Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Day 1 Activity: "What is one of your hobbies, and how did you get good at it?"

Day 1 is here at Cal Poly (Quarter System).  I know we are a month behind nearly everyone else, but day 1 is still day 1.  This quarter I am working with Professor Choboter on Calculus 1, and we implemented one of the strategies to build student buy-in our classes.

We asked students via email before the first day to think about one of their hobbies and how they became better at it.  In class, we have students talk to a neighbor to introduce themselves and share with one another their hobby and what they did to get better at that hobby.  We then asked each pair to talk to another pair and introduce their neighbors.  So each person interacts with 3 other people right away.

Next, students were asked to write on the board their hobby on the left side, and on the right side I asked them to write how they go better at the hobby.  Here are images of the boards.

How they go better at their hobby

No one wrote, "I sat back and watched someone, and that's how I got better at it."  I use their statements about how they get better by discussing with them that it's the same with math.  I mention that we get better when we practice regularly, both individually and collaboratively.  Therefore, we are running this class via IBL and we are going to work as a team on the math.  Students seemed ready to get on with it, so that was it.  With that done, it was time to dive into the first math activity of the term!

Ongoing work to continue building student buy-in is also important.  More on that in future posts...