Wednesday, March 25, 2009

PM Session

The PM session of the first meeting has concluded.
Discussion of calculators and algorithms took place.
Debate was on both sides.
Two members wanted to ban calculators until 7th grade.
Singapore does not use calculators till 5th grade, while Massachusetts limits use until 4th grade.
I was charged with drafting a white paper delineating appropriate use and non-appropriate use of calculators.

The standard algorithm discussion centered around the word "the" as in the standard algorithm.
No common ground was found, but there was strong sentiment that students must be able to use efficient and accurate algorithms - with the emphasis on the 's' - algorithms. Lattice multiplication was portrayed in a negative light by a few because it takes up so much space on the paper. Partial products multiplication was portrayed in a positive light by several. Cultural diversity with respect to algorithms was also mentioned.

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