WAConsF03

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Published on January 25, 2008

Author: Biaggia

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Lessons Learned In a Math-Writing Coordinated Study1:  1This course was developed during the 2001& 2002 Summer Institutes hosted by Edmonds Community College’s Math Across the Curriculum (MAC) project. Lessons Learned In a Math-Writing Coordinated Study1 Presented by Erik Scott (Math) and Angi Caster (Writing) Highline Community College The Big Question::  The Big Question: What were we thinking?? Motivation for Connecting Across Disciplines::  Motivation for Connecting Across Disciplines: Interest in working with a colleague Interest in learning about another discipline Interest in experiencing unfamiliar teaching strategies To reduce the boredom from teaching a particular course repeatedly To reduce the frustration from students making the same mistakes every quarter A desire to help students transfer knowledge outside their math classes A desire for genuine applications of math content CMI seeks NMI for exploring ATS:  CMI seeks NMI for exploring ATS In other words: How do you find the right partner? Math Instructors Need a Non-math Colleague Who::  Math Instructors Need a Non-math Colleague Who: Knows his/her discipline very thoroughly Has healthy self-confidence Will express his/her mathematical uncertainties Is interested in examining mathematical ideas and how they are taught Recognizes the content-heavy nature of most math courses Non-math Instructors Need a Math Colleague Who::  Non-math Instructors Need a Math Colleague Who: Can describe math ideas without math jargon Values his/her discipline and point of view Makes the revealing of math uncertainties a rewarding experience Can describe math ideas and their logical connections without reference to the order taught Acknowledges that mathematical ideas and instruction can take a variety of forms Be Considerate of Your Future Partner:  Be Considerate of Your Future Partner Brainstorming Activity What benefits does the inclusion of a math course offer to the non-math instructor? What obstacles does the inclusion of a math course present to the non-math instructor? What are some of the big ideas/themes in mathematics? What mathematical ideas or topics might already be included in a non-math course? Our Initial Barriers:  Our Initial Barriers Erik’s Coverage Issue Angi’s Evaluation Methods Exit Assessment – Rubric Sample "P" Pass Self-Assessment – The reflective letter demonstrates an awareness of strengths and weaknesses of the portfolio essays, and there may be some analysis. The writer’s discussion of the portfolio shows a general understanding of good writing and uses examples from the portfolio to support the claims. First Priority--Overall Patterns: Purpose and Audience--The writer's theses and purposes are generally apparent; she or he demonstrates awareness of audience, but may not consistently succeed in establishing credibility or engaging the audience. The writer attempts complexity suitable to a college-level audience. Topic control--Focus and sense of direction are generally clear. Organization--The overall plans of the essays are apparent with reasonable beginnings, middles, and ends; some information may be misplaced; some transitions may be unclear or lacking. Development--Most elements of the theses are supported with sufficient evidence. In most cases, the writer uses specific details, sound logic and appropriate rhetorical techniques to explore the subject. Some points may remain vague. Responsiveness to the Assignment -- Essays generally meet the expectations set out by the assignments. Second Priority--Overall Patterns: Sentence Structure--Most sentences are complete, clear, and correctly structured. For the most part, sentences are logically coherent and demonstrate appropriate use of coordination and subordination. Mechanics--The portfolio may contain mechanical errors, but the student appears generally capable of handling mechanics, and the meaning is still clear. Diction--Accurate but relatively conventional word choice. The writer demonstrates control of standard written English. Voice--The tone and distance are generally appropriate to the content, contexts, and audiences. Economy--Clear but occasionally redundant and/or obvious; some deadwood or digression. Our Common Themes:  Our Common Themes Recognizing patterns Paying attention to details Communicating ideas effectively Using logic to make valid arguments Learning has an emotional component (or cost) From a Student’s Self-Assessment::  From a Student’s Self-Assessment: “Two of My Most Common Errors: -With inequalities, I noticed that I often forget to switch the inequality sign when dividing by a negative in an inequality equation: this is why my answers are wrong. I don’t figure this out until later when the correct answer is shown. The error persists because I don’t pay attention to details. -I usually skip over important steps because I think I can get the answer through a short cut. Maybe because time is pressured and I feel rushed. Then when I find out the correct answer, I noticed that I skipped a step and that’s why my answer was wrong.” From a Student’s Final Exam::  From a Student’s Final Exam: “The questions in this problem focus on what it means to be a function. Give a definition of a function. Provide examples of functions of each of the following types. Given by a table Given by a graph Given by a formula Provide examples of i, ii, and iii that are NOT functions, and explain why they are not.” Another Student’s Final Exam Solutions::  Another Student’s Final Exam Solutions: “Create a single graph showing the variations in temperature over two consecutive days in December. Create a graph showing your average ‘alertness’ throughout a typical math class period. Let ‘0 alertness’ mean you're asleep. ALSO include a verbal description of your alertness through a class period so I can check that you have correctly shown what you intended to.” From Their Letters to Future Students::  From Their Letters to Future Students: Our Discoveries:  Our Discoveries From students’ autobiographies Regarding placement tests About the impact of portfolios and revision in math About the impact of Excel training on student writing Concerning student beliefs, fears, and their resistance to change Regarding effects extending beyond the quarter Scatter Plots Comparing Placement Test Performance To Final Grades:  Scatter Plots Comparing Placement Test Performance To Final Grades Our Discoveries, Continued:  Our Discoveries, Continued From students’ autobiographies Regarding placement tests About the impact of portfolios and revision in math About the impact of Excel training on student writing Concerning student beliefs, fears, and their resistance to change Regarding effects extending beyond the quarter Some Lasting Effects of Our Collaboration:  Some Lasting Effects of Our Collaboration Increased interest campus wide in collaborating with members of the mathematics department Inclusion of “attention to detail” and inductive arguments in the writing portfolio scoring guide Non-math faculty are beginning to expand their definition of mathematics beyond basic arithmetic and “equations with x” Broadening of math department discussions to include outcomes and research on teaching and learning We have gained a deeper understanding of the social norms and practices prevalent in mathematics classrooms and among mathematicians Erik learned more efficient ways to manage student writing in his classroom, and continues to use portfolios Angi requires the use of statistics and visual representations thereof in all research papers Additional Resources:  Additional Resources Harper’s Index Matter of Fact Database Amount by which total U.S. personal debt in 2002 exceeded total disposable income: $628,000,000,000 Source: Federal Reserve (Washington)/Bureau of Economic Analysis (Washington) Percentage of federal "domestic preparedness" funds allocated to the states since 1999 that remain unspent: 60 Source: U.S. Office for Domestic Preparedness Chance that a U.S. senior citizen reports having skipped medications or not filled prescriptions because of cost: 1 in 5 Source: Kaiser Family Foundation (Menlo Park, Calif.) Estimated number of Ding Dongs manufactured per minute at St. Louis's Interstate Brands factory: 1,000 Source: Interstate Brands Corp. (Kansas City, Mo.) Chance that a billionaire today is self-made: 1 in 2 Source: Forbes (N.Y.C.) Figures cited have been adjusted for inflation and are the latest available as of April 2003. Additional Resources:  Additional Resources Erik’s web site Edmonds CC’s Math Across the Curriculum site: http://mac.edcc.edu/ Thank you for your interest, and we wish you success in your own interdisciplinary endeavors!!:  Thank you for your interest, and we wish you success in your own interdisciplinary endeavors!! If you’d like to contact us, please do so. Erik Scott Phone: 206-878-3710 ext. 3113 Email: escott@highline.edu Web: http://flightline.highline.edu/escott Angi Caster Phone: 206-878-3710 ext. 6059 Email: acaster@highline.edu Web: http://flightline.highline.edu/acaster

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