MathEd Forum

April 24, 2014


Math outside the Classroom

April 27 , 2013 at 10 am- 2 pm
Fields Institute,
222 College Street, Toront


10:00am - 10:10am Reports: OAME, OMCA, OCMA, CMESG, CMS, and other.
10:10am - 10:35am Jacqui Strachan (People for Education): What Happens When Math Gets Home?

Biography: Jacqui is the mother of two boys. A former lawyer, she has worked for People for Education for the past 12 years, speaking to parent and education groups and providing telephone and email support to parents across the province. As the Director of Outreach and Parent Support, Jacqui develops multilingual tip sheets for parents, coordinates a network of parents and community agencies around the province, and runs workshops designed to engage parents in their children's education.

Description: Jacqui Strachan will be talking about her personal experiences with the math her boys brought home from school and will also provide her perspective as a member of a parent advocacy group. The presentation will comprise a short talk as well as a Q and A opportunity, during which Forum members can ask questions about mathematics in Ontario from "a parents' eye view."

10:35am - 11:35am Carol Carruthers (Seneca College): Learning on a Continuum

Biography: Carol Carruthers is a professor of Mathematics and a coordinator of the Applied Science and Technology Program at Seneca College. She also coordinates the Foundation of Technical Mathematics faculty, which spans three campuses, and leads the School of Biological Sciences and Applied Chemistry Mathematics team. In 2008, she received a Hewlett-Packard Higher Education Technology for Teaching Grant and has since pursued the use of technology to enhance learning in mathematics. In July 2013, she will begin her studies in Cognition and Learning for the Joint Ph.D. program through the University of Windsor.

Description: Eight years ago, this educator gave traditional lectures, with students furiously copying notes and then individually practising questions from the textbook in an effort to understand concepts. Fast-forward to the present where students join a session on tablet PCs; collaboratively listen, watch, and discuss concepts; and with a digital pen, take notes that are saved to a virtual binder available 24/7. The continuum evolves by using web-based applets, WebQuests, portfolios, pre-class assignments, flipped classroom, hybrid learning, and more. The development of this methodology was largely based on student opinion and feedback. The format for this session will include a short presentation to illustrate this evolution, followed by the opportunity for participants to discuss with a student panel how the students believe this pedagogy has benefitted or hindered their learning.

Panelist - Shannon Carroll is a first semester Applied Science & Technology Program (AST) student at Seneca College. Shannon will transfer to the Chemical Laboratory Technician (CLT) Diploma program in the fall and then may decide to transfer to the Biotechnology Technologist program. Her career goals are to work in a medical lab as well as to do research. In addition, she has been looking into furthering her education with a Pathologists' Assistant focus.

Panelist - Ron Latchmansingh is a second semester AST student who will finish in May 2013. Ron will then transfer to CLT, intending to enroll in a joint program to get a university degree. Another option he is considering is to go to university for a degree in kinesiology. Either way, he will be on the right path toward a successful career. Ron has won awards in football as Defensive Player of the Year, and in High School, he won awards for perfect attendance and was twice on the honor role.

Panelist - Nicole Samuel is currently enrolled in the Biotechnology Technologist Research Program at Seneca College. She returned to school full time this January after being in the workplace for a few years. Nicole previously studied Business Administration Accounting at George Brown College. She would like to continue studying science and hopes to further her university education.

Panelist - Aleksandra (Sasha) Stavroff is in her second of six semesters in the Biotechnology Technologist Research (BTR) program. Sasha graduated from Maple High School in 2007 and completed her AST Certificate on the President's Honour Role. In her first semester of BTR, she has maintained her pursuit of excellence with a 4.0 GPA. She plans to continue her post-secondary education in Biodiversity or in Microbiology and Genetics at the University of Guelph.

11:35am - 12:05pm Derrick Driscoll (Thames Valley District School Board): CLARITY

Biography: Derrick Driscoll is a 20-year veteran high school math teacher from London, Ontario. He has been using clicker devices since 2000. Along the way, he developed an effective pedagogy that led to significant performance gains at the MFM1P1 level. Derrick became a National Instructor for Texas Instruments in 2002 and more recently, for e-Instruction. He has also been involved in creating math textbooks for Ontario courses. Three rounds of research over a 10-year period led to the development of CLARITY, a software innovation that helped him create learning curves designed to understand the strengths and weaknesses of his students.

Description: Derrick will discuss CLARITY, an innovative software package that allows teachers to view the performance of every student and make informed decisions about appropriate interventions. Evidence based on the use of formative assessment in conjunction with the data provided through the use of CLARITY indicated that over the 2-year research period (2010-2012), EQAO performance trends in certain strands and categories showed greater improvement in these classes than in the general School District. A colleague who adopted this approach also garnered similar student gains over this period.

12:05pm - 1:00pm LUNCH BREAK
(Light refreshments provided)

1:00pm - 2:00pm Martin Fischer (Ontario Science Centre): Mathematics Programs at the Ontario Science Centre

Biography: Martin has been an educator at the Ontario Science Centre for 13 years and leads the physics demonstrations, the innovation workshops, and the new school programs in mathematics. He strives to create intriguing props and magical demos that ignite the students' curiosity, leading them to experience the pleasure of finding things out.

Description: Science Centres have made a name for themselves by creating rich, hands-on experiences that encourage young and old to experiment and explore the world. In 2011, the Ontario Science Centre expanded its school offerings into the realm of mathematics - using the same approach of wowing the students and sparking curiosity. To date, the focus has been on probability and data management through investigating catapults, bungee jumping, loaded dice, and Galton Boards. The presenter would like to engage the Fields audience in a discussion about other areas of mathematics that could be explored and "work-shopped" in a similar manner.

2:00pm Adjournment

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