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Re: education, technology & chat (The Mathematics of it)

On Wednesday 10 November 2004 11:47 am, Peg Griffin wrote:
> Thanks, Bill, for such a prompt answer.
> I'm afraid I don't know the "TERC Geometry 1 Topic" to unpack " learning
> about polygons -- describing and making shapes."

I'm posting mxca for dual purposes -- to have a grounded conversation and to 
cook my notes with others looking over my shoulder, which always makes me do 
a better job. So I'll throw stuff in cause i need to make sure my cooking is 
as complete as possible and it just might help to stimulate something or 
satify curiousity.

I have a copy of "The construction zone" and i've met your co-authors Peg.  
Actually i worked with Denis for a while.

 To me, those two statements suggest you (and the
> teacher) rely on analyses of mathematics concepts...

Yes.  Having been an experimental physicist in a former life I blend process 
and content.  But also I was shaped by the cognitive process instruction 
movement in the late 70's when i was doing research in physics instruction as 
a grad student.

Consequently I disagree with the criticisms of TERC's curriculum.  I see lots 
of content therein.  What TERC does differently is to emphasize children 
explaining how they arrived at their solutions, which indeed makes it easier 
to observe what it is they are learning because it becomes scripted practice 
for the children and teacher to talk explanations.

> So, I want to know more about the mathematics.  

What you described is above what they are doing now.  It's a curious 
coincidence that i was able to find the exact activity i observed on TERC's 
website as a sample.  


There are two PDF files.  One is the worksheet with 
the outline, the other is the teacher notes, so you can get a better sense of 
the content.  I've also attached a photo of what appeared that day on the 
math easel.

Here's the URL that describes better the first grade investigations 
curriculum, if you are curious about it:


> As a separate note, have you seen the work that Deb Leong and Elena
> Bodorova have done in Colorado and New Jersey with pre-K and K children
> using external mediators to promote powerful "buddy" work?  

I know of Leong and Bodorova as i pull their work into my class on child 
development.  BTW, Jane is a former student of my child development class.  
But I'll have to look up ears and lips.  It sounds promising.  There is a 
curriculum Jane uses called "open circle" that comes out of Wellesley 

Attachment: MathEasel.jpg
Description: JPEG image