Thanks for the helpful thoughts. I have to defend my dissertation in five months but i feel i am nowhere with lots of paradoxical sets of data and theories in my mind. The most difficult part is that i am writing this social science thesis in English as my second language. I am not confident at all about the clarity and meaningfulness of my writing. It is frustrating and takes huge time and energy to focus on my subject and at the same time avoid any ambiguity in my writing. Any comments or thoughts how i can manage such chaotic situation?
In my training, I was shown how to do the geometrical form of multiplication (see math album 1 on albums page.) A couple of months ago I had some students who were struggling with division using the Stamp Game. They were not struggling because they didn’t understand it. They just didn’t like using the materials – they thought it slowed them down. Yet, they were unable to do long division purely in the abstract. If these were 2nd graders, I would have simply insisted that they continue with the stamp game. However, these are students brand new to the Montessori setting in 4th grade. So I worked through the Stamp Game with them making sure they understood each step, querying them at the right moments. Once I was sure they understood the logic behind it, I introduced them to the Geometrical Form of Long Division. Maybe this is already out there, but I have not seen it. I created the following lesson using graph paper, green, blue, & red pencils.
Also, James, I disagree with you about re-reading you thesis before your defense. As the writer, you should already know what is in there! You may need to brush up on a few key points, as you mentioned, but quite frankly, I didn’t even have time for that – and I didn’t feel like I needed to do that because I knew my work inside and out (as you should, before you complete the writing stage). (I also had no time to re-read the 352 pages of my dissertation before my defense). I kept a list of all of the topics I wanted to read up on before my defense, but I never got around to it, and it didn’t end up changing the outcome — largely because I already KNEW that material even though I was a tad nervous about it all.