- November 5, 2018 at 12:12 PM #53595
I’ve been intrigued by two statements embedded in the 10 minute clip on teaching mathematics that I referenced in a July 13th forum post in reply to “Switching to Saxon Math.” The speaker is discussing mathematics, but his comments apply to more than math classes. Here is the link.
One comment comes at the end of the first minute–noting that students who are engrossed in the subject “don’t notice themselves as being separate from their surroundings and don’t notice time going by.”
The other comment comes early in the 6th minute, where the speaker points out that engaging the content “connects students with the teacher, with each other, and with people that lived in the past.”
Ideally, teachers and their students have these experiences in a variety of settings. I can imagine these moments in science, literature, composition, history, and geography classes. I’ve often experienced these moments with my students in story time. It would be interesting to hear specific testimonies of moments in some of your classes when everyone was so engaged (together) in the subject that “time stood still” and “you did not perceive yourselves as being separate from your surroundings.” These are real learning experiences. How do we as teachers catalyze these settings?
- November 11, 2018 at 7:43 AM #53654
Start us off, Jonas, with a few specific stories of your own. I’d love to read them.
- November 15, 2018 at 11:41 AM #53671
Jonas SauderModeratorOriginal Poster@jonas
Moments in which students become totally engrossed in the subject frequently happen in discussion times based on readings from literature or in written response to reading selections.
Following the reading of To See it Fall (p.397 in CLE’s Perspectives of Truth anthology), my classes frequently immersed themselves in discussing whether the men were foolish to chop down a 300’ tall, 42’ diameter redwood just “to see it fall.” It’s quite fascinating to hear them explain why they were or were not glad the tree fell while they slept. This leads to discussion of what is the meaning, purpose, and justification of doing things for fun, what are the limits of “play” for men, what constitutes recreation, etc. We’re all pulled into the subject together.
One year, as a group project in generating maxims drawn from Pearl Buck’s The Big Wave, grades 7 & 8 as a group exceeded my expectations and generated a list of 38 mostly profound maxims. Examples: Tears can comfort the heart. One can never be truly happy until he can bear to think about the sad things of the past. We sometimes do not realize that we are happy. You cannot make a real choice if you are already partly decided. In this case, “time stood still” as the group’s list of maxims grew.
Imagining applications of scientific principles to everyday life has often intrigued students, such as offering examples of how the absence of gravity would affect the arrangement of desks throughout the space in a classroom (who gets to sit in the top rows?), eating lunch (any need for trays?), playing games on the playground (essentially the “playspace”). Such discussions lead into conclusions such as the necessity of gravity for our world to work.
I suggest you try posing a question from a recent Marshall Memo article in which a third grade student noted that 1/3 = .3333… and 2/3=.6666… but 3/3 = 1. Why doesn’t 3/3 = .9999…? I wonder what your class would do with that one. Try it and see.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.