Sep 19

Stick that in your head

Here’s a ‘quote’ I came up with on one of my runs one day. Someday I should turn this into a lecture.

Perhaps uttered at the end of a class period:

Stick that in your head, so that when you need it, you’ll have it.

More fully:

Stick that in your head, so that when you need it, you’ll have it — more importantly, so that when you need it you’ll know that you need it, and you’ll have it to use.

In this look-it-up society, there is a time-and-place to actually know things so that they can be used.

May 04

The Redesigned SAT: What Every Math Teacher Needs To Know

Upcoming ICTM Webinar on the SAT

The Redesigned SAT: What Every Illinois Math Teacher Needs To Know
3:30 PM on Monday, May 16

The redesigned mathematics SAT is rolling out this spring, and will become common across Illinois in the next year. Do you know about its major changes?

ICTM invites you to join Bill Trapp, Executive Director of Mathematics and Science Assessment at the College Board, for a brief webinar highlighting the big ideas of the shift. Facilitated by ICTM Director at Large Sendhil Revuluri, we’ll also have some time for your questions and answers.

We’ll examine some sample items, and build your understanding of the new mathematics SAT’s content foci, problem-solving level, item types, and more. We’ll also point you to valuable free resources for teachers and students, and discuss implications for classroom instruction and assessment across middle and high school contexts.

Register now!

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. (View System Requirements)

Apr 27

Check out

It does appear to be somewhat CCSSM-based.

Apr 26

Free Worksheets site – Kuta

Apr 26

7 Websites Spring 2016

The websites for the Spring 2016 Math 304 students are

Mar 29

Verifying Trig Identities in the CCSSM

My question is below. Bill McCallum’s answer is here:

From: “William (Bill) McCallum” <>
To: “James R Olsen” <>
Sent: Monday, March 28, 2016 8:06:34 PM
Subject: Re: trig identities question



As you have noted, the identities explicitly required by the standards are limited. But the standards do not cover everything that STEM intending students should learn. And that was true of many state standards before CCSSM. In high school, student paths diverge at some point. I think it’s a matter of judgement for colleges to decide what they teach. Some trig identities are important for calculus, for example.
On Sun, Mar 27, 2016 at 1:44 PM, James R Olsen <> wrote:

Hi Bill,
I’m wondering if ‘traditional’ verifying of trig identities (example is attached) is in the CCSSM.
F-TF8 and 9 are close but don’t seem to explicitly say students should be able to verify trig identities (like the one attached).
I’m splitting hairs here a bit, but it is the world we are in.  If we should shift our instructional time we need to do this in accordance with the CCSSM.  Therefore, we need to more fully understand the CCSSM.

James R. Olsen
Mathematics Education
Mathematics Department
Western Illinois University
Macomb, IL  61455

Mar 28

State Testing: An Interactive Breakdown of 2015-16 Plans

Check out

#CCSS #PARCC #SmarterBalanced #ACT #SAT

Mar 23

Parenting, math, and the Growth Mindset

Handout for Parents

Mar 18

Evidence Based Teaching Strategies

Top 10 Evidence Based Teaching Strategies

Feb 17

Calculus Foldable online

The Calculus Foldable is on SlideShare


Thank you to Kyle for helping take all the pictures!

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