Back to Semantics of Conditionals. On to Linked Lists (1).

Held: Friday, 4 April 2003

Summary: Today we consider techniques one might use to learn better from Gries (and perhaps even other mathematical textbooks).

Related Pages:

Overview:

• Background: Why discuss this issue?
• Background: How do you approach Gries?
• A basic technique for reading texts.
• Exercise: Spend ten minutes mapping the chapter.
• Discussion.
• Other techniques for reading texts.

• Each time we discuss Gries, I find that you've gotten much less out of Gries than I expected.
• I do believe that you're reading Gries.
• However, it doesn't seem like you're reading Gries productively.
• In an interesting coincidence, immediately after Wednesday's class meeting, I went to a tutorial meeting in which Kathleen Skerrett discussed how she teaches reading.
• I was inspired to talk to you about how you read Gries and how you might read Gries better.
• I hope you can apply some of these techniques to other texts.
• I will not be nearly as eloquent as Dr. Skerrett. I also lack her materials, so I may be paraphrasing some aspects incorrectly.

• In preparation for our discussion, it would be helpful to know how you approach Gries.
• That is, when I ask you to read a chapter of Gries, what do you do?
• At some point today, I'll reveal what I do.

## The Skerrett Approach

• Dr. Skerrett reports that she observes that many students approach the text as if it were a flat surface.
• They tend to read through it as a uniform rate.
• They don't observe the topography of the reading.
• She further notes that this kind of reading is a lot like counting words.
• She encourages her students to think of texts as an irregular surface. Part of your job as reader is to identify the irregularity.
• What projects out from the reading?
• What are murky pools you should skip over?
• What guideposts should you leave? (E.g., how should you annotate the text.)
• She recommends that before you read any text, you take ten minutes (that's a lot of time) to preview the text and map the reading.
• Once you've mapped the text, she recommends that you
• Read with a social purpose. Are your reading to write about the text, to speak about the text, to use it to improve your coding (no, she doesn't really offer that as an option), ...

## Exercise: Previewing/Mapping

• So, let's start by previewing/mapping chapter 11 of Gries.
• Yes, you should take a full ten minutes.
• No, I will not tell you what it means to map a text. Decide what's appropriate for you.

## Reflection

• Let's see what we've learned about Gries.
• I'll also mention some other aspects I consider when approaching a text.

## History

Tuesday, 7 January 2003 [Samuel A. Rebelsky]

• Created generic version to set up course.

Back to Semantics of Conditionals. On to Linked Lists (1).

Disclaimer: I usually create these pages on the fly, which means that I rarely proofread them and they may contain bad grammar and incorrect details. It also means that I tend to update them regularly (see the history for more details). Feel free to contact me with any suggestions for changes.

This document was generated by Siteweaver on Fri May 2 14:20:55 2003.
The source to the document was last modified on Mon Jan 20 12:41:05 2003.
This document may be found at `http://www.cs.grinnell.edu/~rebelsky/Courses/CS195/2003S/Outlines/outline.36.html`.

You may wish to validate this document's HTML ; ; Check with Bobby

Samuel A. Rebelsky, rebelsky@grinnell.edu