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Assign 200+ Writing Projects a Semester and Live to Tell About It Rob Eby ACCCESS Cohort 2 Blinn College – Bryan Campus Webpage will be provided at the end

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Why projects From Chapter 6 of Beyond Crossroads Students in all college programs will be expected to: exhibit perseverance, ability, and confidence to use mathematics to solve problems collect, organize, analyze data, and interpret various representations of data, including graphs and tables use a variety of problem-solving strategies and exhibit logical thinking communicate findings both in writing and orally using appropriate mathematical language and symbolism with supporting data and graphs work effectively with others to solve problems demonstrate an understanding and an appreciation of the positive role of mathematics in their lives.

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What is a “Project”? Rob’s Definition Group work Poorly defined Multi-multi step solution Relates to class work, but extends it More “real life” than typical textbook problems and classroom examples Something that involves writing and explaining. Out of their comfort zone.

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Warning! This WILL add to your workload Who cares! You will have to deal with “non- functioning” groups Students generally groan rather loudly when these are first mentioned This will generate comments on your student evaluations

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Grading projects Work the project yourself! Use point inflation and innumeracy to your advantage! Use a rubric. Remember, they are not professionals! Speed sort the projects first.

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How to start adding projects Start small – projects do not have to be huge Writing is key – Explaining “easy” stuff is hard Turn questions around Start small – add one, maybe two at first Think review – Questions that involve skills learned through the semester

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Homework into projects - calculus A farmer puts a fence on a river. Flip it over into gutters, unknown perimeter, explain why it doesn’t matter Flip it over into gutters, require three different angles. Put a range of prices on each part, and find a formula for a solution. Give them R feet and have them come up with the formula, explaining their work.

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Homework into projects - probability One person flips N coins, the other N+1. Count the number of heads to determine the winner, with ties going to the person flipping N coins. Prob. of winning as person N+1 Which is more likely: at least 1 six when rolling 1 die, at least 2 when rolling 2 dice, at least 3 when rolling 3 dice. ***Explain without finding probabilities. Expand: 4 coins, 3 heads, 5 coins, 4 heads, 6 coins 5 heads, etc. At what point do we think something is going on? (unfair coin, a trick, etc.)

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Homework to projects - transformations Give a graph or verbal description, then ask what 2f(x) f(4x) f(x)+3 2f(4x) + 3 Start 6 feet away from the motion detector. Stand still for 3 seconds. Step 6 feet away from the starting point, at 3 fps Stand still for 1 second Walk toward the motion detector for 4 seconds, at 3 fps. Step 3 feet away from the motion detector at 3 fps Stand still for the remaining 4 seconds

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Homework to projects - transformations Give a graph then ask what 2f(x) f(4x) f(x)+3 2f(4x) + 3 are WITH verbal description

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Sources of project ideas The groups of problems in each homework section, and ask them what is common about the problems The “hard” problems in each section “Found Math” sites – NCTM and others Current textbooks

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http://www.blinn.edu/ brazos/matheng/reby /talks/index.html Rob Eby Blinn College “Assign 200+ projects…”

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