Tag Archives: Teaching

Using Groupworthy Tasks to Increase Student Engagement

There has been an ongoing call in mathematics education for students to be engaging in problem solving and collaborative groupwork.  Although, many instructors find that when they put students in groups, some students seem disengaged and we may start to … Continue reading

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Daily Quizzes: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly—Part 1

This past semester, I decided to do something crazy—I gave my students a quiz (nearly) every day of class. You can imagine that my students weren’t nearly as excited as I was about this plan. In case you’re looking for … Continue reading

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Eigenightmares, Dancing Stick Figures, and the Advantages of a Spiral Approach to Pedagogy

For my next installment on innovative teaching techniques, I’d like to dredge another demon that haunted my nights long ago—EIGENVECTORS!  Normally, eigenvectors are introduced in the waning days of a first-year linear algebra course, when students’ minds are already saturated … Continue reading

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Hookups, Dating, and Markov Chains: Teaching Matrices so that Your Students Won’t Hate Them, Part III

Having taught your students how to visualize matrix multiplication and why performing this bizarre dance of arithmetic could help make society a better place, the next logical step might be to raise a matrix to a power, say, to help your … Continue reading

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Matrices and MLK Day

When I learned how to multiply matrices in 10th grade, my initial reaction was, “Why on earth would anyone ever want to do that?”  Compared to addition and subtraction, the rules of matrix multiplication seemed arbitrary and meaningless.  Alas, this … Continue reading

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