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Concurrent Sessions
Saturday, October 6, 2012

Concurrent Session 1
9:15 - 10:05 a.m.

Room Z-257     Factoring Algebraic Expressions using Rules
                           Beryl Stemen 

When students are taught to factor numbers, they are given some rules, for example, the rules for division by 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, etc.  I have rules for factoring Algebraic Expressions that work in all cases.  Most of it depends on the number of terms in the Algebraic Expression.  Some of the rules are adjusted for the different types of students.  Having tutored many students and having worked as a tutor of AOL, I have found that some methods work better than others.

Room Z-259     Innovations in How I Look at the First Day of Class
                           Jon Oaks

My presentation will include a look at my redesigned first-day handout, summary of classroom rules and expectations that I give to students, and experiences with seating arrangements that encourage collaborative learning in class.  The techniques that I use could easily be used by any instructor at any college.  Every instructor has something that bothers them every semester and my hope is that I can give other instructors hope that they can have their semester run more smoothly than they deserve as well.  I will also include some of the horror stories that I tell my students about texting in class.     

Room Z-260     Getting students to look before they leap.
                            Kristy Eisenhart

A big challenge in algebra II is to get the students to look at the structure of the expressions involved in a situation before attempting to answer anything.   My first line of attack was to adopt a text that emphasized structure.  For example, on page 10 there is a section titled “Finding Solutions by Looking for Structure in Equations.”  Similar themes exist throughout the text.  Yet when solving quadratic equations, many students use a “one size fits all” approach.  In this session I will share an activity designed to combat this, engage participants in this activity, and share student results.

Room Z-271     Math Literacy for College Students:  A Non-STEM Pathway to College Readiness
                            Kathleen Almy   

Mathematical Literacy for College Students (MLCS) is part of the New Life AMATYC initiative and is related to the Carnegie Quantway project. It is an innovative way to redesign the developmental curriculum, providing pathways for the non-STEM student. The course uses integrated, contextual lessons to develop conceptual understanding and technology to improve mastery of skills. In one semester, a student placing into beginning algebra will gain the mathematical maturity to be successful in statistics, liberal arts math, or intermediate algebra. Reading, writing, critical thinking, and problem solving are key components to reaching that goal. Areas of focus include numeracy, proportional reasoning, algebraic reasoning, functions, mathematical success, and student success.  Attendees will learn receive ideas for course development including a sample course outline and a sample lesson.

Room Z-289     No More Hand Waving.  How to Create Animations for Your Lectures  
                           James Anderson 

For the last ten years, I have been creating Maple animations for use in my classes.  In past MichMATYC and OhioMATYC presentations, I have shown and talked about these animations.  In this presentation, I would like to talk about the Maple commands used to created these animations so that one could create their own animations for use in their classes.  I would also like to talk about some of the mathematics which is used to create these animations.  For example, the use of piecewise functions, translations, parametric equations, and polar coordinates.

Concurrent Session 2
10:20 - 11:10 a.m.

Room Z-257     Developing the Concept of Ratio as a Foundation for Proportional Reasoning
                            Rheta Rubenstein, Margaret (Maggie) Rathouz, Nesrin Cengiz-Phillips          

Proportionality is a capstone of the elementary curriculum and a cornerstone for secondary education (Lesh et al. 1988).  However, proportionality is challenging to teach for understanding (Thompson and Saldanha, 2003).

Our team has designed proportionality tasks to develop the processes of procedural fluency, conceptual understanding, and justification (Kilpatrick et al., 2001).  Tasks have revealed preservice teachers’ limited understanding of a meaning of ratios, weak connections between fractions and ratios, limited recognition of multiplicative relationships, and lack of clarity about what it means for ratios to be equivalent.

In this session participants will engage with the tasks that we have created, examine samples of their thinking, and share issues around learning and teaching the core ideas. Collaborative discussions will address questions like: What are core ideas of ratio?  What expectations are reasonable regarding PSTs’ language, representations, and justifications?

Room Z-259      The Internet: Distraction or Resource?
                             Colleen Copus & Barbara Bouthillier                        

Many instructors are dismayed by the amount of time students spend on the internet, but are realistic enough to realize it isn’t going away. So why not leverage the internet to provide relevant resources for students? At Grand Rapids Community College, an instructor and the coordinator of the Math Tutorial Lab teamed up to do just that. The result is a compilation of resources that provides academic support, addressing various learning styles 24/7. This presentation will showcase these resources, describe the process used, and explain how to develop original resources when nothing suitable is available.

This presentation will showcase online resources compiled for developmental math students.  Resources designed for a variety of learning styles were collected from the worldwide web, or  when nothing appropriate could be found, were strategically created.  The process used to develop these resources will be explained.

Room Z-260      Algebra and Real Life: A Mismatch
                             Ron Larson                        

This talk is about a new course I have been working on called "Math & You". Over the past several years, I have become more and more concerned with the mismatch between the math we teach in the United States and the math we use in the United States. Most of what we teach involves algebra.  Yet, most of what is used in business, government, and personal finance does not involve algebra.  In thinking about this, I got to wondering "Can't we develop an adult, important math course about the mathematics that is really used in our country?"

Room Z-271     Ready to Redesign?
                            Kristina Stephens, Cindie Wade, Marie St. James

This presentation will illuminate the steps taken by St. Clair County Community College (SC4) to implement and pilot a tailored version of developmental math redesign. It will describe previous pass/fail results of the instructor’s courses as well as the outcome of the students who completed the redesigned program. There will be a comprehensive look at what was needed for a successful pilot program and the ongoing difficult areas. Those areas met with difficultly include software, technology and common struggles within the demographics of SC4. The goal is to promote this redesigned approach and prepare others to implement the program with the least amount of difficulty and fully informed.

Room Z-289     MathBooster: A web based learning tool
                            Tim Vorce & Anne Dwyer

MathBooster is a web based learning and assessment tool inside a course management shell developed specifically for remedial level adult students.  Instructors assign the skills and difficulty level.  The problems are generated by mathematical algorithms, so an infinite number of unique problems can be generated. The homework system is designed so that students do a specified amount of problems correctly.  Students receive immediate feedback and practice each skill until they have achieved mastery regardless of how many problems are required.  Quiz problems are generated with the same algorithms and verify student mastery.  Results are displayed in the gradebook so that instructors can monitor student progress.

Concurrent Session 3
11:20 a.m. - 12:10 p.m.

Room Z-257      Monumental Applications
                             Jim Roznowski                 

Over the years, I have tried to develop interesting applications to motivate students. The area I have focused on recently is creating applications based on buildings around the world. For the AMATYC conference in Washington, DC I looked at the monuments on the National Mall and created activities related to the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Washington Monument. I also have developed activities related to Brunelleschi’s Duomo in Florence. For MichMATYC, I will be adding to the list and potentially including the Sydney Opera House, the Roman Coliseum, and the Parthenon.

The presentation will include sample activities (developmental through calculus) and resources that people can use to develop their own.

Room Z-259     Implementing a Math Study Skills Course           
                            Greg Lewis, Paul Hewitt, Don White     

Helping more students to learn more mathematics is a challenge we are all tackling in various ways. Even when students come to college with some math skills, often they have insufficient study skills to be successful. At the University of Toledo, we implemented a math study skills course to be a partner course with a credit-bearing, entry-level algebra course. This session will review our placement criteria, overview the course curriculum, and present a statistical analysis of the courses’ impact thus far.

Room Z-260     Math Machines and Algebraic Thinking
                            Fred Thomas

Students who “think algebraically” understand mathematical functions as dynamic relationships, not just as algorithms for solving paper-and-pencil puzzles. Developing this skill requires practice with multiple representations of functions including symbolic equations, graphs, words and numeric values. Math Machines add another representation—real, physical events.

Session participants will design and test functions to move a laser (linear and quadratic functions), simulate earthquakes (logarithmic and exponential functions) and cause red, green and blue lights to oscillate in various combinations (periodic functions). Free software will be distributed and participants can qualify to receive free equipment. Supported in part by NSF-ATE grant DUE-1003381.


Room Z-271     Reform, not Redesign, in Developmental and Gateway Math Courses
                           Jack Rotman

This is a session presenting a ‘big picture’ of opportunities in developmental and gateway (introductory college level) courses.  A set of concepts to guide reform efforts will be followed by a brief description of some emerging models that reflect these concepts.  These models include:  AMATYC New Life, Carnegie Pathways (Statway™ and Quantway™), and Dana Center New Mathways.  Significant time for group discussion will be included.  The goal of this session is not ‘preaching to the choir’; rather, the goal is to engage all faculty in a conversation about what is truly important in the mathematics curriculum at the developmental and introductory college level.

Room Z-289     Teaching a new, tech-savvy generation
                            Irina Boyadzhiev

With the present day advancement in technology it is only a matter of time before most textbooks become electronic and all students come to class with a tablet computer.  The dynamic mathematics software GeoGebra is a natural environment for presenting mathematics on a computer or on a portable electronic device. It is free, cross-platform, and easy to use. This workshop will introduce the participants to some basic features of GeoGebra. It will guide them through the construction of GeoGebra applets and dynamic worksheets and will demonstrate some ready applets.  A list of resources and tutorials will be given.

Concurrent Session 4
2:30 - 3:20 p.m.

Room Z-257     The Nature of Proof -The Reincarnation of Harold Fawcett
                            Darlene Kohrman

The history of proof in the mathematics curriculum reveals varying opinions as to its purpose and positioning. As Herbst and Gonzalez argue in their analysis of the two column proof, the 20th century saw the emergence of competing arguments as to the inclusion of geometry in the secondary curriculum. However, Euclid’s original ideas continue their influence on the format of geometry classes particularly on how students experience learning proof. The result of these various opinions on the content of geometry throughout the centuries brought changes to the kinds of learning experiences in which students would engage with respect to proof. This presentation gives a brief historical overview of those perceptions but highlights one study conducted by Harold Fawcett whose progressive ideas demonstrated a different interpretation of nature of proof. His interpretation supports the goals of both the reasoning and proof standards of NCTM and the standards for mathematical practice of the CCSM.

Room Z-259     SC4’s Math Center
                            Cindie Wade & Marie St. James                                  

SC4 has a new adventure!  Thanks partly to the Achieving the Dream initiative and the realization that our developmental math students need a place to congregate; the MATH CENTER is up and operating.

Come see and hear how we did it with staff involvement and NO budget.

Room Z-260     Cut costs with combination courses
                          Kelsey Poor (Hawkes Learning Systems)

Thinking about combining course materials to streamline classes, redesign course formats, and lower costs for students?  Hawkes Learning Systems provides the support you need for successful implementation!  Learn more about our new combination course offerings and how Hawkes leads to success in a variety of class structures.

Room Z-271     Blazing a New Site-Specific Statistics Pathway
                            Steven Tuckey & Alana Tuckey    

Many mathematics faculty face similar challenges: increased demands for DE-level courses; desire for non-STEM alternatives to algebra-focused paths; troubles with large-scale curricular shifts. The presenters will provide an outline of their context, student demographics, and curricular choices made in designing a statistics-based pathway (piloted in fall, 2011). Connecting/contrasting their work with that of other statistics-oriented reform, e.g., StatWay, statistics- and algebra-specific activities will be discussed. These will be examples from the developed (and continually revised) curriculum, along with faculty training strategies, and will serve as a guidepost for future approaches to statistics-oriented mathematics reform within particular institutional contexts.

Room Z-289     Using web based tools for math remediation
                            Kevin Gibbs

Many students entering college find that math placement scores do not reflect their high school math experience.  The University of Toledo Math Camp is for incoming students who have completed the appropriate math in high school, but are not satisfied with their current math placement.  It is an intensive 4-week review of math to improve placement using interactive software (ALEKS), digital notes and audio(Pencasts), web conferencing, and social networking. The entire Camp is available by distance learning. The goal of Math Camp is not to have students learn new material, but rather remediation of existing math skills by filling in gaps in ability or knowledge.

Concurrent Sessions 5
3:30 - 4:20 p.m.

Room Z-257      Solving Linear Equations, Literal Equations and Inequalities using 2 Colored Pencils
                             Beryl Stemen

Students are taught about the order of operations for calculating arithmetic problems.  So there should be an order of operations for solving linear and literal equation and inequalities.  Besides the order of operations for equations, I use two colored pencils.  One pencil is to help the students distinguish between the variable term for which they are solving and the other terms or numbers and the other pencil is for the equal sign or inequality sign to help them work both sides the same.

Room Z-259     Neuroscience and Private Sector Perspectives on Mathematics Learning
                           Jennifer Park  

Community college students often seem to make little or no progress in mathematics despite classroom instruction and intensive tutoring.  The reason for this may be rooted less in the instructional modality or competence of the instructor, and more in the students’ own abilities.  This presentation will summarize findings from the 2011 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting that have relevance for mathematics educators.  Private sector approaches to improving mathematics learning, which have a basis in neuroscience, will also be discussed.  Recommendations include assessing students on multiple cognitive areas and providing strategies for improvement as a preliminary or concurrent stage of mathematics education.

Room Z-260     No Time to Fail
                            Andrea Hendricks (McGraw Hill)

The objectives of the presentation are to inform participants of national and state initiatives that are impacting the developmental math classroom, to share reasons our students are unsuccessful, and to discuss creative methods that participants can implement in their classes to improve student success.

There are many national initiatives and organizations forming to address the issue of college completion.  One leader in this area is the Complete College America organization which currently has an alliance of 33 states. As a result, many state institutions are considering ways that developmental education can be restructured so that more students complete college and enter the workforce in a reasonable amount of time. Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce recently stated that by the year 2018, 63% of jobs will require a college degree or certificate. At present about 40% of young adults have these credentials. If we do nothing, there will be a significant gap in employability and the workforce in our nation.

As a result of this research, the presenter will share some changes they have made in the way they teach their developmental math courses by incorporating some success strategies, critical thinking activities and an adaptive digital learning tool.



MichMATYC 2012 Conference at MCCC
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