Hello and welcome to MATH 232. Each day of class I’ll post a blog entry like this one on the class Timeline, to outline what we’ll be doing during class, and what you should remember to do after class. Today’s is a little long, because we have a lot to discuss…
// During Class
- Roll call and names/nametags
- Let’s talk about MATH 231. How did it go? What was hard/easy about it? How are you feeling about your mastery of the masterial from that course? How do you feel about your ability to do mathematics in general, and how have you dealt with failures and setbacks in math classes in the past?
- Who has heard about “Growth Mindset” already? What do you know? We will watch this 10-minute video together as a class:
- Take a few minutes to talk to the people at your table and reflect on the video you just watched. Did anything in the video have relevance to you personally? Do you think you currently have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset regarding your abilities in matheamatics? Is there anything from this video that you think you could use to help you succeed in MATH 232?
- To encourage a positive growth mindset in this math class, we’re going to try something that is new to me, and possibly new to you as well: Mastery-Based Grading. Basically, we’re going to move away from the typical calculus-class model in which there are a few high-stakes, do-or-die exams. We are going to try a new system where there is a continuous stream of lower-stakes Mastery Quiz evaluations, each of which has opportunities for being taken over again and improved upon. Let’s discuss what I’m planning for these Mastery Quizzes (see the “What to Expect” post below), what you all think about it, and what you think the pitfalls, problems, and benefits might be.
- Finally, your success in MATH 232 will be highly dependent on your ability to recall and build from the material you learned in MATH 231. In particular, if you earned less than a “C-” in MATH 232 then I strenuously encourage you to retake MATH 231 instead of taking this course. To help you brush up your MATH 231 skills, your first homework assignment is a set of review problems, and Wednesday’s Mastery Quiz will be a three-question multiple choice question based on those review problems.
// After Class
- Sign up for the class Slack group and leave a post saying hello and introducing yourself.
- Make sure you have the textbook. If for some reason you do not, then find someone who is willing to share with you for a while by asking around or posting in the Slack group.
- Take the online 232 Policy Check survey, and retake it as necessary until you have acheived 100% mastery on all questions. You may freely look up anything you like on the class website during the survey.
- According to the Homework Calendar, your homework after this class is to complete the 231 Review Problems. Take this assignment seriously; in order to succeed in MATH 232 you will have to have mastered this MATH 231 material.
- There will be a 231 Review Mastery Quiz at the start of class on Wednesday. Get ready for this quiz by working on the problems in the review assignment until you feel you have mastery of the basic skills and concepts from MATH 231.
All sections of MATH 232 use the same textbook, but each instructor implements their own style and philosophy of teaching. Here’s what it will be like day-to-day in my sections of MATH 232 this semester:
// During class
- 2:30-2:45: Distribute and take Mastery Quizzes or Retakes, according to the schedule on the Homework Calendar;
- 2:45-3:00: Short lecture/presentation on the reading for the day’s new section in the textbook;
- 3:00-3:45: Students work in groups at the whiteboards on various problems and activities.
// After class
- Read the section and complete as many problems from the current homework assignment as needed to acheive mastery of the material.
- Work as needed in study groups or at the Math and Science Learning Center.
- Ask questions and join discussions in the Slack Group Office Hours.
- Review the homework and reading as needed to prepare for the next day’s Mastery Quiz.
// By the end of the semester
- You’ll have taken 18 Mastery Quizzes, one for each section of the textbook; see the Mastery Quizzes FAQ.
- You’ll have retaken a number of Mastery Quizzes, each time replacing lower grades with higher grades if possible.
- You’ll construct your own Final Exam by choosing up to eight Mastery Quizzes to retake during the exam period.
- Your grade for the course will be based on your high scores on each of the 18 Mastery Quizzes; see the Grades FAQ.