Rutgers/Lucent ALLIES IN TEACHING MATHEMATICS AND TECHNOLOGY Grant 2000
Using technology not simply to do things better, but to do better things.

An Introductory Tour of The MATH FORUM

Shelly Berman


About The Math Forum



The goal for this presentation is to give an abbreviated overview of the key Math Forum features and services that are of special interest to teachers. There's more than we can get to in a brief time, and you can explore the rest by following links from the home page.

   The Math Forum Home Page - http://mathforum.org/
The Math Forum is an online community of teachers, students, researchers, parents, educators, and citizens at all levels who have an interest in mathematics and math education. The Math Forum has been consistently recognized as the leader in its field, and continues to provide high quality content and useful features, attracting about 4 million pageviews each month.

The home page offers easy access to all of the Math Forum services, with specific entry points provided to aid navigation for the novice, such as the Student Center and Teachers' Place. There are also links to 'What's New' on the site, a Search for Math on the Internet, and more.
   Problems of the Week - http://mathforum.org/pow/
The Problems of the Week are designed to challenge students with non-routine problems, and to encourage them to explain their solutions.

Before describing more details, let's explore a problem or two so that you have a better idea of what this experience is like. There are six Problems of the Week (PoWs): Elementary, Middle School, Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry & Calculus, and Discrete Mathematics. Each PoW is a mentored environment -- i.e., every student submission is responded to by a mentor, and students are encouraged to strengthen their solutions.

There is a searchable archive of over 700 problems, each with the administrators comments and highlighted solutions. Current or archived problems can be integrated into teachers' courses in a variety of ways - as an introductory or summary activity, as enrichment, to encourage team work or written communications, to allow the teacher unique access to student thinking, to allow students to mentor other students, and more. See the pow-teach discussion for more ideas.
The Problems of the Week have evolved to include additional useful features:
   Internet Mathematics Library - http://mathforum.org/library/
The Math Forum continues to collect, organize, catalog and annotate thousands of math related web sites from diverse sources to create its Internet Mathematics Library. You can search or browse through over 7,000 items in the collection, organized under the headings of Mathematics Topics, Resource Types, Mathematics Education Topics or Educational Level. "Drilling down" from a heading takes you to a set of categories, then to a page showing subcategories, selected sites, and all sites in the category.
   Ask Dr. Math - http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
Ask Dr. Math is an ask-an-expert service in which anyone in the world can pose a math question at any level. A cadre of volunteer 'doctors' select and respond to problems of interest. In addition to an archive of over 5,000 questions and answers that is searchable by level and topic, there are:
   Teacher2Teacher - http://mathforum.org/t2t/
Teacher2Teacher, like a virtual teacher's lounge, is an environment in which questions are asked and opinions are shared about topics across the broad spectrum of interest to teachers, including classroom techniques, activities, resources, professional development, etc. The archive contains over 500 questions and their related discussion threads. Initial responses are provided by master teachers, including Presidential Awardees for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching, and many questions stimulate a host of responses as issues are explored and opinions expressed.

For example do you know what is special about today? Check out the T2T page on Pi Day.

A frequently asked question, like "what role can manipulatives play in teaching mathematics", can generate much discussion, as found on this FAQ page.

Click here to join T2T. By joining, you will receive the Teacher2Teacher Community Update, which contains community news and related items of interest from the Math Forum.
   Math Forum Searches - http://mathforum.org/grepform.html
We have over 300,000 pages of content, so this is quite an extensive search field. Given that ours is a full text searcher, you may want to focus a search in a specific area, or use the "that exact phase" and "complete words only" options.

Efficient searching is an art. You may find our Searching Tips and Tricks page helpful, and our Search Features page offers even more detail about such items as the "Starting Points" that are generated for many keywords and topics, and the automatic spell correction, which is often helpful. These features are the result of human efforts to make the search environment more user-friendly. We invite you to contact us to clarify any unresolved confusion or questions.
   Join Us As a Contributor - http://mathforum.org/join.forum.html/
There are many ways to contribute to the Math Forum community. Beyond using the various services we provide, many people subscribe to the newsletter, participate in T2T and other discussions, and make suggestions, such as alerting us to other good materials and websites they have discovered. Others find satisfaction in sharing their content as web units or lessons, or showcasing their students' work. Many people voluteer their time and efforts to respond to T2T or Ask Dr. Math questions, while others act as mentors for one of the Problems of the Week.

In what ever ways this might work best for you, please know that you are always welcomed and invited to interact with us in our on-line math ed community center.

THE MATH FORUM: Creating community, developing resources, constructing knowledge...

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The Math Forum is a research and educational enterprise of the Drexel University School of Education.The Math Forum is a research and educational enterprise of the Drexel University School of Education.