Another work week is drawing to a close. And yet, the Sun also rises.

Things are still busy at the Math Forum. I was given the opportunity to grade student responses for an algebra PoW based on the Math Forum’s rubrics for problem solving and communication. I found it difficult to grade similar responses with fresh outlooks, but the rubric allowed me to look for things that I wouldn’t ordinarily look for. If I were to grade the responses without the rubric, I would have scored the answers based on how deep the student seemed to understand the answer and scale that based on how accurate their answer is. Though, with the Math Forum rubric, the idea is to look for insights into the thought processes of the student. In separating problem solving into accuracy, strategy and interpretation, I can evaluate better how a student approached a problem and where they may have gotten stuck even if they didn’t explain beyond their strategy. As well, the communication criteria allows for students with less mathematical methods of thought to shine… so long as they actually explain what they’re doing or not understanding. It’s this insight that allows us at the Forum to do what we do.

This week also held the May T3 at the ExCITe center. The Math Forum crew invited me along to see a few short talks about technology development and outreach in Philadelphia, as well as off-kilter examinations on intellectual and academic life nationwide. What particularly interested and entertained me there was Kevin Egan who compared higher education to the development of Punk music. In the simile, he juxtaposed modern experimental and customized education with The Talking Heads, Gary Numan and DEVO. Though, I have to wonder why he left out Joy Division!

In other news, Tracey and I are working on getting the Ask Dr. Math twitter going! Keep an eye out for tweets from our numerical hero.

Coming up, I have plans for personal interest posts regarding STEM with a bold M. Come back sometime next week, and you might just learn something cool.