Today's attendees: Mark, Jeremy, Bill, Jody, Leslie, Dave, Suzanne, Wenming, Chris, Alex, Seth, Kristina, Gene
Welcome/Introductions: Jody led the introductions and then reviewed the agenda to ask for input and suggestions for changes as we started the workshop.
Chris shared his thoughts with the group about how fortunate we are to have some time to reflect on the three years of the project. He hopes to have a clear idea of what has come out of this work and have a consensus of our successes/failures.
Jeremy and Chris have an over arching goal for this workshop - seeing that there is some kind of ESCOT legacy. They want us to think about the end of the three years there are some artifacts that have some value to the public. The most tangible way is by taking some of our more successful ePoWs and repackaging so that they can be reused by teachers outside of the PoW context with support materials with ideas of how the ePoWs can be extended. Also make them customizable so that teachers can tweak them for their specific needs.
Gene recommended that Chris and others take the time to write the results of this workshop and defining a legacy into the final report for NSF. Leslie noted that without a serious time of reflection, the change is not implemented.
Chris also said that we want to set the stage for future work. The "possible futures" topic in the agenda will be part of that discussion. Jeremy added that the third part of the reason that we are meeting is to have a time to celebrate after having so many accomplishments during the three years of work.
Third Year Highlights:
Possible Futures of ESCOT:
TRAILS is not likely to be funded. Chris said that the proposal was one of 5 highly recommended ones. They are funding the first 2 or 3 but we are number 4. They would have to find another 4 million dollars in order to fund TRAILS and that is unlikely.
Gene asked that Chris and Jeremy send him the reviewers' comments. Chris said they had not yet received them but that he had asked if he could supply more information or clarify anything and the response from NSF was that there had not been any problems with the proposal. They just had not funded that many.
Mathscape is based in Boston at EDC. They have a very good handle on supporting teachers, parents and students in using the program. They are sending in a proposal today and some people at ESCOT were listed as consultants.
Everyday Math is a successful reform-oriented elementary school text. It is considering integrating some technology. There are exciting possibilities around manipulatives. Chris has had promising discussions with Andy Isaacs, who has some healthy skepticism.
Jeremy's conceptual map of possibilities:
Touring the Sites:
Suzanne explained the Teacher Support pages on the Math Forum site including a new one that she has been working on that arranges the problems by NCTM Standards:
Chris gave a tour of the new and improved ESCOT site http://www.escot.org/. He pointed out the following features:
Chris distributed a paper with thoughts on how to repackage ePoWs. These ideas were compiled by Yoni Kahn last month. Some of the ideas must be pretty difficult to accomplish but they will be a good place to start
You can download the MS Word file with Yoni's suggestions or view the page on the Web:
http://mathforum.com/escot/workshop2001/param.htmlThe Polyrhythm problem:
The challenge is to come up with a way to coordinate two rhythms to match the mystery rhythm. Leslie said her students were working in 2's and 3's. Some students were more rhythmically experienced than others. Some students were so random in their tries that it was funny to watch their efforts. The classroom noise was high.
We looked at the suggestions that Yoni wrote for Polyrhythms:
Allow teachers to add as many rhythm lines as they want, and allow them to choose the available options for rhythms (1:2, 1:3, etc.). Allow teachers to create their own mystery rhythm for students to experiement with. Along those lines, students could also make up their own rhythm and trade it with other students in the class, who will try to discover what it is.
Providing the technical infrastructure that allows the teacher to customize.
The kids wanted to go fast and yet when the went fast they couldn't figure it out. Some students wanted to hear only one drum at a time. They didn't have that feature, so they set the pattern the same on the two rows.
Another idea is to just be able to bring up the applet. Suzanne said it would be very easy to just make a page with links to the applets. The rough draft is http://mathforum.com/escotpow/puzzles/
Chris asked if anyone might have ideas for a process to go through this systematically. Jody suggested breaking up into several groups and have each group take a subset of the problems. We talked about what teachers need, want, and/or have time for and what we could do to support that.
In some contexts we want to give control and in some cases we want to give it to them so that they have a more open-ended problem. Fun to have a library of the "master" applet but have the tweaked versions available to have others see.
Chris asked if there are problems that could be refined without the applets. Would that be better to leave as a legacy? Jeremy asked Leslie what she thought.
Write a problem that you would like another group to solve. Leslie would have them write their problem in a Word document and then email to each other.
Bill is thinking how could you do this problem without the applet. He said that the students could easily clap it. We all demonstrated that it could work. Suzanne said that this idea would be great to have on the page in case the technology didn't work and they needed a back up time.
Chris said that having the "war stories" available for teachers could be of value. We talked about the use of the Discussions area on the Math Forum site.
Next we looked at The Hispaniola Water Shortage: http://mathforum.com/escotpow/puzzles/pouting/applet8-3.html
Changing the art work might be something that could be done.
The numbers that come up at the bottom. The numbers can't be printed. The issue of the length of time that teachers have for a class period and the problems that arise when student work cannot be saved or printed was discussed.Marabyn was the next applet to be considered: http://www.escot.org/applets/marabyn/applet.html
Mark explained the applet and the basic problem. We watched as Leslie and Dave worked through the problem. Bill said that this brings a better level of understanding.
How would you want to use it? It might be nice to have it where you could adjust the speed so if you were to use it again you could have variations. Mark said the bus speed, walking speed and the position of the house could be adjusted.
Alex suggested the "blind watchmaker's approach." Teachers would sort of evolve it without having any programming background.
Jeremy summarized and said that maybe we have come to the decision that teachers don't need to be given the opportunity to change things but if there were variations available to choose from that would be a nice addition.
Chris said that there is a site that teachers can use to make pages that have a set of links to use with students. It might be interesting to suggest this to teachers as a tool to use in conjunction with the ESCOT applets TrackStar.
Mark talked about the Search and Rescue, Part I applet http://mathforum.com/escotpow/puzzles/rescue/applet.html
He said that ideas to add to it would be to customize the flight plan and that would go hand in hand with the addition of a new map.
Evaluation: Student Learning
Ann Renninger said that she is working with a lot of different kinds of data and that she is doing an overview of that data and then at the end questions can be asked.
An overview of the kinds of questions and the issues that have been raised. Ann introduced Eric Freedman who worked with the interviews. Abram Lipman also did a lot of the work (not here).Two types of questions: