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Math Teachers' Circles – Math Teachers' Circles – Themes from Final Surveys Diana White – joint with Brianna Donaldson and Adam Ruff University of Colorado.

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Presentation on theme: "Math Teachers' Circles – Math Teachers' Circles – Themes from Final Surveys Diana White – joint with Brianna Donaldson and Adam Ruff University of Colorado."— Presentation transcript:

1 Math Teachers' Circles – Math Teachers' Circles – Themes from Final Surveys Diana White – joint with Brianna Donaldson and Adam Ruff University of Colorado Denver MAA: Mathfest August 4, 2011

2 What is a Math Teachers’ Circle? Professional Development Program for Middle-Level Math Teachers Focused on Mathematical Problem Solving Over 30 active MTCs in U.S., dating back to 2006 Basic Format  Summer Immersion Workshop  Academic Year Follow-up Sessions Next: Prelim Qual Study

3 Preliminary Qualitative Study Final Evaluation Surveys from Summer 2010 Three sites (N=51): two new, one established Sample Questions –  Tell us your thoughts about the workshop.  Do you anticipate changing how you teach math next year? If so, how?  Please comment on any differences or similarities that strike you about this workshop compared with other professional development workshops you have attended in the past (if applicable). Next: Analysis and Categories

4 Preliminary Qualitative Study Method of Analysis - Constant Comparative Method Main Categories of Responses  Participant as Learner  Participant as Teacher  (Participant as Mathematician)  Other Next: Mystery Quote

5 Our most mysterious quote No way PD served adult snacks or adult beverages at dinner, what a treat Next: PL

6 Participant as Learner Effect of Format on Learning  Comments about participants being challenged  Collaboration with peers  Support from facilitators/mathematicians  Requests for changes to format of workshop  Other Next: TL – Efl - ch

7 Participant as Learner – Effect of Format on Learning Comments about participants being challenged  I enjoyed thinking about higher level problems  The problems they gave up were interesting, fun, and not so hard that we gave up in frustration  Some sessions brought me out of my comfort zone  The math was difficult  It was challenging material, but that’s what made it fun and interesting  I, as a student, was humbled by the experience of being truly challenged  The workshop challenged me to think outside of the box when it came to the problem solving techniques  The problems really stretched me  I have not participated in a workshop where I as a person have to struggle through, and the presenter did not share the correct answer Next: PL-Efl-ch

8 Participant as Learner – Effect of Format on Learning Comments about participants being challenged  As opposed to spending time working through a middle school lesson so we’ll know that the kids should be doing, I feel I have been significantly challenged this week, which led to my own personal growth  Differences: material was challenging, I had not seen material like this before, we worked on a singular problem for hours at a time, several presenters  We got to work on challenging problems  Although I have been to Asilomar, I liked this better, perhaps because of the quality of the sessions and instructors and the challenge of the math-geared towards us rather than our students  Your sessions stretched me as a math learner, and challenged me as a math teacher. Thank you  Great challenges, fun, and eye opening  It was challenging but not overwhelming  I could feel my brain changing as the days went by

9 Participant as Learner – Effect of Format on Learning Comments about participants being challenged  More challenging/theoretical less direct application to the classroom  This workshop is hugely different! My brain hasn’t worked this hard since college. I loved it because it pushed me to think critically, which is exactly what I want my students to do  Deeper thinking was essential  Most seminars/workshops worked with unchallenging problems. But these 4 days made me very uncomfortable and I really liked that Next: PL - Types of Learning

10 Participant as Learner – Types of Learning Math Content Problem Solving Techniques Teaching Strategies Participant Learning (teachers as students) Other Next: PT – Main Codes

11 Participant as Teacher – Main Codes Perspective of Students This not only strengthens my knowledge base as a teacher, but also allows me to experience real empathy as related to my expectations of my students Plans for the Classroom Requests for Changes Main request – more to take directly back to classroom Other Next: PT – Plans for Classroom

12 Participant as Teacher – Plans for the Classroom Teaching Strategies Group work Open ended problems Discussion Choice of Problems Time to work Questioning Techniques Problem Solving Strategies Specific Problems Other Next: Current Directions

13 Current Directions Replicated study in summer 2011  Seven sites (4 new, 3 established)  Standardized instrument (final survey)  Parts modeled on Student Assessment of Learning Gains (SALG) instrument – 5 point Likert Scale  Parts modeled on previous instruments

14 Future Directions and Goals NSF DR K-12 Phase I grant – starts Aug. 15  Replicate and expand quantitative piece on Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching  Develop/modify common survey of participants to be administered each spring to all willing sites  Develop/modify common final evaluation form to be used for summer immersion workshops  Case studies and classroom observations of teachers who participate in MTCs – impact on classroom practices, especially with regards to mathematical problem solving

15 Contact Information Diana White Assistant Professor University of Colorado Denver


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