Vito Prosciutto: Teaching community college math on the road to a PhD.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Hey, I did learn something in my math teaching class after all 

And that is that a poorly-thought out manipulative is worse than no manipulative at all.

And that there's a tendency for math ed people to get a little over-focused on manipulatives. When we were prepping for my group's lesson last week, there was this struggle to find manipulatives to illustrate rational and irrational numbers. What we did were, I think, a bit of a disaster. Some times there's no need for a manipulative. As I'm prepping for my teaching next week and the week after, the geometry classes will have a paper-folding exercise to begin nearly every class (except for one where we'll be doing computer work). But the algebra classes will be manipulative-free (although I think I will use Geometer's Sketchpad to put some graphs on the big monitor at the front of the room when we get to graphing.

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