Illuminations – Not Just for Students

  • Illuminations – Not Just for Students

    Wendy Cleaves

    Wendy Cleaves is a Mathematics Coordinator at the Regional Science Resource Center at UMass Medical School in Shrewsbury, MA. At the center, Cleaves supports pre-K-12 STEM educators by providing a professional development institute entitled, "Increasing Accessibility to Algebra & Geometry for ALL Students." The goal of this institute is to provide "foundational math content and pedagogical strategies for general education, inclusion, and special education teachers of grades 5 through 10."

    One resource used in the summer institute is the Illuminations lesson plan on Barbie Bungee. Cleaves says, "It engages students kinesthetically with mathematics in real-world contexts. Barbie Bungee not only provides a meaningful context for understanding rate of change and y -intercept, but it also allows those concepts to be brought to life. For example, variations in y-intercept can be seen when using Barbie vs. Skipper because of the different heights of each doll. The lesson also provides teachers with an opportunity to model real-life data using a function." For the professional development program, Cleaves has created a lab activity sheet where teachers report their findings using a multiple representations poster.

    Cleaves praises Illuminations, saying, "Illuminations has changed my teaching through hands-on, minds-on teaching that helps to translate into deeper learning!"