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"Proofiness has power over us because we're blind to this impurity. Numbers, figures, and graphs all have an aura of perfection. They seem like absolute truth; they seem indisputable. But this is nothing but an illusion. The numbers of our everyday world - the numbers we care about - are flawed, and not just because measurements are imperfect. They can be changed and tinkered with, manipulated and spun and turned upside down. And because those lies are clad in the divine white garb of irrefutable fact, they are incredibly powerful. This is what makes proofiness so very dangerous." (Seife, p. 11)

Are we preparing young people for the real-world of math? Young people need more than answers, they need to be able to collect evidence and make arguments using math concepts.

According to Charles Seife, "the only antidote to proofiness is, ironically, mathematics. Numbers can shatter myths and can disprove falsehoods. They can be turned against their abusers. They can banish proofiness - or at least reduce its influence." (p. 242)

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From maps to manipulatives, it can be expensive to collect the materials needed for inquiry. Consider creating an Amazon wish list. Parents and community members enjoy buying the materials to help with teaching and learning.

Background Information

Teacher Websites




Need Ideas for Problem-based Approaches?

Math/Science Teacher Blogs and Podcasts

Follow other math teachers who think "out of the box" and "around the edges" to keep your brain moving with new ideas throughout the school year. Use Google Reader or another feed reader. Use these to spark your imagination:

Math/Science Teacher Podcasts

Big Picture Resources

Games and Activities


Boaler, Jo. What's Math Go To Do With It? (US Perspective)

Boaler, Jo. The Elephant in the Classroom (UK Perspective)

Dudley, Underwood. What is Mathematics For? (PDF) Notices of the AMS, Volume 57, Number 5, p 608-613.

Muschla, Gary Robert & Muschla, Judith A. (1996). Hands-On Math Projects with Real-Life Applications.The Center for Applied Research in Education.

Herrington, Jan & Reeves, Thomas (2003). Patterns of Engagement in Authentic Online Learning Environments, Australian Journal of Educational Technology 19(10), 59-71.

Patall, E., Cooper, H., & Robinson, J. C. (2008). The effects of choice on intrinsic motivation and related outcomes: A meta-analysis of research findings. Psychological Bulletin, 134(2), 270–300.

Schoenfeld, Alan H. (1992). Learning to Think Mathematically. In D. Gruws (Ed). Handbook for Research on Mathematics Teaching and Learning New York: MacMillan, p 334-370.

Teaching Math: A Video Library, K-4

Use the links on the left to move through this online workshop.

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