Thursday, February 26, 2015

Active Learning Activities - Carolyn Otto, Math

The "Active Learning Activities" series will focus on what its name suggests: activities provided by our very own professors to be utilized in active learning classrooms. This post focuses on Dr. Carolyn Otto's use of "Artifacts" - visual representations and/or handheld objects" - to stimulate discussions on the different types of mathematical infinity. 

Setting: Activity utilizing pod groups (6 pods with 4-6 students per pod)

Setup for the activity: Our class was learning about different types of infinity.  In order to do this, I discussed the notion of 1-1 correspondence.  I brought in a set of plastic bags each filled with a different amount of skittles, rubber bands, and M&Ms with one paper plate.  I wrote a power point on the definition of 1-1 correspondence and gave them a sheet explaining what to do with the plastic bag of supplies (1 per pod).

How the activity unfolded in the classroom: Each pod completed the questions on the sheet by manipulating the objects in the bags with their hands.  They were given thought questions about how to find the needed correspondences and what that meant.

After the activity: After the activity, I went around to each pod to discuss the activity.  Then each student had to complete an assignment outside of class that recapped the activity and built on the ideas.

Additional comments from instructor: "The students worked well together to figure out the activity.  The talk in the room focused on the activity and good questions were asked.  The assignment was well received and most students received 100% on it."

For additional examples of active learning from UW Eau Claire instructors, follow this link to our website or click on the "Active Learning" tag located on the right side of the blog.

Tip provided by Carolyn Otto

No comments:

Post a Comment