BUT can I get a quiz done in the next 20 minutes? YES. And it’s easy to substitute in “pick from the question pool” questions so I didn’t have to figure that out. OH!!!Need captions on the youTUbe intro subtraction version…

]]>Note: This is designed for our “math literacy” course, which only asks about numbers corresponding to *exact* standard deviations away from the mean. Yes, I would still like to make some graphs that aren’t entirely abstract about the standard deviations — imagine a thing on Geogebra that would plot a normal curve *on the same scale,* so that things with a different standard deviation would be… wait for it… SPREAD OUT MORE!!!! And you could SEE it.

Okay I also want to make little icons to help understand what they have to know in our college level stats course — the whole “add 50 percent and then tell the TI-84 the upper and lower bounds” or subtracting *from* 50% when it’s “above this score.”

But here’s what I hve right now. Next Thing: dynamiccourseware.org — the “how to do formula questions in Moodle” course.

]]>Michael Pershan — the winner of the MTT2K first prize about Doing Better Than K*** Academy — has gathered research on … learning multiplication. Which means that a: I’m going to go through it and respond and b: I’ve got a model for something to do with my “annotated research on developmental math.” YES

**BUMP THIS TO TOP: **

“I think timed memorization activities that accidentally prompt students to use computational strategies can actually cause math anxiety, and itβs best to either use flexible timing or figure out ways to make sure students arenβt using strategies.Β “

He notes that there is hardly ***anything *** about subtraction or division in the research and I agree that this is worth of much more notice and … it inspires me to use some of those 5 hours to INCLUDE DIVISION in the same way we include subtraction.

He notes research showing that students *and* adults know a bunch of facts, but calculate some of them.

This reminds me of the whole-language proponents who claim that because adults don’t sound out words, we don’t need to teach it. People, this is like musicians using different strategies — but lots of practice with the skills when learning is still rather viable, eh?

He says yes, people should learn the facts by heart, especially because: FRACTIONS and everything else really depend on it, tho’ the research notes that mult. fluency was “uniquely predictive fraction procedures” (need an of in there?) …

Then: Would a cheat sheet help? Apparently no research on this.

**Sue’s observations about using times tables charts: **

In our PRe-Algebra course, a sheet w/ times tables to 25 and addition to the same (I think) is included in the excellent and downright affordable “notes” packet students purchas (the ALEKS subscription is not so affordable…).

Students are allowed very limited use of calculators. Many exams have a “no calculator” part you have to finish first before you can do the “calculator” part. My filtered sample of students who come for tutoring use that thing. I *know* that other students — many of whom fail the course — just use a calculator whenever they can. The ones who hang in there tend to learn a lot of basic math that they missed in K-12 because… they just used a calculator.

It *does* reduce the cognitive load, but not as much as knowing the facts does, because … you have to go look it up and find those other numbers. I would love to think that the “looking up” process facilitates making connections but, to be honest, I think they scan for the number, period. They don’t see the earlier factors and ‘skip count.’ Sometimes they do start to remember some of them — and two of ’em reveled in the novelty of “it just came into my brain!!!!” because in their previous years that had never happened. (I’m pretty sure “learning the times tables” was not part of the curriculum.)

Okay, here’s a thing: “multiplication is typically understood at an early age.”

Unless it’s not. I HOPE this gets addressed: the research cited states that “students already possess the fundamental conceptual capabilites for conceptualizing multiplication.” THAT IS NOT THE SAME AS DOING IT. Just memorizing the facts doesn’t do it, either, for too many people, and there must be a whole mess of “atypical” people out there who end up in college not understanding multiplication.

Okay,then the “should they learn strategies or go straight to memorizing? and apparently there is ONe Whole Study about that. NOTE: That article was in “Learning Disabilities Quarterly.”

Now we get to the idea that using strategies doesn’t get you to automaticity and while he doesn’t have citations, his logic is consistent with my experience with both strategies and using charts: you’re finding the answer, not making connections. Interesting that there doesn’t seem to be *research* about using some facts to get to others. I know there are ample materials out there suggesting “learn the 1,2,5 and 10 and you can get the rest.” I know Steve Chinn’s materials include it.

Michael thinks students should memorize the little ones, *teach more strategies using the facts,* then learn big ones.

I think this is an awesome way to get from the rote to the conceptual, *especially if you teach division in there, too.*

I appreciate that he simply states ways to memorize (assorted repeated retrieval practice), and states that yes, timing it means you’re retrieving, not computing, and that’s a good thing. He notes that yes, when people reflect back, timed tests were sources of anxiety and taking time limits away helps alleviate math anxiety — and cites an article by Steve Chinn

Okay, goin’ to the top of the page because this sentence is particularly pithy.

Then he talks about incremental rehearsal — the “do first fact, then 1 and 2, then 1 and 2 and 3” — alas, without suggesting that this can be made a lot better and adapted in different ways.

Then he notes that there’s not much research on the kinds of routines (like flashcard drills and other incremental rehearsal) used in small group, when they’re tried in big groups.

And he finishes with “not really liking mnemonics.”

So, my thoughts right this second? What about the Tzur et all amazing and fun “build the multiplication concept” idea?

… and now, there’s a student here and/but I’m going to pull up Moodle.

]]>Or I could toss out the idea of a Twitter Math Camp style event here, like we did for Geogebra.

BUT right now it is 9:38 a.m. and I want to get productive. Make that 9:54.

… I don’t remember if I got productive or not, or if students just showed up

BUT Let me just say I retweeted a nice picture from a tweeple down under and another tweeple from 2 miles away re-tweeted it too. But I got some stuff done

]]>Nope, explaining Just Didn’t Work. ALEKS would have them put a zero at the end so it would be 3.40 and then … but … it didn’t stick.

BUT when I got out the illustrious meter stick and it became actual distances, not Things On A Screen… it made sense.

The “ordering decimals” was also going dismally (for exactly the same reason) and … I got out the meter stick again and not only did it make more sense, but when a really similar problem came up again later… they’d gone and “graduated” to where they could *see which one was bigger* — WITHOUT putting zeroes in, even, and without the meter stick.

MEANING FOR THE WIN.

Now the new one was a little weirder but I think part of “let’s not tax the working memory.” They were to use the calculator to turn a number w/ decimals into a mixed number and improper fraction, or maybe the other way around. The “keep the whole number part in the whole number part” was sorta kinda working… but when they’d figured out that 3/20 was .15 and were stalling out, I said “2 and 3/20 is the same as 2 + 3/20, right? Add 2 to your answer.” CLICK.

And 45 minutes later a similar problem came up (probably the other way around) and they get started and say “what did you say to do? Oh, add the…” … because I’d forgotten BUT I WON’T NOW (esp. b/c I hvae another candidate for doing that.)

and yes, ALEKS is rewarding the students who Do THe Problem They Explain. The “explained” problem was 4 and 13/20 … well, the first one to do was 2 and 13/20. This is built in. Peer tutor was curious about why they’d do that — I asked if they didn’t appreciate when the first problem was a lot like the example and well, yes but also it means more memory is spent on the process than the calculations in the process.

Yea, they should still hire ME to help with the visuals

]]>The big picture? Let’s try this: SOME STUDENTS NEED DEVELOPMENTAL MATH.

SKILLS AND SCORES

Students are arriving at college without the math skills they need to succeed. Marilyn Burns’ Math: Facing an American Phobia and Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and its Consequences are just two.

What is actually *happening* with adults in postsecondary educatoin?

I will examine trends over the past 20 years or so, including the scathing condemnation of developmental math courses as a “Bridge to Nowhere,” in support of giving folks direct access to college courses. “Co-requisites” have gained a lot of support — but when one pokes past the infographics, it reveals that many of these programs exacerbate inequities rather than bridge gaps.

In their own words: “best practices have demonstrated that as many as half of all current remedial students can succeed this way.” So, failing most students and ignoring the inequities behind the failures.

I’ll review research and opinions, exploring the assumption that most students know more math than assessments of assorted kinds indicate and the rather extensive evidence that many, many students *do not know basic math* (and how that can happen even if they are capable learners, BUT that the gaps are too big or the situations too complicated to be bridged with a quick fix (list those here). I’ll have links to research supported that the successful acceleration and co-requisite efforts are effective *for students at the margins* who almost qualified for college level math.

I’ll also have research about what *does* work for teaching adults math from number sense to statistics and reasonably advanced algebra, *and* how we haven’t tapped technology as we could/should. This includes Math in meaningful context working towards career goals, as well as ways to structure more advanced topics with visuals and concept organization so they are more cognitively accessible to more people — and taking the time to build the concepts as opposed to memorizing short cuts and calculator procedures. We ca do better than improving scores enough to get access to something slightly out of reach; we can improve *skills* and open many more doors and opportunites. And hey, if it’s OER it can SPREAD!!!

Locally, at Parkland College, class sizes have been capped in developmental math; co-requisites are being offered *for eligible students.* I’ll include the intensive support we have available, as well as the “intelligent agents” in our LMS, and our struggles and successes. We are also exploring developing an online module for adults who have minimal math knowledge and how to structure that for success so that at least innumeracy can be addressed — and for some students, a first opportunity to develop unrealized potential.

So: Outline

Current trends in postsecondary math

Who is it working for?

Who is being excluded? Why are we squelching expectations?

Why isn’t it working for them?

What WILL work?

What are we doing at Parkland? How’s it going?

]]> This one discusses what kinds of co-req designs were more important. In the “nope, no surprise!!” category, for “ease of interpretation,” the results are presented in terms of “average marginal effect” — as in the percent better or worse students did. I haven’t pored over it, but … pretty sure there’s not even *mention* of oh, what they’re comparing. How many students actually passed? Shhhhh…..

{This is Texas, after all, where the other Big Research had the “successful” improvement wtih still over 90% of students failing. (Weisburst E, Daugherty L, Miller T, Martorell P, Cossairt J**. Innovative Pathways Through Developmental Education and Postsecondary Success: An Examination of Developmental Math Interventions Across Texas.** Journal Of Higher Education [serial online]. March 2017;88(2):183-209.) (Don’t know if I can get to it b/c ebsco acess through library or if other folks can, too… but I sometimes just have to look at it again to confirm that YES, the numbers really are that bad.}

But now, back to attempting to make an outline of a poster presentation.

]]>… Friday is “midway gathering” virtual and in person for the Digital Learning Lab. Nope, I’m not going to Chicago, even to see the “Google” place because Google expanded what they do there and now they have a whole conferency place. I officially reject that whole Silicon Valley Corporate Schtick whenever I can and … COVID numbers aren’t getting any better there (they are here!! a little!!! )

I said I’d make a video — welp, today I’ll at least make the slides and I *did* — suddenly, on today’s lunch lap — think of a workable metaphor …something along a learning ecosystem. (Yes, rejecting the “this could be the next fad!!!” or even meme ) — basically that we need to create some climate change for our learners. I need to look at “make it stick” and/or the other guy’s principles (sigh, yes, I got distracted goin’ to try to find ’em)… BUT I DID GET THEM.

But really I need that POMODORO rolling.

]]>… and I was inspired to dive into GIMP and use the “select by color” tool and make a legit version. No, I couldn’t find a slanted “mean” symbol, and yea, I’m going to stick to the “not including the extremes” like the other images do because of the whole number sense stuff with using 50% as half. Yes, it’s public domain.

Yes, I think I’d like to make some that are scaled, so that a standard deviation of 10 is in fact different from a standard deviation of 50 because I think this is another example of something that folks calculate to death — yes, our folks have to do it the hard way a few times — as a Ritual Of Complicated Calculations. There are word problems that “this set of data has mean of THIS and STD DEV of THAT, and this other set has a close mean, but a bigger standard deviation, and they’re asked: True or False, more students did better (group w/ higher mean). Okay, my first problem is that the “correct” answer is false — when … WE DO NOT KNOW. Students learn to memorize “oh, the ones that say something about being close to average or spread out more or less? They’re all true.” … because they are. None of them make you *check* to see if the spread out one has higher standard deviation.

OOPS that image has a nasty little typo (+1 SD where it should be -2) and … I made another one, but did I get distracted from sharing it? Seems so. WILL UPDATE SOON!!! … and I decided to put in the teeny part at the end.

I also understood the “don’t put the teeny part at the end in” better when helping folks in Stats 108. TO use the TI-84, you *need* to add 50% to what you put in, or subtract what you put in from 50% to get a lot of “cumulative area under the curve” answers. I agree, tho’, with NOt Going There in Math LIteracy because they *only* have examples that are exact standard deviations from the norm. Sigh, *YES* I want to make some icons to have visual references for that and the whole “oops, it’s a sample, you have to change the standard deviation.”

]]>I absolutely promise and guarantee that if these and other folks were in “accelerated” situations, *this would not be happening.* (Yesterday another one got 29 topics done **and** we wrestled and argued about things but they stopped and said … they had learned a thing. Their problem is they can figure out 5 possible answers, figure out which one works for a topic and get through it but on a test that doesn’t work. I suggested that they work to *understand why.* And I think we might have made a little progress in that direction.)

And there was a bike meeting and … local mall owner showed up towards the end to say stuff about what we’d said about the mall earlier and basically let all of us who didn’t already know they were a … the rightvocabulary is failing me, but that yea, they are a fundamentally unpleasant human and no wonder of marginal success at the mall.

But it’s Fat Tuesday and tomorrow is fasting and extra prayer. Today I successfully got out early enough to … leave my phone behind, but to sweep the glass off the sidewalk and still get to work Very On Time (at the desk by the o-clock, not just parkin’ the bike ). Tomorrow I shall endeavor to get out early enough to duck down Green STreet to see what partiers left behind I got a great bacardi hat with bells one year (without going down Green STreet even, tho’ I think I had to cut up and go on University, not my usual residential routes). Saw a “get your ash at church!” meme today, erm… that prob’ly won’t happen. Back in the day they’d do a service at the college but this is the college tha t*today* posted that professional development day was tomorrow (it’s Thursday)…

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