Rob SchupbachCRIN E07: Elementary Math Curriculum and InstructionDr. Margie Mason/Ms. Rachael CoferNovember 17, 2011 15th Annual Mathematics Day Teaching Mathematics in the 21st Century November 10, 2011 Attending the 15th Annual Mathematics Day at the College of William and Mary was ahighlight to the grueling semester. Although I was feeling quite ill (I passed a kidney stone laterthat evening!) the day was filled with helpful tools as I begin to navigate what I anticipate will bea very rough math class during my student teaching. Sadly, due to logistical reasons, I was unable to attend most of the day. However, I wasable to the whole day. It was quite a struggle just to get to the conference. A faction of us reallywanted to go (mainly Dr. Mason’s section). However, the other section did not want to go, andactually one student described it as, “a waste of time.” That was not my sections sentiments. Wewanted to expand on the knowledge that we were learning in class. We were taking copiousnotes, and then realized that all of the information would be up on the Tide Water website. Wesat back, and let the information wash over us. As my cohort colleagues gathered together, we watched as are future, veteran colleaguesengaged in the keynote speech of Dr. Francis “Skip” Fennell from McDaniel College. Some ofthe statistics that Dr. Fennell presented were mind boggling! The fact that only a small portion of17 year-olds can identify the denominator and numerator in a fraction is very disheartening. Howcould this basic knowledge slip through the cracks? I was quite taken with the LiveScribe penand software in which Dr. Fennell had used with a student (his granddaughter). It seems to be agreat resource for teachers to go back and do an error analysis. I was also quite glad that Dr.Fennell introduced the Danica McKellar’s books on mathematics. Of course, being older than therest of my cohort colleagues, I remember her as “Whinny Cooper” from The Wonder Years.
Rob SchupbachCRIN E07: Elementary Math Curriculum and InstructionDr. Margie Mason/Ms. Rachael CoferNovember 17, 2011However, she went on to get a degree in mathematics and has written books on getting kids,especially girls, into math. I was also happy that Dr. Fennell touched upon the Common Core.Even though that seems to be dirty words in Virginia, it is nice to see it being broached inmathematics education. Math methods class is the only class in which we examined the CommonCore against the Virginia SOLs. I attended Judith Post, Robin Blake, and Stacy Newell’s session entitled “What’s YourAngle” during the first session. The session was presented as such: Participants will work tocreate an “angle measuring” device. We will us the book Sir Cumference and the Great King ofAngleland as a backdrop for the activity. First, I appreciated the infusion of children’s literatureinto the mathematics class. I think that is what drew me to this session. The leaders of the sessionintroduced us to STEM education. I appreciated their candor about how STEM education oftenhas misinterpretations and multiple meanings. In this session, we created our own device (aprotractor) to measure 45°, 90°, 135°, 180°. Fellow cohort member and friend, Courtney Mannand I worked together. The instructors had a variety of materials. While looking at the materials,I realized that we could use a long cardboard tube with a piece of yarn coming out of the center.It really was a nice project. The group leaders wanted to keep our finished project, and Courtneyand I were happy that we could use both our creativity and mathematics knowledge to createsomething useful.