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Developing content knowledge, pedagogical expertise, and skill in using technology for discrete and continuous modeling, geometric modeling, and spatial reasoning
Modeling and Spatial Reasoning (Modspar) is a yearlong Advanced Teacher Capacity professional development program for mathematics teachers in Grades 9-12. If funded for 2015-16, Modspar will begin with a 1-week summer institute at Ohio University in Athens, 12-17 July 2015, followed by two days of scholar presentations on 3-4 August 2015 and two Friday follow-up workshops scheduled for 16 October 2015 and March 2016 (date TBA). In addition, there will be ongoing online support, including bi-weekly webinars throughout the 2015-2016 academic year. See related article: Of Note: Research News Briefs: Cool Tools, page 6 of 44.
Modspar focuses on discrete and continuous modeling as well as geometric modeling and spatial reasoning. Participants explore these concepts in-depth using TI-nspire handheld computers, TI-nspire software, and other tools for teaching and learning. The program is designed to help teachers who are not highly qualified, have no formal education in modeling, or have limited preparation in developing models for solving realistic problems. Special education and intervention teachers are encouraged to apply. All participants develop and enact plans to use rich instructional activities and assessments in their classrooms and can share lesson plans with other ATC scholars.
The Modspar program provides participants with $400 worth of materials, access to additional resources, plus food and stipends. Optional graduate credit is available at a reduced tuition rate. A free residential option is available for participants who live more than 45 miles from Ohio University.
For Modspar questions, see the links below or contact Mary Harmison. The ATC program will begin accepting registrations soon. Applications will be posted here in January.
The summer 2014 Modspar scholars and staff are pictured above wearing their 3-D glasses.
Here's what past Modspar participants have said:
"Best professional development I've attended. Will definitely try to convince others to attend."
"I gained a greater depth of understanding of the material and a broader range of applications and examples from which to build."
"Modspar has motivated me to look for ways to involve the student more in the instructional lesson. There is high value in learning through doing."
"As a result of this institute, I used more technology in my classroom than I have ever used in the past."
"Modspar helped me to realize that learning through cooperative activities and peer interaction is extremely valuable for a deeper level of understanding and retention of materials."
"I feel more confident using different technologies and using modeling in my classroom. I have gotten many ideas for new lessons and have started revising lessons I've used in the past to make them more student-driven. This program has taken me from having little knowledge about implementing modeling, to feeling confident, and excited about implementing it. I feel my students will enjoy the results of my coming to Modspar, because they will have more opportunities to put their learning in context. GREAT PROGRAM."
The Modspar program is supported by the Advanced Teacher Capacity (ATC) grant. The total estimated costs for the 2014-2015 ATC project are $294,411, which includes a $168,043 grant of federal funds from the Improving Teacher Quality Program administered by the Ohio Board of Regents, covering approximately 57.1% of the total costs.