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Topic: Re: nctm --texts as resources
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Rick Simon

Posts: 13
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: nctm --texts as resources
Posted: Feb 24, 1995 3:51 PM
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> At 4:53 PM 2/23/95, Rick Simon wrote:
> * 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.
> Do you quiz at the end of one lecture to adjust the next lecture, or what?
> What are the mechanics of this process - I like the concept but am unsure
> of its implementation.

Good questions. I have had to work out these logistics along the way. I often
give the quiz at the end of the hour, so I can begin the next day with an
adjusted lecture. At other times, I quiz on a section or material which is not
critical to a linear development, so I can proceed in the meantime and return
to it later if necessary. Sometimes, I quiz on a type of problem just to have
them bump their heads against the concepts; this makes my ensuing lecture more
meaningful to them (hopefully). As we know, mathematics is often learned best
by struggling to work problems.

> * 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.
> What size are your lectures? How much time does the quiz require?

Not sure if you mean how many students or how long is the period. The class size
ranges from 4 to 30. Most classes are 50 minutes, although I sometimes teach a
2 or 4-hour class (twice or once a week). The quiz will usually take 3-5 minutes
to complete individually, another 5-10 for the group rendition. No question
there is a tradeoff here, the extra time required versus the benefit gained
from having them start to read the text and feel more comfortable doing so.
As their reading skills (and willingness to read) increase, presumably less
lecture time need be taken with reciting/writing formulae, theorems and
definitions verbatim from the book, or in working straightforward examples
which the book handles well.

A related technique I use in upper-division (college) courses for majors is to
require students to present a lecture (in my place) on a smallish portion of
text. This is particularly appropriate for students who hope to become
teachers. I give them written feedback--pedagogical, mathematical and speech

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