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MET Legacy Series: Edwin I. Stein

NCTM’s Mathematics Education Trust (MET) relies on contributions from Council members and other individuals, Affiliates, and corporations. Gifts to the Edwin I. Stein Fund help support the Future Leader Initial NCTM Annual Meeting Attendance Awards, which provide funds of up to $1,200 (and meeting registration) for travel, subsistence expenses, and substitute teacher costs for NCTM members who are classroom mathematics teachers in PreKgrade 12 and have never attended an NCTM annual meeting.

Edwin I. Stein: From Traffic Engineer to Teacher of Mathematics to Accomplished Author
Edwin I. Stein was born in 1910 and taught mathematics for 25 years at Roosevelt Junior High School and Leeds Junior High School in the Philadelphia School District, Pennsylvania. Stein was an honors graduate of the University of Pennsylvania at the age of 19 and later did graduate work at the Wharton School and the Drexel Institute.

Beginning with Refresher Mathematics in 1943, Stein became a prolific author of mathematics textbooks. His textbooks include the following titles: Refresher Mathematics with Practical Applications, Algebra in Easy Steps, Fundamentals of Mathematics, Refresher Arithmetic with Practical Applications, Arithmetic for College Students, and Basic Mathematics for College Students. It is interesting to note that Stein’s first published work, which grew out of his first job as a traffic engineer for the City of Philadelphia, was a study of traffic in Philadelphia during the 1930s: Normal Safe Approach Speeds at Intersections: A Report Presenting, in Form for Practical Use, a Method for Reducing Accidents between Vehicles Approaching Certain Corners with Inadequate Visibility.

In his teaching and writing, Stein devised strategies for teaching grade-school arithmetic that not only taught students to come up with the correct answers, but also showed them, through a series of exercises, how and why the answers were correct. His obituary suggested that he helped “unstump” generations of arithmetic students around the world. Because of his interest in teaching and working with students, it is appropriate that his legacy to the Mathematics Education Trust (MET) supports the Future Leader Initial NCTM Annual Meeting Attendance Awards.

Stein died on October 4, 1990, at the age of 80, at Cooper Hospital-University Medical Center in Camden, New Jersey.

The Mathematics Education Trust is interested in learning more about Edwin I. Stein and his work. If you have additional information or photographs, please email

Recent Award Recipients
Congratulations to the teachers listed below. They will be receiving MET funds to travel to the NCTM 2013 Annual Meeting and Exposition in Denver this spring. More than 700 sessions, workshops, and burst presentations await them in the Mile-High City. The following are some of the reasons and goals that they cited in their proposals for wanting to attend this exciting conference.

METBrownDMath Education Makes the World Go Round … And I Want to Hang On
Danielle LeAndra Brown,
Colonel Johnston Elementary School, Fort Huachuca, Arizona
My desire to be a more effective math educator in my rural Arizona school—which serves children of the Armed Forces—has prompted me to apply for this opportunity. The students I serve come from all over the world and have varying experiences with mathematics, which makes it hard to keep up, even at the kindergarten level. I see firsthand how mathematics education is handled state to state and country to country. As a member of the Response to Intervention (RtI) implementation team I feel secure in discussing the literacy needs of students, but can’t say the same about mathematics. This opportunity will allow me to see how RtI and math work together, and how I can support the teachers and students I work with. The opportunity to attend this conference will impact students, teachers, and the district. The fear of “falling off” is not as great, knowing that this opportunity is available.

AJNMETCommon Core and Standards-Based Collaboration Opportunity
Amy Jean Nicholas,
Calhoun Middle High School, Mt. Zion, West Virginia
My objectives in asking for this award to attend the NCTM Annual Conference are to become more informed on a standards-based Common Core Curriculum, meet other professionals within my field for future networking and collaboration, and bring back resources I can use in the classroom and share with my colleagues.

BENTMETFuture Leader Initial NCTM Annual Conference Attendance Award
Beth Erica Nickle,
McCullough Middle School, New Castle, Delaware
I am writing this proposal in order to obtain the NCTM first attendee grant to attend the 2013 NCTM Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado. I am an energetic math teacher of students with learning disabilities in an urban low-income area. I would like to further my teaching best practices through experiencing workshops and seminars that are offered by NCTM.

SRSMETFostering Early Numeracy Education
Shelly Renae Scheafer,
Buckingham Elementary School, Bend, Oregon
The objective of this proposal is to acquire and share knowledge regarding early numeracy development, appropriate instruction, and early identification of at-risk students. It is the shared vision of a school community that makes the greatest school impact on student success. After seeing firsthand the results of a focused early literacy emphasis, I plan to be a pivotal player in bringing the same dedication to early numeracy. My plan is twofold: (1) teach classes on fostering the development of early numeracy and (2) help my district move forward with an RtI plan for mathematics. It’s not enough for teachers to have great learning activities; teachers need to understand the why behind the activity in order to scaffold instruction to meet the needs of all learners. I believe much can be done in the regular classroom if teachers have the right tools for early identification and instruction.

BJSMETDigging Deeper with Mathematics
Bonnie Jean Schweizer,
Alamosa Elementary School, Alamosa, Colorado
Attending the 2013 NCTM Annual Meeting would be a wonderful opportunity for me as we adopt a new curriculum based upon the Common Core Standards. I teach in a rural district in Colorado where budgets are tight and professional development opportunities are limited. Attendance at this conference would be beneficial to all students at my school as I gain a deeper understanding of the Common Core and insight on planning and implementing effective intervention and differentiated lessons. Ultimately my goal is to share knowledge of mathematical thinking and reasoning with all staff. With 27 percent of third-grade, 39 percent of fourth-grade, and 46 percent of fifth-grade students testing below grade level on TCAP, math continues to be the district’s greatest area of need. It is critical that learning be shared with staff so student understanding can be deepened and student success can occur at the upper grades.

SWMETMy Epiphany
Suzanne Weider,
Seth Paine Elementary School, Lake Zurich, Illinois
I realized that what my struggling first graders needed was not just remediation; they needed a better math teacher. This realization has led me on a journey of introspection and a quest to seek the best ways to build number sense for students who struggle to make sense of the world. Getting a chance to learn from the top math professionals at the NCTM Annual Meeting would help me become that better math teacher my students deserve.





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