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Developing content knowledge, pedagogical expertise, and skill in using technology for discrete and continuous modeling, geometric modeling, and spatial reasoning

Modspar register buttonModspar Programs

Modeling and Spatial Reasoning (Modspar) is a yearlong Advanced Teacher Capacity professional development program for mathematics teachers in Grades 9-12. Pending funding, Modspar will offer two programs begining in Summer 2017:

Both programs begin with a 1-week summer institute at Ohio University in Athens.  After the 1-week summer institute, the two groups merge into a single learning community for two days of scholar presentations on 7-8 August 2017 and for two Friday follow-up workshops scheduled on 20 October 2017 and 16 February 2018.  In addition, there is ongoing online support, including bi-weekly webinars throughout the 2017-2018 academic year.  See related article: Of Note: Research News Briefs: Cool Tools, page 6 of 44.

2016 Modspar scholars at workModeling with Algebra focuses on modeling with discrete and continuous functions, modeling that combines the general proportional model and re-expression of data, and exploring dynamical systems.  Modeling with Geometry examines geometric modeling and spatial reasoning, concentrating on transformations and coordinate systems and on spherical geometry and trigonometry.  Participants of both programs explore these concepts in-depth using TI-nspire handheld computers, TI-nspire software, and other tools for teaching and learning.  The programs are designed to help teachers who are not highly qualified, have no formal education in modeling and spatial reasoning, or have limited preparation in developing models for solving real world 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 Modspar 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.

ATC on facebook button 200Modspar Online Webinars

are open to all past, present, and future Advanced Teacher Capacity (ATC) and Modspar scholars.  The webinar room will open at 7:40 p.m.  Please sign in early as a guest to test your equipment so that we may begin the webinar promptly at 8:00 p.m.  To participate, go to .

Tentative Webinar Dates and Topics:

  • 17 August 2016.  Implementing and Assessing Modeling
  • 7 September 2016.  Linear Differences
  • 21 September 2016.  Proof for Student-Centered Learning and Assessment
  • 5 October 2016.  Taxicab Geometry
  • 19 October 2016.  Assessing Modeling: A Summative Approach
  • 2 November 2016.  Geometry of Complex Numbers
  • 7 December 2016.  Vectors and Linear Equations
  • 18 January 2017.  Project-Based Learning, Design Thinking, and Mathematical Modeling
  • 1 February 2017.  TBA
  • 15 February 2017.  TBA
  • 1 March 2017.  Modeling Data to Model Functions
  • 15 March 2017. TBA
  • 5 April 2017.  TBA
  • 19 April 2017.  TBA

To view archived ATC webinars click here.

For more information about Modspar and the Advanced Teacher Capacity (ATC) project, see the links below or contact Mary Harmison.


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 2016-2017 Modspar program is supported by the Modspar grant. The total estimated costs for the 2016-2017 Modspar project are $313,978, which includes a $175,598 grant of federal funds from the Improving Teacher Quality Program administered by the Ohio Department of Higher Education, covering approximately 56% of the total costs.