Category: Active Learning in Math

Add Graphs In The World to Courses

Now you can add Graphs in the World to your courses in the LMS! Create a new “page” in your course. Open the editor on that page. Go to the HTML Editor on that page. Paste the following text and then save the page: <iframe width=”750″ height=”1400″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ tabindex=”-1″></iframe> When you’re finished, you should get a page that looks something like this. There are other ways to subscribe to Graphs In the World: RSS Feed: Facebook: Instagram: Thanks to Martin Brinkman for posting directions on turning any Instagram account into an RSS feed. Thanks to Laura Gibbs...

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Taking the Algebra Out of College Algebra

Today’s talk from AMATYC was “Taking the Algebra Out of College Algebra” (to lessen the heretical title slightly I will tell you I’m advocating for taking *some* of the algebra out of College Algebra). The goal of the talk is to help faculty redevelop a math program so that it de-emphasizes algebraic manipulation can be daunting. Faculty will leave this talk with both a vision for the nirvana they want (the long-term goal) and small, executable steps they can take right now to work towards that goal. I meant to record the audio for the talk but I completely...

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AMATYC Keynote Notes: Challenge and Curiosity

In the 2016 AMATYC keynote, I covered three main themes: Interaction & Impasse (last post) Challenge & Curiosity (this post) Durable Learning Here are references and resources for Challenge & Curiosity: First, I have to point you to one of my favorite books on the subject, A Theory of Fun for Game Design, by Raph Koster. Quote from Game Design: “How do I get somebody to learn something that is long and difficult and takes a lot of commitment, but get them to learn it well?” – James Gee How do players learn a game?  They give it a try They...

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Cognitive Psychology and Math Education

In the last three weeks I’ve read or skimmed about 2,000 pages of scholarly articles about math reform efforts, technology for teaching, innovations, change movements, faculty development, community college statistics, learning theories, and distance ed statistics. If you had any idea how many topics I want to blog about every day, but don’t have time for right now …well, just forgive me for lame posts for a little while, okay? In the meantime, you can read this paper called “Applications and Misapplications of Cognitive Psychology to Mathematics Education” by Anderson, Reder, and Simon.  The full text is available at the link.  Interestingly, this was never published, although a similar article (not specific to math) was published.  I’ll warn you that I’ve read a few books on cognitive psychology, and it was still a difficult read because of all the terminology.  However, I assure you, it’s interesting reading.  If you find the first few paragraphs daunting, try skimming to where you read an applied example, then back up to read the section before it.  It’s easier to get the vocabulary when you have a concrete example in your head to pair with it. As a math teacher, I use a lot of student-centered learning strategies.  I incorporate technology into my classes and emphasize the rule-of-four.  However, I still insist on students learning some procedural skills (like derivatives and integrals) because...

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Teaching Math with Clickers

Today’s guest blogger is Derek Bruff, Assistant Director for the Center for Teaching at Vanderbilt University. Derek writes a blog you may have stumbled across called Teaching with Classroom Response Systems. Here’s a question I ask the students in my probability and statistics course: Your sister-in-law calls to say that she’s having twins. Which of the following is more likely? (Assume that she’s not having identical twins.) A. Twin boysB. Twin girlsC. One boy and one girlD. All are equally likely Since I ask this question using a classroom response system, each of my students is able to submit his or her response to the question using a handheld device called a clicker. The clickers beam the students’ responses via radio frequencies to a receiver attached to my classroom computer. Software on the computer generates a histogram that shows the distribution of student responses. I first ask my students to respond to the question individually, without discussing it. Usually, the histogram shows me that most of the students answered incorrectly, which tells me that the question is one worth asking. I then ask my students to discuss the question in pairs or small groups, then submit their (possibly different) answers again using their clickers. This generates a buzz in the classroom as students discuss and debate the answer choices with their peers. After the second “vote,” the histogram usually...

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