December 2001 Issue
Welcome to the December issue. Do you believe 2001 is almost over! Appropriately, this issue features an end-of-semester recommendation from Frank Christ. If you need to hire SI leaders for the next semester, Barbara Stout and Jeanne Wiatr give you some excellent tips in their Supplemental Instruction article. Interested in more info on SQ3R? Check out Susan Palau's web site review. As a special treat this month, Dennis H. Congos and David W. Bain share with us their research in the area of learning mathematics coursework using writing.
The articles in this newsletter are brought to you by dedicated learning centers professionals who take the time out from their busy schedules to share their knowledge and experience with you. Show them your appreciation by dropping them a note and tell them how their contributions are helping you. You will find the email address of each contributor at the top of his column.
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Enjoy the new issue, and don't forget to share it with your colleagues.Mon Nasser Editor
Management Strategies & TipsBy Frank L. Christ Email: email@example.com
Tip #17: End of Semester Recommendations
Next month, January, marks the beginning of the Spring semester. Here are some management ideas to consider as you end the Fall semester and before you begin the Spring semester.
The Socratic adage about the "unexamined life" is also applicable to management. The unexamined mission, goals, and objectives of a learning support center are not worth writing -- if not lived.
(5th in series) By Barbara Stout and Jeanne Wiatr, former SI Supervisors, University of Pittsburgh Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Those students you select to provide Supplemental Instruction to your campus are also representatives of your learning center and therefore need to
be selected with care. The screening process is worth carefully developing as selection of strong candidates will only make training more focused.
Director, Learning Center, Purchase College/SUNY
SQ3R at CSB/ SJU Web Site
Following the suggestion in the appendix to an article in the Fall 2001 issue of Journal of College Reading and Learning, I decided to visit the website of the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University to look for a copy of user friendly instructions for the SQ3R study formula. Francis P. Robinson created the SQ3R textbook studying method in 1941. Since that time, many other studying methods have been created, but most of them are just a derivation of this original. Following is a brief summary of the description of the SQ3R method given at the CSB/SJU website:
1. Survey - briefly skim over the main features of the chapter, i.e., headings, subheadings, graphic aids, end of chapter summaries and questions.
2. Question - turn each heading and subheading into a 5W type question - who, what, where, when, why, (how).
3. Read from heading to heading, one section at a time. After the first reading, you should take notes, highlight or underline the text or make margin summaries.
4. Recite, without referring to the text, the main facts from the selection you just read. Check your memory. If you are satisfied that you recall what you have just read, go to the next heading or subheading and repeat Steps 2 to 4. If you did not remember the major details, re-do Steps 2-4 on the same section. Do Steps 2-4 until you finish the chapter.
5. Review - the information leaned in the chapter . Look at the heading questions and see if you can remember the main points. Do this daily for a few minutes each day.
The College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University website can be found at www.csbsju.edu. Once you have entered the home page, it may be best to use "Search" to find the SQ3R method instructions. Otherwise, go to "Academic Advising" and you will find a list of 19 links covering most of the other study areas. What was a little unusual here was that 3 of the links bring you to Dartmouth University, The University of California, Berkeley, and Virgin Tech study skill sites. I was disappointed that I got an error message when trying to visit Berkeley, however.
The article in which I found this web site is entitled, "How to Create and Use PowerPoint Presentations to Teach Reading Skills", by JoAnn Yaworski. It details a smashing lesson for using PowerPoint to teach the SQ3R study method in a multi-sensory way. Reading this article in conjunction with visiting the website is a good use of your time.
Susan Marcus Palau
(Beside my job as Director of the Learning Center and writing this column, I have started my own organization to help the refugee babies and children of Afghanistan. If you knit or someone you know knits, please visit me at www.specialknittingforces.org. Thanks!)
A Boardwork And Note Formatting Model For Learning
Mathematics Coursework Using Writing
By Dennis H. Congos and David W. Bain
Well-written and well-organized board work for
teaching solutions to various math problems is very helpful to learners trying
to understand how to solve math problems. This article presents a model for
teaching math that illustrates the value of using writing within a step-by-step
approach to help students understand and learn math solutions. The model also
includes a method for presenting quantitative course content that accommodates
the strengths of learners with primary verbal learning abilities as well as
those with primary quantitative learning abilities.
A Boardwork And Note Formatting Model For Learning Mathematics Coursework Using Writing
The decline in the state of mathematics
education in the U. S. compared to other nations was documented by McKnight and
others in 1987 (McKnight and others, 1987).
The National Research Council expressed its concern in 1989 with a call
to improve the ways children learn math (1989).
As a suggestion for better math education, Garfolo proposed creating an
atmosphere where the math classroom must focus on making sense and creating
meaningful understanding when students attempt to understand and learn how to
solve math problems. (Garfolo, 1994). The
National Council of Teacher’s of Mathematics in their standards for school
math emphasizes the need for using oral and writing skills to clarify thinking
and understanding about math ideas and relationships (1987).
Many math instructors are not aware of the fact
that there are learners with primary verbal learning abilities as well as
primary quantitative learning abilities. Because
of habit, training, or assumptions about learning many math instructors
typically teach to the learner with primary quantitative abilities.
It is normal for verbal learners to have difficulty understanding and
assimilating material presented in quantitative language (numbers, letters, and
symbols) just as quantitative learners find verbal courses (psychology, history,
sociology) more challenging. To
speed the learning of math, there are many benefits to including writing to
promote the understanding of solutions to math problems especially for learners
with well-developed verbal learning abilities.
Writing in math is directly related to solving math problems (National
Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 1989).
It encourages clearer thinking of mathematical ideas and processes, and
more quickly reveals the level of understanding among learners (Miller, 1991).
The model below presents a simple format for
organizing math lecture and textbook material that includes the beneficial
element of writing. This model speeds learning, facilitates identification of
incomplete or incorrect understandings in solutions, and signals when and where
help is needed before a test is taken when something can still be done about it.
Presented below are the steps for implementing
this board work model. This model
allows for presenting and formatting math problems and solutions so that both
quantitative and verbal learners can use their strengths whether it lies in
quantitative or verbal abilities to understand and learn mathematics.
For instructors, teaching assistants, tutors,
or Supplemental Instruction (SI) leaders the procedure for setting up math
problems and solutions on the chalkboard is as follows:
Step 1: Divide the
chalkboard into 4 equal sections.
Step 2: In section 1,
write down relevant prerequisites for solving this type of problem.
Step 2: In section 2,
model a solution step-by-step by explaining what is done for each step as the
steps are recorded on the board. Indicate
the source of answers. This is
important because it is answers to problems that tell learners if solutions are
correct. Without the ability to
verify answers, there is a greater risk that incorrect or incomplete solutions
may be learned or frustration may cause learners to give up.
This is especially so if learners are working on their own, away from
immediate resources for assistance such as tutors, instructors, or classmates
Step 3: In section 3,
using short phrases, write the words for what is done in each step from section
2. This narration becomes the rules for solving this type of math problem in the
future. When finished, ask for
questions and be ready to explain what is done and why for each step in the
solution. This promotes understanding and is especially useful to learners with
marginally developed quantitative abilities and well-developed verbal learning
abilities. Allow learners to ask
questions to increase or to check understanding. The written rules can then be used for solving other similar
problems. For example, when a
learner knows the rules for multiplying fraction problems, s/he is able to solve
an unlimited number of problems of this type.
Step 4: In section 4, when there are no more questions, record a similar problem for learners to practice and to check for understanding. If they get stuck, they are now armed with prerequisites, a model of a solution, written rules for a solution, and the knowledge of instructors, tutors, SI leaders, and/or collaborating peers. When learners finish the practice problem, the instructor, tutor, SI leader or another learner writes each step of a solution on the board as it is dictated or a learner may come to the board to present a solution, step-by-step. The person offering a solution should explain: (1) what is done in each step, (2) why it is done that way and (3) how to verify that they have the right answer.
Version 6.20 of AccuTrack
AccuTrack is specialized database software designed for learning centers. The software has many uses, including attendance tracking, appointment scheduling, demographics reporting, traffic analysis, feedback collection, tracking loaned materials, and more.
Version 6.2 of AccuTrack was just released. This version allows you to query demographics data. For example, you can find out how many visitors you had during a certain time period that were freshmen from the college of business and not out of state. Of course the actual queries depends on your demographics questions, which you can setup yourself.
Version 6.2 is now shipping to all new customers. This version is offered as a complementary upgrade to all AccuTrack 6.0 customers . In fact, we have been providing our AccuTrack 6.0 customers with complementary upgrades this whole year.
If you are not yet an AccuTrack user, this is a great time to check it out. Act now and you could have the software up and running at your center by the beginning of the Spring semester. Get AccuTrack and make this semester the last one where you have to do extensive manual data tabulations to figure out the usage statistics for your grants.
Visit our web site and download a free 30-day evaluation version today. The address is http://www.accutrack.org
Technology Tools for Teaching and
This conference will explore how technology can be used to effectively assist low-income and underserved students preparing for postsecondary opportunities.
For further information or questions, please contact Carmen Torres at 973-484-7554 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2002 First-Year Experience Conference-West
21st Annual Conference on The First-Year Experience -
NADE National Conference
Each year the National Association for Developmental Education (NADE) offers a national conference that attracts over 1,400 educators from across the U.S. In addition to nationally-known plenary speakers, nearly 200 concurrent sessions provide a comprehensive treatment of developmental education issues.
Visit http://www.neoaonline.org to learn more about the New England Educational Opportunity Association (NEOA)..
NYCLSA's 25th Annual Symposium
NYCLSA is the NY state chapter of NADE. For more info about the annual symposium, visit http://www.rit.edu/~jwsldc/NYCLSA/general_info/annual_conference/2000.shtml
PA/NJ Regional Chapter of the CRLA
For More Information, Contact: Pat Grove email@example.com
NYSMATYC Annual Conference
For more info on the New York State Mathematics Association of Two Year Colleges conference, visit:
NTA 9th Annual Conference
The National Tutoring Association (NTA) conference provides the latest in tutor information, training, and the opportunity to network with other tutors and administrators. For more information visit the NTA's web site at:
2nd SI / VSI Conference
Let us know about conferences not listed here by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
|A management tip by Frank Christ on the "LAC War Room".|
|A review of a speed reading web site by Susan Marcus Palau.|
|Training SI leaders by Jeanne Wiatr and Barbara Stout.|
|Online graduate course for learning support center personnel.|
|Powerful Windows NotePad replacement software..|
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This newsletter is sponsored by AccuTrack and edited by Mon Nasser from Engineerica Systems, Inc. My thanks to this month's contributors: Frank Christ, Susan Marcus Palau, Barbara Stout, Jeanne Wiatr, Dennis Congos and David Bain.
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