This was an interesting domain for me this year as it tied into my ability to work with peers more than I would have thought. With new concepts being introduced, generating strong ideas became difficult, yet actually by collaborating with peers I was able to feel more comfortable doing so. I feel that by listening to what they had to say, I was in turn able to then come to my own conclusions. This is why I feel that seminars were so constructive and helpful, as they allowed for that deep level of collaboration.
Recognizing and Resolving Errors -
I have always struggled in math, especially with understanding problems that have very specific rules. There were several POWs this year that had problems asking for answers I was not sure how to find, yet actually by advocating for myself and sitting down with my teacher I was able to solve the problems. Unlike math teachers in the past, who would either give me no help or would give me the answer, my math teacher was able to lead me towards the answer while still making me solve the problem. Advocacy was a major part of my ability to resolve errors this year
Communication of Thinking in a Clear Way -
Seminars, as I had stated before, were a huge part of the math community in our classroom this year. We would take home a series of problems, and then the next day get together in small group to share answers and share ideas. I found it to be really easy to translate my mathematical ideas into understandable text and speech, and I feel this was because of my willingness to share how I got my answer and my need to be right. It almost felt, to me, like a friendly competition, and so taking home explorations (our set of math problems) each night became a fun way to complete my work while feeling a competitive drive. During seminars communication was key, because it could make the difference in whether or not one understood a problem. After seminars I would always feel like I took something away, and this was because of my and my peers ability to communicate our ideas.
Reflecting / Synthesizing -
Many problems that were assigned by my teacher were set in real world context, and part of the challenge was to think of all problems in a real world sense. Personally, to be able to connect abstract problems into real world context has always been essential to understanding math on a more broad spectrum. However, my biggest issue this year was taking problems that to me seemed unimportant and trying to turn them into problems that could solve real world situations. It was easy, for example, to enjoy and understand problems that already applied to real world issues like the Tax Project. Looking back now, I feel that I could have been more open about my issue with making these connections, as I know that my teacher could have given me the support and advice needed to send me on the right track.
Boat Project Reflection -
The boat project allowed us to not only spark our creativity, but to apply some higher level equations into our studies on what makes something float. Throughout this project there were many revisions that my partner and I made for our boat, ultimately ending in boat we felt proud of having created. We were able to use some originality for our second version of the ‘USS Swag’, as we created a banana boat/pontoon hybrid that not only maximized stability but also hydro-dynamics. A lot of research went into the final piece of this project, and both my partner and I brainstormed a lot of ideas, yet in the end what we found to have look the most reliable was our hybrid idea. We researched a lot about the rocker profile (or curvature) that the underside of the boat should have, and the positioning of the pontoons to maximize stability while not compromising our maneuverability or hydrodynamics.