Monday-Thursday, June 18-21 2012 (SF)
9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
(2 continuing education unit from the University of Southern California's School of Education.)
Who: This workshop is designed for high school and middle school mathematics teachers who want to make geometry more accessible, richer and more fun.
In this four-day workshop, I will present kinesthetic activities, as well as many hands-on and electronic tools and activities, and some enrichment lessons. This curriculum is intended to complement related work in paper-pencil and compass-straightedge environments: it serves to preview, review or extend key concepts in geometry.
- Tools include manipulatives (such as pattern blocks, geoboards, and 3D building systems) and puzzles (such as tangrams, pentominoes and supertangrams).
- Activities include "walking geometry,” "soccer angles," "tile design," and "rep-tiles."
- Participants will use interactive 2D and 3D geometry software to extend these activities, and to work through a challenging and highly motivational construction unit.
I will also present an authentic approach to proof, which tries to navigate a middle course between the too-abstract traditional curriculum and the insufficiently rigorous nature of some reform programs.
These lessons were developed in somewhat heterogeneous classes, and reach a wide range of students. They provide support for the less visual by complementing the drawing and studying of figures, and enrichment for the more talented by offering deep and challenging problems. In addition, participants will get to take some of the problems to a deeper teacher level.
- Special guest: Richard Lautze, a colleague of Henri's at Urban for 30 years, will present an afternoon of activities and discussion, focused on how this curriculum interfaces with a pedagogy that focuses on "discovering how", rather than "remembering how":
- - creating a classroom where it's OK to take risks and be wrong
- - using journals to aid communication
- - group work
- - teaching in the long period
- - keeping students in heterogeneous classes engaged
Monday-Wednesday, August 13-15 (NY)
9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
- In this three-day workshop, I will present a wealth of visual approaches to the teaching of algebra, including:
- - Lab Gear manipulatives for basic symbol manipulation
- - geoboard lattices for slope and radicals
- - a powerful parallel axes representation for functions
- - intelligent use of technology
- - three distinct visual paths to the quadratic formula
- Participants will learn techniques that will allow them to serve the whole range of students better by offering:
- - greater access, because of addressing multiple intelligences
- - greater challenge, because of expecting multi-dimensional understanding
- - greater variety, because of using manipulative and electronic tools
In addition, participants will work on teacher-level problems rooted in high school subject matter, and strengthen their understanding of the underlying mathematics.
Thursday-Friday, August 16-17 (NY)
9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
- In this two-day workshop, we will rethink every aspect of a high school math program:
- - Pedagogy: How can we do better than the I-explain-you-practice model, in order to reach a broader range of students, and to help them develop their ability to make sense of what they are learning? How do we balance discovery and instruction?
- - Learning tools: How can we use technology support these changes, and move our program to become more visual, more interactive, and more creative? How can manipulatives simultaneously help us increase both access and depth?
- - Curriculum: How can we escape the tyranny of the textbook, and develop our program by moving, removing, and adding topics in order to reflect the needs of our particular students? What electives can we introduce to get off the freeway to calculus and bring to students the variety and richness of mathematics?
- - Assessment: How can we complement tests and quizzes with additional approaches that reveal different strengths and weaknesses? How can we give feedback to students based on our learning priorities rather than just on the now-obsolete emphasis on accuracy and speed?
- - And finally: How do all these ideas play out if you teach in the long period? How do they affect our ability to work with heterogeneous classes? (All classes are heterogenous!) How do we navigate the pressure towards limitless acceleration? How do we surmount the obstacles in the way of progress?
For these changes to take root, it is essential for the department (or parts of it) to work collaboratively, to share successes and challenges, and to take this on as a step-by-step, gradual, and permanent project. This is what we have been doing for 25 years at the Urban School of San Francisco, and we are happy to share what we have learned. Bring your questions and ideas!