tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5816649486576881540.post1609142440237496750..comments2017-06-23T16:54:03.142-07:00Comments on Math Ed Matters: Encouraging Students to TinkerMathematical Association of Americahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/10559021045290192742noreply@blogger.comBlogger8125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5816649486576881540.post-73535395142020453372014-06-07T10:51:23.069-07:002014-06-07T10:51:23.069-07:00I encourage mistakes by making them myself! In cla...I encourage mistakes by making them myself! In class I present proofs and examples "off the cuff" - I explore and make mistakes on the board. I let students see that "real" math is about exploration and learning. I don¹t believe class should be a transcription exercise. When students see me making mistakes they don’t fear making their own. I also grade their homework on completion rather than “correctness". In exams I allow them make corrections later to improve their grade. So there is no fear about mistakes or homework or grades or anything. With fear removed the students can focus on learning rather than grades. Jerry Dwyerhttp://www.math.ttu.edu/jdwyer/noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5816649486576881540.post-77174643702920573202014-04-15T22:27:21.512-07:002014-04-15T22:27:21.512-07:00Amy, you are absolutely correct. How we grade and...Amy, you are absolutely correct. How we grade and the constraints on our time are serious obstacles. In Stan's <a href="http://theiblblog.blogspot.com/2014/01/destigmatizing-mistakes.html" rel="nofollow">Destigmatizing Mistakes</a> post, he writes that Ed Burger implements the following:<br /><br />1. 5% of course grades are based on the quality of student failure. In order to get an A in the class students must fail productively.<br /><br />2. Use specific activities to teach intentional mistake making as a positive strategy. An example of this strategy is to give a problem to students to work on. Their first task is to intentionally do the problem incorrectly and then share their mistake with a neighbor.<br /><br />I think these sorts of ideas can go a long way to changing the culture of the classroom. Dana Ernsthttp://www.blogger.com/profile/18425048303220563633noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5816649486576881540.post-73985780436166637362014-04-11T19:17:27.541-07:002014-04-11T19:17:27.541-07:00You asked for obstacles. I think a large one is t...You asked for obstacles. I think a large one is the way most everyone I know grades: 10/10 for getting it right, partial credit for getting parts of it right. No obvious reward for trying something interesting that doesn't work. When the teacher is faced with a stack of homework and not much time (or when the computer is grading for you!), it's easier to just check the answer and only look at the work if the answer is wrong. Amy Ksirhttp://usnafunmath.wordpress.com/noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5816649486576881540.post-40043386918758968102014-04-02T10:28:16.422-07:002014-04-02T10:28:16.422-07:00Thanks for the comments.
Vince, getting people ...Thanks for the comments. <br /><br />Vince, getting people to realize that "fun" and "hard" are compatible is important. I like to use sports analogies to support this idea.<br /><br />Chris, thanks for the link to <a href="http://planarity.net" rel="nofollow">planarity.net</a>.<br /><br />Joel, I love your message about "playfulness" in your address. Thanks for sharing.<br /><br />Stan, thanks!Dana Ernsthttp://www.blogger.com/profile/18425048303220563633noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5816649486576881540.post-16651473384676927832014-04-01T15:40:33.701-07:002014-04-01T15:40:33.701-07:00Great post from a much needed personal perspective...Great post from a much needed personal perspective. We all get discouraged sometimes, but if we tinker, try something, then we can start chipping away at our challenges. Thumbs up!Stan Yoshinobuhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/02467790965265134782noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5816649486576881540.post-45283117946442652972014-04-01T13:22:08.544-07:002014-04-01T13:22:08.544-07:00I totally agree! Tinkering is a form of mathematic...I totally agree! Tinkering is a form of mathematical play, which I spoke about in my <a href="http://jdh.hamkins.org/deans-list-address/" rel="nofollow">Dean's List address</a> last year.Joel David Hamkinshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03016500743689022122noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5816649486576881540.post-35770179223698924692014-04-01T11:18:54.676-07:002014-04-01T11:18:54.676-07:00In my Graph Theory class this semester, my homewor...In my Graph Theory class this semester, my homeworks have a proofs component but also an exploration component. These can range from the simple "Find a graph that satisfies..." to playing games that highlight graph theoretical concepts (Hashi or planarity.net) to asking students to tinker with something unclear: "What is the maximal number of cycles in a graph that has n vertices and n edges?"Christopher Hanusahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11020601369400214573noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5816649486576881540.post-70581473753206147742014-04-01T08:17:56.912-07:002014-04-01T08:17:56.912-07:00I think solving this problem goes a long way to re...I think solving this problem goes a long way to really helping students understand what learning is. Personally I try to encourage students to do fun hard things... They're the tasks that failing doesn't seem to dissuade as much...Vincent Knighthttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00892275079180948757noreply@blogger.com