## Making Your Own Sense

Reflections on maths, learning, and the Maths Learning Centre.

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## Money and me

In the online resources for Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You'd Had, Tracy Zager provides information about the benefits of writing a "math autobiography". I really have tried to do this, but I am having a lot of trouble organising my thoughs and memories. However, I reckon I can track some of my memories about one particular application of maths: money.

## An opening gambit for the Numbers game

It was O'Week a couple of weeks ago, when new students arrive on campus to find out how uni works and the services they have access to. Our tradition for the last several years is to play Numbers and Letters on a big whiteboard out in public as a way to engage with students. This year I discovered a way to help people engage: write something on the board that is not a solution.

## Finding an inverse function

There is a procedure that people use and teach students to use for finding the inverse of a function. My problem with it is that it doesn't make any sense, in two ways.

## Book Reading: Which One Doesn't Belong - Teacher Guide

This is another post about a teaching book I've read recently. This one is about the Which One Doesn't Belong Teacher Guide by Christopher Danielson.

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## Book Reading: 5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematical Discussions

Writing about the teaching books I've read is fast becoming a series, because this is the third post in a row about a teaching book I've read. The book I finished earlier this week is "5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematical Discussions" by Margaret S. Smith and Mary Kay Stein and coming out of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) in the USA.

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## Book Reading: Math on the Move

Over the last week or so, I have been reading the book "Math on the Move" by Malke Rosenfeld (subtitled "Engaging Students in Whole Body Learning"). Ever since connecting with Malke on Twitter back in June or July, I've wanted to read her book, and I finally just bought it and read it. Now that I've finished, it's time to write about my thoughts.

## Book Reading: The Classroom Chef

Over the weekend, I read "The Classroom Chef" by John Stevens and Matt Vaudrey. This is a post about my reaction to the book.

## How I choose which trig substitution to do

Trig substitution is a fancy kind of substitution used to help find the integral of a particular family of fancy functions. These fancy functions involve things like a^{2} + x^{2} or a^{2} - x^{2} or x^{2} - a^{2} , usually under root signs or inside half-powers, and the purpose of trig substitution is to use the magic of trig identities to make the roots and half-powers go away, thus making the integral easier. One particular thing the students struggle with is choosing which trig substitution to do.

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## Panda Squares

This post is about a puzzle I've been tweeting about for the last couple of days. I got it originally from a book I was given back in the 1980's called "Ivan Moscovich's Super Games". In the book, Ivan calls this puzzle "Bits", but I don't think that's nearly descriptive or cute enough, so I asked my daughter what it should be called and we have come up with the much better name of **PANDA SQUARES.**

You can read the rest of this blog post in PDF form here.

## Holding the other parts constant

It seems like ages ago – but it was only yesterday – that I wrote about differentiating functions with the variable in both the base and the power. Back there, I had learned that the derivative of a function like f(x)^{g(x)} is the sum of the derivative when you pretend f(x) is constant and the derivative when you pretend g(x) is constant.