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2008-09 MET Grant, Scholarship, and Award Proposal Abstracts

School In-Service Training Grants (Grades 9–12)

Standards-Based Professional Development for D.C. Everest (D.C. Everest Senior High School, Weston, Wisconsin)

The objective of this proposal is to provide time for our high school staff at D.C. Everest to explore some of the standards-based secondary programs developed by the National Science Foundation, observe how instruction is different using the different programs, examine the research undergirding the curricula, and develop a plan for what changes our high school math program needs to make to improve the quality of math education that we provide in our district.

Emerging Teacher-Leaders in Elementary School Mathematics Grants 

Leadership in Mathematics at Forsyth School (Robin Lynn Kinman, Forsyth School, St. Louis, Missouri)

Talking with co-teachers I have come to realize most of us struggle to meet the needs of our diverse population. By attending a graduate program in Leadership in Mathematics Education, I aspire to solidify my understanding of math, specifically algebra, and acquire leadership techniques that will allow me to effectively guide and support the teachers in my school. By leading the math committee in shared experiences (in service) we will expand our understanding of the content we teach and align our curriculum in a meaningful way. I further hope to be a resource person, coach, and role model.

Pass It On—Increasing Mathematical Content Knowledge of One, One Becomes Ten and Ten Becomes Many (Linda T. Santoro, Hopewell Elementary School, South Glastonbury, Connecticut)

A study conducted by Hill et al in 2005 indicated that a teacher’s mathematical knowledge for teaching positively predicts student gains in mathematics achievement (Hill, Rowan, & Ball, 2005). At Hopewell Elementary School less than 4% of the math teaching staff specialized in mathematics education, including our math resource teachers. The grant monies will allow our math resource teacher to increase her math subject matter knowledge through a college problem solving course and in turn provide ongoing rich mathematical experiences, supporting resources, and job-embedded tasks designed to increase the math subject matter knowledge of the Hopewell Elementary School math teaching staff.

Teacher Professional Development Grants (K-5) 

Improving K-5 Teacher Content Knowledge in Algebra & Geometry (Comfort Akwaji-Anderson, Horn Elementary School, Iowa City, Iowa)

This project has two major elements: 1) I will develop a deeper understanding of Algebra & Geometry content through an NCSM Summer Academy and PCMI workshops, three University of Iowa mathematics courses and a UI math seminar; 2) I will develop/deliver 8 monthly professional development (PD) sessions to 75 teachers three elementary schools, in collaboration with a University mathematics educator/mathematician.  Teachers will engage in a book study, identify effective ways to present information to students and will practice those approaches in their classrooms between PD sessions. They will journal their work and student responses and will share their reflections. Content post tests with teachers and students will assess impact.

A Schoolwide Meaningful Mathematics Professional Development Project (Sarah H. Pullie, Latta Elementary School, Latta, South Carolina)

This project will provide quality professional development to all 32 teachers in my school. Teachers in grades 3-5 team teach. However, all classroom teachers teach math during a focus group time for 90 minutes daily, so mathematics training is essential for all staff. Since we are in a poor, rural area, there are not many opportunities for professional development that will meet the needs of our staff.  This project will provide teachers with a DVD presentation, various book discussions, and an e-workshop. The variety of media allows for various learning styles. Having print media also allows teachers to revisit area of weakness. All areas will be facilitated by a teacher who has led her school in book discussions.

Teacher Professional Development Grants (6-8) 

Ph.D. Math Program—Excellence in Math Education (Kathy Lynn Abry, Pontiac Junior High School, Pontiac, Illinois)

After teaching in an elementary school for 17 years, I was transferred to the middle school. My background was in reading as I had been a reading specialist for many years. For five years, I taught reading and math to our 6th graders. Our middle school has been changed back to a junior high where each of teachers is responsible for one subject. I am now a full-time math teacher. I started ack to school to see what was new in math education. I love what is happening in mathematics education today. I have decided to work towards my Ph.D. in mathematics education. I feel that my students are already benefitting from these classes as I learn about technology, problem-solving, and development of math skills.

Using Music to Teach Mathematics Grants 

Fractions in Math and Music (Jason Goldberg, Joseph K. Gotwals Elementary School, Norristown, Pennsylvania)

The math specialist at Gotwals Elementary School will collaborate with the music teacher to demonstrate fractions using musical instruments and note values.  Along with this, the students will learn how to play the instruments and be able to demonstrate the values themselves.

Math! The Musical= An up-beat, toe-tapping, action-packed, harmonious correlation of the math strands and musical skills (Mattie M. McLean, Hickory Grove Elementary School, Charlotte, North Carolina)

The math concepts of counting and pattern will be reinforced through the use of simple musical instruments and study of the repetition in music (song, melodic phrases and fragments in instrumental music). Measurement and fractions will be used to understand the relative duration of notes. Various styles of music will be compared and sorted by criteria developed by the students and displayed using appropriate graphs. The students will learn many songs reflecting math concepts and will write new songs about their math lessons. Two programs will be held for parents, one in January and the other in June. Students will sing some songs they have written and demonstrate mathematical concepts through music.

The Rhythm of Math (Deborah Schieferle, Incarnate Word Academy, Parma Heights, Ohio)

Incarnate Word Academy will be inviting West African percussionist Baba Jubal Harris to work with 60 first graders on a weekly basis for 10 weeks. Students will learn a variety of rhythms, from a simple one-beat sound to a more complicated five-beat rhythm has a mathematical progression, and students will add, subtract, multiply, and divide beats and focus on timing in order to alter the sound. Number and number sense, patterns and measurements and integration of math and music concepts will be introduced and reinforced by the proposed project. An all-school assembly will highlight the 1st graders and the work of Baba Jubal Harris.

Engaging Students in Learning Mathematics Grants 

Integrating non-fiction, high-interest reading and mathematically-rich content on real-world topics in middle school mathematics lessons (Jana E. Czerwonky, Berkmar Middle School, Lilburn, Georgia)

As a math teacher and math coach, I truly believe in integrating subjects in the middle school mathematics classroom to help students see the real-world applications of mathematics across the many disciplines and increase student math achievement. My objective with this proposal is to integrate non-fiction reading into mathematics lessons, in which students read about mathematically-rich content in the context of real-world topics.  By purchasing the Math in the Science and Social Studies Standards, I will be able to reach my goal not only in my own classroom, but the classrooms of the twenty math teachers I coach at my Title 1 school.

How Many People Can Fit Into Your School? An Engaging Look at Proportional Reasoning, Measurement, and Spatial Sense! (Paul J. Healy, Sky View Middle School, Leominster, Massachusetts)

Can the population of Leominster, Massachusetts, fit into Sky View Middle School? This is the underlying question! Students will first research and establish the “benchmark” population of their hometown of Leominster, Massachusetts. Students will then be actively engaged using the appropriate hands-on techniques, measuring tools, and formulas necessary to determine the overall square area of Sky View Middle School. Ultimately, by using Proportional Reasoning and Spatial Sense, students will not only prove that the population of Leominster can in fact fit, but will also individually choose other Massachusetts towns (reference cited) and proportionally squeeze their populations into Sky View Middle School as well. WOW!

Narrowing the Achievement Gap in Mathematics Grants 

Technology Helps Struggling Students Navigate Mathematics (Nancy J. Collings, Bernard C. Campbell Middle School, Lee’s Summit, Missouri)

This innovative project incorporates regular use of technology including graphing calculators and a TI-Navigator into a middle school Math Lab for students who are struggling with mathematics.  The interactive approach will keep students engaged in the activities that will teach them the mathematics needed for them to be successful. The TI-Navigator classroom response system will allow the teacher to ensure students are on task and will help identify when students need assistance.

MathTECH: Integrating Mathematics and Technology (April Goodman-Orcutt, Joaquin Miller Middle School, San Jose, California)

MathTECH is a program that provides both differentiated conceptual and skills training for currently underserved eighth grade math students. Its objective is to build and sustain skill and conceptual understanding through daily practice in individualized targeted areas. One component, in partnership with Stanford University, uses a WEB-based K-7 standard math curriculum based on Stanford’s Education Program for Gifted Youth (EPGY). The second prong of the program, College Preparatory Mathematics (CPM), provided a framework to develop key conceptual understanding through direct teaching, group work, hands-on activities, and homework. MathTECH will eventually expand to seventh and sixth graders.

Improving Students’ Understanding of Geometry Grants 

Improving Students’ Geometric Skills Through Patterns Found in Art and Architecture (Shannon Lorenzo-Rivero, Our Lady of Perpetual Help School, Scottsdale, Arizona)

Exploring such topics as congruence, tessellations, transformations, and geometric properties, students will analyze the art and architecture of many different cultures including Native American, African, Mexican, and Arabic. Students will discover through investigation that math and art are indeed perfect partners in patterns. They will experiment with different manipulatives such as spatial tiles and pattern blocks to replicate the work of Escher and Mondrian. They will create their own designs and patters by using reflections, translations, and rotations. They will compare and analyze the attributes of both 2 and 3-dimensional shapes and construct models. Students will take photographs of the actual art work.

Global Positioning Technology in the Geometry Classroom (Sharon G. Bixler, Mary Queen of the Holy Rosary School, Lexington, Kentucky)

Mary Queen of the Holy Rosary School (MQHR), located in Lexington, Kentucky, strives to integrate the use of global positioning technology into the Geometry curriculum. Global positioning systems (GPS) will allow students to apply geometric concepts of measurement to realistic situations, beginning at the Kentucky Horse Park equine educational center. Students will collaborate to calculate perimeter in order to determine fence pricing for a field and how many horses can optimally use the field.  This unique experience will enable students to participate in group inquiry while using modern technology to solve real life problems. The integrated technology will aid students to better understand geometry and its applications in life.

Connecting Mathematics to Other Subject Areas Grants 

Integrating Mathematics, Environmental Studies and Service Learning for “At Risk” Students (Margaret T. Hartwig, Marshfield High School, Marshfield, Wisconsin)

“At Risk” students struggle to comprehend math concepts because of their apathy toward traditional algebraic skill instruction. This program integrates mathematical studies by representing environmental behaviors. Students will: 1) Meet district learning goals aligned with NCTM Standards for grade 9 math at 85% competency level, via integrated, project based instruction, promoting problem solving, data analysis, and linear or exponential regression. 2) Write a research proposal using the scientific method, investigating the impact of continued resource usage. 3) Conduct research to draw conclusions and write conjectures regarding that research. 4) Design and complete service projects, addressing the environmental conjectures.

Math and Careers = Future Student Success (Lisa A. Lishak, Loachapoka High School, Loachapoka, Alabama)

What will the future hold? How will you use mathematics? Is mathematics that important? These are the questions that I would like my students to answer. I would like for my students to explore and research potential occupations and the mathematical requirements for those occupations. Additionally, I want my students to recognize that the mathematics they are learning is used in the real world of work, now and in their future. Further, I would like for my students to consider that academic achievement, particularly in mathematics, will enable them to attain their dreams. The purpose of this proposal is to request funds to create materials that will enable my students to answer the proposed questions.

Classroom-Based Research Grants 

Evaluation of Mathematics Enrichment Cluster Learning for Diverse Student Populations (Kerri L. Fulginiti, Westlawn Elementary School, Falls Church, Virginia, with Jennifer M. Suh, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia)

This project focuses on students’ learning in an authentic mathematics enrichment environment following the Enrichment Cluster model, established through Joseph Renzulli’s Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM). This enrichment cluster design defines authentic learning as applying relevant knowledge, thinking skills, and interpersonal skills to the solution of real problems (Renzulli, Genry & Reis, 2003). Through highly engaging learning activities that involve their community, students from diverse populations will participate in rich mathematics discourse and problem solving to promote a positive sense of identity in learning mathematics.

Closing the Content Gap: Developing Mathematical Proficiency in Exceptional Childhood Education Teachers to Increase Achievement in Students with Disabilities (Patricia Jean McAllister, Westport Middle School, Louisville, Kentucky, with Chuck Thompson, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky)

Closing the Content Gap seeks to determine if Exceptional Childhood Education (ECE) teacher specialization in teaching mathematics improves the performance of students with disabilities. This project addresses two questions: Can the mathematics content knowledge of ECE teachers be increased through collaborative professional development and teaching specialization? Will increased content knowledge of teachers translate into gains in the mathematics courses as a part of their certification, limiting their ability to effectively implement the inquiry-based mathematics curriculum. Teachers will take pre- and post-tests to assess their content knowledge and participate in professional development to increase their competency in the four strands of mathematics. Student achievement scores on the Predictive Assessment Series from the year prior to the project and the project year will be compared to determine if the improvement in teacher knowledge translates into improved mathematics achievement in their students.

Collaborative Unit Planning: Connecting research-proven methods and standards-based unit design with classroom practice (Scott H. Wright, Mount Logan Middle School, Logan, Utah, with Brynja R. Kohler, Utah State University, Logan, Utah)

The project will support mathematics teachers at Mount Logan Middle School (MLMS) who chose to participate in a program in which they will collaborate with pre-service teachers at Utah State University (USU) to develop unit plans to be taught at MLMS. Funding will additionally be used to collect and analyze data such as video-recordings of lessons, unit-plan drafts and revisions, and participant questionnaires.  The research conducted will result in new classroom-tested curriculum materials, and evaluation of how (if at all) the collaborative process resulted in changes to classroom practice, and an evaluation of teacher perception of incorporating research-based methodology in their teaching.

Mathematics Graduate Course Work Scholarships (6–8) 

Improving Mathematics Education by Increasing Teacher Content Knowledge (Michael J. Cherone, Saint Andrew School, Chicago, Illinois)

I wish to improve my conceptual understanding of mathematics so that I will no longer have to rely on meaningless phrases like, “That’s just how it works,” to answer student questions. By increasing my understanding of mathematics, I expect to be able to develop richer and more educational learning activities for my students.

Continuing Education: Mathematics Specialist Certificate Program—San Diego State University (Megan A. Holmstrom, The Children’s School, La Jolla, California)

Participation in a two-year, teacher education program (12 units of graduate level math and teacher education; pedagogy). Focus on helping teachers gain a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts, combined with the skills needed to effectively teach mathematics.  Program aligns with Cognitive Guided Instruction: the study of how children develop mathematical reasoning and apply it to newly acquired math skills and concepts. Research shows students’ knowledge base evolves developmentally; therefore, students of teachers who understand these developmental processes are able to reach higher levels of mathematical understanding. Understanding these processes is essential for developing instructional materials and plans.

Mathematics Graduate Course Work Scholarships (9–12) 

A Teacher’s Conceptual Understanding of Geometry—Math 527 Modern Geometry for Teachers (Charlene L. Atkins, Kingsville R-1 School District, Kingsville, Missouri)

Geometry is a mathematics topic that can and should be taught with a constructive approach. Students can perform investigations, explore constructions, discover relations, and represent mathematical problems using technology. What a fantastic way for students to develop conceptual understanding of geometric and spatial concepts. For this type of instruction to take place, the geometry teacher must also have a conceptual understanding of the content. The goals of this project are to provide the teacher with a deeper understanding of geometry topics in order to improve instruction and to develop the teacher’s technological skills to be shared with students of geometry.

Mathematics Master’s Program Scholarship Application (Vicki R. Hamdorf, North Cedar Senior High School, Stanwood, Iowa)

My objective for applying for this scholarship is to take graduate level Mathematics courses to refresh my skills in Calculus and Statistics.  These courses would offer professional advancement and give me the opportunity to teach high school mathematics classes for college credit.  Taking these classes will improve my teaching skills for the classes I currently teach too.

Prospective Teacher NCTM Conference Attendance Awards 

A Priceless Experience in Salt Lake City, Utah (Laura Ann Timmers, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio)

I am applying for the NCTM MET scholarship for many different reasons. I am a pre-service teacher and since I do not have much classroom experience, I rely on interactions with veteran teachers to gain more insight into the daily workings of a classroom. It is essential for a teacher to have a wide body of content knowledge, which enables the teacher to effectively guide students through the curriculum. This conference will provide so much exposure not only to new teaching aids but also various methodologies I can incorporate into my own classroom. I eagerly look forward to attending this conference where I will absorb a plethora of knowledge from dedicated teachers who clearly love their career.

Future Leaders Initial NCTM Annual Meeting Attendance Awards 

Future Leaders Initial NCTM Annual Meeting Attendance Award (April D. Brenden-Locke, Boones Ferry Primary School, Wilsonville, Oregon)

Improve my ability to provide math leadership in my Title I school and develop my own math understanding by being able to attend the 2008 NCTM Annual Meeting and Exposition in Salt Lake City, Utah.

SOLVE IT: Developing persistent and flexible problem solvers (Stacy J. Graham, Boalsburg Elementary School, Boalsburg, Pennsylvania)

I am seeking funding so that I can attend the NCTM national conference in Salt Lake City in April to co-present “SOLVE IT: Developing persistent and flexible problem solvers.” The presentation is based on the NCTM lesson study course that I participated in last year. I also hope to attend other workshops and learn new ideas to apply in both my 4th grade classroom and the elementary mathematics methods course I teach at Penn State University.

Assistance in Funding Requested to Attend the NCTM Annual Meeting (Joel A. Heidemann, Steeleville High School, Steeleville, Illinois)

Assistance in funding to attend the NCTM annual meeting is being sought in order to increase exposure to a variety of different classroom strategies and opportunities in the field of mathematics education. These strategies will be applied into the mathematics classrooms of a small rural district in Southern Illinois. Also, the opportunity to communicate with other mathematics education professionals actively working in the field would be a valuable asset taken from the conference because this form of communication is difficult to obtain due to the districts small and rural nature. Upon completion of this experience, the knowledge gained from the annual meeting will be communicated.

My Quest to Become the Best Mathematics Teacher I Can Be (Michael B. Herzog, City High School, Tucson, Arizona)

I came to teaching after 23 years as an electrical engineer. Being an engineer at heart, I am always trying to find out how things work or how to fix them if they aren’t working. I discovered a whole other world when I began teaching high school mathematics two years ago. Educational issues can’t just be fixed because many factors are out of the teacher’s control. Through a serious commitment to professional development, these issues can be addressed and improved continuously. Attending the NCTM annual meeting would provide me with a unique professional development opportunity in my quest to become the best mathematics teacher that I can be.

Salt Lake City—Here I come! (Kathleen M. Hill, Bissell School, Whitefish, Montana)

As a rural school teacher in a small community, my goal is to be able to participate in the national Mathematics community. I hope to bring back what I experience to my classroom, my community and my state.

Technology as an important part of an educational experience in mathematics: How can we make it happen? (Aleksander D. Kukushkin, Golden Gate High School, Naples, Florida)

After teaching mathematics for four years, I came to realize that technology, whether anybody likes it or not, is going to play a very important role in many aspects of students’ lives. It is crucial to students’ success that their mathematics classroom experience allows learning of how to make technology a very important and valuable tool in education. One of the attributes of a successful mathematics classroom is the use of technology that enables students to solve various complexity problems involving the use of mathematics in many areas of human lives.

A Quest for Professional Growth (Tom Potter, Forestview High School, Gastonia, North Carolina)

After teaching secondary mathematics for seven years and attending numerous workshops and local conferences it is now time to expand the scope of knowledge of pedagogy and best practices to include more from the teachings and experiences of nationally recognized leaders in the field of mathematics education. At the annual meeting I hope to gain valuable knowledge about the best use of technology in the classroom and about writing for increased learning. Upon returning from the meetings I intend to implement changes in my own classroom based on the new information learned and will propose a workshop that will encourage and advise other teachers who want to offer more to their diverse populations.

Engaging Students in Mathematics: Meeting the Diverse Needs in the Elementary Mathematics Classroom (Abram Gabriel Schwartz, Lincoln Elementary School, Bemidji, Minnesota)

Teaching a diverse population of elementary students presents many challenges for the classroom teacher. Attending a National Math Conference will allow me to listen to reputable speakers and draw from the vast knowledge base of presenters and attendees. As an active member of the District Math Committee, I would be excited to take the new information and knowledge back to share with my administrators, coworkers, and colleagues.

Future Leaders Initial NCTM Annual Meeting Attendance Award (K-12) (Leanne Voos, Parkville Middle School and Center of Technology, Baltimore, Maryland)

I would like to attend a National NCTM conference for the first time. I have just recently attended my first regional conference and had an invaluable experience. I would like to have an equally invaluable experience at National in order to help motivate students who are not at grade level and to motivate teachers to remain teaching and not quit the profession. I want to gain the knowledge to help in these two areas and take this knowledge back to the teachers in my county.

Creating a Teacher Leader (Melissa L. Wroblewski, Wyandot Middle School, Clinton Township, Michigan)

As a middle school mathematics teacher, it is my responsibility to prepare my students so they will be successful in high school math courses and beyond. I would like to attend the NCTM annual meeting to increase my knowledge of mathematics, so that I may better prepare my students for their futures. I would also like to attend in order to grow as a mathematics teacher leader, so that I may help other math teachers in my school, district, and local area to better meet the needs of their middle school mathematics students. If I am selected, I am committed to sharing my knowledge within my school, district, and local area.

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