31 December, 2010
Volume 15 No. 53
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In This Issue

IAS/PCMI Applications Due for Summer 2011

Lesson Plans from Fredonia

Gombert's Gadgets


Online PD


Orientation Sessions

Math and Tech Workshops

Praxis II prep:
Moving to Math


Problem Based Learning Courses

Graduate Credit:
Mathematics Teaching and Learning Certificate

Master's Degree


IAS/PCMI Applications Due for Summer 2011


Apply by January 31 to attend the 2011 Summer Session of IAS/PCMI, the Park City Mathematics Institute (PCMI) of the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS), a three-week residential program taking place in Park City, Utah, from July 3 - July 23, 2011.

This year, PCMI's education topic is Making Mathematical Connections. To learn more about the Secondary School Teachers Program (SSTP), visit


The Math Forum hosts information on PCMI's K-12 programs, including SSTP working sites dating back to 2001:


Now taking place: math education conversation of the hour

"The third edition of The Crest of the Peacock: Non-European Roots of Mathematics was brought out only yesterday. Princeton University Press has done a marvelous job and the presentation and the new material (30% more) have been improved immeasurably."
- Milo, posted to the math-history-list discussion

Lesson Plans from Fredonia

These PDFs of original lesson plans and ideas come from the State University of New York at Fredonia, where future math teachers recently completed a fall course entitled "Methods for Teaching Middle and Secondary Mathematics":

Count Like an Egyptian

Math Mummies

Musical Monsters

Shape Shifter

Spooktacular Spectacle

Tower of Terror

When Monsters Attack

The pre-service cohort also presented at the annual conference of the Association of Mathematics Teachers of New York State:

Best Math Games Ever

Devious Derivatives

Duplation and Mediation

Math Busters

The Non-Electric Slide Rule

Project Proportion

Put a Little Riddle in Your Step

Water and Rice Speak Volumes

Now taking place: math education conversation of the hour

"Great ideas, was trying for a solution without l'Hôpital but of course both solutions are great. Thanks everyone."
- Matt, posted to the ap-calculus discussion

Gombert's Gadgets


These five "gadgets" challenge students to add, multiply, factor, and perform two- and three-dimensional geometric calculations — sometimes in combination.

"Shape Up" presents you with a figure on a grid to re-size so that it achieves a target perimeter or area. "Find Rex," reminiscent of Minesweeper, conceals a rectangle within its grid; deduce the quadrilateral's area by clicking the grid to reveal either its component squares or those outside the hidden shape. "Cubit" provides practice with factoring in the context of 3D geometry: use a given number of cubes to make the rectangular parallelepiped with the volume specified.

All set in one small screen, these three "math in a minute" challenges and two more track overall performance. The author invites math teachers to add his panel of educational games to their iGoogle or other web pages.

During eight years of teaching math in high schools and community colleges "from England to Detroit," Gombert first started developing software to provide his students with online practice in basic math skills such as number sentences, signed numbers, number facts, powers of ten, and simplifying fractions. From his teaching career, he also freely offers 20 downloadable lessons and 20 problems "that are an inch or so outside the standard curriculum":



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