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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Comments from the student evaluation...

 Glenn knows math well and is prepared and organized when he teaches it.

Almost 90% of the students gave me credit for knowing my math and being organized in how I present it.

Typical student comments:

You are almost always prepared in class

Glenn does know math well but sometimes when he writes on the board it is not that neat and it can be hard to understand.

Glenn knows what he is teaching us and uses the SmartBoard effectively to teach us.

But I detect a little stress behind these numbers:

Glenn knows math really well but he doesnt teach us how to solve it the best way. he does the problem but he doesnt go into detail to show you how to do it.

He knows math well and has an organized way of teaching different concepts but a lot of the time we just have to learn things from the math book which is not always helpful.

I know that Glenn knows how to do math well but sometimes he won't explain his way of thinking so that we can get a better understanding of how to do a problem.

Sometimes he switches the schedule up and the original plan wasn't that organized either.

 These last comments reflect a very common tension in my math classes. I try to lead students to their own discoveries. I want them to wrestle with the problems we deal with. I avoid giving direct answers to problems until I feel my students are truly lost.

Nevertheless, it is a very common perception that math should be learned in an environment of direct instruction where methods are taught by the expert (teacher) and practiced by the student in carefully measured segments.

I resist telling my student "how" to do a problem, but I feel I could improve the way I explain my philosophy to my students and their families.

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