Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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Private Universe Project in Mathematics



From: Dennis McCowan (mccowan@massed.net)
Date: Thu Nov 02 2000 - 09:25:40 EST

  • Next message: Dennis McCowan: "[Channel-talkpupmath] Notes from weston's fourth session"

    Weston watched session three on November 1 and ate pizza while we
    watched! Significant issues raised by the readings for the session
    1. A student needs time to "see it on her own" regardless of attempts by
    teachers to prompt her.
    2. Discomfort arises when trying to reconcile a new idea with prior
    3. Heterogeneous grouping aided students in looking at different
    approaches to a problem.
    4. Students can hold tenaciously to an idea.
    5. Once a technique works, students may apply it universally without
    thought, especially if being pushed beyond their current level of
    6. To explain your thinking you need personal ownership of the idea.
    7. We have learned that student writing needs a intended audience to be
    productive; this appears to also be true when developing a "proof."
    Just as the audience for a piece of writing influences your approach and
    choice of vocabulary, a proof is significantly influenced by the
    identity of your listeners.

    We enjoyed the diversity of our members solutions to the first
    half-pizza problem and were blown away by Barndon's isomorphism. We
    paused te tape just at the end of Brandon's work and discussed him
    briefly; when the tape resumed and we learned he was in the "low" math
    group the silence in our room was very powerful!

    We were disappointed with Prof Maher's comment that "we have on tape
    times when you all agreed but were wrong." the Monday morning
    quarterback in us would have preferred to have picked up on Jeff's
    comment "yea, but some other class might not all agree with us."
    (Would a refernece to the universally held belief that the universe
    rotates around the earth have been a possible response here too?)

    Certainly the last homework problem challenged us all and we may need to
    spend some time in session 4 looking at it.

    We continue to be enthusiastic about the opportunities provided by this

    Dennis McCowan

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