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Private Universe Project in Mathematics



 

Channel-Talk


From: Cathy Kinzer (cakinzer@nmsu.edu)
Date: Wed Nov 01 2000 - 15:12:08 EST

  • Next message: Dennis McCowan: "[Channel-talkpupmath] Session Three"

    I hope that I can find a copy of the first two video broadcasts as this
    message reaffirms the quality of the materials. Does anyone have a copy of
    the first two ??? Cathy
    At 02:01 PM 10/31/00 -0500, you wrote:
    >Hello. As new (three months) Director of Outreach at the Annenberg Media
    >Channel, I am still learning a lot about the workshops we broadcast.
    >
    >I had eagerly awaited the Private Universe Project in Mathematics
    >because, as a former district-level coordinator and staff developer, I
    >felt the premise was so important: the changes in thinking that children
    >make as they develop their own understandings of math concepts. So much
    >research is conducted over the short-term and here we would be able to
    >see development in actual students over many years.
    >
    >The first program in the workshop did not disappoint. It was everything
    >I had hoped for and more. We were able to see engaging activities that
    >teachers could repeat with their own students at appropriate grade
    >levels. We as teachers could see how our students came to their current
    >understandings (at whatever age) and what further changes would have to
    >occur to achieve higher conceptualization. It provided a continuum to
    >our teaching; that the work we all do is not in isolation nor an end to
    >itself. Thus, not just the students, but the teaching itself has a life
    >span.
    >
    >As I have continued to watch the workshop episodes, I have been impressed
    >that the original premise, demonstrating growth from younger children to
    >older ones, has been kept. This is what I wanted to see, and I felt that
    >teachers needed this too.
    >
    >I am also impressed with the very large amount of time it takes children
    >to make these important leaps and baby-steps. This is something teachers
    >all know but something schools are often not designed to provide for. I
    >think there is a lesson in that for us all.
    >
    >Now I'm watching the posted responses Dennis and his crew in Weston,
    >Mass., are making. I am struck by the care he is taking as site leader
    >with his teachers. He seems to understand the extraordinary amount of
    >time teachers themselves need to reach their conclusions, i.e., making
    >meaning from their own experiences and observations. (See Dennis's
    >posting about the use of language in developing meaning.) This is just
    >like what we are seeing with the kids!!
    >
    >I am also impressed with the knowledge teachers have of their own
    >students. (Who better??) The teacher who changed the pants-and-shirts
    >problem to wrapping paper and ribbon understood that there was no magic
    >to the clothing. It was the combinatorial nature of the problem that was
    >the heart of the matter. (How often have you seen a lesson repeated
    >precisely the way it was presented, as though the exact implements held
    >the meaning, rather than the processes being demonstrated?)
    >
    >Quite frankly, sometimes we teachers don't quite get it ourselves. I am
    >hopeful that the Weston site and others around the country will allow
    >teachers to take the time necessary to develop that same depth of
    >understanding that our students need. It's not a crime to admit it if we
    >don't get it. It is a crime if we don't do something about rectifying
    >that situation.
    >
    >Continue to enjoy the Private Universe Project in Mathematics workshop.
    >Please let us know, via this discussion list, how you are doing and what
    >you are thinking.
    >
    >Enjoy!
    >Joyce Gleason
    >
    >
    >
    >**********************
    >
    >
    >Joyce Gleason
    >Director of Outreach
    >
    >The Annenberg Channel
    >c/o Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
    >60 Garden Street - MS 82
    >Cambridge, MA 02138 USA
    >
    >Phone: 617-496-7684 / 800-228-8030x2
    >Fax: 617-496-7670
    >Email: jgleason@cfa.harvard.edu / channel@learner.org
    >URL: http://www.learner.org/channel
    >
    >
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