Teacher Network Fosters a Culture of Mathematics

lindav2With its roots in the National Science Foundation-funded GK–12 SUPER–M project, Math Teachers’ Circle of Hawai‘i (MaTCH) is part of a growing network dedicated to establishing the foundation for a culture of problem solving by fostering the enjoyment of mathematics among teachers. A key focus of the program is to help teachers increase their mathematical knowledge for teaching, defined as the knowledge used to carry out the work of teaching mathematics.

MaTCH continued to hold its monthly workshops in 2012 and, in addition, held a four-day retreat in the summer at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Attendees from O‘ahu, Hawai‘i Island, Maui, and Moloka‘i worked on mathematics problems led by guest presenters who focused on the connections between mathematics and other fields. Presentations included a mathematics activity to highlight the rarity of the Transit of Venus; an activity titled, “Using Music Videos in the Key of Mathematics;” and a demonstration of how some of the most basic equations in mathematics, like the distance formula, is applied to very sophisticated activities, like finding whales. In addition to doing lots of mathematics, both the monthly workshops and the retreat dedicated a good part of each session to unpacking the Common Core State Standards for Mathematical Practice.

The 2012–2013 activities, including the development of a new website, are being supported by a grant from the ESEA Title II program. Project evaluation from the 2011–2012 activities showed statistically significant positive increases in participants’ mathematical knowledge for teaching in two areas: patterns, functions, and algebra; and number and operation.