Growth Mindset and Mathematics

One of my favourite Hindi couplets(doha) that I learned in school and comes to me often as I continue to teach. करत करत अभ्यास के, जड़मति होत सुजान रसरी आवत जात ते, सिल पर परत निसान Translation- Practice makes everyone wise, just like even a soft rope, when rubbed continuously on stone, leaves a mark […]

Abstraction in Mathematics

Is there a reduction in the members of Mathematics fan club around the age group of 9 to 12? This is when in most curriculums students are introduced to algebra with its abstraction and the letter “x”. Abstraction or abstract mathematical reasoning can be described as the switch from concrete reasoning to more rule-based reasoning. […]

Anxiety-how to manage this for mathematics

I often tell colleagues and parents that while  teaching mathematics, the building of understanding of the concepts comes after the psychological  warfare  has been won with a student’s low self-esteem and anxiety with regard to this subject. To win this battle, classroom or exam-oriented mathematics should be peppered with interesting mathematical problems or history of […]

Saga of Mathematics Teaching…..

Returning to blog after a long hiatus – summer break and travels. These travels give me an opportunity to discuss and reflect upon about different teaching styles being used in different schools mainly in Delhi – of course done through discussion with nieces and nephews. Discussions this year has further strengthened my faith in the […]

Continuing the saga of Pure versus Applied

I want to start the discussion this time by posting an interesting problem – It concerns the number of ODD and EVEN numbers which appear in Pascal’s triangle. The question is as the triangle gets larger, what is the proportion of even numbers appearing in the triangle? Does it converge to a limit? row 1 […]

Mathematics versus Applied Mathematics – Part -1

I have been reading a book “Beyond Infinity” by Eugenia Cheng and she writes “Mathematics suffers a strange burden of being required to be useful. This is not a burden placed on poetry or music or football” – I can completely understand and relate to this. This burden is increasing as we make greater advancement […]

To Practice or Not To Practice

“Don’t Practice till you get it right. Practice till you can’t get it wrong” Practice is all it takes to get better at mathematics – we often hear this. Is it right? Does it work? Can we improve how we do it? To address this issue I will divide it into two different situations – […]

Reading Mathematics

Concept based learning and Inquiry based learning are both interesting topics and close to my heart – but this week I want to talk about building passion in students through reading mathematics. Some interesting articles and some interesting books – not that they have to understand mathematical aspects but it just builds the excitement and […]

Teacher-centered and Structured-classroom

Two terms that have been used in good and bad sense these days – “teacher-centered” and “structured classroom”. Teacher-centered and not teacher-driven as driven would mean that the co-passengers (the students) don’t know anything about brakes and clutches – but that is not true here – the awareness for the brakes and the clutches is […]

Food for thought

Interesting article in Wired magazine How a 19th Century Math Genius Taught Us the Best Way to Hold a Pizza Slice