Frustrations Teaching Math

by Jerry Ortner, BS, MEd.



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 10/4/2007

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 144
ISBN : 9781434331021
Format : Hardcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 144
ISBN : 9781438937007

About the Book

Having the opportunity to teach math for over 25 years, I have found many days when you hit a brick wall.  Whether it was in middle school, junior or senior high school, or at the community college, there were days when the new topic was not understood by the students.  I could see it in their reaction (faces) to my explanation.


Sometimes, I was the culprit.  Knowing full well that the homework is a review of that day’s topic, it must be delayed.  As an educator teaching math,  the crescendo of each day builds, as we go further into the school calendar.  Someone, who missed out and could not grasp the idea, needed to be tutored. That luxury is not available.


FRUSTRATIONS  TEACHING MATH, gives the student an opportunity to see how basic math ideas are solved.  Sometimes, I give two scenarios in solving a problem.  Other times, a “cheating way” is shown, so that math can be understood and also be fun.


Some of the topics covered are the various ways to factor a binomial, trinomial, or polynomial. Another favorite is grasping the concept of greatest common factor or least common multiple.  Right triangle trigonometry for the middle school student is explained using boating as the source of frustration.  How much to tip at a restaurant?  What does a half-off sale really mean? 


Let us not forget the “story” or word problems that really cause concerns.  Distance! Rate! Time! All these ideas plus games and many more mathematical topics are reviewed on my 45 day road trip from Delaware to Florida.  Coming back, with several stops

on the way home, we’ll explore these “frustrations”.


About the Author

Born in Buffalo, New York, the author, Jerry Ortner, spent his early childhood in CORFU, a small community in Genesee County.  After high school, his family moved to the Philadelphia area.  Upon graduation from college in Philly, he spent five years teaching math at Kennett Square High School in Pennsylvania.  After a three year internship with a financial broker, he returned to teaching for a decade at Concord High School in Wilmington, Delaware.


While at Concord, he helped rewrite the yearlong Algebra II and semester course in Trigonometry into an integrated approach, weaving both courses together into a calendar year.  For many students, they were able to shrink three semesters of math to two.


Again Jerry returned to the financial field as assistant manager of a Fortune 500 corporation in their shareholder services division, a bank marketing executive and President of a proxy processing company in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.  Somehow all three occupations involved working with people and numbers.


After a physical setback, he ventured back into private education. While teaching math, he wore the assistant principal’s hat for several years.  He also became a part-time math instructor at a Delaware community college where he still teaches today.


You will enjoy his slant on algebra, trigonometry, story problems and other mathematical topics throughout his 45 day road trip from Delaware to Florida and back.  He made several stops returning, gaining more ideas for “FRUSTRATIONS TEACHING MATH”.