In This Issue...
The California Algebra Forum was held on May 8-9 in San Diego. The Forum was a collaborative project of the California Department of Education, the Curriculum and Instruction Steering Committee (CISC) of the California Country Superintendents Educational Services Association, and the California Comprehensive Center at WestEd.
Teams of mathematics educators representing all areas of the state gathered to discuss the main topic areas being addressed by the National Math Panel and to hear a variety of speakers discuss current research in these areas. According to the conference program, which can be downloaded from the above Web site, the Forum was "intended to further the research-based dialogue for increasing student achievement in mathematics and [to support] success in algebra for all students." Specifically, the goals of the Forum were the following:
(1) To share knowledge of current research that supports success in algebra,
(2) To develop a statewide network of technical assistance providers to increase local knowledge of the research pertinent to algebra content and instruction, and
(3) To share preliminary findings of the National Math Panel and to set the stage for the 2008 Algebra Forum.
More information may be obtained by contacting
County Office of Education mathematics coordinators.
(2) Tapp Hancock Receives the Presidential Award for Excellence in [Elementary] Mathematics TeachingSource: Bakersfield City School District (Press Release) - 25 May 2007
Congratulations to Tapp Hancock, a Wayside Elementary [(http://wayside.bcsd.com/)] teacher who was recently awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), the nation's highest commendation for K-12 math and science teachers.
This award recognizes a combination of sustained and exemplary work, both inside and outside the classroom and leadership towards the improvement of mathematics and science education. Each year the program recognizes outstanding teachers from across the United States for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession. The Awards were established in 1983 by an Act of Congress and are administered for the White House by the National Science Foundation.
Tapp was selected by a national panel for her development of the Han-5 mathematics system [(see http://www.han5math.com/)] It’s a learning tool that utilizes the hands of the students to help them remember math facts through nine different number patterns. After students practice the system, they are able to drop their hands and mentally recall the math facts presented.
As the national award winner, Tapp received a grant
of $10,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and may
Tapp was in awe of the events of the week,
"WOW...what an incredible experience and week." She went on, "The week
of PAEMST festivities was phenomenal. The National Science Foundation
allowed us to be part-time employees, so we could attend meetings with
their top scientists, mathematicians, and engineers. Every function and
meeting was so
For more information about the PAEMST, visit http://www.paemst.org/page.cfm?pageID=2
The application deadline for the 2008 award (limited to K-6 teachers of
mathematics and/or science) is May 1, 2008. California's
Source: David Eisenbud, Director, Mathematical
Sciences Research Institute (MSRI)
[Foreword to Using Math to Teach Math by Mark Thames] In 2004, the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) launched a workshop series, Critical Issues in Mathematics Education, to provide opportunities for mathematicians to cooperate with experts from other communities on the improvement of mathematics teaching and learning. In designing and hosting these conferences, MSRI seeks to legitimize such cooperation and to lend support for interdisciplinary progress on critical issues in mathematics education.
The second workshop in the series, Mathematical
Knowledge for Teaching (K-8): Why, What, and How?, was held at the
Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove, CA, May 25-28, 2005. The
focus on mathematical knowledge for teaching was chosen due to broad
consensus that teacher knowledge of mathematics is fundamental to
quality instruction. The premise of the workshop was that improving
students’ mathematics learning in the U.S. depends on improving
mathematics teaching, for which teacher knowledge of mathematics is a
key factor. The workshop brought together different groups for whom the
issue of teacher mathematical knowledge is of critical concern and
explored current perspectives, evidence, and programs. Three questions
structured its interactive design:
2. What is the nature of the knowledge of mathematics needed for effective teaching?
3. What can mathematics departments and schools of education do to help teachers develop such knowledge?
The goal of the...document [Using Math to Teach
Math: Mathematicians and Educators Investigate the Mathematics Needed
for Teaching (K-8)], commissioned by MSRI, is to draw more
mathematicians’ attention to the problem of the mathematical preparation
of teachers and to assist those who want to get involved. It is my hope
that by providing a coherent synthesis of the many ideas assembled at
the workshop, this document will support mathematicians,
The organization of the workshop and of this booklet
draws significantly from research conducted at the University of
Michigan by Deborah Ball, Hyman Bass, Heather Hill, myself, and others.
Our work seeks to understand the nature of teacher mathematical
knowledge as it arises out of, and is used in, teaching. Emerging from
this research is a characterization of mathematical knowledge for
teaching as just that, mathematical knowledge for teaching. In
other words, the mathematics teachers need to know is connected to the
distinctive work teachers do. This characterization of mathematical
knowledge for teaching focuses attention on what matters most--that
the mathematics taught to teachers
In drafting this booklet, I have made liberal use of
ideas developed by the research group at the University of Michigan and
those presented at the workshop, especially in talks given by David
Monk, Heather Hill, James Hiebert, Roger Howe, Liping Ma, Hyman Bass,
Randy Philipp, Robert Moses, Jill Adler, Marta Civil, and Lena Licón
Khisty. I gratefully
The chapter titles for this document, which is available in its entirety for download from the above Web site, follow below:
- What's the Problem with Teachers' Mathematical
Knowledge and Whose Problem is it?
- What Mathematics Do Teachers Need to Know?
- Would Improved Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching Help Reduce the "Achievement Gap"?
- What are Mathematicians Doing About the Problem, and What Can You Do?
- Readings and References
The theme for the first conference in the MSRI "Critical Issues in Mathematics Education" series was "Assessing Students' Mathematics Learning: Issues, Costs, and Benefits." This conference was held on March 7-10, 2004 at MSRI. A PDF version of the findings from this conference is now available online at the above Web site. The table of contents (chapter titles and authors) for this volume, entitled Assessing Mathematical Proficiency, appears below:
Assessing Mathematical Proficiency
Edited by Alan H. Schoenfeld, University of
1. Issues and Tensions in the Assessment of Mathematical Proficiency
Alan H. Schoenfeld
2. Aims of Mathematics Education
Judith A. Ramaley
3. The No Child Left Behind Act: Political Context and National Goals
4. What Is Mathematical Proficiency?
R. James Milgram
5. What Is Mathematical Proficiency and How Can It Be Assessed?
Alan H. Schoenfeld
Section 3: What Does Assessment Assess? Issues and Examples
6. Mathematical Proficiency: What Is Important? How
Can It Be Measured?
7. Aspects of the Art of Assessment Design
Jan De Lange
8. Mathematical Proficiency for Citizenship
Bernard L Madison
9. Learning from Assessment
David Foster, Pendred Noyce, and Sara Spiegel
Section 4: The Case of Algebra
William G. McCallum
12. Making Meaning in Algebra: Examining Students’ Understandings and Misconceptions
13. Task Context and Assessment
Ann S. Hannon
Section 5: What Do Assessments Assess? The Case of Fractions
14. Learning About Fractions from Assessment
15. Assessing a Student’s Mathematical Knowledge by Way of Interview
Deborah Loewenberg Ball with Brandon Peoples
Alan H. Schoenfeld
Section 6: The Importance of Societal Context
17. Assessment in France
18. Assessment to Improve Learning in Mathematics: The BEAR Assessment System
Mark Wilson and Claus Carstensen
Lily Wong Fillmore
20. Beyond Words to Mathematical Content: Assessing English Learners in the Mathematics Classroom
21. Assessment in the Real World: The Case of New
22. Perspectives on State Assessments in California:
What You Release Is What Teachers Get
Epilogue: What Do We Need to Know? Items for a Research Agenda
Streaming video of the conference presentations are available free of charge at the MSRI Web site:http://www.msri.org/calendar/workshops/WorkshopInfo/280/show_workshop
On April 2, Wiley-Blackwell celebrated the premiere issue of the new journal, Mind, Brain, and Education, with a reception at the Harvard Faculty Club in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This new journal (sponsored by the International Mind, Brain, and Education Society) provides a forum for accessible presentation of basic and applied research on learning and development, including analyses from biology, cognitive science, and education.
During the celebration, Kurt Fischer (Harvard University), Howard Gardner (Harvard University), Maryanne Wolf (Tufts University), and Stanislas Dehaene (Collège de France) discussed their recent findings regarding how brain science informs educational practice. Free podcasts of these presentations are available:
1. "Mind, Brain, and Education: Analyzing Human Learning and Development " by Kurt Fischer, Harvard University:
http://www.gabcast.com/casts/1696/episodes/1178037052.mp3 - 9 minutes, 20 seconds
2. "Is There Such a Thing as Brainless Education?" by Howard Gardner, Harvard University:
http://www.gabcast.com/casts/1696/episodes/1178036934.mp3 - 6 minutes, 58 seconds
3. "Dyslexia Intervention: Reading and the Brain" by Maryanne Wolf, Tufts University:
http://www.gabcast.com/casts/1696/episodes/1178037176.mp3 - 11 minutes, 6 seconds
4. "Traveling Along the Number Line: Mathematics and the Brain" by Stanislas Dehaene, Collège de France:
http://www.gabcast.com/casts/1696/episodes/1178037313.mp3 - 7 minutes, 44 seconds
Two of the above speakers also contributed to the first issue of Mind, Brain, and Education. All of the articles in this issue (listed immediately below) can be downloaded free of charge from http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/toc/mbe/1/1
1. "Why Mind, Brain, and Education? Why Now?" by Kurt W. Fischer, David B. Daniel, Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, Elsbeth Stern, Antonio Battro, and Hideaki Koizumi (Editors)
2. "We Feel, Therefore We Learn: The Relevance of Affective and Social Neuroscience to Education" by Mary Helen Immordino-Yang and Antonio Damasio
3. "Generalist Genes: Genetic Links Between Brain, Mind, and Education" by
4. "How Can Genomics Inform Education?" by Elena L. Grigorenko
5. "A Few Steps Toward a Science of Mental Life" by Stanislas Dehaene
6. "Are There Separate Neural Systems for Spelling?
New Insights into the Role of Rules and Memory in Spelling from
Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging" by Elizabeth
S. Norton, Ioulia
Kovelman, and Laura-Ann
The American Mathematical Society has compiled
information about a variety of summer mathematics programs for promising
high school students. This information is available for download as a
PDF file from http://www.ams.org/employment/mcbrochure07.pdf
Links to the programs' Web sites are available at http://www.ams.org/employment/mathcamps.html
The "Toolkit for Change" is an online resource funded by the National Science Foundation and developed "to support leaders of systematic improvement in K-12 mathematics education... This site offers a growing collection of resources to help leaders provide high quality mathematics instruction to all students, and do well on measures of adequate yearly progress."
The Mathematics Assessment Resource Service (MARS)
Team is a collaboration of research and development groups at Michigan
State University, the University of California at Berkeley, the Shell
Centre at the University of Nottingham in the UK, and Inverness Research
Associates. Members of the team coordinate the Toolkit for Change
project and welcome your feedback on the Toolkit Web site.
The Teacher-to-Teacher Initiative has been created by and for America's teachers. It supports teachers' efforts in the classroom through professional development workshops and eLearning and by sharing relevant information through email updates.
Teacher Workshops offer classroom teachers a free opportunity to participate in high-quality professional development designed to provide the classroom support, technical assistance, and increased collaboration needed to assure academic success for all students. Participants will share instructional strategies with prominent teachers from around the country in each content area and for each grade level. For more information, visit http://www.t2tweb.us/Workshops/About.asp Also see http://www.t2tweb.us/Workshops/Sessions.asp?Content=Math for session materials.
Teacher Training Corps
The Training Corps consists of effective teachers and practitioners experienced in scientifically based instruction and who will provide on-site technical assistance and regional workshops for teachers and school district personnel. For more information, see http://www.t2tweb.us/TTC/About.asp
Teachers can receive electronic updates by signing
up on the Teacher-to-Teacher Initiative’s website. These e-bytes share
developments in federal education policy; provide links to classroom
teaching and learning resources; and communicate information about
American Stars, Teacher Workshops and Digital Workshops. Visit http://www.t2tweb.us/Updates/About.asp
Applications for travel grants are now available to attend the Eleventh International Congress on Mathematical Education (ICME-11), which will be held in Monterrey, Mexico, from July 6-13, 2008. Contingent on the funding of a proposal pending at the National Science Foundation, grants will be available and awarded by the close of 2007. These grants will be available only to U.S. citizens and will support travel expenses to ICME-11 that include hotel accommodations, meal costs, and conference registration. They also can be used toward air transportation (on American carriers only). Travel grant awardees under this program may not use funds from other NSF programs to supplement their international travel (airfare to Mexico or subsistence at ICME-11).
A selection committee will review applications and award the grants for ICME-11 travel. The committee will include representatives from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the Mathematical Association of America, the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges, the American Mathematical Society, and the U. S. National Commission on Mathematics Instruction.
Elementary, middle, and high school teachers and graduate students are strongly encouraged to apply. Questions can be directed to Gail Burrill, email@example.com. The travel grant application and selection criteria are available on the NCTM Web site at www.nctm.org/icme.aspx or from Margaret Iding, 116 North Kedzie, Division of Science and Mathematics Education, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824; telephone (517) 355-1708, ext. 105; fax (517) 432-9868, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The application deadline is September 30, 2007. Notifications will be made by December 30, 2007.
The International Congresses are held every four years and offer a unique opportunity for mathematics educators from the United States to discuss issues related to mathematics education with international leaders from developed and developing countries. Grants will enable participants to listen to world-renowned scholars in mathematics and mathematics education and to take part in small, focused discussion groups on a wide range of topics, including a special emphasis on educating students from diverse cultures, mathematics education for second language learners, the relationship between research and practice in mathematics education, the professional development of mathematics teachers, closing the achievement gap, and information and communication technology in mathematics education. [Visit http://www.icme11.org.mx/icme11/ for more information.]
COMET is sponsored in part by a grant from the California Mathematics Project.
COMET is produced by:
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