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Math topics presented in a more engaging and unorthodox fashion.

Math is already the most hated subject in schools and students have pinned math knowledge with a certain persona. The general persona is a monotone, nerd with no 'swagger'. This coupled with the rigor of the subject makes even the serious minded students tune out. This is a math lesson delivered as they've never seen nor expect. In music videos and various other forms of entertainment, a 'hood' figure who speaks with 'hood' vernacular is placed at the other end of the intelligence spectrum. This educator shows that where you come from does not speak to your intelligence or potential. Many agree that his delivery is unorthodox, interesting and rivals the explanations of seasoned professors. Some have professed that none of their collegiate educators delivered an explanation which could surpass the one given in the video. View the link and see if you agree with thousands thus far.

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    Jun 13 2013: Here are our thirty-four TED Talks about Math.

    The first, by a very energetic speaker, has had almost 5 million views! And he spoke again at TED Global today.

    In my experience, math is presented in a very wide variety of ways by different teachers and speakers. There are great and engaging teachers and professors and weak ones. With such a wide range, and as mathematicians can have an eccentric streak, I don't think any mode of speaking about the subject can truly be called orthodox.
    • Jun 14 2013: I guess there is a reply limit on here so I clicked on this one to reply to your last comment. As a matter of fact I am a math teacher. I suppose it wasn't very hard to tell. That theory sounds pretty good. The most problematic aspect of teaching inner city students is discipline. I honestly could not say whether or not I would be able to implement such a strategy because the biggest magic trick of all is getting them to actually care/try. There could be gifted students in the mix but they are so taken by their environments that academics are the last items on the list of importance. If I could be so lucky to get 5 million views and resources to act, I know exactly how to change it. As of now, it's a daily battle and with the close of each year, I lose the war big time. I mean, some of them have genuine unbelievable circumstances to deal with at home. One student told me that their mom was up for 3 days as he witnessed a drug habit. Not to get too deep but I almost hugged the little guy because he deals with a lot to be so young. The worst part is that his story isn't at all unique. They all have crushing survival pressures, horrific environmental influences and a loss of will. Movies and television about this very thing tend to desensitize as we are no longer stunned by hardships but it is 10,000% real. At this point, I really don't know what to do for them. I know I went on a little rant here but hey....just figured I'd vent while speaking to a fellow educator.
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        Jun 14 2013: It's not the place for me to address at length, but what worked pretty well for me in classrooms like you seem to have is to start the year by asking for a show of hands of who sees college as probably in the plan. Practically all say they do.

        At that point I say that this is important for me to know, because we need to run the class to prepare them for that.

        This conveys expectations that are useful and that, after all, came from what they told me their personal goals are.

        You might try that in September.
        • Jun 14 2013: This is not funny at all but sometimes all you can do is give one of those 'this makes no sense' laughs....when I ask about college, they don't even bother to raise their hand. It use to be that way about 7 years ago. They would raise their hand at least not to look bad. This is my last year teaching.
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    Jun 21 2013: Learnig maths (or whatever) and also teaching in a nice way, is practical, pleasant, and (if they know how to do it well) useful. Sure.
  • Jun 20 2013: LOl,I was good at math subject and I spent so much time to probe math's questions at school.And now my daughter likes math subject too.I can say some of students don't like math subject which isn't children's fault but math's teaching methods, do we apply math in reality?
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    • Jun 23 2013: you know of any books which go into more detail about this?
  • Jun 17 2013: I watched the talk referenced by you. I found that the presentation in his explanation of the derivative in the differential calculus based on the conventional definition. I admire his clear presentation. but it's not an innovative approach. The dismal phenomenon of lack of interest in math by the students is not due to teaching, but it's due to the interference of the top-down from the education bureaucracy who tries to handcuff the teachers in how to teach, what to teach and shovel all the ineffective materials or regulations to deter students learning. Two examples:
    The so-called common core teaching materials, especially in math, are full of idiotic explanations which are simply hard for the student to understand and impractical as well. An example is the equation; 1/2 x 1/3 = 1/6. Most of the TEDsters believe that using the pizza slices analogy is both realistic and easy to understand. But the authors in the common core attacked this approach and came up with some impractical and hard to understand explanations.More of these kind of "puzzles" are certain to turn the students off.
    Another example concerned with the new rules by the education authority to delay the teaching of Algebra I until the 9th grade. First of all, history shows that math should be learned as early in age as possible. There are plenty of prodigal youngsters who can reach the level of calculus or beyond at the age of 15 or even younger, but there are extremely few adults who could develop high math skills when they didn't have the proper foundation in math when they are already adults. Furthermore, what would we teach the students in the 7-8th grade. If the problems include relatively complex solutions, then the problems can easily be solved by algebraic equations, but they have not been taught at that time. If we lay off the students on that, then it is equivalent to give THE STUDENTS A SLACK in progress during the optimal time for learning. In both cases, we turn them off of math!
  • Jun 13 2013: Thanks for the reference. I will check them out.....I agree. Math is typically very unorthodox but to the masses of people who hate the mere mentioning of the subject, it can be dim to say the least.
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      Jun 13 2013: I notice children typically like or even love math as long as the problems are easy and they can do them with minimal effort. Part of why people start not liking math is that people don't always enjoy making mistakes and being told they have made mistakes.
      • Jun 13 2013: Yeah that's true. Once they have to do more than 3 steps to get to the answer then it's like pulling teeth. At some point, they just have to realize that it is the glory of thinking your way through that fuels the process.
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          Jun 13 2013: Just in case you are a math teacher, there is a great little book I read a long time ago called Thinking Mathematically, by John Mason. One of the key ideas is that to get students hooked on math, you have to get them to experience the stuck-stuck-stuck- Breakthrough! experience.

          For this you have to hit just the right level of difficult so that they will get stuck... stuck...stuck... but then break through, producing that elated feeling that gets addictive. and you take them there over and over again.

          That's my secret anyway. Notice it is an intrinsic thing.