melanoman: (Default)
Uglablich. I managed to draw the first group presentation in TWO classes. So one in two weeks and one in three weeks. The first one is going to be difficult because my randomly assigned partner wears a partial burkha and can't meet with me to work on the project because I'm male. This has got to be a joke, I just can't figure who is playing it.
melanoman: (Default)
What an acorn says when it is grown up: Geometry
Small meals held at Windsor Castle: Properties
A kind of fancy dress adornment: Sequence

drat, I'm blanking on the rest!

I was amazed how many of the students had moderate ESL issues.

melanoman: (Default)
My first class was Math201A: How to Teach Problem Solving. After an ice breaker involving really bad puns (see next post if enthusiasm holds), the class focused around a simple question. If 99% of a solution is water, then some water evaporates until 98% of the solution is water, how much of the water is gone?

I was at the table with two people who had trouble solving the problem, which I blazed through in about 30 seconds. The teacher came by and asked who had a solution, and when I was the only one at my table who did, she gave me the task of teaching the solution to the rest of the table. She also said she would ask one of them to present the answer to the rest of the class.

That is when the class got interesting. There was one exceptionally vocal student who kept interrupting me as I tried to explain my answer, literally before I completed more the two sentences. Getting her passive enough for the rest of the table to hear me was a fantastic teaching exercise. The weird thing was that she was so excited and positive, not intentionally obstructive.

I ended up getting the answer and justification across to everyone except her, and I've been thinking about what I could have done differently ever since. She had the impression that she understood, but when she volunteered to present (of course she did) it was clear she didn't understand.

One of the students was concerned about how quickly I got the answer and why I knew how to solve it, but she didn't even though she had a math minor. I tried to console her with the line that I've been working in a math intensive environment for decades, but I'm not convinced that was the best answer.

Now I have two homework assignments. One is to write up my math learning history; the other to design several lesson plans around the problem above based on different levels of sophistication in talking about the problem.

I'm going to like being a student again.


melanoman: (Default)

March 2013

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