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Topic: Re: meaningful standards (fwd)
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Steve Means

Posts: 60
Registered: 12/3/04
Re: meaningful standards (fwd)
Posted: Jun 1, 1995 6:09 PM
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another lost post?

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 1 Jun 1995 12:44:12 -0700 (PDT)
From: Steve Means <>
To: W Gary Martin <gmartin@kimiyo.ed.Hawaii.Edu>
Subject: Re: meaningful standards (fwd)

Source of definitions:

We look for definitions quite broadly. If the definitions appears
central to our area of study, we usually start with some context,
drawing, experiment or task and discuss it. As we go we list words that
can be used. For instance, if the general topic is m=(y1-y2)/(x1-x2),
then we may start by sketching and describing situations where slopes
occur. Students often draw a roof, so we come upon the term pitch.
Others go to the ski slopes, so we speak of hills and inclines. With
hgihways and real estate we learn grade. And so on. I ask the students
to then use the words in other settings, with friends, family, at work
and see what meanings they have. Later we check the uses of the words in
dictionaries and text books and with Internet searches. We then come
to a consensus on our meanings and uses of the words. The words are
kept in the students toolkit, the version of their portfolio that they
keep by their sides when doing numerate activities.

Revisions come as we move up the ladder of education. Terms like
"tangent" are explored dynamically in various common meanings. The
current meaning is to use a tangent to take a "snapshot" of the path a
thrown object takes. Well, I ramble about a rambling process.

The strategy is to keep the definition process up front. This is in
constrast to the more common method of "professors" rambling on at
leangth about topics, using terms locked away in some jargon dictionary.

from Steven S. Means
Math and Technology Teacher at Sammamish High School

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