Tarleton to offer professional development for math teachers this summer


STEPHENVILLE (March 30, 2016) — Tarleton State University will offer professional development this summer for middle school and secondary math teachers in the Cross Timbers region thanks to a grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

The $150,000 Teacher Quality Grant supports LEAPing Across the Gaps—Learning Experiences for Algebraic Proficiency—designed to help math instructors for grades 5 through 9 teach content that directly impacts student success in algebra. According to the National Mathematics Advisory Panel, there is a strong correlation between success in algebra and completion of a college degree.

Participants will receive books, materials and technology for classroom use; more than 100 hours of continuing professional education credit; and a $1,000 stipend for full attendance.

Workshops are set from 1 to 4:30 p.m. weekdays June 13 through July 8 in Room 113 of Tarleton’s Mathematics Building. To provide further support, professional development continues throughout the academic year—August 2016 through April 2017—with one Saturday meeting monthly.

Interested math teachers in the Cross Timbers area can apply online through April 29 at bit.ly/LEAP_Math. The program is limited to 20 participants.

“The goal of the program is to increase student success in algebra by implementing a problem solving approach, using multiple representations and eliciting mathematical communication,” said Dr. Eileen Faulkenberry, associate professor of mathematics. “We’ll focus on the appropriate use of technology to facilitate learning. We’ll explore the concepts of quantitative and algebraic reasoning, beginning with numbers and operations of whole and rational numbers, continuing through proportional reasoning into algebraic reasoning and culminating with mathematical modeling of real-word scenarios.

“A secondary focus of the program is to incorporate content literacy into mathematics,” Faulkenberry explained. “Content literacy is the ability to use reading and writing in the acquisition of new content within mathematics. We’ll model research-based strategies—journaling, word walls and mathematical discourse facilitated through teacher questioning—and encourage participants to incorporate them into their classrooms.”

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