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Summary and Reflections

After the first 3 Math, For Real session, I decided to summarize what happened to see where I can make the sessions better.

The first session was a bit awkward, partially because I have no experience with holding math circles, partially because there was not a big enough audience base.

The second session, I sent out posters on peachjar, prepared my session by writing out what I am going to discuss, and had 10 students signing up. However, there were not as many participants, because of 2 things:

  1. I posted no instructions related to the logistics. A lot of participants had troubling finding the room, and some were even misguided by the librarian into the other room doing an origami activity

  2. That day was daylight savings, so some might have arrived an hour late.

To fix these problems, before the third session, I sent out directions to the library, a reminder before the session, and arrived early at the library to help others with directions. However, a bigger problem emerged: I forgot to book the room

The session did continue successfully at my house, but we lost precious discussion time, and the kids were not that focused after a 15 minute wait, and the online participants left early.


Now, I have summarized a few key ways to make the discussions interesting and attractive:

  1. Instead of making it lecture based, which is always boring, or making it completely discussion based, which is not likely happening given the difficulty of the topic, I can create competition and rewards by making it a contest between 2 groups. This promotes discussion, and hopefully makes the session more interesting by providing incentives to participate actively.

  2. Instead of using questions to introduce the uses of the tool, present problems that need to be solved, and guide the groups to solve the problem using different methods.

  3. Introductions to help the participants know each other would really help. Instead of going straight into the math, we can have icebreaker activities and questions.


I am going to incorporate these improvements into the 4th session on January 21st. See you then!

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