Texas Instruments partnered with Middle Tennessee State University for its premiere workshop on effective teaching of K-12 mathematics.
Twenty-four MTSU graduate students and educators from around the Southeast attended “Teaching Strategies for Success in a Mathematics Classroom,” a two-day professional development exercise Wednesday and Thursday, June 27-28, in the Tom Jackson Building on campus.
The emphasis was on a guilt-free, nurturing and vibrant classroom environment where students in grades 6-12 treat their mistakes as opportunities to learn and students are encouraged to persevere as they tackle challenging tasks.
“We still have to do procedural math, but we also want them to understand what they’re doing so they can transfer their math to new situations,” said MTSU adjunct professor Tammy Jones, an instructor certified by Texas Instruments to lead its workshops.
Other features of the workshop included strategic use of technology, effective questioning and authentic opportunities for writing in mathematics.
MTSU mathematical sciences professor Mary Martin said the method keeps the students engaged by helping them make the connection between the math and its real-world applications sooner.
“The emphasis on math now and the teaching of math is to get to the problem-solving earlier,” Martin said. “The point of this teaching is to have the student confront the purpose of the math earlier.”
Martin said since MTSU is the first university to host the teaching strategies workshop, the participants’ feedback will help to shape future workshops at other institutions. Furthermore, she said that the workshop is an example of how MTSU supports area teachers, as well as the entrepreneurial relationship between business and the university.
“We don’t just sell technology, but we sell the appropriate use of technology,” said Heidi Pomerantz, director of customer support for Texas Instruments’ Education Technology Group. “TI prides itself not just on producing quality technology, but on quality professional development that helps teachers be better teachers.”
In addition to registration fees, financial support was provided by MTSU’s Math and Science Education Doctoral Program in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences.
For more information, contact Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Martin at email@example.com or the Department of Mathematical Sciences at 615-898-2669.
— Gina Logue (firstname.lastname@example.org)