it allows me to show a lot of games and activities for young children. #mathchat
7:40 pm
Janshs:
@ColinTGraham yes, worked this into an Art cover lesson today (they were drawing corn on the cob) #mathchat
7:41 pm
ColinTGraham:
@KiranArora How do you feel when you can't solve something? #mathchat
7:41 pm
chris_1974:
similarly step by step process from what we want to solve, to something we know how to solve. #mathchat
7:42 pm
ColinTGraham:
@pavkahu What is it especially about early learners and maths that excites you? #mathchat
7:42 pm
pavkahu:
@ColinTGraham It worked this into a Music, too #mathchat
7:43 pm
Janshs:
@ColinTGraham good Q, I think most people like a challenge #mathchat what do you think?
7:43 pm
ColinTGraham:
@chris_1974 Do you think 'logic' and 'analysis' are key interests/engagements for maths teachers? #mathchat
7:43 pm
chris_1974:
I love Algebra because its useful, and makes maths easier! #mathchat (I usually get stick for that one from non maths types!).
7:44 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Janshs It's whether or not the challenge is one that is surmountable... sometimes it's just frustrating! #mathchat
7:44 pm
KiranArora:
@ColinTGraham There's nothing I can't solve! mwhah.. Yeah it's pretty annoying when I can't. Which is why ppl say "it's too hard" #mathchat
7:45 pm
chris_1974:
@ColinTGraham i think logic is a key area. Not the only though. Playing with "what happens if" good too #mathchat
7:45 pm
ColinTGraham:
@chris_1974 Do you find yourself resorting to algebra as your first course of solution, because you like it? #mathchat
7:45 pm
Caro_lann:
#mathchat I love maths - no special reason why - I just do!
7:46 pm
ColinTGraham:
@pavkahu I think in early years teaching you have more chance to introduce maths across the range of topics #mathchat
7:46 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Caro_lann Well that's fine too, Carolann! #mathchat
7:47 pm
chris_1974:
@ColinTGraham I was doing diff of 4 today with Y7 (as blogged last week).GTP observing. Algebra on Thurs! #mathchat
7:47 pm
Janshs:
@ColinTGraham true, must make sure achievable #mathchat
7:47 pm
chris_1974:
Best answer! RT @Caro_lann: #mathchat I love maths - no special reason why - I just do!
7:47 pm
pavkahu:
@ColinTGraham I often use a variety of flash cards, materials in hands - involving the head and hands. #mathchat
7:48 pm
ColinTGraham:
What was your "aha!" moment, when you decided you 'got' maths or liked it? #mathchat
7:48 pm
Caro_lann:
#mathchat What are the chances of anyone who hates maths joining in here?
7:49 pm
bartoneducation:
#mathchat I love tutoring maths because when children get it ... they really GET IT. Great to watch.
7:49 pm
ColinTGraham:
@chris_1974 GTP is graduate teacher placement, for non-UK tweeps! #mathchat
7:49 pm
dailydenouement:
It's yet to happen! #whyiteachenglish RT @ColinTGraham: What was your "aha!" moment, when you decided you 'got' maths or liked it? #mathchat
7:49 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Caro_lann We had a few people who said they had hated it in the past, but came to like it, on Thursday #mathchat
7:50 pm
Janshs:
sorry distracted from #mathchat by Michel Roux Junior .... ahhh
7:50 pm
ColinTGraham:
@dailydenouement So turn it round Clare, when did you 'give up' on maths... if you did! #mathchat
7:51 pm
pavkahu:
@ColinTGraham Maths at the first stage is about a big search and discovery. Children love mathematics. #mathchat
7:51 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Janshs I'm going to catch it on iPlayer later! #mathchat
7:52 pm
Janshs:
@ColinTGraham sorry to share my affections #mathchat
7:52 pm
ColinTGraham:
@pavkahu Do you ever see a moment when they start to lose interest or get turned off? #mathchat
7:52 pm
bartoneducation:
The best thing about maths is once a child gets it; they can quickly teach others. #mathchat
7:52 pm
dailydenouement:
I can only do practical Maths - real life not theory. Used to work in retail, could do that stuff as 'meant' sthg RT @ColinTGraham #mathchat
7:53 pm
frogphilp:
I love maths. It is elegant. It is graceful and swift. (One of my Y6 said that last week - it's been on the board since!) #mathchat
7:53 pm
ColinTGraham:
@dailydenouement Functional as far as you needed it, and can do what you need to... #mathchat
7:54 pm
bartoneducation:
@dailydenouement Functionally numerate. Most important element. #mathchat
7:54 pm
Caro_lann:
#mathchat I try to help my students find something to like. Looking at historical/cultural/ nature stuff at present.
7:54 pm
ColinTGraham:
@frogphilp You should take a photograph of it while it lasts! #mathchat
7:54 pm
dailydenouement:
Wish had been taught that though! RT @ColinTGraham: @dailydenouement Functional as far as needed it, & can do what you need to... #mathchat
7:55 pm
bartoneducation:
@frogphilp Agree, swift a brilliant description. Fast, speedy the ones I have had. #mathchat
7:55 pm
chris_1974:
functional maths is all very well and important, but some of the great mathematical discoveries have come from playing. #mathchat
7:55 pm
pavkahu:
@ColinTGraham When the math no longer have a connection to their lives. It ceases to be meaningful learning. #mathchat
7:55 pm
ColinTGraham:
@dailydenouement Yes a lot of people get turned off because they don't intend going on to jobs that do need that type of maths... #mathchat
7:55 pm
Janshs:
RT @chris_1974: functional maths is all very well and important, but some of the great mathematical discoveries have come from playing. #mathchat
7:55 pm
dailydenouement:
But self-taught. School maths meant nothing :( RT @bartoneducation:@dailydenouement Functionally numerate. Most important element. #mathchat
7:56 pm
bartoneducation:
#mathchat Enjoying the largest of the large and the smallest of the small. That's the beauty of mathematics.
7:56 pm
ColinTGraham:
@chris_1974 But we are talking about people who like 'playing' with maths, numbers and abstract concepts, though... #mathchat
7:56 pm
chris_1974:
number theory was playing, in its day, but applications to ICT are numerous. More encouragement needed for this aspect. #mathchat
7:56 pm
frogphilp:
@ColinTGraham take a photo? I'm going to turn into a 3 act musical with singing, dancing and a star turn by Carol Vorderman #mathchat
7:57 pm
Janshs:
@chris_1974 absolutely! I wish we could get away from 'when will I use this?' = it's about fun not function #mathchat
7:57 pm
ColinTGraham:
@pavkahu Can the connection to a child's life be something as simple as having fun doing a mathematical activity? #mathchat
7:58 pm
chris_1974:
@Janshs Y10 asked that about probability last week. sis&bro in law actuaries, own 2 v exp houses... nuff said! #mathchat
7:58 pm
bartoneducation:
#mathchat #spooks. Love the maths in codes. Hours of fun.
7:58 pm
ColinTGraham:
@icecolbeveridge wants to talk about poker in his lessons! #mathchat
7:58 pm
mushychelle:
I love maths because I can play around with it and then get the joy of discovery - like solving a puzzle :) #mathchat
7:58 pm
chris_1974:
@ColinTGraham so how do we encourage the playing? #mathchat
7:59 pm
ColinTGraham:
@bartoneducation Again, it's the something to solve - which may or may not be solvable #mathchat
8:00 pm
pavkahu:
@ColinTGraham @chris_1974 Unfortunately, I know other teachers of mathematics who kill love of learning in pupils. #mathchat
8:00 pm
Janshs:
@chris_1974 good answer #mathchat ..... I also liken it to keeping your brain fit just like rest of your body
8:02 pm
ColinTGraham:
@chris_1974 The 'play' is often killed by teaching methods and outside pressures where there's no understanding of its role #mathchat
8:03 pm
ColinTGraham:
So, to rephrase @chris_1974 How can we ensure that our students like maths more? #mathchat
8:03 pm
pavkahu:
@ColinTGraham I think so. When will the teaching theoretical, students lose their motivation. They need to know why. #mathchat
8:05 pm
ColinTGraham:
Some ideas - play, fun, why are we doing this...?, puzzles/challenges... #mathchat
8:06 pm
chris_1974:
@pavkahu can't students be encouraged to play? What happens if we try ... #mathchat
8:08 pm
icecolbeveridge:
@ColinTGraham No, I want them playing poker and discussing the maths themselves! #mathchat
8:10 pm
ColinTGraham:
I learned a lot of my mental maths ability from playing whist and canasta with my grandparents and my brother #mathchat
8:12 pm
pavkahu:
@chris_1974 I think it is the only possible way for older students. #mathchat
8:13 pm
pavkahu:
@chris_1974 Do you mean - teaching math will be meaningful OR/LATER motivated with the game? #mathchat
8:14 pm
chris_1974:
@pavkahu I'm not sure I get the question. #feelingabitdim #mathchat
8:15 pm
ColinTGraham:
A lot of Japanese teachers started using KenKen puzzles in lessons as a warm-up activity #mathchat
8:16 pm
ColinTGraham:
http://www.kenken.com/index.html if you haven't seen them/heard about them before #mathchat
8:17 pm
pavkahu:
@chris_1974 I'm sorry if I do not write properly. Google helps me to translate into English language. #mathchat
8:18 pm
maxmathforum:
#mathchat you can sign up for a free membership and download a bunch to print and share with students here: http://mathforum.org/kenken
8:19 pm
ColinTGraham:
Why do you think people always have a strong opinion about maths but not so much about other subjects? #mathchat
8:19 pm
chris_1974:
@pavkahu no problem. For me playing need not be about games. Look at my blog for a good lesson example. http://bit.ly/9XcMiM #mathchat
8:19 pm
marketspi:
@ColinTGraham #mathchat I love sudoku (classic &killer) &kenken as starters, even with lower sets who can learn rules &solve to satisfaction
8:20 pm
Janshs:
good Q RT @ColinTGraham Why do you think people always have a strong opinion about maths but not so much about other subjects? #mathchat
8:20 pm
suburbanlion:
What really got me into #math was video games. It started with playing them & gradually moved into writing them. #mathchat
8:22 pm
marketspi:
@ColinTGraham #mathchat is it because maths is a subject with perceived definitive answers, unlike arts subjects for example
8:22 pm
pavkahu:
@chris_1974 Thank you. I understand that for older students is necessary to choose another tip of games. #mathchat
8:22 pm
ColinTGraham:
Some interesting research, which I wish I could find the reference for, showed that one non-clinical method of raising an adult's #mathchat
8:23 pm
ColinTGraham:
(cont) blood pressure was to tell them that they were going to do a maths test in 10 minutes. #mathchat
8:24 pm
ColinTGraham:
BP was raised irrespective of whether they thought themselves good or bad at maths. Didn't work with any other subject... #mathchat
8:25 pm
Janshs:
@dawnhallybone ah good point, I wish we could get over that it's the process that counts too #mathchat
8:25 pm
ColinTGraham:
@suburbanlion It would be interesting to know how that transition from game-player to math-lover happened... #mathchat
8:26 pm
icecolbeveridge:
#mathchat Hypothesis: Ss find "not trying and getting it wrong" less frustrating than "trying and getting it wrong" + so don't try.
8:27 pm
ColinTGraham:
The joy of discovery that @mushychelle mentioned earlier seems to be one of the key things we need to get across in our teaching. #mathchat
8:27 pm
suburbanlion:
@ColinTGraham I was trying to write a physics engine & discovered that I needed Calculus to do it. From there on, I was hooked =) #mathchat
8:27 pm
chris_1974:
@icecolbeveridge i had a lesson where the explicit success criteria was to have had a go at the question. very enlightening. #mathchat
8:28 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Janshs Can you summarize @dawnhallybone's point, protected tweets don't show up in the #mathchat stream...
8:29 pm
suburbanlion:
@ColinTGraham just playing can have a great deal of math behind it to begin with though. Take World of Warcraft for example... #mathchat
8:29 pm
Sundayteatime:
#mathchat. It can be a bit repetitive. Just finished a pile of algebra marking yawn.
8:30 pm
pavkahu:
I think that math thinking can not be learned. Some people will learn an algorithm, but they dont understand it. #mathchat
8:30 pm
Janshs:
@ColinTGraham oh sorry, re Mtahs right or wrong, fear of failure perhaps? #mathchat
8:30 pm
Janshs:
@ColinTGraham like spelling Maths! #mathchat
8:31 pm
ColinTGraham:
The acceptability of allowing people to state "I'm rubbish at maths" should not be the same as "I'm rubbish at football" #mathchat
8:31 pm
pavkahu:
This may cause that some people hate math. #mathchat
8:31 pm
suburbanlion:
@ColinTGraham The guys over at Elitist Jerks use a great deal of #math to optimize their WoW playing http://bit.ly/cf2PMZ #mathchat
8:32 pm
chris_1974:
@ColinTGraham maybe, but i don't mind saying i'm rubbish at football! #mathchat
8:32 pm
ColinTGraham:
@suburbanlion So it was the requirement to achieve something you wanted to do that 'forced' you into understanding the maths...? #mathchat
8:32 pm
Janshs:
RT @ColinTGraham acceptability of allowing people to state "I'm rubbish at maths" should not be same as "I'm rubbish at football" #mathchat
8:33 pm
ColinTGraham:
@chris_1974 Neither do I, but is there a sense of devaluing maths by "lumping it" together with lower impact activities/subjects? #mathchat
8:33 pm
Natty08:
@ColinTGraham what if you are rubbish at maths and football? What happens then #doomed#mathchat
8:34 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Natty08 You just teach English instead, because people don't usually say they're rubbish at reading and writing! ;-P #mathchat
8:35 pm
suburbanlion:
@ColinTGraham it certainly stimulated my curiosity #mathchat
8:37 pm
ColinTGraham:
If @frogphilp's Y6, 12yo?, said "I love maths. It is elegant. It is graceful and swift." How can we transfer this to teaching? #mathchat
8:37 pm
Natty08:
@ColinTGraham that is not true! I have many children who will say they can't read, write or spell they much prefer numbers #mathchat #eal
8:37 pm
suburbanlion:
@pavkahu do you mean mathematical thinking "can't be learned" or "can't be taught"? #mathchat
8:38 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Sundayteatime That was the marking that was repetitive though, surely? #mathchat
8:38 pm
Janshs:
@ColinTGraham ah when at college we got graded on the elegance of our solutions (I never got alpha) #mathchat
8:39 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Natty08 EAL is a different situation. I certainly had Japanese students whose opinions of English matched those about maths. #mathchat
8:42 pm
ColinTGraham:
We've had puzzles mentioned, video/computer games, poker, what other approaches can we 'sneak' the fun into lessons ? #mathchat
8:42 pm
pavkahu:
@suburbanlion "can't be learned", he will count, but without understanding the meaning of #mathchat
8:43 pm
ColinTGraham:
@pavkahu So application of process without understanding where the process came from. #mathchat
8:44 pm
icecolbeveridge:
@ColinTGraham Wide, open-ended, collaborative challenges. You could call them maths debates for a snigger. #mathchat
8:44 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Janshs What constituted an elegant solution - efficient application of algorithms or...? #mathchat
8:45 pm
Janshs:
@ColinTGraham seemed to be efficiency and brevity (tho I don't really know cos I never excelled!) #mathchat
8:46 pm
ColinTGraham:
I like Project Euler http://projecteuler.net/ for ICT/maths collaboration problems #mathchat
8:46 pm
pavkahu:
@ColinTGraham Projects #mathchat
8:46 pm
suburbanlion:
@pavkahu if that were true, then mathematical ability would entirely predetermined by a genetics. I don't think that's the case. #mathchat
8:46 pm
Janshs:
@ColinTGraham in fact, my bro is best example for me, left sch 16 and works everything out from 1st principles #mathchat
8:46 pm
marketspi:
@icecolbeveridge maths debates! I like that idea! #mathchat
8:47 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Janshs Was the meaning of elegance in solution never modelled then? #mathchat
8:47 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Janshs There are lots of jokes based on mathematicians always going back to 1st principles and solving from a known position! #mathchat
8:48 pm
suburbanlion:
@pavkahu "thinking mathematically" takes work to develop, and practice to maintain #mathchat
8:48 pm
pavkahu:
@suburbanlion Not entirely predetermined, but significantly affected. #mathchat
8:49 pm
Janshs:
@ColinTGraham LOL #mathchat
8:50 pm
ColinTGraham:
Interesting paper - advanced mathematical thinking:http://www.warwick.ac.uk/staff/David.Tall/pdfs/dot2000h-plenary-atcm2000.pdf #mathchat
8:50 pm
Janshs:
@ColinTGraham it was a*long* time ago y'knw #mathchat
8:51 pm
icecolbeveridge:
RT @suburbanlion: @ColinTGraham I was trying to write a physics engine & discovered that I needed Calculus to do it. From there on, I was hooked =) #mathchat
8:51 pm
suburbanlion:
@pavkahu I think its a lack of "mathematical curiosity" that's the issue. #math can't be learned if student simply doesn't care. #mathchat
8:52 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Janshs mentioned history of maths. I certainly found that was a 'hook' when I did investigations of pi during my PGCE placement #mathchat
8:53 pm
pavkahu:
@ColinTGraham We┬┤ve got somethig similar - http://goo.gl/wLfe - for czech teachers. #mathchat
8:53 pm
pavkahu:
@ColinTGraham The authors draw attention to the problem of formalism in math #mathchat
8:54 pm
Janshs:
@ColinTGraham I find youngsters (you? :-) ) really like the historical context #mathchat
8:54 pm
ColinTGraham:
In the last five minutes - any final thoughts about love/hate of maths and what we can do to help shift the balance towards love? #mathchat
8:55 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Janshs Me, young? why thank you... all relative I suppose! #mathchat
8:56 pm
Sundayteatime:
@ColinTGraham yeah not my task just marking it. Though it is highlighting that my AS students can't rearrange an equation :-( #mathchat
8:58 pm
pavkahu:
Showing a sense of mathematics in life. Know why. #mathchat
8:58 pm
Janshs:
@ColinTGraham of course! I am extremely old now LOL #mathchat and I don't care ;-)
8:59 pm
ColinTGraham:
OK thank you everyone that's a wrap for today! #mathchat
8:59 pm
mathchat:
Don't forget to vote for the next #mathchat http://bit.ly/c9KL7u or http://bit.ly/cDoccm and add some more topics: http://bit.ly/aOhxOV
9:00 pm
ColinTGraham:
Follow @mathchat to keep up-to-date with changes and see you again next time! #mathchat
9:01 pm
pavkahu:
RT @mathchat: Don't forget to vote for the next #mathchat http://bit.ly/c9KL7u or http://bit.ly/cDoccmand add some more topics: http://bit.ly/aOhxOV
9:01 pm
Janshs:
@ColinTGraham thanks for the #mathchat
9:02 pm
chris_1974:
Seconded. RT @Janshs: @ColinTGraham thanks for the #mathchat
9:03 pm
ColinTGraham:
If you are interested in helping to moderate or want to know what is involved, I will be skyping on Saturday: http://bit.ly/aOaan4 #mathchat
9:04 pm
ColinTGraham:
Links etc. will appear in the archive and tonight's chat should be online in about 30 minutes! #mathchat