Friday, October 28, 2005

Reading in Math

We're doing a short unit on parametric equations in precalculus, and yesterday I borrowed an idea from Foerster (how creative IS this person?) and was having them figure out the equations to draw all sorts of ice cream cones, cylinders, hemispheres, etc. I gave a little prep talk, and then handed them a sheet that had a great example and a definition of ellipse equations, and set them on their merry ways.

Well. How many times did I have questions and such about how to work the equation? How many times did I explain and walk them through how to read the definition and interpret what things meant/did? How quickly did I change my prep talk for my second (last & favorite) period?

So I think I'll be doing more of this where they have to learn how to read a math text. How scary would it be for them to graduate and be deficient in this way.


  1. Anonymous7:38 AM

    I'm guessing "lots of times" and "pretty darn quick" are good answers to those questions.

    How old are the kids you're teaching? I know it's 8th year, but I don't know what age range of kids that is.

    Of course, I might have misread what 8th year meant, and it might be the 8th year you've taught. :)

  2. Anonymous10:11 PM

    Oh ... I have 11th and 12th graders, you know, those goofy ones that can't read a math text. I mean, really.

    Ms. Cookie

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