Monday, May 20, 2013

First Contact!

I made first contact! At least my "other side" students met me. Last Thursday, I visited Cyndi Casey's Immersion Program group 2C/2D for an hour.  I introduced myself and tried to explain why I do Mathematics. I was asked many interesting questions. It was a nice conversation.

I showed the students the Immersion short video that I posted sometime ago (you can see it by clicking here) to kick-off the connection. I was trying to explain to them how important is for me the language issue for learning maths, and how I believe is crucial for students as I once felt it myself when I had to start teaching maths in a foreign language (English).

This connection is made such that the Immersion Program students coach the MAT096 students on their writing skills, bringing value to their work. They are looking over students already in a 2-year program. I hope this connection will motivate the Immersion Program students by seeing what could be next  for them.

Students from the Immersion Program started posting their feelings about maths. I thought it was going to be easy tasks, logistically... but when I went to check their posts, I saw that actually students were using previous posts to just make their own post. I had to go back and re-construct the original posts trying to keep all contributions as they were. I believed that I managed to do that but it took two hours that I did not planned... I hope that this will not happen again. 

I am now worried on how is going to work when the proofreading comments are introduced for the first time... I will let you know soon!


  1. Glad to hear that you had a fruitful discussion with the Immersion Program students! How wonderful that you took the time to meet them face-to-face, providing students with not only a framework for the project, but with context, rationale and your own precious experiences and how they have contributed to who you are and what you are doing with your career. Kudos to you!

    Question: are the students using BlackBoard discussion? Or a blog? I'm sorry, you may have posted this elsewhere already. Some platforms really do make it much easier to simply respond to other posts (instead of creating new threads), like BlackBoard. It can be quite cumbersome for the instructor to go through each "reply" post, trying to figure out if it is an original post or a reply to someone else's original post...I feel your pain!

  2. I'm with Nichole: Kudos to you for making yourself "real" to the immersion students and making that f2f connection. I too feel your pain of the unanticipated snafu's that prompt all this "fixing." It's not always easy to predict the alternative ways people will use the platforms; particularly when insightful nuggets are buried deep within a thread.

  3. Thanks for the comments. I am using Wikispaces and the next week that I started the connection, I found a better platform that supports math symbols :S ...

    1. That is great! Can't wait to hear about the newer platform which supports math symbols- I think many of your math colleagues will benefit greatly from learning about it.

  4. Its good that you met with your immersion program students. This will help students know you better. I understand your problem with students' posts as I am having the same problem. I don't know how to overcome this problem.