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AUTHENTIC INQUIRY :
MAKE YOUR STUDENTS ACT LIKE PROFESSIONALS

CAMT 2016
Mark Townsend

ABOUT ME
Name: Mark Townsend
Years Taught: Four
Classes Taught: Algebra 1, Geometry, Pre
Calculus, AP Calculus

Educational Heritage: UTeach Austin, The


University of Texas At Austin

MARK TOWNSEND | MAKE YOUR STUDENTS ACT LIKE PROFESSIONALS | CAMT 2016

INQUIRY BASED VS DIRECT TEACHING


Inquiry Based

Direct

What does the teacher do?


Provide Questions,
Scaffolding

Provide Questions, Answers,


Connection

What does the student do?


Provide Answers, Questions, Repeat Questions, Answers,
Connection
Connection

MARK TOWNSEND | MAKE YOUR STUDENTS ACT LIKE PROFESSIONALS | CAMT 2016

HOPES FOR THIS SESSION


I hope you receive a perspective on professional mathematics that is
useful in your classroom.

I hope to give you a few practical strategies and resources for adding
inquiry into your classroom.

I hope to receive your insights on how we can treat our students like
professional mathematicians.

MARK TOWNSEND | MAKE YOUR STUDENTS ACT LIKE PROFESSIONALS | CAMT 2016

LETS JUMP IN.


Which is bigger, the set of natural numbers or the set of integers?

Which is bigger, the set of integers or the set of rational numbers


between 0 and 1?

If you had infinitely many 1-meter sticks, could you cut a stick to
represent each number from 0 to 1 meters?

What does A*B represent geometrically? A/B?

MARK TOWNSEND | MAKE YOUR STUDENTS ACT LIKE PROFESSIONALS | CAMT 2016

WHERE CAN THIS TAKE US?


Density
Infinity

Boundedness
Cardinality
Group Theory

Euclidean Construction

If time permits, well come back to these questions.


MARK TOWNSEND | MAKE YOUR STUDENTS ACT LIKE PROFESSIONALS | CAMT 2016

CURIOSITY
Children ask questions. A lot of questions.

So many questions
Why?"
MARK TOWNSEND | MAKE YOUR STUDENTS ACT LIKE PROFESSIONALS | CAMT 2016

MUSINGS ON INQUIRY IN MY CLASSROOM


If I am bored, then my students are probably bored.
I think directly delivering content to students is boring for everyone.

If inquiry feels cheap or contrived to students, then


they wont engage in it.
I need to come up with authentic inquiry and/or discovery in my
classroom.

It makes a lot of sense to model mathematics


education after mathematics professions.
I need to try to establish professional mathematician norms.

MARK TOWNSEND | MAKE YOUR STUDENTS ACT LIKE PROFESSIONALS | CAMT 2016

INQUIRY
How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School
(Bransford JD, Brown AL, Cocking RR, 2000)
To develop competence in an area of inquiry, students must:
(a) have a deep foundation of factual knowledge, (b) understand facts and ideas in the
context of a conceptual framework, and (c) organize knowledge in ways that facilitate
retrieval and application.

Blooms Revised Taxonomy

Remembering

Understanding

Applying

Evaluating

MARK TOWNSEND | MAKE YOUR STUDENTS ACT LIKE PROFESSIONALS | CAMT 2016

Creating

INQUIRY AS A FRAMEWORK
MARK TOWNSEND | MAKE YOUR STUDENTS ACT LIKE PROFESSIONALS | CAMT 2016

HOW DOES MATH WORK PROFESSIONALLY?


Professional mathematicians have certain
proficiencies.
They are able to:
Express themselves clearly, concisely, and technically
Use technology responsibly and strategically
Ask and answer questions purposefully
Utilize the context surrounding a problem
Collaborate effectively
MARK TOWNSEND | MAKE YOUR STUDENTS ACT LIKE PROFESSIONALS | CAMT 2016

CONDUCTING PROFESSIONAL MATH IN


THE CLASSROOM
Authentic Inquiry Isnt Always Possible
Honesty About Contrived Inquiry

Contrived Inquiry > No Inquiry

MARK TOWNSEND | MAKE YOUR STUDENTS ACT LIKE PROFESSIONALS | CAMT 2016

Build Vocabulary.
Expect good writing.
Facilitate Peer-Review.

MARK TOWNSEND | MAKE YOUR STUDENTS ACT LIKE PROFESSIONALS | CAMT 2016

BUILD VOCABULARY
[VOCABULARY WORD]
DEFINITION:

EXAMPLES OF [VOCAB WORD]

[TEACHER PROVIDES EXAMPLES HERE]

YOUR EXAMPLE OF [VOCAB WORD]

NONEXAMPLES OF [VOCAB WORD]

[TEACHER PROVIDES MEANINGFUL


NONEXAMPLES HERE]

YOUR NONEXAMPLE OF [VOCAB WORD]

MARK TOWNSEND | MAKE YOUR STUDENTS ACT LIKE PROFESSIONALS | CAMT 2016

EXPECT GOOD WRITING

MARK TOWNSEND | MAKE YOUR STUDENTS ACT LIKE PROFESSIONALS | CAMT 2016

FACILITATE PEER-REVIEW
http://tinyurl.com/tdelia

MARK TOWNSEND | MAKE YOUR STUDENTS ACT LIKE PROFESSIONALS | CAMT 2016

Collect and Use Data


Design and Execute Experiments
Create and Test Models

MARK TOWNSEND | MAKE YOUR STUDENTS ACT LIKE PROFESSIONALS | CAMT 2016

EXAMPLE: SLOPE AT A POINT


(NOT JUST FOR CALCULUS STUDENTS)
x
-2 0 1
f(x) -4 4 5

4 5.2
8
14
17
22.67
67 144.6 520 2748 4917 11600

f(x) is continuous and always gets bigger. Estimate


the slope of f(x) when x=6.5.

MARK TOWNSEND | MAKE YOUR STUDENTS ACT LIKE PROFESSIONALS | CAMT 2016

DESIGN AND EXECUTE EXPERIMENTS


This is a great way to get kids ready for
research statistics!
This supports your science teachers.

MARK TOWNSEND | MAKE YOUR STUDENTS ACT LIKE PROFESSIONALS | CAMT 2016

CREATE AND TEST MODELS


Use Function Patterns
Use Messy Data
Allow For Multiple Successful Models

MARK TOWNSEND | MAKE YOUR STUDENTS ACT LIKE PROFESSIONALS | CAMT 2016

In school, were rewarded for having the right answer, not for asking a
good question. -Richard Saul Wurman, Co-Founder of TED Conference

Have a Method For Approaching a Problem


Polyas Problem Solving Process?

Celebrate Questions and Answers


Im depressingly bad at valuing questions, and Im not alone!

Encourage Conjecture Building


Dont forget about conjecture testing!
MARK TOWNSEND | MAKE YOUR STUDENTS ACT LIKE PROFESSIONALS | CAMT 2016

THIS CAN BE DONE AS HOMEWORK, TOO!

MARK TOWNSEND | MAKE YOUR STUDENTS ACT LIKE PROFESSIONALS | CAMT 2016

MARK TOWNSEND | MAKE YOUR STUDENTS ACT LIKE PROFESSIONALS | CAMT 2016

Why was the question asked?

What attempts have been made at


answering the question?
Why does answering the question matter?
What new information is this question
leading me to?

MARK TOWNSEND | MAKE YOUR STUDENTS ACT LIKE PROFESSIONALS | CAMT 2016

THE IMPORTANCE OF AMBIGUITY


Students should frequently interact with
ambiguous questions. These questions:
Have multiple correct interpretations
Have different answers when different parameters are
considered
Cannot be solved with Wolfram Alpha alone

MARK TOWNSEND | MAKE YOUR STUDENTS ACT LIKE PROFESSIONALS | CAMT 2016

Assign meaningful roles to each group member that dont


just pertain to materials, scribing, etc.

Structure group work that necessitates content


collaboration.
Model and encourage discourse!

Collaboration || Process Standards


MARK TOWNSEND | MAKE YOUR STUDENTS ACT LIKE PROFESSIONALS | CAMT 2016

Meaningful Task

POSITIVE INTERDEPENDENCE

Goals
Resources

Rewards
Roles
(Productive Group Work (2009); Frey, Fisher, & Everlove)
MARK TOWNSEND | MAKE YOUR STUDENTS ACT LIKE PROFESSIONALS | CAMT 2016

LETS REVISIT THOSE INITIAL QUESTIONS.


Which is bigger, the set of natural numbers or the set of integers?

Which is bigger, the set of integers or the set of rational numbers


between 0 and 1?

If you had infinitely many 1-meter sticks, could you cut a stick to
represent each number from 0 to 1 meters?

What does A*B represent geometrically? A/B?

MARK TOWNSEND | MAKE YOUR STUDENTS ACT LIKE PROFESSIONALS | CAMT 2016

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS
My Experience with
the Five Proficiencies
of Professional
Mathematicians

A Note On Assessment
What is assessed should
reflect what is valued!

TownsendCAMT2016.weebly.com
MARK TOWNSEND | MAKE YOUR STUDENTS ACT LIKE PROFESSIONALS | CAMT 2016