Designing Innovative Lessons and Activities for Mathematics Teaching (K–8)

  • Deadline: Nov 03, 2017

    Designing Innovative Lessons and Activities for Mathematics Teaching (K–8)

    A joint grant of the Mary P. Dolciani Halloran Foundation (PDF) and NCTM

    Grades: PreK-5, 6-8
    In mathematics, the art of proposing a question must be held of higher value than solving it.”   Georg Cantor 1845-1918


    This grant, by design, emboldens a team of passionate math educators to develop and share fun, creative, and original lessons and activities. It supports the process of mathematics educators involved in collaboration.

    Principles to Actions: Executive Summary (NCTM 2014) presents two noteworthy observations:
    ❏    Too many teachers have limited access to the instructional materials, tools, and technology that they need.
    ❏    Too many teachers of mathematics remain professionally isolated, without the benefits of collaborative structures and coaching, and with inadequate opportunities for professional development related to mathematics teaching and learning. (p. 2)

    The purpose of this grant is to encourage teams of mathematics educators to engage in the process of writing and editing materials for mathematics teachers. The Mary P. Dolciani Halloran Foundation sponsors this grant to support synergy of ideas. Mary Dolciani was a prolific and innovative author of mathematics teaching materials. This grant encourages the time-honored tradition of writing and supports the research showing that collaboration with educators on new ideas can increase the breadth and depth of the mathematics content knowledge of mathematics teaching and learning. It is expected that up to two (2) new grants of $5,000 each will be funded each year. On  receipt of a successful final report(s), grants may be funded at the discretion of the MET Board for a one-year extension up to two times (a maximum of $15,000 for the lifetime of any grant).

    Each grant is for a team of mathematics educators representing the following:
    •    Two (2) or more K-8 schools
    •    Involving two (2) or more classroom teachers
    •    A mathematics educator from a community college, college, or university

    The grant is encouraged to include preservice teachers as a part of its design.  Each team may also include high school teachers.

    The team will develop and organize a series of activities that can be used on a regular basis (weekly or monthly) to guide students to explore, create, and connect powerful mathematics thinking to their world. Teachers will pilot materials with students, and revise the information as the project progresses.

    Activities/projects should provide rich, challenging, relevant, nonroutine, and above- grade-level learning experiences. Some shorter time-line activities should be introduced to students on a regular weekly or biweekly basis with extended projects 3 to 5 times a year. The rich tasks should be designed in collaboration with the entire team of classroom teachers, coaches and mathematics education faculty.  Designing projects in college teacher-prep courses is encouraged as the challenge of writing activities/projects will benefit the preservice teachers just as the engagement of activities/projects will benefit the elementary school students.  

    For upper elementary students, career opportunities and preparation for the world of work should also be part of the discussion during the year, perhaps including speakers who actively engage students in some aspect of the work they do as well as explain how mathematics is used.

    The activities/projects can run during the summer, during the school year, on weekends, and/or after school for a sufficient period of time to deeply and actively engage students in learning exciting new and interesting mathematical concepts or applications.  Projects may include setting up a mathematics challenge lab that students and their parents can visit regularly or a summer mathematics camp for students with parental participation.  The Mary P. Dolciani Halloran Foundation-MET grant should be used to increase the number of students participating in mathematics projects.  

    The grant applicant is encouraged but not required to be a Full Individual or E-Member of NCTM or teach at a school with a current NCTM Pre-K-8 school membership. No person(s) may receive more than one award administered by the Mathematics Education Trust in the same academic year. On review of the MET Board, successful grants may be renewed annually for a maximum of three years.

    Activities are to be completed between June 1, 2018, and May 15, 2019. Final Reports and electronic copies of activities are due on May 31, 2019. If the team plans to renew the grant for a consecutive year, notification and a Progress Report is due by December 1, 2018.

    Interested teachers are invited to submit a proposal. The 2018-19 MET Proposal Cover Form must be completed and serve as the top page of each copy of the proposal. The proposal must be typewritten, double-spaced, and single-sided (please organize as outlined below), with margins of at least one inch on 8.5". x 11" page. Font size must be no smaller than 10 point, and the width between characters should be normal (100%). Five copies (one original and four copies) of the proposal should be included in a single packet addressed to the Mathematics Education Trust at NCTM, 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1502. The application packet must be postmarked by November 3, 2017. Faxed copies will not be accepted.  Duplicate applications will not be considered. Lack of an applicant's signature will automatically disqualify the proposal. No indirect costs are allowed.

    Note: The applicant must indicate a financial agent, nonprofit organization, or person to administer the grant (indirect expenses may not be paid by the grant). If the grant is awarded to an individual teacher, that person is responsible for its accounting. The award must be reported to the Internal Revenue Service, and it is subject to federal income taxes. A Form 1099 will be sent to an individual grant recipient at the end of the calendar year. If you have any questions about your own income tax liability, you should contact the Internal Revenue Service or your tax counsel. These sources can advise a recipient on the proper way to report project expenses.

     Funds may be used for the following:
    1. Expenses for institutes or workshops where teams meet and develop materials. Example: mileage, materials, etc.
    2. Educators' stipends for participation in workshop and institutes designed by the grant recipient(s) and not occurring during the regular school day.
    3. Materials for teachers to use in their classrooms directly related to lessons created by the grant. Materials are expected to be less than 10 percent of the proposed budget.
    4. Registration fees for attendance at local, state, and national conferences; academies; and other professional development programs aligned with the goals of the grant.

    Funds may not be used for the following:
    1. Substitute services of any type.
    2. Travel and lodging at state and national conferences.
    3. Food for workshops.
    4. Indirect costs of the financial agent.

    Review the scoring rubric used to rate proposals in this category and determine which proposals will be selected for funding.

    Proposal Requirements
    I.    Proposal Cover Form (Microsoft Word)
    ❏ Complete all requested information.
    ❏ Include a list of expected participants and job description of participants.
    ❏ Must be signed.

    II. Proposal (3 pages maximum)

    Plan
    ❏ A brief description of the need for this project.
    ❏ A list of grant activities and meetings along with expected goals for those meetings.
    ❏ Describe timelines of specific plans for writing, piloting, and revising activities.
    ❏ Describe plans for the evaluating the success of the program.

    Outcome
    ❏ Describe the expected lessons or activities and the anticipated improvements in mathematics teaching and learning.
    ❏ Explain how you plan to assess improvement in students' learning.

    III. Budget (1 page maximum)
    ❏ No indirect costs.
    ❏ Include itemized budget, presented in line-item table format.
    ❏ Be specific and indicate how you would allocate $5,000 from this award to be used for expenses related to achieving the goals of the proposal.  Include any other sources of funds you will have access to use.
    ❏ Include any in-kind or additional support for funding.

    IV. Background and Experience
    ❏ Provide a maximum of one page in outline format for each of the primary grant leaders that includes formal education including the institution, type of degree, major, and minor and that date that each degree was granted for primary leaders.
    ❏ List anticipated participants, schools involved, teaching assignments and levels, and other pertinent information.

    V. Three (3) Letters of Recommendation (two elementary schools and one higher-education letter)
    ❏ One-page maximum.
    ❏ Signed letter on school stationery, confirming support for the project, participants, and leaders.

    Renewal Notification and Progress Report Requirements
    ❏   Submit a letter notifying NCTM that the team plans to request follow up funding by December 1st.
    ❏   Submit a two-page double spaced report that describes the progress achieved, successes, and any problems encountered and how they were resolved by December 1st.

    Final Report Requirements
    ❏    Submit a two-page double spaced report including an itemized report of expenses.
    ❏    Submit an electronic copy in Word format of lessons and activities to be shared on the NCTM web. Note: Materials are expected to meet the requirement of a Creative Commons or Public Domain license and shall meet all copyright requirements.  NCTM will require a release and/or disclaimer form for any materials selected for publishing on the web.
    ❏    Two-thirds of the approved budget, not to exceed $3,000, will be paid at the beginning of the project. The remainder will be paid on receipt of a final report and verified expenses (with receipts) related to the proposal.

    The Mathematics Education Trust was established by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.