I admit that I’m not the creative one. My idea of decorating is pictures lined up in a straight line along a white wall. OK, may I’m not that stark but you get the idea. I walk to someone else’s classroom and find all sorts of ideas of how to decorate mine, ideas for better systems for bathroom passes, or whatever. Or the blogging community has given me more ideas than I could ever use. It’s just that decorating and creativity in an artistic sense is not a big part of my DNA.
And with teaching, it’s the same way. I get ideas from everywhere, but mostly from the blogs I follow. Some small ideas, some big, some just twist what I’ve already been doing. So here’s my contribution that’s actually new. I came up with it, all on my own, one day while riding my bicycle.
Prelude: I talk to my students a lot about how we think, how we learn. I memorize students’ names and show them the flashcards I make and make explicit the corny connections that help me remember names. Troy thought it weird that I’d remember his name because there’s a high school in Orange County by the same name that a long time ago I played badminton at — Troy High School. But I remember his name now. I make my thinking process explicit and visible to the students so that they can (perhaps) learn to think in better ways as a result.
So this is my hokey attempt at getting students to understand and remember the duality between what they have learned previously as “y = ” and the function notation f(x). The most important part is a slide where I try to emphasize that a graph and an expression are both function rules, both convey the ordered pairs (x,y) but in different ways: Do the function rule on “x” and you will get the “y”; That’s also “f” of “x”! So here it is, sung to the tune of the Hokey Pokey.