## Thursday, February 10, 2011

### Mining for math

The rundown on what the kids are so far doing and not doing on the classblog:

Well the kids' posts are continuing to get better and better! Jeremy's post contained a lot of info, but there were lots of misuses of the vocabulary, and there was no picture in it. Fred's included more math symbols, tables, and an embedded graph. His command of the languages, both mathematical and english, was obvious. He also asked an original question, that is, it wasn't similar to anything I had asked in class:

Then we compared the 2 graphs and found them to be almost exactly the same except for 2 differences.
What are they?

As for the comments.....they are all starting to sound alike....Wow great post, I like the way you organized the info.....no doubt this is partly because they are hesitant to critique each other, but they are likely just not used to writing about their math THINKING. Or thinking about their math thinking. They aren't addressing anything remotely mathematical in their comments, for the most part.

A few exceptions, of course. Jeremy's answer to Fred's question:

Now about the difference between the Sin and the cosin function, the cosine function intercepts the y-axis at 1 and the sin function intercepts at 0 Also, The sin function always crosses the x-axis at either pi or 2 pi ( or more if mroe than 1 turn occured), in other words, it crosses the x-axis at 0/360 degrees and 180 degrees.

What I have done and will have to get better at:

Well, I realized that I have to get over my hesitation to correct and critique, if I want them to, which means I have to model not only the types of comments I want them to make, but the tone, the respect, the we're-all-in-this-together way to give constructive criticism.

Here are a few things I will look for from now on in the posts:
• is everything that was in the lesson in the blog
• is the vocabulary and notation correctly used
• is there a sample question
• is the overall organization good, easy to follow
• is their personality evident in their writing
• is there anything new - new symbols, new type of thing inserted
• are there any citations missing (Fred uploaded an image from a site and didn't give the url)
• did they make any observations about the content, how interesting it was, how it was presented, how it connects to something, etc
What I will look for in their comments:
• did they notice any of the above
• did they answer the question with any depth at all
• did they make any observations about the content, how interesting it was, how it was presented, how it connects to something, etc
• did they ask anything that would enrich their understanding

I'm finding that the voicethreads lend themselves to problem solving more than they do as responses to the powerpoint lessons. I have had them contribute one step, with explanations, to a situational problem that they are all working on. It's partly a way for them to check in with each other for reassura, collaborate with each other, and for me to document whether or not they are actually working. Plus, again, it's just great for us all to see each other occasionally! Closest we'll get to f2f!