Fostering Mathematical Thinking (Bay Area)
All math teachers want their students thinking deeply about concepts and coming away with procedural knowledge that goes way beyond a set of rules. To accomplish such a lofty task, our goals are rooted in fostering mathematical thinking in our students.
Mathematical thinking involves making models, developing skills through concepts, using logical reasoning, making and testing conjectures, and representing ideas. For many students, especially in Middle School, having concrete experiences promotes deeper mathematical thinking and development. Deriving rules and understanding why those rules work encourages better understanding and longer term retention.
This workshop will investigate ways we can use concrete experiences such as making models, working with manipulatives, or exploring real world situations to initiate and foster mathematical thinking skills. Participants will explore mathematical thinking tasks as well as work on developing a mathematical thinking task of their own. Content will be oriented toward those teaching fifth-ninth grade, with a strong focus on the middle school setting.
We hope to continue the exploration with an ongoing learning group during the 2018-2019 school year.
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David Louis has worked as a math teacher for over 20 years in both public and private schools. He has worked at San Francisco Friends School since 2009. He loves math and enjoys engaging young people in true mathematical thinking.
Avery Pickford is currently a high school math teacher in San Francisco and the way he teaches math ≠ the way he was taught math. In his nineteen years of teaching, he has had the pleasure of teaching math and science to students from third grade to graduate school. His favorite age to teach is whatever age he is teaching at the moment. He is always eager to discuss pedagogy and do math, and he is especially interested in mathematical habits of mind that help students solve unfamiliar problems and student-posed problems that reveal the creativity of the subject. He sees math as a creative endeavor, an art form, a language to describe the world, a structure for solving problems, a process for modeling the world, a historical, cultural subject, and a tool for social justice.
Diali Bose-Roy is a middle school math teacher at San Francisco Friends School. She joined the SFFS team in 2008 after completing her Master's in Education Leadership at Columbia. Prior to SFFS she taught at Charles River School in Massachusetts and for several years worked in film production and postproduction.