Robert Rumppe - Onsite Participant
Southwest High School, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Robert Rumppe is a thirteen-year veteran of the Minneapolis Public Schools. He is currently teaching ninth grade students in the Interactive Mathematics Program at Southwest High School. Next year, he will once again teach both IMP2 and Geometry. He writes, "to the best of my ability, I try to provide a constructivist philosophy to teaching."
IMP is a four-year college-prep curriculum originally funded by NSF because it meets the NCTM standards. It integrates algebra, geometry, statistics, and trigonometry in a problem-solving atmosphere, with student portfolios of their accomplishments being a highlight of the curriculum. Currently, student work can only be viewed by visitors to the classroom; Robert envisions having students keep their work in electronic portfolios.
While teaching geometry at another Minneapolis high school Robert put his students' geometry work on the Internet. It is currently on the site of a colleague at the Geometry Center. He says that the best part of the project has been seeing his students' reactions to comments from students all over the world. He writes, "Until this page my students never thought of themselves as teachers."
In addition to a Problem of the Week and current IMP math projects, to help him communicate with parents Robert keeps his students' grades on his own site. Building on this simple idea, he would like his students to keep their work on the Web so that their parents can see their work and even relatives in Arizona or Pakistan can share in a student's accomplishments.
Robert is currently involved in a Math Homework project available only in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, helping students with their math homework over the Internet. What makes this project different is that teachers often scan their responses to students to get past the limits of an ASCII-only response system. The site is staffed from Sunday through Thursday, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. Students' questions receive responses within this time frame, and questions and their answers are archived so that all can benefit from the questions of others even when the site is not staffed.
This summer Robert expects to design the layout of a student portfolio Web page. He would also like to see a focus on how topics in statistics and algebra can be related to geometry and modeled on programs such as The Geometer's Sketchpad. He'd like to learn how to create page frames, cgi scripts, and online assessments that students can take where the system records their multiple-choice answers and provides feedback to the teacher as well as the user.
As a cure for insomnia, Robert recommends his Master's thesis on the Web, entitled: The Geometer's Sketchpad in High School Geometry: A Case Study.
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