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2010-2011 MET Proposal Abstracts

School In-Service Training Grants (Grades PreK–5) 

Math Professional Learning Community
Fred H. Rohr Elementary School, Chula Vista, California 

Rohr Elementary Math Professional Learning Community's goal is to continue to actively develop number sense and flexible thinking of numbers from kinder through sixth grade through effective teaching strategies, data collection and analysis. Our objective is to have all teachers kinder through sixth trained in the problem based learning approach to teaching mathematics that is focused on procedural skills and conceptual understanding, through the use of math routines and centers, while addressing the needs of diverse learners. With the assistance of the Mathematics Education Trust grant funds Rohr would be able to continue to: provide teacher in-services and parent workshops in the area of math, provide model demonstration lessons and observations with constructive feedback, assign math collaboration time to analyze data and plan interventions, monitor the implementation of new math models, and measure the impact of our project on students, teachers and parents. 


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

The New America School Mathematics Faculty Learning Laboratory
New America School—Lakewood 

The New America School (NAS) will implement a "Mathematics Faculty Learning Laboratory" professional development initiative during which the entire NAS math faculty will observe model teachers, adapt and implement the teaching methodologies they observed, receive classroom coaching, and then share the lessons they learned with their peers. The project goals are to: 

  • Augment the academic growth of at-risk students in the area of Mathematics (and thus increase the likelihood of student post-secondary success); 
  • Ensure that NAS math teachers possess the knowledge and skills needed to competently deliver the most recent, research-based pedagogical techniques proven to further the academic achievement of English Language Learners; and 
  • Build a school climate that values professional growth and promotes commitment to the school by creating a professional development program that allows teachers to learn and benefit from each others' skills and strengths. 


Program of Mathematics Study & Active Professionalism Grants 

Improving Mathematics Education through Professional and Educated Leadership
Jenifer Gail Martin, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School, Tucson, Arizona, 2011-12 

The objective of this grant is to achieve an advanced degree and become a professional development facilitator for teaching mathematics grades K-8. The coursework will provide research on student learning, with focus on classroom applications. Additional courses include number/operation, algebraic reasoning, geometry and measurement, mental computations and estimation, data analysis and probability, arithmetic and algebraic thinking. The pedagogical coursework emphasizes explorations, use of hands-on materials, and communication of problem solving methodology. By completing coursework for the Masters of Art Program in Mathematics Teaching Leadership, my goal is to become a more knowledgeable professional in mathematics content and pedagogy, to become a professional development leader in my school and district, and to be a presenter at future NCTM conferences. Due to the rigorous program, and with a background as a math specialist and a presenter of district professional development classes, I am confident I will accomplish these objectives. 

Deepening Conceptual Understanding: A Win-Win for My Community & Me
Robin Lynn Kinman, Forsyth School, St. Louis, Missouri, 2010-11 

Previously, I accepted not understanding upper-grade math, relying on formulas and algorithms I didn't fully understand because it wasn't part of my official curriculum. Now I see how my superficial understanding is a disservice to my students. Deepening my content knowledge will enhance my students' learning by enabling me to anticipate questions, to understand the root of misunderstandings, and to ask deep and open questions. The more I understand, the more confident and excited I become. The most powerful part of my education is the effect it has on the school community. Being a resource for my colleagues allows me to help students throughout the school. I hope to establish before school math programs for parents and to mentor teachers. Having a Masters in Mathematics Leadership will prepare me for the diversity of learners I see and help me lead my colleagues toward a deeper conceptual understanding.


Emerging Teacher-Leaders in Elementary School Mathematics Grants  

Math Boot Camp
Maidie E. Meckley, B.D. Gullett Elementary School, Bradenton, Florida 

The objectives of this proposal are to increase the mathematics content knowledge and instructional methods of 11 teachers at my elementary school. The grant recipient has recently participated in a state research project designed to improve content knowledge and understanding of effective math teaching methods. This grant project will extend the benefits of this program to a representative group of faculty at the recipient's school through a Math Boot Camp beginning in the summer of 2010 and extending through the 2010-2011 school year. Boot Camp participants will participate in activities designed to increase their math content and pedagogical knowledge, focusing on the area of algebraic thinking. Participants will be provided with tools they may use in their classrooms to teach math and a selection of the latest research based math instructional references for their professional libraries.

Curriculum Focal Points: Focusing in on Instruction
Rewa W. Chisholm, Mango Elementary School, Seffner, Florida 

The proposed project, Curriculum Focal Points: Focusing in on Instruction, is designed to assist intermediate teachers with teaching the Next Generation Sunshine State Florida Standards using the NCTM's Focal Points. As the math lead at my school, I am responsible for modeling best practices and I must be knowledgeable of the content that the teachers must teach. This project allows me to increase my mathematics content knowledge while strengthening the mathematical understandings and instructional practices of my colleagues.


Using Music to Teach Mathematics Grants  

Interpreting and displaying data through the study of pitch, melody, and Bach
Gina Grenier, Harwich Elementary School, Harwich, Massachusetts 

The Harwich Elementary School, in partnership with the Cape Cod Symphony, is participating in an educational program called MusicWorks! Everyday. This program broadens students' appreciation for classical music while improving their listening skills.

The purpose of this plan is to blend this new music program with students' classroom learning experiences. In this case, we hope to blend music and math in a way that will increase student use and understanding of how to display and interpret data. Using their interpretation of data displayed in bar graphs, students will construct three dimensional representations of Bach's Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major. This activity will serve to help students connect the morning music listening activity and their study of pitch and melody in music class with their math skills in the interpretation and display of data.

Engaging Students in Learning Mathematics Grants  

Helping Students Understand Fractions, Fraction Operations, and Fraction Uses
Kevin A. Corwin, Sarasota School of Arts and Sciences, Sarasota, Florida 

The overall goal of this grant is to help students become successful working with fractions and their operations. I find that in middle school fractions is one of the most difficult concepts for students to understand. There are several reasons that I feel lead to the struggles with fractions. They are students do not fully understand what fractions represent, students struggle to understand the development of steps to operations with fractions, most concepts taught orally rather than hands on, and no attachment to the real-world. I hope to bridge all these gaps through hands-on teaching, making fractions more real, and developing visual models to be in the classroom at all times, just to name a few.

Let's Get Coordinated!
Mary E. Jones, Southeast Bulloch Middle School, Brooklet, Georgia 

This plan proposes the permanent, professional installation of a 20 by 30 foot tiled Cartesian coordinate plane within the confines of the Commons Area of Southeast Bulloch Middle School. This coordinate plane will be available for the hands-on instruction of sixth, seventh, and eighth grade mathematics students and available for potential use for the integration of mathematical concepts in the areas of science, language arts, and social studies. The purpose of this project is to enable middle grades mathematics students to truly experience the Cartesian coordinate plane by walking along each axis and by using ordinary blocks of tile as concrete, real-life measuring units while solving seemingly complicated problems. Virtually unlimited activities are available through teacher-made, commercial, Internet-based, and textbook-related sources. Additionally a notebook of teacher-made activities and performance tasks will be developed by the facilitator of the project.


Equity in Mathematics Grants  

Motivating with Mobi
Rhonda R. Wade, Lake Jackson Intermediate School, Lake Jackson, Texas 

Approximately one-third of the students at Lake Jackson Intermediate School are at risk. Motivation is a key factor in helping these students become successful. This proposal capitalizes on student interest in technology to provide engaging and motivating activities. The use of a classroom set of eInstruction Mobis (interactive handheld tablets) and Classroom Performance system (digital clickers) will allow 8th grade at-risk Mathematics students to 1) creatively use technology; 2) become more actively engaged in learning; 3) provide immediate feedback to the teacher, and 4) result in more student success in meeting 8th grade Mathematics standards.

Reaching the Invisibles
Carrie L. Malinowski, Deer Creek Middle School, Littleton, Colorado 

To create an RTI, Tier II class that provides individualized student lessons to promote retaining Number Sense, Computation and Geometry concepts for students who are one or more grade levels behind their peers. I am requesting computers, math manipulatives, and motivational rewards so my students will have the necessary materials to learn and grow in their math computational skills. I will use state tests, school placement tests, current classroom teacher notes and parent information as data as indicators for growth and success.


Improving Students' Understanding of Geometry Grants   

Paul J. Healy, Skyview Middle School, Leominster, Massachusetts 

Principles and Standards for School Mathematics calls for Geometry to be learned using concrete models and drawings. In this hands-on project, students will first design a blueprint, then build an authentic, replica, scale model version of a "Warren/Pratt" Truss Railroad Bridge. Students will be able to recognize, apply and reinforce numerous Geometry Standards by constructing a model "truss" bridge. The students will be actively engaged throughout the construction process from the 2-Dimensional design of the bridge using Dynamic Geometry Software & numerous tools; ruler, protractor, and blueprint to the actual 3-Dimensional construction using real Basswood stock and a mitre-box to make exact angle cuts (30 degree, 60 degree, 90 degree), which reinforce angle measurements and structural design. Through a hands-on approach the students will develop critical thinking and problem solving skills so necessary to maintain a strong, engaging, 21st Century Math Mind! 


Connecting Mathematics to Other Subject Areas Grants   

Rigor, Relevance and Robots
Marizza A. Bailey, Alhambra College Preparatory High School, Phoenix, Arizona 

Research shows that some students need practical applications to help motivate them to learn abstract concepts. By relating mathematics to the fields of engineering and computer programming, students will learn how the mathematics they are learning will help them solve problems they may encounter in the future. Robotics usually hold an especially strong interest for high school students because it is related to gaming and computers, an increasingly popular pastime for most adolescents. Motivating the students will increase their curiosity and stamina in problem solving. The planning and programming aspect of the project will require knowledge in algebra, geometry and logic. Since artificial intelligence is becoming increasing lucrative and popular as a career opportunity, this project will benefit students in the workforce, as well as during their academic career.


PreK-6 Classroom Research Grant  

Creating a Classroom of Future Problem Solvers with the Touch of the Promethean World
Debbie J. Short, Jeffery Elementary School, Kenosha, Wisconsin, with Prisca R. Moore, Carthage College, Kenosha, Wisconsin 

The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of a technology-enhanced math problem-solving program and the impact of the technology tools on instruction and the learning environment. We will focus on examining the knowledge, skills and attitudes of 5th grade students. College faculty and classroom teachers will collaborate to develop problem solving teaching resources utilizing the format and methods of Hot Math, the research-based mathematical problem solving program. The teaching of problem solving strategies will be enhanced by the use of the Promethean interactive white board and ActivExpressions, handheld learner response systems, to increase student engagement and to facilitate students' understanding by incorporating interactive math applets and other teaching online resources. We will then expand the Hot Math model by engaging the students in creating videos in which they will be posing their own versions of the problem and demonstrating the solutions to their problems.


7-12 Classroom Research Grant 

Visual Mathematics Dictionary and Phrases: Investigation on Mathematics Term Recall and Conceptual Understanding
Carrie M. Fisher, Rochester School for the Deaf, Rochester, New York, with Christopher A.N. Kurz, Rochester Institute of Technology 

Research has shown that deaf and hard-of-hearing (D/HH) students demonstrate serious lags behind hearing peers in mathematical knowledge and skills development. The focus of this project is to investigate the effect of a student-created visual mathematics vocabulary and phrase on literacy development of D/HH students. There is an urgent need for classroom research and education in the area of mathematics vocabulary for D/HH students, this project seeks to stimulate and evaluate an innovative pedagogical practice of student engagements in vocabulary and concept development with American Sign Language and English support. The objectives for this project are to make the visual dictionary and phrases available to D/HH students and to evaluate the effect of the visual mathematics vocabulary and phrases on student learning: vocabulary recall and conceptual understanding. 


Mathematics Graduate Course Work Scholarships (Grades 9–12) 

Increasing Math Content Knowledge through Online Learning
Kellie E. Nowak, Adrian High School, Adrian, Michigan 

My objective for this proposal is to increase my students' content knowledge in upper level high school mathematics courses. Knowledge acquired through the coursework will be used to help my students increase their understanding of the content in the NCTM standards. Students will be assessed by way of tests and projects. New problems will be incorporated into our daily curriculum that center around the NCTM standards.


Teacher Professional Development Grants (PreK-5) 

Kindergarten Calculus
Nicholas J. Mack, Integrated Arts Academy at the H.O. Wheeler Elementary School, Burlington, Vermont 

Through the Vermont Mathematics Initiative (VMI), I am deepening my understanding of mathematics and school leadership by pursuing a mathematics degree. This grant will allow me to take two courses that will directly impact my understanding of mathematics. The first course, planned for the summer 2010, is a statistics course that will improve my ability to analyze the data I have been compiling on my math lab students. It will help me look for curves that represent trends in the assessments. It will also enable me to better evaluate the assessments themselves. I'll be able to revise portions of the assessments and make them more effective. The grant will also allow me to take a second course in calculus and convert the knowledge gained into grade applicable lessons. This will help me create connections between high level mathematics and the content I teach on a daily basis in the classroom.


Teacher Professional Development Grants (6-8) 

Extremely engaging, problem-solving Mathematics education program in Appalachia
(Nina L. Sudnick, Athens Middle School, Athens, Ohio

Developing and implementing the most engaging, problem-solving based mathematics program in Appalachia requires teachers to be fully versed in the latest theories and practices in mathematics education. To add more understanding and complexity to this program, professional development is a key factor because it gives teachers and opportunity to learn from the experts and fellow successful mathematics teachers. Funding of professional development is critical and NCTM Grants continue to provide much needed funding to help launch teachers on their journey of engaging mathematics education programs in Appalachia.


Teacher Professional Development Grants (9-12) 

Math + Science = Girl Power! A New Equation for Successful Females
(Kristina P. Sorrells, Salem Academy, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Research shows that although girls are taking more advanced math and science classes, they are not pursuing math and science careers at the same rate as males nor are they viewing math and science materials as connected ideas. As teachers at a small all-girls high school with a 21% international population and 17% non-white population, we have a unique opportunity to impact girls' views and beliefs about mathematics and science. This can be accomplished through joint planning and interconnected material between the mathematics and science departments. The Anja S. Greer Conference on Science, Mathematics, and Technology would allow our teachers to learn ideas, projects, and activities which connect the disciplines as well as incorporate technology and real world applications. Additionally, teachers will be able to collaborate and plan interdisciplinary activities.


Summer Mathematics Study Grants (6-8) 

History Major in Need of Mathematics Coursework
Rebecca L. Damas, Trevor Day School, New York,  New York 

As a history major and a teacher certified to teach ESL, I never expected to teach mathematics, but in first position was to teach mathematics to middle school ESL students, and I've been teaching mathematics ever since. However, since graduating from high school I have taken only one college level mathematics course, and my objective is to re-master pre-calculus mathematics content. This would allow me to better tailor the curriculum of my middle school math courses for my students' future success in high school. My school is currently engaged in an initiative to vertically align the mathematics curriculum from Kindergarten to 12th grade, I would like to knowledgeably adjust my curriculum based on what middle school students need to know and be able to do by the time they become high school students. 


Prospective Teacher NCTM Conference Attendance Awards  

Increasing the Mathematical Knowledge of an Emerging Leader
Christina A. Fonstad, attending the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada 

As an emerging leader in mathematics education, my goal is to increase my mathematical knowledge to better serve the students and teachers I work with as well as become a better teacher myself. I have worked on this goal by enrolling as a full-time graduate program in mathematics education. Attending an NCTM Annual meeting will also help me achieve my goal.  I would attend sessions and meet colleagues who have experience in areas of interest which included learning about research in best practice, motivating students, mathematics computer programs, incorporating interactive whiteboards into the mathematics classroom, and ideas for mentoring teachers. After the conference, I would share my new mathematical knowledge with other teachers and help them implement it in meaningful ways within their classrooms, ultimately benefiting the students. As stated by the theme of the 2010 NCTM Annual Meeting, I would make Connections by Linking Concepts and Contexts.

Future Leaders Initial NCTM Annual Meeting Attendance Awards  

Teaching: Building the Connections
James P. Bywater, Jones College Prep High School, Chicago, Illinois 

As a teacher at a high poverty urban public school, I have come to see the vital need for students to construct their own conceptual understanding and build their own connections between math topics and their own lives. With this goal in mind, I collaborated with colleagues, using a Japanese professional development methodology called Lesson Study, to discuss our instructional practices in more depth.  I wish to attend the NCTM annual meeting in order to share my experiences with Lesson Study, and learn from the thoughts and experiences of other teachers from across the nation. I hope to return from this conference with a better understanding about how to build student understanding through reasoning and sense making and therefore be better able to advocate for these ideas, and enlist stronger and longer lasting support from my school administration, my students, and their parents. 

Hoping to attend the NCTM Conference in San Diego
Marria Q. Carrington, Maurice A. Donahue Elementary School, Holyoke, Massachusetts 

Holyoke is a district classified as under-performing by the state of Massachusetts. We have the lowest MCAS, (state standardized test), scores in the state. We have an English Language learner population of 23%, 27% SPED and 82% of our students qualify for free and reduced lunch. As a math coach my job is to co-teach, provide professional development for math teachers, ELL teachers and SPED teachers to raise the MCAS scores. The main reasons why I want to attend the NCTM annual conference are to learn and reflect upon being a more effective teacher, mathematics coach and to refine strategies to support English Language learners in the math classroom. The knowledge I will attain from the conference will be put into practice at my school, impacting the 20+ teachers and 475 students that I work with at Maurice A. Donahue School. 

First Steps in Math Technology: Implementing Technology in Mathematics to Increase Student Achievement and Engagement
Elizabeth McEvoy, El Toyon School, National City, California  

A Title I district in San Diego County wants to make math more engaging for students, especially English Language Learners. Budget cuts are making that difficult. We no longer have a Math and Science Coordinator and we have very limited funds for professional development. Nevertheless, we have interactive white boards, which we want to use effectively to increase test scores while maintaining our students' interest in math. Our program will send one teacher representative to NCTM's Annual Meeting. This representative will learn about effective ways to use technology in math education, ways to illicit student discourse, and ways to make math real and more engaging for struggling students. Upon returning from the conference, this representative will create two workshops for other teachers in the district that will use interactive white boards to create quality math lessons that connect math to real life and increase student engagement and discourse. 

Making Connections at NCTM
Claire M. Redmond, Mandarin Oaks Elementary School, Jacksonville, Florida  

It is my goal to attend the NCTM Annual Conference this year and return revitalized with new and exciting ideas. I would like the opportunity to attend so I can learn more about the role of algebra and algebraic thinking in elementary schools, as well as how to best design and utilize formative assessment. I have attended, presented and facilitated discussions at the local and state level, and I am greatly looking forward to participating in the discussions taking place at the national level.  It is the connections and relationships that I hope to establish at the NCTM Annual Conference that will provide me with the resources I need to help move our school, district and state into the next generation of teaching elementary mathematics. 

Future Leader Initial NCTM Annual Conference Attendance Award
Beth Ann Tiedeman, Marshall Middle School, Wexford, Pennsylvania 

My proposal is to clearly convey my interest in attending the 2010 NCTM Annual Conference in order to enhance my leadership and educational teaching skills. I hope to acquire new insights and knowledge addressing motivating students, diverse learning styles, varying student ability levels, and technology applications within the math classroom. I intend to collect multiple intervention strategies and techniques to later share within my district through workshops, in-service programs, and team meetings. I am eager to learn about the most recent advancements, ideas, products, and teaching methods that encourage student learning by linking math concepts to realistic applications that pertain to their personal lives and future careers. Math is more than simply facts, figures, and computations; it is a way of thinking, a problem solving process that encourages analytical and deductive reasoning. 


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