Professor
Eric Hsu, erichsu@math.sfsu.edu
TH
932, http://math.sfsu.edu/hsu,
AOL IM: EricHsuSFSU
Web Page. This syllabus appears at http://betterfilecabinet.com/890GTA.html.
Goals
and Background. The goal of this workshop is for graduate student
instructors to develop and refine their teaching. Teaching is not
only presentation, but it is also course planning, classroom decision
making and post-instruction reflection. We will work on these skills
in the context of the classes we are teaching. The general strategy
is for us to take turns sharing an idea for class that we want to
try, collect suggestions, and then report on the actual
implementation. A secondary goal is for us to begin to create an
archive of our experiences in the classroom for ourselves and future
teachers.
Required Activities
Regular posts to an online discussion forum,
one videotaping,
two live meetings and an orientation
Working
Groups. You will be arranged into groups of approximately six
teachers. The teams are intended to be teaching the same course and
will be able to meet occasionally out of class.
Live
Meetings. Each working group will meet live with me and Professor
Kysh. The first meeting will occur around week 6, and the second
around week 10. Times will be announced soon.
Online
Discussion Forum. You are to participate in an online discussion
forum, hosted at http://sfsu.blackboard.com.
Access instructions appear at the end
of this document.
You are free to read and reply to the posts of other working groups,
but you are only required to read and reply to posts within your
working group. Each group will have a separate forum for posting.
A
thread is a sequence of posts on the same topic. Each Monday, two
group members will each be responsible for starting separate lesson
idea threads. These always begin with a post using a specific
template (see here).
The post will propose a specific teaching idea the poster will be
using in the week following the current one, and make some thoughtful
guesses on how the students will respond to it. Group members will
make suggestions for improving the activity and also describing their
own expectations on how students will respond. The following week,
the poster will report back to that thread on what actually happened
and how they would improve the activity in the future. Feel free to
look at the course archives for lesson ideas to adapt.
Examples
of teaching ideas: group work activities, individual worksheets,
choice of examples for lecture, choice of quiz or midterm problems,
sequence of topics to cover in a week, choice of illustration or
diagram.
Online Posting Requirements. In order to keep
the reading load down, posts should be no more than 5-10 lines. In
order to encourage actual discussion, posts to the lesson idea
threads are required on at least three different days of the week.
The groups should have about ten or fewer members, so each one
should only need to start a lesson idea thread every three weeks or
so.
Videotape. You will arrange (with my assistance)
for one of your classes to be videotaped. This sounds scary, but keep
in mind that (1) you will not be required to share the tape with
anyone, and (2) that your students can see you anyway. I will give
you a short list of questions to help you reflect on your tape.
To
Access the Online Course
Use your university ID and PAC to log in. When you register for the course, you will automatically be assigned to the Blackboard course.
If necessary, click on the Courses Tab and do a Course Search for Math 890
To Access the Archives of Past Courses
Last semester's conversations will be stored in a kwiki at http://betterfilecabinet.com/cgi-bin/kwiki/index.cgi. (Check the online syllabus to make sure this link is still correct.)
Before
the Activity Subject:
Lesson Idea: Title |
Lesson Idea 1: MATH 60
1.
Math Topic: A review of pre-algebra topics. Find out what
students know and don’t know, and let students know what they
are expected to know.
2. Students have trouble with:
Identifying areas they don’t understand.
3. So I’m
going to try the following teaching activity: Give a diagnostic test,
and go over it in class.
4. Possible student reactions; how
will I deal with them? They may grumble or be anxious, but I will
point out to them that I need to know where we should start. If
we can skip over some early easier topics, we will be able to spend
more time on the hard parts. I will encourage them to work
individually and just to do what they know how to do.
I think
some students may leave many questions blank, and that they will have
the most trouble with fractions and algebraic representation.
5.
One specific question for the GTA class: Which problems did your
students have the most trouble with?
Lesson Idea 2:
MATH 60
1. Math Topic: A review of pre-algebra topics.
Find out what students know and don’t know, and let students
know what they are expected to know.
2. Students have trouble
with: Getting started. They have difficulty dealing with the
material with no context for it. Also many have test anxiety,
even if it is only diagnostic.
3. So I’m going to try
the following teaching activity: Have students work in pairs to
correct student errors on a set of problems that cover the topics I
hope they already know. They will receive a copy of an
exam that includes an incorrect student response for each problem.
They are to identify the error and show how to do the problem
correctly.
4. Possible student reactions; how will I deal
with them? Most students enjoy this type of trouble shooting, looking
for errors in some one else’s work.
I think students
will be able to find most of the errors working together, but they
may not be able to complete some problems correctly. I plan to
circulate as they are working, listening to their discussions and
responding to their questions.
I think that with help they
will be able to complete these problems and by doing this have
reminded themselves of what they know.
I will also get an
assessment of possible trouble spots. I anticipate they will
have difficulty with adding and subtracting fractions and with
writing an algebraic expression.
5. One specific question for
the GTA class: What problem(s) did your students have the most
difficulty with?
Lesson Idea 3: MATH 70
1. Math Topic: Review elementary algebra. Find out what
students know and don’t know, and let students know what they
are expected to know.
2. Students have trouble with: Getting
started. They have difficulty dealing with the material with no
context for it. Also many have test anxiety, even if it is only
diagnostic.
3. So I’m going to try the following
teaching activity: Have students work in pairs to correct student
errors on a set of problems that cover the topics I hope they already
know. They will receive a copy of an exam that includes
an incorrect student response for each problem. They are to
identify the error and show how to do the problem correctly.
4.
Possible student reactions; how will I deal with them? Most students
enjoy this type of trouble shooting, looking for errors in some one
else’s work.
I think students will be able to find most
of the errors working together, but they may not be able to complete
some problems correctly. I plan to circulate as they are
working, listening to their discussions and responding to their
questions.
I think that with help they will be able to
complete these problems and by doing this have reminded themselves of
what they know and what they need to revisit.
I think they
will have the most trouble with graphing and with the word problems.
They may have some problems with factoring if they did not recently
complete elementary algebra.
5. One specific question for the
GTA class: What problem(s) did your students have the most difficulty
with?
Lesson Idea 4: MATH 70
1. Math Topic: A
review of elementary algebra. Find out what students know and
don’t know, and let students know what they are expected to
know.
2. Students have trouble with: Identifying areas they
don’t understand.
3. So I’m going to try the
following teaching activity: Give a diagnostic test, and go
over it in class.
4. Possible student reactions; how will I
deal with them? They may grumble or be anxious, but I will point out
to them that I need to know where we should start. If we can
skip over some early easier topics, we will be able to spend more
time on the hard parts. I will encourage them to work
individually and just to do what they know how to do. I think some
students may leave questions blank, and that they will have the most
trouble with graphing, the word problems and the rational
expressions.
5.
One specific question for the GTA class: Which problems did your
students have the most trouble with?