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What I wish I knew two years ago: practical tips for the beginning Moore Method practitioner practical tips for the beginning Moore Method practitioner.

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Presentation on theme: "What I wish I knew two years ago: practical tips for the beginning Moore Method practitioner practical tips for the beginning Moore Method practitioner."— Presentation transcript:

1 What I wish I knew two years ago: practical tips for the beginning Moore Method practitioner practical tips for the beginning Moore Method practitioner Patrick X. Rault SUNY College at Geneseo Legacy of R. L. Moore 2011 Conference

2 My experience Teaching & Learning : PROMYS math camp : Emerging Scholars 2008 Fall: Proofs (lecture) ‘09 Spring: Number Theory (PROMYS) 2009 Fall–’10 Fall: Proofs - Ed Burger’s book (IBL) - Ron Taylor’s JIBLM script (MM) - Low evaluations, increasing. ‘11 Spring: Number Theory (MM) - John Boller’s U Chicago script. - High evaluations! Support 2010 Spring: $1000 AIBL mentor - “Find your own voice as a teacher” (White) 2010 Summer: MAA Prep & Legacy 2010 Fall: Visit Berry & Augusta 2010-’11: T. Mahavier mentor 2011: AIBL “course release” -Split class into 2 small sections Book: The Moore Method: A pathway to learner-centered instruction Advice: Start small and take change carefully & slowly 2Rault - SUNY Geneseo

3 Book & script selection Theme (not just “proofs”) Contact the author: axioms vs. assumptions Modify – Stepping stones: “Too easy” vs. “too hard” – Addendums – JIBLM: Rault < Boller, Taylor Content: lecture to fill syllabus requirements 3Rault - SUNY Geneseo

4 First class: Slowly shift expectations Lecture Students at board Class discussion English and innate love of puzzles “… n is even. By definition of even there exists an integer such that n is twice this integer. Call this integer k”. Mysteries vs. axioms 4Rault - SUNY Geneseo

5 Selling Relentless 5 minute speeches – “Hard for me because…” but “good for you because…” – FAQ: answers YOU believe in Wording: – “We have difficulty learning how to use quantifiers” Positive environment – Comfortable being critiqued (collaboration?): food & ice-breaking? – Participation (quality, not quantity): “Free” 50%, flexibly decreased for excessive absences/lateness, cell phones, facebook – Address issues early (e.g. “Its hard to catch up in math, please come to my O.H. tomorrow” ) – Track daily involvement Previous students: sequences, visits from former studs 5Rault - SUNY Geneseo

6 Motivation & independence “5 minutes per day can solve these problems – start today” – Hallways: “Did you get B7?“ – “I learned that daydreaming about propositions actually leads to useful insight. When I have no insight into a proposition I use concrete examples to help myself understand what is going on.” (Student) Availability – Plethora of office hours, 5 minutes per student, ONE AT A TIME – Help wanted: “What have you tried?” – Complete proof: “What are you worried about” – Significant help: similar (unscripted) problem Expert students ahead of the game: office hour presentations Presentation & critiquing skills: NOT discovery based 6Rault - SUNY Geneseo

7 Day-to-day Prepare lectures & worksheets: – “A lot of exams this week?” Critiquing vs. leading questions: – “Why is line 5 true?” vs. “Don’t you mean ____.” Significant changes on the board – Lemmas and delayed resolution give slow students a chance – “The format of the class gave you the time to ask questions and get a firmer grasp … time to explore and self-discover” (student) Solidarity of fairness – Near solution: “Does he/she almost have it? Should we let him/her come back at the start of class next time?” Visit others’ classes 7Rault - SUNY Geneseo

8 Evaluations Faculty: weeklong observation, with discussion Students: – The instructor’s teaching style stimulates active learning and interest in the subject matter. Strongly Disagree. – Please comment on the instructor’s teaching style and interest in the subject matter. “He doesn’t teach because this is part of an ‘active learning’ experiment. Although we are learning, … we would love to just be TAUGHT something…” – SALG-M instrument Summaries – Essay: “Tell me about something you learned this semester that you feel is important beyond just this class.” – Journal: Top 5 accomplishments & 5 learning experiences 8Rault - SUNY Geneseo

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10 Why do we work so hard? (Students) “I accomplished things in this class that I never thought I was capable of…” “I have always been very uneasy about proofs. I often got frustrated and gave up. This teaching/learning style helped to motivate and empower me. I accomplished things in this class that I never thought I was capable of.” “I would suggest making this a required course for math education majors … I have never learned more in any math class I have taken.” “I gained…confidence…when I ‘discovered’… the rule for n- boards…That was really cool. If…I was solely a math major, I would be much more interested in mathematics research.” 10Rault - SUNY Geneseo


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