Tuesday, August 08, 2006

8/8 - book review

I read a book called "Algebra for Everyone" and found some interesting information that applied to all classes. There was a study done at Cal Berkley about the success of calculus students. They found that the number one factor in the success of the students was their participation in study groups. This helped to justify the changes that I made in my classes last year where I had students spend a lot more time working together with other students. Another item that I pulled from the book was giving group rewards for tests that are taken individually. It said that students could be put into group to study for a test and if every student in the group reaches a certain level on a test then the group receives bonus points. Another point seen throughout the book is the fact that students need to see more real world examples in math classes in order to achieve the buy-in from students and create more critical thinking in all math classes. This is a quick read that I think can have information for any subject.


Blogger Ms. Kakos said...

I have to say that my biggest complaint about math when I was in high school was that I had no idea why I was solving equations. I memorized formulas and words like "derivative" (sp?), and I used them to get an A in the class. Beyond that, I had no "buy in," as you say. If I had had a teacher like you to help me understand how math would help me be an English teacher and human being, not just an inefficient calculator, I would have respected the subject much more.

The study that you shared here and on Monday regarding group work is fascinating--I wonder how it applies to other subjects.

5:23 PM  
Blogger Missy Jonson said...

I would love to read this if you still have a copy!!! That idea of groups studying for tests together and all needing to reach a certain level/grade for bonus points interests me. I have tried to do more "real world" stuff as well in my classes. This new text book that we have has really good and bad "real world" application in the supplemental material...if we ever get it :)

5:36 PM  

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