Mike Flynn

Math ]]>

**Program of Mathematics Student and Active Professionalism Grants for PreK-6 Teachers**

The NCTM solicits applications for the Program of Mathematics Student and Active Professionalism Grants for PreK-6 Teachers. The program seeks to provide financial support for teachers seeking to improve their understanding and appreciation of mathematics by completing course work in schools mathematics content and pedagogy, working toward an advanced degree, and taking an active professional approach toward teaching mathematics.

Deadline: May 2, 2014

Award: Grant up to $24,000.

Eligibility: Individuals currently teaching mathematics for at least three years and teaching at least 50 percent of the time in classroom(s) at the PreK-6 level.

Click here to learn more.

In the wake of a Canada’s drop to 13th place in the PISA rankings in December, there has been a proverbial angry mob made up of parents, pundits, and the general public writing letters, signing petitions, and openly calling for Canadian teachers to return to the basics in mathematics. It’s an all too familiar story that we have seen in the United States. National or international test scores are published and people panic, point fingers, and call for sweeping changes in how we teach math (or anything for that matter). However, in the rush to apply quick-fix solutions to very complex problems, the voices of those most knowledgeable about how to best educate kids in mathematics (teachers, math specialists, teacher educators, and researchers) often get drowned out by the masses who are not in the education field, but have strong opinions nonetheless. The result is a misguided attempt at reforming the way we teach math in our country.

Ironically, the “traditional” approach some are calling for is actually one of the reasons we have problem with math instruction in the first place. Traditional math, the kind you or I experienced as a student, is procedural mathematics where students are shown specific methods to solve problems. This approach relies on rote memorizing rather than building conceptual knowledge and often leads to a fragile understanding of key mathematical ideas. An example of this occurred when I tutored a group of third graders who were well versed in the traditional subtraction algorithm. I asked them to use mental math to solve 200-198. To my amazement each student told me they could not do this mentally because it was impossible to keep track of all that borrowing in their head. They had only one way to think about the problem. Our students deserve better than that.

When talking to people about math reform, I often use a metaphor of trying to navigate Boston in my car. For years, I relied on MapQuest, with a series of step-by-step directions to find my way from point A to point B. I drove in a constant state of panic because I never had a sense of where I was; knowing if I took one wrong turn I would be completely lost. That feeling of dread was the same I experienced in traditional math classes as a child. I was always operating with just a vague notion of the mathematics and was completely reliant on the teachers’ procedures, tricks, and shortcuts. When I remembered the steps and followed them correctly, I usually got the right answer, but I had no understanding of what I was doing. Even worse was when I forgot a procedure or made some error, I had no other strategies to solve the problem and had to ask for help. Being lost in math is a lot like being lost in Boston, it’s no fun.

Tired of getting lost all the time, I enlisted the help of my brother (who was very familiar with Boston) to help me make sense of it. He rode shotgun as I drove and together we took the time to explore the area. He helped me discover key landmarks, learn the traffic patterns, and gain a sense of the layout of the city. It wasn’t pretty at first. I made lots of mistakes, took roundabout routes when there were shortcuts, and got frustrated more than once. Scott was very patient and supportive. He let me figure things out, but didn’t leave me floundering if I needed help. After a while, things started to click and I was able to navigate the city with relative ease.

This is the same intention behind reform math. Students need to explore mathematics, much like I explored Boston, so they develop a deep understanding and no longer have to rely on tricks or mnemonic devices. We want them to have multiple, efficient strategies to solve a wide array of problems. We want math class to be a place where students interact with each other as they work on complex and engaging problems. Most importantly, we want students to love math and feel successful with it.

Makes sense, right? Yet some are quick to criticize the reform movement as they’re doing right now in Canada and I think it’s an unfair critique. Too often school districts simply hand teachers a new curriculum and expect them to change their teaching without support. It’s like asking someone who’s only used MapQuest to suddenly teach others how navigate Boston but not giving them time or training to explore the area. It’s not fair to teachers and it’s certainly not fair to students.

If we want to see improvement in math education, then school districts need to invest in ongoing, sustainable professional development for their teachers so they can deepen their own mathematical content and pedagogical knowledge. Then we need to support them as they begin to make shifts in their teaching. Just like my brother sitting shotgun, we need coaches and instructional leaders to help teachers as they begin implementing these new ideas with students. Finally, we need time to see results without knee-jerk reactions after one short year of implementation. True learning takes time, space, and room for errors (and learning from them). We must give our teachers and students room to explore the area of mathematics so that math is no longer about memorizing procedures, but about developing strong mathematical ideas and understandings that benefit students for life, not just one test.

]]>DMI seminars are designed to bring together teachers from Kindergarten through middle school to:

Learn mathematics content

Learn to recognize key mathematical ideas with which their students are grappling

Learn to support the power and complexity of student thinking

Learn how core mathematical ideas develop across the grades

Learn how to continue learning about children and mathematics

DMI consists of seven modules, each designed for eight 3-hour sessions of professional development.

**Building a System of Tens: Calculation with Whole Numbers and Decimals**

Participants explore the base-ten structure of the number system, consider how that structure is exploited in multidigit computational procedures, and examine how basic concepts of whole numbers reappear when working with decimals. (New edition in November 2009.)

**Making Meaning for Operations: In the Domain of Whole Numbers and Fractions**

Participants examine the actions and situations modeled by the four basic operations. The seminar begins with a view of young children’s counting strategies as they encounter word problems, moves to an examination of the four basic operations on whole numbers, and revisits the operations in the context of rational numbers. (New edition in November 2009)

**Examining Features of Shape **

Participants examine aspects of 2D and 3D shapes, develop geometric vocabulary, and explore both definitions and properties of geometric objects. The seminar includes a study of angle, similarity, congruence, and the relationships between 3D objects and their 2D representations.

**Measuring Space in One, Two and Three Dimensions**

Participants examine different attributes of size, develop facility in composing and decomposing shapes, and apply these skills to make sense of formulas for area and volume. They also explore conceptual issues of length, area, and volume, as well as their complex inter-relationships.

**Working with Data**

Participants work with the collection, representation, description, and interpretation of data. They learn what various graphs and statistical measures show about features of the data, study how to summarize data when comparing groups, and consider whether the data provide insight into the questions that led to data collection.

**Reasoning Algebraically about Operations: In the Domain of Whole Numbers and Integers**

Participants examine generalizations at the heart of the study of operations in the elementary grades. They express these generalizations in common language and in algebraic notation, develop arguments based on representations of the operations, study what it means to prove a generalization, and extend their generalizations and arguments when the domain under consideration expands from whole numbers to integers.

**Patterns, Functions, and Change**

Participants discover how the study of repeating patterns and number sequences can lead to ideas of functions, learn how to read tables and graphs to interpret phenomena of change, and use algebraic notation to write function rules. With a particular emphasis on linear functions, participants also explore quadratic and exponential functions and examine how various features of a function are seen in graphs, tables, or rules.

Each seminar is built around a casebook containing 25 to 30 cases, grouped into seven chapters, which track a particular mathematical theme from kindergarten into middle school. Casebooks begin with an overview of the seminar, and each chapter contains an introduction intended to orient the reader to the major theme of the cases in that chapter. They conclude with an essay summarizing the ideas explored in the seminar through the lens of educational research or from the perspective of a mathematician.

The DMI Facilitator’s Guides include detailed agendas for each session. Other components are intended to help facilitators: understand the major ideas to be explored in each session; identify particular strategies useful in leading case discussions and mathematics activities; plan seminar sessions; and think through issues of teacher change.

The DMI DVD Cases show students in a wide variety of classroom settings with children and teachers of different races and ethnic groups. While written cases allow users to examine student thinking at their own pace, returning, if necessary, to ponder and analyze particular passages, the DVD clips offer users the opportunity to listen to real student voices in real time and provides rich images of classrooms organized around student thinking.

Order materials from Pearson

On line: www.pearsonschool.com/dmi

By phone: 1-800-321-3106

By fax: 1-800-393-3156

By mail:

145 S. Mount Zion Road

PO Box 2500

Lebanon, IN 46052

© 2009 – All Rights Reserved. Mathematics Leadership Programs(MLP)

]]>—Linda Ruiz Davenport, Senior Program Director of Elementary Mathematics

Boston Public Schools, MA

“Written case studies of math coaching are essential tools to facilitate the professional development of our mathematics coaches who work hand-in-hand with over 200 schools in our district.”

—Lance Menster, Manager of Elementary Mathematics

Houston Independent School District, TX

Deepen your understanding of math coaching practices!

Given the current demands of a math teaching practice, this case-based resource helps math coaches, prospective coaches, and administrators develop their knowledge of math content, hone their coaching skills, and enhance their ability to provide professional development for teachers in Grades K–8.

Field-tested in a number of school districts nationwide, this concise guide presents authentic accounts of coaching practice, dilemmas, and insights. The cases, written by practicing math coaches, emphasize developing a deep understanding of mathematics, analyzing students’ ideas and teachers’ beliefs about learning, and cultivating teacher learning and growth. Amy Morse provides:

Math activities that strengthen a coach’s math content knowledge

Planning activities to support thoughtful coach-teacher interactions

A detailed facilitator’s guide for staff developers leading professional development opportunities for math coaches, providing a detailed agenda, specific examples of participants’ questions, and facilitator responses

Cultivating a Math Coaching Practice gives math leaders the tools to help teachers create quality math programs and bolster student achievement.

Developing Mathematical Ideas (DMI) is a professional development curriculum designed to help teachers think through the major ideas of elementary and middle-school mathematics and examine how students develop those ideas. At the heart of the materials are sets of classroom episodes (cases) illustrating student thinking as described by their teachers. In addition to case discussions, the curriculum offers teachers opportunities: to explore mathematics in lessons led by facilitators; to share and discuss the work of their own students; to view and discuss DVD clips of mathematics classrooms; to write their own classroom cases; to analyze lessons taken from innovative elementary mathematics curricula; and to read overviews of related research.

DMI seminars are designed to bring together teachers from Kindergarten through middle school to:

– Learn to recognize key mathematical ideas with which their students are grappling

– Learn to support the power and complexity of student thinking

– Learn how core mathematical ideas develop across the grades

– Learn how to continue learning about children and mathematics

We are offering 4 weeklong Developing Mathematical Ideas summer institutes during the 2014 session. Please refer to our schedule to see which institutes are offered. Below is a description of all seven of our institutes.

**Building a System of Tens: Calculation with Whole Numbers and Decimals**

Participants explore the base-ten structure of the number system, consider how that structure is exploited in multidigit computational procedures, and examine how basic concepts of whole numbers reappear when working with decimals. (New edition in November 2009.)

**Making Meaning for Operations: In the Domain of Whole Numbers and Fractions**

Participants examine the actions and situations modeled by the four basic operations. The seminar begins with a view of young children’s counting strategies as they encounter word problems, moves to an examination of the four basic operations on whole numbers, and revisits the operations in the context of rational numbers. (New edition in November 2009)

**Examining Features of Shape **

Participants examine aspects of 2D and 3D shapes, develop geometric vocabulary, and explore both definitions and properties of geometric objects. The seminar includes a study of angle, similarity, congruence, and the relationships between 3D objects and their 2D representations.

**Measuring Space in One, Two and Three Dimensions**

Participants examine different attributes of size, develop facility in composing and decomposing shapes, and apply these skills to make sense of formulas for area and volume. They also explore conceptual issues of length, area, and volume, as well as their complex inter-relationships.

**Working with Data**

Participants work with the collection, representation, description, and interpretation of data. They learn what various graphs and statistical measures show about features of the data, study how to summarize data when comparing groups, and consider whether the data provide insight into the questions that led to data collection.

**Reasoning Algebraically about Operations: In the Domain of Whole Numbers and Integers**

Participants examine generalizations at the heart of the study of operations in the elementary grades. They express these generalizations in common language and in algebraic notation, develop arguments based on representations of the operations, study what it means to prove a generalization, and extend their generalizations and arguments when the domain under consideration expands from whole numbers to integers.

**Patterns, Functions, and Change**

Participants discover how the study of repeating patterns and number sequences can lead to ideas of functions, learn how to read tables and graphs to interpret phenomena of change, and use algebraic notation to write function rules. With a particular emphasis on linear functions, participants also explore quadratic and exponential functions and examine how various features of a function are seen in graphs, tables, or rules.

Each seminar is built around a casebook containing 25 to 30 cases, grouped into seven chapters, which track a particular mathematical theme from kindergarten into middle school. Casebooks begin with an overview of the seminar, and each chapter contains an introduction intended to orient the reader to the major theme of the cases in that chapter. They conclude with an essay summarizing the ideas explored in the seminar through the lens of educational research or from the perspective of a mathematician.

Order materials from Pearson

On line: www.pearsonschool.com/dmi

By phone: 1-800-321-3106

By fax: 1-800-393-3156

By mail:

145 S. Mount Zion Road

PO Box 2500

Lebanon, IN 46052

© 2009 – All Rights Reserved. Mathematics Leadership Programs(MLP)

]]>The facilitation work is embedded within one of the DMI modules. Prior experience with the specific DMI module is essential before attending the DMI-F institutes focused on that module. Therefore applicants must chose a module with which they are familiar. Attending the DMI institute held the previous week is one way to meet this requirement.

DMI-F activities focus on the central mathematical ideas of the module; interactions with participants in whole group, in small groups, and through writing; practice facilitation; and strategic planning with other team members.

Each summer, new activities are added to the DMI-F institute agenda, so participants who are returning for a second module of facilitation work will be engaged in activities different from the previous experience.

Applicants should choose from the seven strands of DMI:

**Building a System of Tens: Calculation with Whole Numbers and Decimals (BST)**

Participants explore the base-ten structure of the number system, consider how that structure is exploited in multidigit computational procedures, and examine how basic concepts of whole numbers reappear when working with decimals. (New edition in November 2009)**Making Meaning for Operations: In the Domain of Whole Numbers and Fractions (MMO)**

Participants examine the actions and situations modeled by the four basic operations. The seminar begins with a view of young children’s counting strategies as they encounter word problems, moves to an examination of the four basic operations on whole numbers, and revisits the operations in the context of rational numbers. (New edition in November 2009)**Examining Features of Shape (EFS)**

Participants examine aspects of 2D and 3D shapes, develop geometric vocabulary, and explore both definitions and properties of geometric objects. The seminar includes a study of angle, similarity, congruence, and the relationships between 3D objects and their 2D representations.**Measuring Space in One, Two and Three Dimensions (MS1213)**

Participants examine different aspects of size, develop facility in composing and decomposing shapes, and apply these skills to make sense of formulas for area and volume. They also explore conceptual issues of length, area, and volume, as well as their complex inter-relationships.**Working with Data (WwD)**

Participants work with the collection, representation, description, and interpretation of data. They learn what various graphs and statistical measures show about features of the data, study how to summarize data when comparing groups, and consider whether the data provide insight into the questions that led to data collection.**Reasoning Algebraically about Operations: In the Domain of Whole Numbers and Integers (RAO)**

Participants examine generalizations at the heart of the study of operations in the elementary grades. They express these generalizations in common language and in algebraic notation, develop arguments based on representations of the operations, study what it means to prove a generalization, and extend their generalizations and arguments when the domain under consideration expands from whole numbers to integers.**Patterns, Functions, and Change (PFC)**

Participants discover how the study of repeating patterns and number sequences can lead to ideas of functions, learn how to read tables and graphs to interpret phenomena of change, and use algebraic notation to write function rules. With a particular emphasis on linear functions, participants also explore quadratic and exponential functions and examine how various features of a function are seen in graphs, tables, or rules.

For an application to the summer institute, see Summer Institute Application.

See the Schedules & Costs page for schedule information.

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