The Math Forum

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
Annual Meeting, Anaheim, California, April 6-9, 2005
"Embracing Mathematical Diversity"

Math Forum || Booth #448 Information

Meet the Math Forum staff in the Exhibit Hall at Booth 448, or attend one of our sessions in the Convention Center:

Thursday 12:30 - 1:30
Session 230: Frustrated by Searching the Internet for Teaching Resources? We Can Help!
Thursday 3:00 - 4:30
Session 355: Math Forum @ Drexel tPoW: Using Technology to Help Students Solve Problems
Thursday 3:00 - 4:30
Session 372: Sketchpad and More, Using the Math Tools Digital Library
Friday 9:30 - 10:30
Session 520: Virtual Math Teams: Studying Collaborative Problem-Solving Online

Frustrated by Searching the Internet for Teaching Resources? We Can Help!
Steve Risberg & Claire Mead
Thursday, April 7, 2005
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Session 230
Marquis C (Anaheim Marriott)
Grade Level: 6 -12
Regular Session

Participants will:
  1. Explore the various services offered on the Math Forum website, such as Ask Dr. Math, Problems of the Week, the Math Tools digital library, Teacher2Teacher, and the Internet Mathematics Library.
  2. Learn to use the site effectively to find technology, activities, lesson plans, and math content for the classroom.
  3. Discover how the use of Internet resources can enhance their classroom environment and teaching style, and facilitate professional development.
  4. Learn how to be participating members in our educational community through discussions with other teachers and professionals covering both pedagogy and mathematics.

Description The Internet offers a wealth of resources to enhance your teaching and professional development, but its sheer magnitude makes effective searching difficult. With nearly a million pages of cataloged content, the Math Forum helps bring the best of the web into your classroom. Learn to find the resources you want!


Math Forum @ Drexel tPoW: Using Technology to Help Students Solve Problems
Suzanne Alejandre & Cynthia Lanius
Thursday, April 7, 2005
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Session 355
Desert Springs (Anaheim Marriott)
Grade Level: 3-12
Teachers of Teachers Workshop

  1. Introduce participants to a variety of tPoWs and the mathematics being taught.
  2. Discuss the benefits of concrete manipulatives, virtual manipulatives, and paper-pencil activities in problem solving.
  3. Demonstrate how teachers can use tPoWs in a one-computer setting.
  4. Discuss ways teachers can use tPoWs with additional technology access.

Description Do you teach with one computer, mini-lab, laptop lab, computer lab? Participants work technology problems (tPoWs) modeled after the Math Forum's Problems of the Week, which are paper/pencil activities enhanced by concrete and virtual manipulatives (Java applet, JavaSketchpad, Flash, etc.). Compare the benefits of the different approaches to problem solving.


Sketchpad and More, Using the Math Tools Digital Library
Annie Fetter
Thursday, April 7, 2005
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Session 372
Room 213 C (Convention Center)
Grade Level: 6 - 12
Hands-On Computer Workshop (Mac)

  1. Become familiar with dynamic geometry resources and other interactive software in the Math Tools digital library for addressing concepts and techniques that are challenging for students.
  2. Learn how to use online digital library services for continuous professional development, supporting Standards and adapting tools to the needs of individual classrooms.
  3. Share, rate, and contribute resources in an introduction to a professional education community that drives the growth of teacher and research-tested materials and strategies.
  4. Investigate the potential for bridging research and practice with interactive tools through online programs linking teachers, researchers, and developers.

Description Implementing new technology requires more than professional development workshops. Explore the Math Tools community digital library for Sketchpad materials and other interactive software to address specific concepts from pre-algebra to calculus. Join a community of practice to find problems, teaching tips, shared lessons, and collaborations with teachers, developers, and researchers.


Virtual Math Teams: Studying Collaborative Problem-Solving Online
Stephen A Weimar & Johann Sarmiento
Friday, April 8, 2005
9:30 am - 10:30 am
Session 520
Ballroom B (Convention Center)
Grade Level: 6 - 12
Research Insights Session

  1. Investigate the properties of effective mathematics problems for online collaborations.
  2. Discuss transcripts of math problem-solving chats and research results concerning the benefits and obstacles involved in virtual collaborations for students.
  3. Review program and software design and explore ways to maximize the benefits of student participation for the classroom.

Description Participants will learn about a research program featuring online student collaborative problem-solving to develop communication skills and the application of mathematical knowledge to non-routine problems. Results will be presented concerning the impact on learning of math chats using the Math Forum's Problems of the Week for pre-algebra, algebra, and geometry. The Virtual Math Teams project is an NSF-funded research effort, begun in the fall of 2003 to apply digital library resources to collaborative mathematics learning by K-12 students. Gerry Stahl, College of Information Science and Technology; Drexel University; Steve Weimar, Director of The Math Forum; and Wes Shumar, Culture and Communication, Drexel University, are working with an international team of collaborators in the learning sciences and Math Forum staff to develop an environment that fosters reflective and meta-cognitive interactions, drives the elaboration of deep understanding of math, and leverages peer interaction to improve mathematical communication and problem-solving skills.

Key issues addressed by the project include:

  • How to group students for effective collaboration
  • How to design math problems for collaborative solution
  • How to structure the collaborative experience online
  • How to study the forms of collaboration that take place

Initial research has focused on recording and studying collaborative problem- solving situations, including an eighth-grade classroom in which students are working in small groups on an open-ended problem; and Math Forum hosted "PoW-Wows," online instant messaging chats open to the public, typically involving a mix of 8th-11th grade students solving algebra and geometry problems. Researchers have been coding and studying video of face-to-face sessions and logs of online chats in order to describe the mathematical thinking and collaboration taking place and to define the features of an enhanced software environment that will support improved collaborative problem-solving.


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