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Topic: Re: Don't Worry -- We're Working On Improvements!
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Bill Richards

Posts: 25
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Don't Worry -- We're Working On Improvements!
Posted: Aug 18, 1995 3:18 PM
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>Dear Tracy:
>Please, make me a favor: choose a `real-world' problem which
>you consider really good and send it to this list, so that we
>could discuss it.
>I have heard much about this `real-world problems movement'
>but had no chance till now to get acqainted with its fruits.
>I am sorry that I comment on your message to another person.
>Andrei Toom

Mr. Toom,

I'd be interested in hearing your comments on material found in a
transcript of a recent program in our Michigan Gateways Series. This is a
television series for K-12 math and science teachers. The episode is "Tasks
for Learning." The transcript of this program can be found on the WWW at:

The "Gateways Report" and "For Discussion..." segments of this program
relate to your request above.

The "Gateways Report" segment begins with a look at a sample problem from
the NCTM Professional Standards for Teaching document (a companion to the
Standards for Curriculum and Evaluation). As far as I know, this particular
NCTM document is not available on the www at this time.

Here is a brief excerpt from the program transcript:
CARTER: What IS a good "Task for Learning"? This Gateways Report begins by
comparing two tasks that teachers might use to explore area and perimeter
with upper elementary students.

Task One: Find the area and perimeter of each rectangle. [image: two
rectangles, with dimensions indicated].

Task Two: Suppose you had 64 meters of fence to build a pen for your large
dog, Bones.

What are some different pens you can make if you use all the fencing? What
is the pen with the least play space? The most play space? Which would be
best for running?

This task comparison is drawn from the NCTM Document, Professional
Standards for Teaching Mathematics.

that in general we're looking for tasks that have layers in them, that is,
there are multiple ways you could actually attack the task or engage it and
presumably there are even some different things you might learn from doing

CARTER: Deborah Ball was a contributing author to the Standards for
Teaching. She talked to us about why Task Two is the better task.

BALL: one thing that's different is it has multiple solutions. Instead of
the first one you gave where you just find the area and the perimeter of
one rectangle and the area and the perimeter of another it's straight
calculation, I mean, all you have to do is to remember the formula and
calculate it, you're done.

excerpted from
Michigan Gateways #305: "Tasks for Learning"
first air 3/3/95

I'd be interested in hearing any comments you might have on the full
program transcript.

Bill Richards
p.s. I've cross-posted to NCTM -L , my apologies to folks subscribed to both.

William R. Richards
----------------- MICHIGAN GATEWAYS ---------------------
The Television Program for Teachers of Mathematics and Science
212 Communication Arts Bldg - East Lansing, MI 48824-1212
ph: 517 355-2300 ext 422 fx: 517 353-7124
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