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29 votes

Combative students in proofs classes

You don't say in the question what kind of school this is. It must be a four-year school rather than a community college, but there is no indication of what its admissions standards are like. If this ...
user18014's user avatar
  • 307
25 votes
Accepted

Combative students in proofs classes

There's probably no silver bullet. But one tool I use is in these situations (e.g., I teach discrete mathematics etc. at a U.S. community college) is to very closely align with a good textbook. In ...
Daniel R. Collins's user avatar
18 votes
Accepted

Math activities for fast-finishers

Stuff for fast finishers/gifted kids should be out of the stream --stuff that isn't what you're covering next week or next year. Look at puzzles -- especially geometrical ones. Graph theory -- ...
Sherwood Botsford's user avatar
17 votes

Combative students in proofs classes

EDIT: I would like to clarify that my response below is not intended to be definitive. This is an extremely difficult problem to have. It is perhaps the most difficult problem one can have as a ...
Steven Gubkin's user avatar
12 votes

How To Help a Quiet Class

I've had a remarkable (remarkable to me) success in a different environment on a different topic, so I am not sure this will translate. But I'll mention in anyway. With one change, the same quiet "...
Joseph O'Rourke's user avatar
11 votes

Math activities for fast-finishers

One option is to assign tasks with a low floor, but high ceiling. That means that almost everyone has the background to start tinkering, and accomplish something, but there is enough complexity and ...
Steven Gubkin's user avatar
9 votes

Combative students in proofs classes

Some helpful feelings of mine about teaching: You can't force someone to learn. As an undergraduate professor, I am responsible for being a resource to provide my students with the information they ...
TomKern's user avatar
  • 4,425
9 votes

How To Help a Quiet Class

Start calling on students individually without waiting for any one to raise their hand. For a long time I never did this since I am conflict avoidant and since I didn’t want to put students on the ...
usr0192's user avatar
  • 493
8 votes
Accepted

How to teach calculus effectively to non-math (and noisy) students?

Precomment 1: You mention under point 3, testing, that you are the assistant, not the course leader. So, to be practical, many "fixes" in the class will not be things you (as an individual, versus ...
guest's user avatar
  • 188
7 votes

Math Lessons with Two Parts and a Combination

This sounds something like a "Jigsaw" activity (1), (2), (3). The basic idea is as follows: Divide your students into groups of equal size; say, four students in each group. For specificity, lets ...
Xander Henderson's user avatar
  • 8,225
7 votes

How to deal with fast students without neglecting weaker ones

When I taught high school, I offered each students a choice between doing two different worksheets, making it clear that one worksheet had many problems at a low level for lots of practice and only a ...
Opal E's user avatar
  • 4,043
6 votes

Math activities for fast-finishers

I taught gifted students and had many fast finishers. Here are some of things we did (most require no preparation on your part but some require resources that you may not have): I kept a supply of ...
Amy B's user avatar
  • 8,017
6 votes

How To Help a Quiet Class

Here are some ideas: Try using shared vertical surfaces for doing problems. For example use whiteboards/windows. According to Peter Liljedahl http://www.peterliljedahl.com/publications/building-...
DavidButlerUofA's user avatar
5 votes

How To Help a Quiet Class

Am I just asking or expecting too much from this group? I empathize with your goals completely, and they are honorable. Bear in mind that sometimes, due to a conflation of factors, a particular class ...
Daniel R. Collins's user avatar
5 votes

Pacing your teaching for a variety of learning speeds

I don't know how successful it is, but I use a pattern of short piece of theory and examples practice questions for the students to complete talk through the solutions repeat I do this by combining ...
Jessica B's user avatar
  • 5,822
5 votes

Combative students in proofs classes

The problem with induction is common (I'm sure you are aware of that). With an audience of CS majors I would try and utilize the connection between induction and recursion. Basically driving home the ...
Jyrki Lahtonen's user avatar
5 votes

Combative students in proofs classes

This is a tricky situation. Here are some strategies that I have followed in my Discrete Math for CS class, perhaps they will be of some use to you. I make it clear that the purpose of the class is ...
Amitabha's user avatar
3 votes

Encouraging class participation

There are many answers already, but just speaking out my point of view. I am a college student. Usually what happens is the student who have uncleared concepts needs help but they don't reach out to ...
Rutva Babaria's user avatar
3 votes

How to handle the situation when you made a stupid mistake in front of the class?

You don’t mention the level, but the issue is applicable at all levels. I work in a High School. One skill I think has faded over time is the ability/desire to check one’s work. I’m a fan of ...
JTP - Apologise to Monica's user avatar
3 votes

How to handle the situation when you made a stupid mistake in front of the class?

I bring them doughnuts. This happens to all of us from time to time, sometimes in little ways sometimes in bigger ones. I want to encourage my students to question things so every time they catch ...
G. Allen's user avatar
  • 1,163
2 votes

How to handle the situation when you made a stupid mistake in front of the class?

There are two aspects to this question. One is how to handle mistakes with respect to the class in which they are made. The other is how to handle them in terms of one's preparation for giving class. ...
Dan Fox's user avatar
  • 5,869
2 votes

Encouraging class participation

Establish that participation is compatible with being "cool" I think one aspect that has not been metioned yet, is that there is often social pressure to not participiate too much in the class in ...
problemofficer - n.f. Monica's user avatar
2 votes

Math Lessons with Two Parts and a Combination

I did something like a jigsaw activity in an undergraduate 300-level topics in combinatorics course. I split the class into two groups, and each was assigned a reading and several exercises related to ...
Jordan's user avatar
  • 603
2 votes

How to organize a "cheatsheet-making session" with students

I think it is a great idea. Given their age and organizational skills, I don't think you will get total victory. At the same time, I have learned from weight training that the often the beginners ...
guest's user avatar
  • 644
1 vote

The trick didn't like me (teaching Fourier transform)

It's certainly beneficial for students (even if thy don't like maths) to be convinced that some manipulations are only valid under some conditions. Maybe the following example is both significant and ...
Picaud Vincent's user avatar
1 vote

The trick didn't like me (teaching Fourier transform)

Interesting integral. $$ f(w)=\frac{\cos(wx)}{1+w^2} $$ has poles at $w = \pm i$. The residue at $w=i$ is given as follows: $$ \text{Res}_{w=i}\left(\frac{\cos(wx)}{1+w^2}\right) = \text{Res}_{w=i}\...
James S. Cook's user avatar
1 vote

Topics in Mathematics for a 15 minute demonstration

I think you should tell us what the audience is. Just the selection committee or more general? Is the intent to be more of a research talk or a teaching demonstration or general interest talk? How ...
guest's user avatar
  • 234

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