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The Evolution of Teaching Math

Teaching Math in 1900
Chop down that tree and cut it into 1-foot blocks. Fill the wood bin next to the stove.

Teaching Math in 1950
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit?

Teaching Math in 1960
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?

Teaching Math in 1970
A logger exchanges a set "L" of lumber for a set "M" of money. The cardinality of the set "M" is 100. Each element is worth one dollar. Make 100 dots representing the elements of the set "M". The set "C", the cost of production contains 20 fewer points than set "M". Represent the set "C" as a subset of set "M" and answer the following question: What is the cardinality of the set "P" for profits?

Teaching Math in 1980
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. Her cost of production is $80 and her profit is $20. Your assignment: Find and circle the number 20.

Teaching Math in 1990
By cutting down beautiful forest trees, the enlightened logger makes $20. What do you think of his way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the following question: How do the forest birds and squirrels feel as the logger cuts down the trees? There are no wrong answers.

Teaching Math in 1992
A logger sells a truckload of logs for $800.00. His production costs are 82% of his revenue. On your calculator graph “revenue” versus “costs.” Run the "LOGS" program on your computer to determine the profit. Discuss the result with the other students in your group. Write a brief essay that analyzes how this example relates to the real world of economics

Teaching Math in 1996
By laying off 40% of its loggers, a company improves it stock price from $80 to $100. How much capital gain per share does the CEO make by exercising his stock options at $80? Assume capital gains are no longer taxed, because this encourages investment.

Teaching Math in 1997
A company out-sources all of its loggers. The firm saves on benefits, and when demand for its product is down, the logging work force can easily be cut back. The average logger employed by the company earned $50,000, had three weeks vacation, a nice retirement plan and medical insurance. The contracted logger charges $50 an hour. Was outsourcing a good move?

Teaching Math in 2005
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $120. How does an Enron Accountant determine that his profit margin is $275?

Source: Compilation of variations on a persistent bit of humor.