The Math Forum

National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics (NCSM)
42nd Annual Conference, San Diego, CA

"Charting a Course to Mathematics Leadership"

NCTM 2010 || NCTM: Booth #337, Information

Visit the Math Forum in the display area of NCSM Sponsor Partners

Click on the day/time to view details about that session:

Monday 9:30 - 10:30
Session 109: Developing Leadership in Our Mathematics Community: An Effective Model to Identify and Support Teacher Leaders
Monday 12:15 - 1:15
Session 142: Teaching (and Learning!) Mathematics Through Problem Solving: a Model for Online Professional Development
Tuesday 2:45 - 3:45
Session 247: Problem Solving and Technology Implementation in an Inclusion Classroom

NCSM: Session 109
Developing Leadership in Our Mathematics Community: An Effective Model to Identify and Support Teacher Leaders

Suzanne Alejandre, Philadelphia, PA
Barbara Delaney, Bellingham, MA
Marie Hogan, West Covina, CA
Ashley Miller, Salisbury, NC

April 19, 2010
9:30 - 10:30





Description: Examine a model of professional development from the Math Forum @ Drexel that provides opportunities for teachers to build their understanding of mathematical concepts, explore ways to create similar experiences for students, and learn more about resources and support enabling them to become and thrive as leaders in this community.

Detailed Description:
The session is grounded in the ongoing teacher development activities of the Math Forum @ Drexel. Since 1992, the Math Forum has been offering workshops, encouraging leaders to take an active role in the online mathematics community, and providing resources and support to help each teacher reach their potential. Most recently since July, 2008, we have been working with a number of teachers initially identified as leaders from their participation in online workshops developed under a National Science Foundation grant.

Research on these activities suggests that there are three types of teacher participants:

  • Those who need support to both see value in online resources and to use them,
  • Those who see value in online resources but need support to use them,
  • Those who see value in online resources and can immediately make use of them

We will discuss our efforts to help teachers develop into skilled users of high-quality, reform-based instructional resources and become leaders who can help others do the same. These efforts focus on math content knowledge, problem solving and communication, pedagogy, and effective use of technology. In particular, we will:

  • provide a brief overview of free resources (Math Tools, Ask Dr. Math)
  • engage participants in a sample of problem solving activities
  • share stories from teacher leaders, known as our "Math Forum Ambassadors"

We will discuss ongoing research and analysis being conducted by the Math Forum that seeks to identify program elements that engage teachers and those that lead to lasting impact.

Teaching (and Learning!) Mathematics Through Problem Solving: a Model for Online Professional Development

NCSM: Session 142
Claire Mead
Monday, April 19, 2008
12:15 - 1:15
Madeleine AB


Description: Explore the use of online courses to create a community of elementary/middle grades teachers who develop their own content knowledge and their ability to use rich problems to teach critical concepts and skills. Readings, math activities, and discussions reinforce the role of problem solving in addressing NCTM's Process Standards.

Detailed Description:
This session will explore the key elements of online professional development models that help teachers use rich problems more effectively as a vehicle for teaching math problem solving and communication skills. We'll consider courses that take place entirely online or as a hybrid model led by an onsite facilitator. The presenter will engage the audience in several activities that simulate the features of such courses.

The key dimensions to be explored include:

  • Solving problems; analyzing the math in order to understand a problem's potential for addressing a range of concepts, skills, strategies and developmental levels.
  • Examining the role of problems in meeting a range of curricular goals and standards.
  • Learning to communicate more effectively about math, in order to help students do the same.
  • Readings from NCTM's Process Standards and journals to provide pedagogical background and management strategies.
  • Developing the ability of teachers to synthesize and make connections between the readings and their instructional practices.
  • Planning for and reflecting on implementation of student problem-solving activities.
  • Using a rubric to assess student work.
  • Learning effective questioning techniques for responding to students in ways that recognize their levels of understanding and use them as a springboard for further learning.
  • Developing a community of teachers who share experiences and ideas and support each other's efforts through participation in online or face-to-face discussions and chats.

Problem Solving and Technology Implementation in an Inclusion Classroom

NCSM: Session 247
Annie Fetter
Tuesday, April 20, 2008
2:45 - 3:45
Madeleine AB


Description: Learn how a math coach is helping a middle school math teacher create a problem solving environment in classrooms which include English language learners and special education students. We'll discuss problems and accompanying activities (some of which involve Sketchpad®, applets, and other technology) that can support students as problem solvers.

Detailed Description:
New Jersey's INCLUDE project focuses on creating math classrooms in which all students, including English language learners and those with mild disabilities, use technology to improve academic achievement. The goal of my participation in this project at the Woodlynne School was to help their middle school teachers with technology integration, with an eye toward designing and modifying activities and assessments that were appropriate for all learners.

We have incorporated a focus on problem solving, which has included

  • creating more student-centered classrooms that emphasize small group discussions and accountable talk
  • using problem "scenarios" (in which the actual question has been removed) to develop better understanding of "the story" of a problem
  • having students list calculations they might need to do without actually doing them
  • explicit learning of strategies such as guess and check, making a table, and creating a simpler problem
  • use of the Math Forum's Technology Problems of the Week - some of the tPoWs use technology as an integral part of the exploration, while others leverage the power of tools such as spreadsheets to perform repeated calculations

All of these elements help students prepare for the use of technology in solving problems. They also slow down the problem solving process, which has obvious benefits for all students, not just those with special needs. In the session, participants will explore, discuss, and take home some of the problems and activities from this project. These include Sketchpad®, applets, spreadsheets, and other applications of technology.

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