Thursday, August 14, 2014
Graphs are too easy....er, maybe not!
Today was a great day. The Calculus students were busy working on a review that I gave them for the end of the Preview chapter (a review chapter of all the math they learned in the past 3-4 years. There were A LOT of cobwebs needing to be cleaned out in their brains. Things like where are the principal values for sin, cos and tan located?; how do we solve a trigonometric equation?; and what does arcsin mean? I nicknamed someone Captain Jack Sparrow because he had found the buried treasure (after solving a problem) and then I made his group the class experts for explaining it to others when they got stuck. In one class period we had a "gather round" to see the work of 3 separate groups on a tricky problem and I explained how mathematicians try something with new problems, not just stare at it and complain this is too hard, or I don't know how to do this! I stated that there were going to be lots of problems they wouldn't know how to do this year, but that these "giving up" approaches were not progress toward learning. I explained that the groups I had nudged had come up with those processes on their own, I had simply asked a few questions. SUCCESS!!