Date: Feb 23, 1995 7:53 PM
Author: Rick Simon
Subject: Re: nctm --texts as resources

> If texts are used as resources, sort of like encyclopedias, it seems that
> kids would have to read them with greater attention than they do now.
> Has anyone out there tried this? What happened?

(I think I may have mentioned this on the list in its previous incarnation.) I
have used with some success a technique of "pre-quizzing", where I quiz on a
section of text _before_ lecturing on it. Then I adjust my lecture based on
the quiz results. I tell them in advance when the quiz will be and what it
will cover. In the earliest quizzes, I am very specific about what it will
cover, usually something straightforward like "using the quadratic formula to
solve an equation". They take the quiz individually, then (immediately) the
same quiz in small groups. Their score is the average of the 2 quizzes.

They are scared to death when they hear about being quizzed before being
lectured, but by the end of the term it has worked well. They feel they have
learned a lot from the group quizzes, and (the better students, at least)
learned more about how to read the book and learn from it.

I have used this successfully from the college algebra level to courses like
abstract algebra (for majors). As the level increases, I increase my
expectations for the quizzes, doing them more often and making them worth more
of the grade.

Rick Simon
University of La Verne