IBL Workshop — Day 4

Posted in Teaching and Learning by pgadey on 2018/06/29

The Daily Reference Round-Up:

A couple books that jumped out at me!

Some quick ideas:

• Participation paragraph / class feel paragraph.
• You can use TAs as back-up. Make them come to lecture once or twice. If the class has a good learning community then they can cover you, if needed.

The workshop ended today. We had so much fun together. On the very last day, we did a full class video session. We watched a full class taught in IBL style. It was amazing to see all the pieces come together.

At the end of the day we had a graduation ceremony. We did it! We are now IBL practitioners. There was lots of cheering, and celebration. Everyone crowded around the door chatting. I think we’ll be seeing each soon.

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IBL Workshop — Day 3

Posted in Teaching and Learning by pgadey on 2018/06/29

I went to the National Geographic Museum with Blake Madill.

We started off the day with Kittens inspired by Kittens!

A hilarious (and deep) video about “productive” failure: amazing commitment and persistence in skateboarding.

I also bumped in to an essay A Message to Garcia by written by Elbert Hubbard, about the importance of individual committed to a task.

A math circle talk about Sperner’s Lemma by James Tanton, a very nifty highschool teacher.

Dana Ernst has a really nice post about Setting the Stage for an IBL course.

Today at the IBL workshop we did a fantastic bit of playful mathematics. Gulden Karokok introduced us to a mathematical game and encouraged us to play it together. As soon as we had played a couple matches, everyone started to conjecture about winning strategies. One way of teaching induction or formalizing using notation is to bore students with examples until they want to formalize things. The questions emerged naturally from the play and the whole room erupted in discussion. It was a perfect example of the mathematics generating the inquiry.

The game is quite simple: Two players have some number $N$. They have the following moves: they can subtract one or they can “half it”. If $N$ is even, you half it by dividing by two. If $N$ is odd, you half it by subtracting one and dividing by two. A player loses if the number is zero. Players alternate turns until they reach zero.

The game is a nice little exercise in division. It could be good exercise for people learning arithmetic. However, it gets boring quickly. The natural questions are much more interesting: How wins? What’s the optimal strategy? These questions raise all sorts of fascinating problems both notational and mathematical. Lots of discussion groups puzzled over the question “What is a winning number? Should it be when the current player can force a win or when the next player can force a win?”

After chasing around examples $N < 7$ on a page, I decided to take an algorithmic approach. Once I convinced myself that I could write up and algorithm for the problem, I tuned out of the workshop and wrote some code to generate all winning. The code is available here: http://pgadey.ca/teaching/ibl-game.py.

We were assigned the reading: Boaler, Jo. “How a detracked mathematics approach promoted respect, responsibility, and high achievement.” Theory into Practice 45.1 (2006): 40-46. I wrote up a bit of a response to it.

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IBL Workshop — Day 2

Posted in Teaching and Learning by pgadey on 2018/06/28

“Education research is more like wildlife research than mathematics research” — Sandra Laursen

The Link Round-Up of the Day:

The MAA IP Guide has a whole section of queries about course design. I am eager to answer them in writing. I think that it will make my course design much more solid. The coolest thing that I bumped in to while researching my project is that Dana Ernst keeps a point form journal about each of his sessions in class! So Cool!

On a completely different note: Today we did a bit of change ringing! Amy Ksir brought a handmade set of tubular bells and we rang an eight-bell plain hunt.

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IBL Workshop — Day 1

Posted in Teaching and Learning by pgadey on 2018/06/27

Some Amazing Resources:

There are some books that I want to track down:

• Teaching with Your Mouth Shut by Donald L. Finkel
• Scholarship Reconsidered by Ernest Boyer

I think that next year I will draw heavily on Ted Mahavier’s Calculus I, II, & III : A Problem-Based Approach with Early Transcendentals.

We were assigned the reading: Yoshinobu, Stan, and Matthew G. Jones. “The coverage issue.Primus 22.4 (2012): 303-316. I wrote up a bit of a response to it.

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STLHE 2018 — Day 3 — I watched some talks! (And played with toys.)

Posted in Teaching and Learning by pgadey on 2018/06/21
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STLHE 2018 — Day 2 — We Gave the Talk!

Posted in Teaching and Learning by pgadey on 2018/06/20

We gave the talk! The slides are available here:

Start, Stop, Continue and Ticket Out of the Door: Collecting and
using student feedback to improve teaching in a large first-year math
class
by Xinli Wang and Parker Glynn-Adey (University of Toronto Mississauga).

It worked out great and we got lots of good feedback about feedback! Afterwards, I attended: Design Thinking as Method, Madness & Mindset by Farhad Dastur of Kwantlen Polytechnic University. We did the marshmallow tower challenge, and it was super fun. We started building early on and managed to cooperate well under pressure. Photos below the cut.

I also had a lovely chat with Diana Skzrydlo, where she outlined her work on teaching students Markov chains by having them play a simulation game. You can read a bit about it at the bottom of her teaching blog here.

Some photos from the day are below the cut.

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STLHE 2018 — Day 1 — Pre-Conference

Posted in Teaching and Learning by pgadey on 2018/06/20

Lots of great ideas today! Ahg! It was amazing. I went to a workshop on conducting SoTL research. That was the first session of the pre-conference, and it made the whole conference worth while. I am thrilled.

Some great references and guides:

Journals that are highly connected to the conference:

Some reference to track down in Toronto:

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STLHE 2018 — Day 0 — Introduction

Posted in Teaching and Learning, Uncategorized by pgadey on 2018/06/19

I am currently at Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education 2018 in Sherbrooke, QC. The plan is to post a short little video everyday of the conference to keep people updated on how things are going. Stay tuned!

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