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Summer PD Opportunity...On-Line

Looking for a good course opportunity this summer?

Jo Boaler, Staford University Math Educator, will offer a new FREE course on-line. The course is based on a short intervention designed to change students' relationships with math....prompting them to re-engage successfully with math, taking a new approach to the subject and their learning.

Though Professor Boaler will offer the class on-campus during the 2013-2014 school year, she offers this special version of it starting on July 15th, 2013. The on-line audience includes math teachers and others who help math learners, such as parents.

This teacher/parent version includes ideas that she presents to students, followed by conversations with teachers and parents about the ideas. Other sessions include giving teachers/parents particular strategies for achieving changes in students and opportunities for participants to work together on ideas through the forum pages.

Professor Boaler stresses that the ideas shared will be helpful as math teachers prepare to implement the new Common Core State Standards.

Descriptions of the 8 sessions:

[1] Knocking down the myths about math.
Math is not about speed, memorization or learning lots of rules. There is no such thing as "math people" and non-math people. Girls are equally capable of the highest achievement.

[2] Math and Mindset.
Participants will be encouraged to develop a growth mindset, they will see new evidence of the brain and learning and of how a growth mindset can change students' learning trajectories and beliefs about math.

[3] Teaching Math for a Growth Mindset. Multiple strategies for teachers and parents in helping students develop a growth mindset.

[4] Mistakes, challenges & persistence.
What is math persistence? Why are mistakes so important? How is math linked to creativity? All three ideas are important.

[5] Conceptual Learning. Part I. Number sense
Math is a conceptual subject-- we will see evidence of the importance of conceptual thinking via number problems that can be solved in many ways and represented visually.

[6] Conceptual Learning. Part 2. Connections, Representations, Questions.
A critical look at math problems and their solutions at different grade levels, plus stressing the difference in approaching them procedurally and conceptually. Interviews with successful users of math in different, interesting jobs.

[7] Appreciating Algebra.
Engage in problems illustrating the beautiful simplicity of a subject with which you may have had terrible experiences.

[8] Going From This Course to a New Mathematical Future.
A review of where you are, what you can do, and the strategies you can use to succeed.

Some FAQ taken from the course website...

  • Who is this course for? Teachers of math (K-12) or for others who help students, such as parents. After the summer, she will release a student version of this course. This course provides an opportunity for teachers and parents to preview the ideas for students and think about how they may be useful, as well as learn from new research ideas and share ideas on-line with other teachers and parents.
  • What is the course structure? Eight sessions, involving a "watching /listening" time of 10-15 minutes per session. Those sessions will videos of Professor Boaler, interviews with students, cutting edge research ideas, interesting visuals, and some peer and self-assessments. The course also includes interviews with some of the world's leading thinkers, such as Sebastian Thrun (Udacity/Google) and Carol Dweck (expert on mindset). Those who engage with the materials actively, thinking and writing about teaching and learning, should anticipate each session taking 1-2 hours.
  • What is the pace of the course? At launch on July 15th, a good pace is 2 sessions per week, but you choose your own pace...knowing the course ends on September 27th, 2013.
  • How will I be assessed? Those who finish the course will receive a statement of accomplishment. No grades/credit will be given. Occasionally you will complete a self-assessment, intended to help your learning, not determine a grade.
  • Can I collaborate with other teachers/ parents? It will be ideal if you can take this course with others, and discuss the ideas together. There will also be opportunities to engage in discussions on-line through the forum pages, and to share good ideas for teaching.
  • Do I need to buy a textbook? You do not need to buy a textbook. Her book What's Math Got To Do With It? (US: Penguin, 2009) or The Elephant in the Classroom (GB: Souvenir Press, 2010) allow you to go into greater depth on some of the ideas.
Interested in the course? You can sign up at the course website. Think about it...as I predict it will be an enriching experience. ,