M 175T, Fall 08
Guidelines for Leading Class
-> Please do not look at any
problem to be done in class (except the one you will lead) until after
it has been discussed in class.
A. Choosing a problem:
Choose a problem that presents a challenge for you, not one you already know how to do.
B. Before class:
- Try the problem yourself before
looking at the Teacher Notes. This can help give you some feel for where other students
may have difficulties.
- You may use the student handout provided, or you may create
your own. But be sure to look at the Teacher Notes before making any
decision. Also, remember that these problems are ones that students are expected to struggle mentally with. So don't defeat the purpose of getting mental exercise by "giving it away." In
particular, don't put hints on your handout. One thing in particular to
think about is if the
problem uses any terminology that might need to be clarified. (But
don't do this if indeed the purpose of the problem is to help students
clarify terminology in their own minds.)
- Do think about what hints might be appropriate to give when. These might be hints from the Teacher Notes, but you might in some cases develop additional hints to have ready if needed.
- Decide whether you will have the class work on the problem
individually or in pairs.
- Make sure any supplies (ruler, etc.) needed are available.
ask the class in advance to bring them, or provide them yourself, or
check (at least a day in advance) to see if I can provide them.
- Try to come prepared with an extension to give in case some
finish the tasks before others. You may also wish to follow up the
original activity with an extension provided in the Teacher Notes.
C. In class:
- Pay attention to your classmates' progress in solving the
Give hints or other scaffolding as needed (but not before students have tried without hints).
- Lead the class in a discussion of the problem, its
what might be learned from it after everyone has solved the problem (or
sooner, if you decide that is appropriate -- e.g., if class time is
almost over and most have solved the problem)
- Also include some discussion of where the problem fits into
other topics. (The Teacher Notes will usually give you some ideas here.)