23 —April 17, 2014
Registration is closed for the Spring 2014 semester.
This 12 week course will provide a
participatory professional learning experience that will enable middle school
mathematics teachers to understand the essential tools of early algebra.
Workshops, readings, online keynote addresses, as well as a vibrant and active
online community will help teachers deepen their own knowledge of the
mathematics that supports formal algebra. The content is based on the
book, Developing Essential Understanding of Expressions, Equations
& Functions for Teaching Mathematics in Grades 6–8.
The Spring 2014 online
course began the week of January 23, 2014, and ends by April 17,
2014. Live online sessions will be on Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. ET. All
online sessions last approximately 75 minutes.
This 12-week course will be offered
for a professional development certificate, which your school may accept for
re-certification, or you may request optional university credit (for an
additional fee paid to the University of San Diego). It will include four
online keynote addresses, featuring noted experts who will share their ideas
and the results of years of research on how students develop algebraic thinking
and use algebra as a tool for learning.
The content of the course is based
on the book, Developing Essential Understandings of Expressions,
Equations & Functions for Teaching Mathematics in Grades 6–8, and will
be organized around the five big ideas in the book:
- Expressions as Building Blocks
- Variables as Useful Tools
- Equality and Equivalence
- Representing and Analyzing Functions
- Solving Equations
Four online work sessions will
include article or chapter studies, student work clinics, and online workshops:
- Book Study: Read the Essential Understandings
book, along with supplementary NCTM chapters and articles, and then
participate in an NCTM-facilitated discussion.
- Student Work Analysis Clinic: Examine student work
within the community of practice of the online class. The focus will be on
assessing student understanding from a wide range of student responses,
not just from errors and misconceptions. Participants can share the
structure of the Student Work Analysis Clinic at their own school site for
future professional development.
- Online workshops: Designed and taught by content
experts, these workshops will expand on the big ideas in the Essential
Understandings text and directly address the Mathematical Practices.
Each NCTM Online Interactive Course
starts with an Orientation to Online Learning session. This one-hour session
invites participants into the online environment of Moodle, the course
organization software, and Adobe Connect, the meeting-space technology for the
course. Participants will learn how to connect, listen, speak, write, share,
demonstrate, and generally build an online community. The Orientation to Online
Learning session will also prepare them to work through problems on a virtual
whiteboard, share aloud in an electronic break-out room, respond to a speaker,
upload a file to share, and make a post in a discussion forum. This orientation
is designed to welcome participants at all levels of comfort with technology.
- Teachers Grades 6-8
- Preservice teachers
- Math specialists and coaches
- Math supervisors
- Lead teachers
- Curriculum coordinators
Course requirements will include
participation in regularly scheduled online class sessions, weekly postings to
an online forum, outside reading in the text and selected articles, adapting
and teaching a task to your own class of students, and then sharing your
experiences with members of the course community. Download the course syllabus (PDF) for more information.
University of Washington
Analyzing Student Work to Improve Instruction
Student work can serve as a valuable resource in collaborative professional
learning. Professional learning groups have developed routines for analyzing
student work. Explore how analyzing student work can improve both your teaching
and your students’ learning.
Technical Education Research Centers (TERC)
Learning Progressions of Algebraic
Practices: Developing the Ideas of Equality and Variable
Examine the learning progressions of children as they develop an understanding
of the algebraic ideas of variable and equality. Explore the development of the
key concepts of variable and equality through the lens of the reasoning of very
young children (grades K–1) as they solve typical middle-grades function tasks.
See how these ideas are also revealed within the study of functions and
algebraic thinking in general. Help students move from viewing algebra as a set
of isolated concepts to seeing it as a set of practices that include
generalizing and representing, as well as justifying and reasoning with their
Western Washington University
Developing Students’ Understanding
of Functions through Geometric Growing Patterns
Geometric growing patterns have characteristics that make them ideal for
bridging pattern exploration with students’ understanding of functions.
Students can use the construction of the growing pattern—using blocks, tiles,
chips, and the like—to develop an understanding of functional relationships,
constants and change, and variables. Explore characteristics of geometric
growing pattern tasks, as well as instruction with these tasks, that offer all
students access to this foundation of algebra.
University of Missouri
Right Answers, Wrong Thinking:
Supporting All Students in Algebraic Thinking
When students have opportunities to build conceptual understanding, they retain
skills with less need for re-teaching later. Learn to infuse mathematical lessons
with questions and tasks that offer entry points for all learners, as well as
encourage language-rich classroom environments. Challenging but accessible
tasks also promote the use of multiple representations and help all students
build the conceptual understanding they need.