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
>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
>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.
>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
>Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
>Channel-talkpupmath mailing list
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