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NECC Conference NECC 2007 -> June 24-27, 2007
Theme: 21st-Century Teaching & Learning: Mathematics
The Dynamic Classroom: Teaching and Learning Mathematics with Technology

Participants will experience dynamic activities that incorporate significant software environments (e.g., spreadsheets, Internet-based Microworlds, and Geometer's Sketchpad) that help students get after powerful mathematical ideas.

Scheduled: Tuesday, 6/26/2007,  12:30pm– 1:30pm
Location: TDB mid-May

Ihor Charischak, Stevens Institute of Technology–CIESE
Greg Bartus, Stevens Institute of Technology-CIESE
Cynthia Bulson, Lincoln Middle School, Passaic NJ
Brielle Erazo, Lincoln Middle School, Passaic NJ
Lisa Jeter, Public School 14, Passaic NJ
Soany Montilla, Lincoln Middle School, Passaic, NJ
Stephanie Tidwell, Lincoln Middle School, Passaic NJ

General Information

    Theme and Strand 21st-Century Teaching & Learning:Mathematics
    Session Title The Dynamic Classroom: Teaching and Learning Mathematics with Technology
    Session Description Participants will experience dynamic activities that incorporate significant software environments (e.g., spreadsheets, Internet-based Microworlds, and Geometer's Sketchpad) that help students get after powerful mathematical ideas.
    Keywords mathematics, technology, dynamic, software, Internet
    Exhibitor Status
    Commercial Content
    Audience Type Curriculum Specialists
Staff Developers
Teacher Educators
Technology Coordinators
Technology Integration Specialists
    Audience Level 6-8
    NETS•S 6
    NETS Summary NETS-S 6: The activities presented are problem based technology activities that will engage students in learning math.

NETS-T III: Teachers will clearly see how these activities fit in to their curriculum and thus be able to implement them in the classroom.


Proposal Summary

    Purpose & Objectives Goal #1. Participants will learn about the attributes of the Dynamic Classroom.

There are six areas or domains of knowledge of teacher proficiency that correlate with the successful implementation of technology in the classroom. These are:

1. Ability to use and access resources such as computer software and websites on the Internet.
These resources offer unlimited possibilities for classroom and personal use. Teachers need to feel comfortable using these resources and be able to apply them to a variety of classroom situations.

2. Creating technology oriented learning environments.
Teachers are comfortable with and skilled at:

  • Using a projection device and a one-computer station to lead a whole class discussion or activity involving multi-teams.
  • Organizing a small number of computers in the classroom for individual or group activities and projects.
  • Taking advantage of a computer (or wireless laptop) lab where there is at least a one-to-one ratio of computers to students.

3. Exploring and learning mathematics with technology
For teachers software tools becomes a vehicle developing a deeper understanding of the mathematics they are teaching. For example, a spreadsheet program is an excellent vehicle for getting teachers to come up with conjectures to questions that depend on collected, analyzed, and graphically displayed data.

4. Employing effective teaching strategies and discourse.
Teaching in a technology rich environment challenges and encourage teachers to adopt an more interactive way of teaching. Here teachers add new roles to their repertoire. They become coaches, resource managers, master learners, discussion leaders, and observe/evaluators and will continue to refine their didactic strategies.

5. Personalizing the curriculum.
Since the textbook usually defines the curriculum most teachers look to the teacher's guide for ideas to help them teach a particular lesson more effectively. Unfortunately, the guides are not very helpful when it comes to technology. The activities tend to be generic and need modifications in order for them to be useful. The CIESEmath curriculum provides more interesting technology and standards-based activities. By integrating these activities into their curriculum, teachers are taking a more active role in modifying, learning about and personalizing the mathematics lessons they teach.

6. Developing Assessment Strategies.
With the introduction of an innovation, it is important to be able to ask and answer the question, "How are we doing?" both from a teaching and learning perspective. For example, teachers (in workshops) and students (in the classroom) can be encouraged to share what they have learned by exhibiting their knowledge to their classmates and the larger community. Students and teachers may, over time, develop a portfolio of their accomplishments.

When teachers are able to apply these knowledge domains in the classroom the result is a dynamic learning environment. The first three areas - resources, teacher’s knowledge and interest in math, and the way the room is set up for classroom activities - is the "background" for the classroom event that will take place. The well thought out lessons provide a script based on Standards - either very specific or in broad strokes - that suggests to the teacher what is important for students to know and what overarching questions they need to have their students understand. The curriculum may offer suggestions as to the kind of discourse that students have with their teachers and each other. It would include guidelines for assessment to determine whether the mission of the school is being carried out. The resources, teacher’s math knowledge, and the learning environment set the stage, while the dynamics of the curriculum (context), the discourse (engagement in the activity), and assessment (reflection) determine the success of the lesson or activity.

For the past 17 years the speaker has worked on developing activities (called CIESEmath) that support the spirit of the dynamic classroom. He will share several of them during the session in the context of the knowledge domains. For more detail on the activities see

Goal #2. Participants will experience a series of unique & compelling activities that incorporate significant software environments (Spreadsheets, Microworlds, Sketchpad and Web Applets) that will help a teacher to engage students in gaining a deeper understanding of powerful mathematical ideas.

    Outline The speakers will share 6 vignettes that illuminate the knowledge domains needed to effectively implement the Dynamic Classroom. Each activity is presented via multimedia and will take about 5-8 minutes. The 6 activities are:

1 Road Sign & Bus Problem
What's the problem with word problems? At the heart of the problem is a very simple, yet powerful idea: making sense.
2. Fraction & Decimals Darts: How do you find a number between two numbers?
The object of the Fraction & Decimal Darts challenge is to "pop" balloons located on a number line between 0 and 1.
3. Learning Mathematics Dynamically with Geometer's Sketchpad: What can spin wheels teach you about Geometry?
4. The Famous Jinx Puzzle
Pick a number, Add 11, multiply by 6, subtract 3, divide by 3, Add 5, Divide by 2, Subtract the original number. Why is this called the Jinx puzzle? Will it always work? We'll find out using a spreadsheet simulation.

5. The Noon Day Project: Measuring Circumference of the Earth
This activity which involves participants from around the world recreating the experiment that Eratosthenes did 2200 years ago where he used shadow measurements to measure the circumference of the earth.

6. The Great Green Globs Contest
Change the paradigm for teaching and learning. See video clips of how this activity transforms student’s attitude toward learning.

    Supporting Research Lappan, G. (2000). A Vision of Learning to Teach for the 21st Century. School Science and Mathematics. 100(6)

Loucks-Horsley, S., Hewson, P., Love, N. & Stiles, K. E. (1998). Designing professional development for teachers of science and mathematics. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

    Special Emphases incorporates global collaboration
addresses participants using existing technology
    Presenter Background Ihor Charischak has been leading projects dealing with technology applications in mathematics education at the Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education (CIESE) at Stevens Institute of Technology since 1990. He has more than 30 years experience as a classroom teacher and teacher educator. He is the founder of the Council for Technology in Mathematics Education (CLIME) an affiliate of National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and is an active member on their technology committees. He is currently on the Editorial Panel for the NCTM 2005 Yearbook on technology and mathematics. In past years, Charischak has managed a telementoring program linking scientists and engineers from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and middle school teachers in New Jersey. He is currently managing a professional development project in Elizabeth, NJ where he is working with eleven schools to help strengthen teacher content knowledge and pedagogy as well as help them align their textbook lessons with more engaging, technology based activities and projects. He is also is leading a monthly workshop series at Stevens called Technology in Mathematics Education (TIME) for educators in the New Jersey/New York area which is a synthesis of his best teaching and learning strategies that he has developed over the past 15 years. He received his Masters in Computers in Education from Columbia Teachers College and B.S. in Mathematics from Long Island University.
    Prerequisites interest in middle school level mathematics
    Primary URL http://www.stevens.edu/ciese/math/NECC07
    Referenced Web Links http://www.stevens.edu/ciese/mathprojects

Planning for the NECC 2007

NJ Department of Education
Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education (CIESE)- Passaic-City School District

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