I’m preparing for the fall math teaching lab, which starts on Wednesday, September 7th. Last year, I co-taught this class with my colleague Ben Blum-Smith, and we planned the course on the belief that mathematical problem solving is the heart of mathematics. The guiding questions we used were
- What’s Motivating about doing Mathematics?
- How do we Thrive and Grow Mathematically?, and
- How do we Create a Community of Doing Mathematics?
We also worked with our students to envision, plan and implement the Bard Math Festival. Each of our students selected and developed a short and inspirational math activity for 4 or 5 students, and we invited math classes from the three schools in our building to participate.
This year is going to be a bit different; most significantly, Ben has started graduate work at NYU. (I hope that he can come visit the lab a few times!) There is also a push to coordinate all the teaching lab courses (Mathematics, History and Literature) and to focus them on the teaching placements. Many of the texts that we’ll be reading are geared towards classroom conversations – developing and maintaining high level discourse in the classroom, and I’ll try to include a small project on math education (the mini-CRP). Some things will have to be dropped, but I plan to keep the Bard Math Festival, which meant so much to last year’s students as well as children and teachers in the schools we work with.