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Kid struggles with math yet wins prestigious award!


Michael_WallusMichael Wallus didn’t take a direct path to winning a presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

I was not the kid who was good at math,” Wallus, an elementary math coordinator for Minneapolis Public Schools said after his award was announced last week.  “Fractions rolled around and it didn’t make sense to me.”

He struggled in algebra as well.

Perhaps that’s why the 42-year-old doesn’t think the kid who raises a hand first with the answer to a math problem is necessarily the one who is best.  He’s looking for students who can justify their answer, who reason the relationships among numbers. Read the full article here.


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10 x 9 x 8 + (7 + 6) x 5 x 4 x (3 + 2) x 1 = 2020

NCEA Level 2 Algebra Problem. Using the information given, the shaded area = 9, that is:
y(y-8) = 9 –> y.y – 8y – 9 =0
–> (y-9)(y+1) = 0, therefore y = 9 (can’t have a distance of – 1 for the other solution for y)
Using the top and bottom of the rectangle,
x = (y-8)(y+2) = (9-8)(9+2) = 11
but, the left side = (x-4) = 11-4 = 7, but rhs = y+? = 9+?, which is greater than the value of the opp. side??
[I think that the left had side was a mistake and should have read (x+4)?]

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