Thursday, April 28, 2011

Are you smarter than a preservice middle school math teacher?

I gave my final for Teaching and Learning Middle Grades Mathematics on Wednesday; it had three parts. Learners completed the Teaching Math Workshop before class. The Learning Math Workshop was a collaborative effort completed during the first half of the time allotted for the final. During the last hour, learners worked individually on the Doing Math Workshop portion of the final.

The course is designed so the learners gradually take greater responsibility for their own learning. I find the workshop structure very supportive in attaining this goal. Consequently, the final Doing Math Workshop is little more than a basic set of instructions, followed by stripped down items from our text, and concluding with a self-evaluation. Check it out for yourself:

Doing Math Workshop (Final Exam)

TLW demonstrate his or her ability to model whit it means to do math.

Needs: 60 minutes, this workshop, and NCTM Process Standards (optional)

  • You can begin by reviewing NCTM Process Standards for Problem Solving, Representations, and Reasoning & Proof. [schema activation]
  • Next you need to read through the items provided and identify which will best support you in demonstrating what it means to do mathematics. [focus]
  • You can work on one, two, or three items to showcase your ability to problem solve, use representations, and reason mathematically. [activity]
  • Finally, you will need to go through your work and make explicit places where you are using the process standards. [reflection]
Problem Set

  1. 0.75 divided by 0.3
  2. x/9 = 7/12
  3. The Susa tablets from the vicinity of Babylon contain tables with relationships of the area of regular polygons to the square of the length of the side.
  4. The Type 9 pentagons discovered in February 1976 have four of the five sides congruent and angles measuring A, B, C, D, and E with the relationship 2E + B = 2D + C = 360. (The non-congruent side is between angles with measures D and E.)
  5. Compose two reflections over intersecting lines.
  6. In one form the Pythagorean Theorem states that if a right triangle has legs a and b and hypotenuse of length c, then squares may be constructed on the sides of the right triangle and a2 + b2 = c2. What happens if … ?

Self-evaluate your communication of your thinking using our 4 Cs + 1
Self-evaluation and evidence


What you did


How you did it


Why you did it


How it relates

Where it leads

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