Dan Meyer spoke on Fake World Maths at NCTM this morning

18 04 2015

The presentation was most entertaining and informative.


Dan demonstrated modeling using the decisions involved in making a  local delivery company as efficient as possible. He outlined the criteria used to decide which drivers were more likely to have an imminent accident and shared the monetary saving made by just shaving 1 mile off the route of each driver per day. It just goes to show that lots of lite bits can amount to huge results.
He then analyzed the modelling questions in textbooks which need to 
  

In reality the questions mostly only allow the students to perform operations and interpret results. The only questions validated were probability questions. 

Teachers need to fill the gaps of such questions and set the scene and then ask the students what information they need to solve the problem without giving the information, initially.
He showed a brilliant video on 2 ways of climbing a set of stairs and estimating the time taken to complete the second climb. 
He encouraged estimation with calculation to validate the processes used. 
He then showed this (as given to a primary class) 
  



who were then shown

  


in order to guess the total number of cheese balls present. When told they were wrong a conversation ensued as to which assumption lead to the faulty logic. 

He made reference to the Estimation 180 website for information for further problems and suggested we use our phones to video situations such as peeling a potato in order to get data to estimate the time taken to peel a bag of potatoes etc. He also suggested that we use the curiosity of others to ask different questions about the real world and hence raise the interest and confidence in maths.

Thank you Dan for stimulating us to reexamine and change the questions we ask and provide in our classroom. 
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