I spent much of my time in inquiry based learning sessions again. These were run by Chrissi Von Renesse, Kyle Petereson, and Brian Katz. They ran the sessions using IBF techniques which is what I always like about IBF sections. They do not lecture about IBF.
Despite the fact that this is an overall philosophy I want to list some things I will add to my teaching in the winter based on this session. Sometime later this semester I will merge this with the Small Teaching and AMATYC ideas and make a set of goals for the next year.
- Welcoming Activity: Have students introduce each other. Give a trivial distracting questions (favorite food, favorite color), have students tell something they are good at. Have students tell how they got good at it. Write the answers to the “How” questions on the board. Make obvious connections to working to learn math.
- There is a PRIMUS (magazine that two of the session-runners edit) special on Quantitative Reasoning. I should try to find that.
- I think I remember this from last year- make my introductory problems have a high ceiling and low floor so that I can give time for some groups to finish without boring other groups. I think the QR course I am teaching in the winter is the perfect place to try this.
- I may add relevant puzzle problems from time to time for fun. (This was actually from a lecture).
Some of us got to do a teaching demo and receive feedback from out peers. This was valuable. My biggest praise was allowing sufficiently long pauses after questions for people to think (and not answering the questions myself.) One critique was that although I did sit with groups to discuss their math, I also sometimes loomed over peoples’ shoulders which can be disconcerting. I will try to watch for that.
The three IPA’s at Unruly Brewery I tried were all good, but none are spectacular. I can’t find the name of the one I liked best on their website, but it was the one the bartender recommended. The attached pizza place was also good (Rebel Pies), but the $22 pies might keep me away. (Well, that and the three hour drive). I would visit as a local to try some of their other varieties of beer from time to time.