Turn Signals and that Magic Moment

The Intro

Tried my first What Can You Do With This (WCYDWT) today… well, at least as best as I understand it.  Its started out like-a-day-so –

I had the videos playing side by side as the students entered.  Sure enough, they started talking about them, and asking questions.  I held my ground, and didn’t explain anything to them for a while.

They were flabergasted that I wasn’t giving them the question – and they found it really difficult to come up with questions on their own. And this is one of the more inquisitive groups I’ve had in a while.  Woe is mathematics, we have forgotten our first love.

Yeah, that worked…

Some really good stuff came out of it.  We had a great conversation about using units to decipher what our numbers were telling us.  Also, we had plenty of chances to ask if our answers made sense (If the Camry’s lights blink 90 times in 60 sections, do then blink every 1.5 seconds?)

….but maybe not so much over here

They never really asked the questions I thought they would ask immediately (how long between when the lights blink at the same time?).  I had hoped this would lead right into Least Common Multiples.  Maybe I shouldn’t be convinced ahead of time of where questioning will lead.

I also lost some students along the way.  I didn’t have a sense for how I wanted them organized, or whether or not they were responsible for turning in any proof of work later.  I didn’t have a way to encourage them to use math vocabulary, which stunted their ability to think about the situation (or do math about the situation, depending).

Take it to the bank

  • More organizational structure – yet allow students to pursue different questions on their own
  • It wasn’t a valuable use of class time, but it could have been and can be in the future.
  • It feels good to try and become a better teacher…but kind of annoying too.
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