Date: May 24, 1995 8:45 PM Author: Ronald A Ward Subject: K-12 Articulation On April 11, Herb Clemons requested information on efforts at K-12

articulation. I am forwarding a posting I drafted last October in reply

to a similar request from Virginia Stimpson.

Here's basically what we did

in the Bellingham school district two years ago in a K-12 effort.

1. We (Jerry Johnson, Millie Johnson, and I) conducted a

presentation for all school principals in the district [on the Standards

and the direction we thought valuable for the district].

2. We then conducted an evening program for all teachers and

parents in the district in which examples and illustrations of the new

directions in math education were highlighted [we ran this twice, once at

each of the high schools]. At these large group meetings, interested

people signed up for year-long monthly seminars, each lasting two hours.

3. There was sufficient response for us to create six different

seminar groups of about 25 people each. We called this year long seminar

effort "Building Bridges and Creating Dialogue." Each group consisted of

a mixture of teachers from K-12, parents, and administrators. We weren't

sure how such a diverse mixture would work, but in the end, it turned out

to be a very good feature of the programs.

4. Each month there was a different theme. For example, in the

third seminar, the focus was related to "Number Concepts, Numeration,

Estimation, and Computation within the context of the Standards.

Students began by sharing the results of two problem assignments

they had been given the previous month but which related to the current

month's theme. Students

were given copies of six supportive references [e.g.,an AT article from

March 1990 by the Reys entitled "Estimation--Direction from the

Standards."]. During the session, the group discussed seven problems

[e.g., a Fermi problem about hamburgers, the game Diffy, et al]. Students

were then given two assignments to complete prior to the next meeting: 1)

They were to select one of the seven problems, modify it, and implement

it in their classroom. They had to do a write up of what happened. 2)

They were to work on a new problem from a different area--geometry--in

preparation for the next class [we gave them the classic Surfer and

Spotter problem]. Again, they had to write up their solution, summarize

their thought processes, and so on. Then, the next month they would bring

these assignments to the seminar and we would spend some time initially

sharing experiences. Following that sharing, the rest of the seminar

would be devoted to the new area of geometry in a way similar to what I

have described above.

5. At the end of the year, we engaged in some assessment

activities and discussed future directions.

In my mind, the highlight of the year was seeing how differently

elementary, middle school, and highschool teachers approached the same

problems. The highschool teachers were quite impressed with the

creativity shown by many with significantly less math background. And

people were able to discuss related issues across grade levels. I thought

the experience was very positive, so I would encourage you in your K-12

effort.

Last year, the district built on that experience within its math steering

committee. It also conducted inservice work targeted more to grade level

groups [e.g., the K-2 teachers met all year.] A number of its

intermediate and middle school teachers were simultaneously involved in

one of my Eisenhower grants for developing a network across

intermediate/middle school levels. This past summer, I also conducted two

workshops for K-3 and 4-6 teachers entitled ">From Dialogue to Meaningful

Action." And I now have a significant number of teachers involved in a

new Eisenhower effort partially aimed at extending the network down to

Kindergarten.

I hope this is helpful to you.

Ron Ward/Math Dept/Western Washington U/Bellingham, WA 98225

ronaward@henson.cc.wwu.edu