Students in MAT156/157 preparing to be elementary school teachers sometimes struggle to think of ways to make learning math creative and fun.
This fall I compared (Like Becky Baranowski had done for Calc 2) students coming from the PHY 121 traditional class versus those in PHY121/MAT221 Learning community on the Conceptual Survey of Electricity and Magnetism. While the numbers are small (n=12 from LC and n=10 from traditional) it was interesting to compare. Both groups had essentially the same pretest score (LC 18.2% and Trad 18.3%) but differed on the post test (LC 67% and trad 52%). Since the numbers are small I will be adding the students from this spring semester to try and get more statistically reliable numbers
I do this in my dual enrollment math 151 course at Buckeye, but I have not done at EMCC. You could hand out graph paper, if you do not have graph paper.
(1) I have every two rows slide their desks together. Then I have one student from each row to get one small graphing whiteboard, 1 eraser, and 1 marker for each group in their row.
I use this in my high school classes Algebra classes, I might have used it one time once in a summer math 121 course.
(1)I first everyone get out two pieces of paper. I want everyone to make up two binomials and multiply them. I do reguire them to make sure that the binomial terms do not have a common factor. I also tell them to not use any numbers larger than 10.
(2)Then I want them to double check their answer and write it on the other sheet of paper and number it as problem #1.
(3)Then I have them repeat the process at least one more time.
In my differential equations class, students ran an experiment on the accuracy of a nondigital thermometer. Most directions for use of nondigital thermometers say to leave under the tongue for 2 minutes, so students tested the accuracy of this. Three groups performed different activities for two minutes (cheweing gum (placebo group), jumping jacks, and drinking a cold refreshing beverage). Students collected temperature readings every 30 seconds for 4 minutes. Data was run through Logger Pro, and students analyzed data using best fit lines.
In summer 2014, the calculus III workbook was updated to incorporate more physics with the calculus curriculum. In fall 2014, students are using this new workbook. Of the 31 students in the class, 7 of them took the calculus/physics learning community in fall 2013. All but 2 of the remaining 24 students have had (or are currently in) PHY121/PHY131.
MAT082 students historically demonstrate a need for organizational, time management, test-taking and study skills. They also struggle with Math and test anxiety.
A quick way, I can check for understanding, is by having the students do thumbs up, thumbs down or sideways to a given student answer.
I will give a practice problem and after the students work it out, I will have student either verbally give the answer or write it on the board. Then I will ask class, if they agree with the answer. I will say on the count of three, give thumbs up if you got the same answer, give thumbs down if you got a different answer, and give thumb sidewise if you got stuck and did not finish the problem.
I first make sure that I number each table from 1 to 8.
I will give the students a practice problem and tell them to work it out first themselves and then check their answers with the other members at the table. They all must come to agreement on the answers. (This is the first check level)
Students struggle with using direction fields to solve a given problem. In the 1st two semesters, lecture was primarily used with handouts and group work being utlized more in the last 3 semesters. Students have continually received a C grade on the direction field exam question and a C/B average on homework questions. In Fall 2014, the handout was modified, and students worked in groups with no guidance from the instructor. Technology as incorporated as well (MATLAB) to graph the direction fields. Once students finished the handout, follow up was given by me.