The images and videos in the Art of Mathematics media library showcase the active student involvement in our classrooms and the decentralized role of the instructor. You can browse the most recent images and videos shown below or search for specific examples of student activities, e.g. search for "Pick's Theorem" in videos to watch a small group of students investigating the areas of polygons on a geoboard.
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Perhaps the best way to understand the depth and powerful impact of our project is to read what the students have to say about their experiences. The following student quotes, collected during the project, are typical responses received as part of student journals, essays and reflections.
Multiple search terms will be joined with AND by default. You can also enter OR to widen your search, e.g. searching for maypole OR salsa will return all results containing either maypole or salsa. To reset or clear the search, delete all terms and click search again.
I can't say that my feelings about mathematics have changed. I think that this course was just an exception. I can still remember back to taking math tests in high school...
I really said these things to a friend when he asked about the class. So, believe it or not, you were right, I did end up liking the class. You win.
It made it less mundane than an ordinary math class with a professor mumbling into the blackboard and not really helping any students.
I had originally thought that my professor would be that of the likes of my Algebra 2 teacher. She had made us feel humiliated in front of the class if we did not know the answers.
I've always been good at math but I get board with courses like precalculus. Since I don't have any interest I don't want to learn it. What's unique about this course is the material we study actually means something to me. I can see how it's applied in the real world. That's interesting to me.
This class was truly unique. It was unlike any other class I have ever had. I had fun during class, and I learned from it at the same time.
I thought that the teacher would just stand up at the board and write a bunch of stuff that I wouldn't understand and then we would have a big test on it and I would fail. To my surprise, it was nothing like that.
I feel if math is taught like this in elementary schools at the national level the sky is the limit for us.
I will go into my next math course with a positive attitude, as opposed to the attitude I displayed when I entered this course.
Never in my life have I ever written a sentence in math. Since I am an English major, writing has always come a lot easier to me than math. It was wonderful to be able to express my thoughts on the subject...
I was somewhat impressed with the course from the beginning, but now I must say this is definitely the best math class I have ever taken.
The course uses both the teacher and the students to teach the material and this is very helpful to the students.
This is a class that you don't mind going to, because it does not put you to sleep.
I have always enjoyed mathematics and my view has not changed. I have never enjoyed a math class as much as this one though.
Now at the end of the course I feel like this is not a class to take lightly and that if you don't do your work then you'll get a bad grade.
All of my life math has not been one of my specialties and I have always dreaded going to math class. I wish that my elementary and high school teachers could have adopted your style while I was in their classes.
Non-mathematically, the course gave me a chance to organize my thoughts and answers to be clear and understandable. For instance, the write ups at the end of each section are monotonous but, the complete sentences remind me of how and why I got a specific answer.
By letting the students use their knowledge of mathematics in different ways, students exercise their mentality and use different thinking processes.
I feel that I had the opportunity to analyze mathematical situations, and learn on my own pace. I was not force fed information and told to memorize it.
In this course I did not learn any new mathematical knowledge, but I did learn different and creative ways in which it can be applied. That is probably the most important thing in the world you can learn.
The class was fair, and you really had to use your brain.
We did many things in this class that I did my senior year in high school. The difference is that I actually understood the concepts and ideas because I had to do it myself. I came to the conclusion that hands on in math is better than the teacher writing numbers on the board the whole class, without looking at the students once. All in all, I think I got more out of this math course than all of my four years in high school.
Remembering back to the first day of this math class, I remembered I was pretty terrified. I've never been good at math. I was regretting the fact that I had to take this math course. Although when I arrived at the class for the first time, I listened to the introduction for the class, and all the requirements. I left the class with a little smile on my face.
Everybody learns best differently and I guess I learn best by when I sit at a desk looking at the chalkboard and the teacher absorbing information in my head.
I was getting stressed, like everyone else, but I was also getting fed up with working in groups. It just didn't seem to be as great as I thought it would be. I am an independent worker. I need to be alone, sitting, where it's quiet and calm.
Do I remember the first day of this class? A sunny, warm, bright September afternoon, hanging out in a smoky room. High above in my 4th floor suite in beautiful Courtney Hall, I glance over at my clock.
2:00 PM: Time for my first Math class. I have never in my 19 years of existence, ever took any sort of interest in any Math class I participated in. Needles s to say I was not looking forward to my 'Mathematical Explorations' class at all.
3:25 PM: Same afternoon, my first ever interest in a Math class is felt. For various reasons described by my new professor I seem to believe that I have a chance to learn mathematics in a non stressful way. A way where there will be no big numbers on long Math quizzes. A way so that I wouldn't be looking at somebody's ass and a large green board with equation I just didn't understand written all over it. This way to learn Mathematics sounded fun and interesting.
One week later, I was learning new things in Math class. Learning is a word I personally never associated closely with Math. But... Damn I was learning something!
Two months later, I am working on my final paper, still convinced I was learning new concepts and ideas all semester long. Thinking how much I enjoyed this non-traditional math class and how I wish others could have shared the 180 degree spin on Mathematics which I have felt over the last few months. Maybe it was working in the groups that made the class so great?... Maybe I'm smart and just never knew it?... Was it that I found the subject matter interesting? Maybe, who knows...
When I entered the classroom for the first time I expected the math class to be the typical math class. By typical I mean a teacher speaking in a monotonous voice facing the board writing numbers and letters and looking to the class for a specific answer once in a while... Boring!
Everyone is jealous of my math class. They can't get over what we do. You'll have so many kids trying to get into that class next year.
The emphasis is on bringing out clear ideas. I have never had to write complete sentences for math class, or type out the homework. Typing out and writing out sentences takes just as long as studying for a test or quiz. I learn more, to get my ideas across and they are more clear.
Maybe I'll learn more instead of trying to cram information into my head and not remembering the next day.
I can tell right now that this mathematics class will be very different from any math class I've ever had.
My teacher seems pretty cool too. He actually talks to us as people and not just 'some students'.
As I wrote out the final math problems I was surprised how much work I put into the assignments throughout those few weeks. I believe tests wouldn't reveal that much.
Today we discussed the DNA possibilities in the O.J. trial. It is kind of funny how we really didn't understand how large 250 million is.
The math we're doing is like tricky math. It's no algebra or geometry, it's more complicated, more fun.
I'm really impressed with how we are graded in this class. That says that with hard work and class participation everyone will be able to get a good grade.
It's alot more work than I thought it would be. It's better than having a test though.
Maybe for the first time in my life I'll get better than a 'C' in math.
I must say that this is quite a strange math class, but I like it.
Well, it seems strange to write a journal for a math class, but this doesn't seem like an average math class.
It seems like it's going to be a lot of fun, and it seems like it might be easier than an actual class, but I'll probably learn more.
I still feel very confident and having a good attitude about the class I am willing to put alot of time and effort to get a good grade knowing that you set up the class in a way in which we as students can succeed makes me feel at ease and a willingness to work hard.
I wish I could write you that I wanted to become a math major now, but that isn't the truth. This class was definitely better than trigonometry or calculus that I took in high school. Meaning more fun. I learned things that I might actually use in life sometime. But I don't think it was easier... You know what I mean? Math has always been hard for me, I've had to put in more effort than anyone just to get by.
By making the course available to students, we are given a chance to broaden our mathematical horizons. Much of the material involves creative thinking and common sense, so the average non-mathematician is given a shot at math success, thus building confidence for future mathematical endeavors. My past mathematical experience, I'm sorry to say, is nothing short of horrid.
...it will help me make math fun for my children. I can also see how a person can love math and I respect that.
This course showed me a different view of math. It worked with objects and figures rather than numbers. I thought in logic rather than in numbers.
I used to consider math was just a number course and nothing else. Now I see it as an art and a class to be creative in.
I was happy to come to class every day and that says something about the course.
For once in my life I think that mathematics doesn't have to be awful.
When I first came to this class I anticipated the worst. I was sure this class was going to be like every other class: I would probably just pass with the help of a patient tutor. However, this class wasn't like that at all, in fact it made me realize that I am not as bad in Math as I thought I was. I was allowed to ask as many questions as I needed to understand the ideas involved. I actually began to enjoy the subject that I had for so long despised. I began to see and understand why math was so important.