Activities for the 2005-2006 School Year at The University of Arizona
- CEMELA Cohort 1
- Lesson Study Project
A lesson study research team has formed for the 2005-06 school year in a local SUSD Middle School. The team includes four Mathematics teachers; two center fellows; one principal investigator; and one associate faculty. We meet every other week for two hours at a time at the Middle School on designing, implementing, and analyzing two or three mathematics lessons over the 2005-06 school year. Preparation began with each team member reading The Teaching Gap by J. Stigler and J. Hiebert. Initial thoughts on targeted curriculum include conceptual understanding fractions.
- Teacher Study Group
The goal of the study group is to provide a supportive environment for teachers to engage in reflection on their own practice. For example, the teachers in a study group may choose to work on strengthening their students’ understanding of a specific topic in mathematics, or they may be interested in developing their students’ ability to use writing in mathematics. Teachers in the study group will:
- Analyze samples of students’ work to look for possible topics to pursue. (Eventually, we would like to look at samples of students’ work across sites, that is among the different CEMELA study groups.)
- Engage in explorations of mathematics to enhance their own understanding of some topics.
- Discuss relevant resources that look at the interaction among language, culture and mathematics, particularly as it applies to working with Latino students.
- Use an array of hands-on materials, exemplary and innovative curriculum materials, and video cases for professional development.
- Have the opportunity to engage in action-research.
- Math For Parents Workshops
These workshops are modeled in part after the Math For Parents mini-courses from MAPPS http://math.arizona.edu/~mapps. Our goals in these CEMELA workshops are to encourage parents to explore mathematics as learners themselves, introduce parents to examples from the curriculum and activities being used in their children’s mathematics classes, and engage in a dialogue with the parents about their uses of mathematics in everyday life as well as about their views on the teaching and learning of mathematics.
Math for Parents workshops at a the same TUSD Elementary School are in its second year. At the beginning of the year, the workshops were for all grade levels and focused on real-life situations such as “How do you spend your wages?” or “Distribution of incomes around the World.” In the second semester we began collaborating with second and third grade teachers to target their grade levels. This structure allows connecting parents’ learning experiences and students’ curriculum. These sessions include children, parents, (we have from 8 to 12 families coming regularly), 2 teachers, 2 to 3 researchers, and 2 undergraduate students. All meetings are facilitated in Spanish and English by the teachers (and occasionally one of the researchers). We meet on Thursdays for about an hour and a half to learn about children’s curriculum, mathematics and mathematics education. These workshops are also a space for parents and teachers to engage in a dialogue about children’s education.
Math for Parents workshops at the SUSD Elementary School have also entered its second year. In the first semester we met with a group of mothers who had children at different levels (kinder, third, fourth). The activities where focused on real life situations and school concepts such as algorithms for different operations and topics from geometry. Sometimes we used the same activities as with the TUSD group. In the second semester, per the mothers’ request, we included activities that focused on their children's curriculum. We chose topics from the fourth grade textbook and we combined this work with other kind of activities (e.g., mathematical puzzles, logical games). The workshops are facilitated in Spanish, but we the activities are handed out in both languages, English and Spanish. We meet every Thursday from 8 to 9:00 am. The sessions include from 4 to 8 mothers, 2 CEMELA researchers (that also collaborate as facilitators) and a mathematics graduate student.
- After School Program
The after-school program at the University of Arizona is in its second year. The goal from the last school year remains the same: to bring together elementary school students from the fourth and fifth grades, all of whom have an affinity toward mathematics, but different levels of understanding of the subject. The program is primarily project-based. These projects consist of numerous components with varying levels of difficulty; they have cultural and social as well as mathematical implications, and many are directly related to the students' school and community. The other components of the program are the use of computer software, in particular Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint; the use of computer and board games with mathematical content; and activities aimed at honing the skills necessary for succeeding in standardized tests.
The after-school program is facilitated by undergraduates from The University of Arizona and coordinated by CEMELA fellows. The after-school meetings began on Monday, September 19, 2005 at the same TUSD Elementary School as last year, and subsequent meetings, are held every Monday and Tuesday that school is in session.
CEMELA-UA welcomes back the first professional development cohort of middle school mathematics teachers! Cohort 1 consists of teachers from two local Middle Schools in the Tucson Unified School District and two local Middle Schools in the Sunnyside Unified School District. These teachers are taking a series of graduate courses at the University of Arizona, in addition to participating in CEMELA research projects and school-based lesson study groups to help them examine the teaching of mathematics to Latino/a students. Currently the teachers are taking the third course in the series, Math 505E: Number and Operations for K-8 Teachers. Other courses in the series include Math 505C: Algebra for Elementary & Middle School Teachers (Spring 2005); Math 505D: Data Analysis & Probability for K-8 Teachers (Fall 2005); Math 505F: Geometry and Measurement for K-8 Teachers (Summer 2006); and Math 595F: Topics in Mathematics for Elementary and Middle School Teachers (Fall 2006).