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Month: February 2016

Discovery & Reflection in Developmental Math

Discovery & Reflection in Developmental Math

I’m in the middle of a one-semester leave, and in addition to working my way through Euclid’s Elements I have really cranked up my reading in anticipation of my return in Fall. I am currently reading Jo Boaler’s Mathematical Mindsets.

I was happy to see that she supports my beliefs that student learning increases when students participate in the discovery of concepts as well as when students reflect on their learning. These have been two areas of emphasis for me as I develop my teaching philosophy, and it is always encouraging to hear from others who feel the same way.

My upcoming presentations at ICTCM in Atlanta and NADE in Anaheim will focus on these ideas. I will preview those talks as the conferences get closer, and will share my thoughts on Mathematical Mindsets once I finish.


Problems To Use In Class

Problems To Use In Class

One thing I like to do in class is end with a short assignment to see how well students understand the material from that section. There are a couple of short quizzes that are available in the 4th edition of my combined elementary & intermediate algebra textbook.

First, in the Video Notebook (located for students inside MyMathLab) each section of the notebook ends with a 5-question self-assessment quiz that works really well for this purpose. I selected 5 problems that I feel cover the important concepts from that section. If you have access to a computer projector you can easily display the problems on the screen, but you can also write them on the board. Depending on the amount of time I have at the end of class I might ask students to volunteer to share their solutions on the board or I might simply write down the correct answers. Other times I collect them and grade them by hand.

Another similar 5-question quiz can be found in the Instructor Resource Manual, which is located inside of MyMathLab under “Instructor Resources.” These 5 questions are different that the questions mentioned above, but they can be used in the same fashion.

These quizzes are similar to the 5-question “Reflect Quizzes” that are built in to MyMathLab which are assignable & associated with a personalized homework assignment.

If you have any questions about these ideas, either leave a comment or reach out to me through the Twitter, Facebook, or Email links at the top of the blog – George