Grace Florez is a member of our “Units Construction” team that works primarily with children of Kindergarten age. They work to understand the research around how these children progress from the need to see and touch physical objects to count them; to being able to construct units out of tens. Grace tells us of a small group of students who she worked with all year and saw development take place over that time.
Today we have a brief podcast remembering a friend, colleague, and fellow mathematics educator. Diana Herrington demonstrated well how to passionately pursue helping others come to know and appreciate mathematics. She will be missed here in the Central Valley.
Eddie Campos Jr.(@edcamposjr), a staple on the Mathematics Twitter Blogospere (#MTBoS) joins us via Skype this week to discuss how he has transformed his classroom environment. Through the use of vertical and horizontal whiteboard surfaces, rich problems, and visual random grouping; Mr. Campos has completely changed his workplace. He talks with us about the effects these changes have made in student engagement, anxiety, and ultimately learning. He is an engaging and articulate advocate for these changes, and their power to alter student experience.
Today we look back at one of our first episodes in September 2016 where we chatted with Dr. Andy Norton. Original episode description follows.
Joining us today via Skype is Dr. Andy Norton of Virginia Tech University. He will be discussing an area of research he is focused upon known as Units Coordination. This is an idea that has been shown to be critical to students’ abilities to understand
the Part to Whole relationship in fractions, and more abstract ideas within algebra and analysis.
Working from a philosophical question about how mathematical thinking is fundamentally different from other forms of thought, Dr. Norton talks to us about how “units-coordination” or “coordinating units” forms a basis of how the nature of mathematical knowledge in general. Finding connections to cognitive psychology, working memory, and how it is students strive to understand. Giving students items or devices to store levels of units allows them to go to one level higher in their coordinating schemes. Middles School curriculum is often where students are required to develop a flexibility within their number scheme or create their own compensatory actions. Dr. Norton closes his chat with a reference to a written assessment of students’ level of units-coordination. “A Written Instrument for Assessing Students’ Units Coordination Structures.”
Jon Dueck from the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools Office joins Chris in the studio this week. They discuss various ways in which Mathematics and Science teaching can be enhanced through the use of literature. This podcast accompanies the Colloquium Talk Jon gave on April 24, 2017. For more good resources watch that recording, after you listen to this episode.
Leslie Love Stone joins Chris to describe how art, and mathematics come together in her Geometric Abstract style of painting. With an incredible collection of processes, and metaphors Leslie typically collects and layers information sets upon layers. Chris and Leslie spend some time describing a series she recently painted, “California National Parks ∩ Last of the Mohicans ∩ Blue, Green, Brown” wherein she gives some information about the ideas she tries to communicate in her paintings. We also discuss her ideas on “Versatile Genius” which includes and emphasizes the linkage of many intelligences. She is an analytical person, and therefore her work is also quite analytical.
"Kings Canyon National Park" from Leslie Love Stone
Here are some links to Leslie’s art pages
Facebook Art Page for Process Pictures
The Nine Unknown, The Steam Journal
Based on the vision of education contained with the writings of Paulo Freire and others; Dr. Joseph has studied within the field of Teaching With Social Justice. This is to say she has sought to create, within her classes, a socially just system for learning. This podcast, we discuss the three aspects of teaching with a mindset that says students should learn to “Read and Write Their World with Mathematics,” as Gutstein tells us. This is a lively discussion, filled with hope and commitment.
We at AIMS are focused upon helping teachers to understand and create useful models of their student’s thinking. This requires a shift in emphasis for some. This week Chris interviews Nicola Hodkowski, a doctoral student in Mathematics Education at the University of Colorado, Denver. She tells, first hand, how this shift can take place, and what it means for instruction.
Cathy Carroll is a Senior Researcher in Mathematics Education for WestEd, an educational research labratory and center. She joins Chris in the studio to talk about what it means to be mathematically fluent and how important this fluency is. Connecting fluency with flexibility rather than automaticity seems to be a core idea within her description and definition for this goal of mathematics education.
Joining Chris in the studio this week is Paul Reimer, a Sr. Researcher at the AIMS Center working with our Early Mathematics studies. Paul is also a student in the Michigan State University Doctoral Program, studying the effects of teacher beliefs on student learning. We discuss his studies and how they connect with our work here at the AIMS Center.