New Jersey Mathematics Coalition

Volume V Number 1 March 1996

Inside This Issue

A publication of the New Jersey Mathematics Coalition © March 1996

Coalition on the Web!

Last year, when we discussed how we might get copies of the New Jersey Mathematics Curriculum Framework into the hands of all New Jersey teachers, the Web was not even an option. Now it is an amazing resource. We can tell everyone in the state "The framework is on our computer; come and get it!" With six keystrokes, a 5th grade teacher can print out at her/his own computer, for example, the 5-6 grade level section of the geometry chapter. And we can invite you to make on-line suggestions this spring on chapters of the revised framework.

The Web site can also help us maintain the framework as an organic document, by supporting databases of classroom activities and forums for discussion of the standards at all grade levels. Volunteers are needed to develop and maintain these databases and forums; sign up using the Response Form.

Coalition Receives J&J Grant for its Standards Dissemination Project

With first year funding from Johnson & Johnson, the Coalition will launch a three-year project this summer to greatly expand the number of master teachers in the state capable of providing high quality professional development work in mathematics for their colleagues. The 1996 summer program will focus on K-4 grade-levels; we anticipate following this year's program with ones focusing on 5-8 and 9-12 grade levels.

The Standards Dissemination Project

An Exciting Professional Development Opportunity in Elementary Mathematics

You Can be a Part of it!

This summer's institute will involve 20 experienced K4 teachers and supervisors in workshops and worksessions focusing on:

  • training in conducting workshops for other teachers;

  • using the New Jersey Mathematics Standards and Framework as tools in professional development;

  • developing actual K4 mathematics workshops to be conducted either individually or in teams during the summer and academic year.
Right now, we are looking for energetic, enthusiastic, experienced K4 classroom teachers or supervisors who would like to be participants in this year's exciting program and then share their expertise with other teachers around the state. Potential participants in the institutes are individuals who have a good bit of experience with the NCTM standards at their grade level and a familiarity with the New Jersey standards. They should be curriculum leaders in their schools or districts, used to sharing their innovative teaching approaches and good ideas with their colleagues.

Participants must also be available for as many as three full days during the 19961997 academic year to provide professional development opportunities for other teachers in their own or neighboring districts.

If you would like to join us, here are the details.

WHEN: July 1 - 16, 1996 9:00 - 3:00 every weekday except 7/4 and 7/5
WHERE: Indian Fields School,
South Brunswick, New Jersey (tentatively)
STIPENDS: Each participant will receive a stipend of $1000 for the workshop and then will be paid an honorarium for any further professional development work they do.
APPLICATIONS: are available from the Coalition office and must be completed and submitted by April 15, 1996. Call (908) 445-4065 and ask for a SDP application.



The Coalition continues to do great work in the state improving mathematics education, helping to define standards that will help all of us focus our improvement efforts, increasing public awareness of the importance of mathematics education in the lives and the futures of our children, and working with teachers to spread the word.



Become an Affiliate of the New Jersey Mathematics Coalition today (for a mere $25.00) and you will receive one of these attractive white mugs with the distinctive blue Coalition license plate that is fast becoming such a status symbol from Cape May to Millville. You will also receive the satisfaction that comes from knowing that you are helping to support much needed change in mathematics education around the state.

Just check off the AFFILIATION box on the Response Form.

New Jersey Mathematics Coalition

Opinions in signed articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect positions of the New Jersey Mathematics Coalition. Readers are invited to submit responses to these (or other) articles. We encourage you to submit articles for future issues of the newsletter on topics that would be of interest to our readers.

Joseph G. Rosenstein
Warren D. Crown

Newsletter Production and Layout:
Peter Sobel
Chris Magarelli

For a free subscription, send in the Response Form. To comment on any topic related to the Newsletter, send email to, write or call:

NJMC Newsletter
P.O. Box 10867
New Brunswick, NJ 08906

(908) 445-2894
FAX: (908) 445-3477

The New Jersey Mathematics Coalition

Joseph G. Rosenstein
Associate Director:
Warren D. Crown
Assistant Director:
Peter Sobel

Chair of the Board of Governors:
Manya Ungar

Commissioner Klagholz Presents Content Standards to State Board

On Wednesday February 7, Commissioner of Education Leo Klagholz presented to the New Jersey State Board of Education content standards in seven areas, including mathematics, for its consideration; the proposed New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards also includes "cross-content workplace readiness standards". In presenting the proposed standards to the Board, Commissioner Klagholz described this as possibly "the single most important policy issue brought before the Board in many years". It is anticipated that the Board will adopt standards in May.

The standards presented to the Board were the result of an extensive review process that was initiated in the Spring of 1995 at a Town Meeting presided over by Governor Christine Whitman. Draft standards developed two years earlier were reviewed by Working Groups appointed by the Commissioner and Governor, with input from numerous forums held throughout the state and out-of-state consultants; publicity for the initiative included inserts, containing a version of the content standards, that appeared in over 1,000,000 newspapers. The standards proposed by the Working Groups were subsequently reviewed intensively within the Department of Education.

The Working Group in Mathematics included Coalition Board of Governors' members Janet Caldwell, Warren Crown, Paul Lawrence, Paula Norwood, and Joseph G. Rosenstein, and other mathematics educators (including Evan Maletsky and Bill Smith), parents, and industry representatives, and Robert Riehs and Dorothy Varygiannes of the Department of Education.

The mathematics standards presented to the State Board of Education are similar to the standards developed in 1993 and discussed in the Preliminary Version of the New Jersey Mathematics Curriculum Framework published in 1995. Of the eighteen standards included in the framework, sixteen remained largely unchanged in the 1996 version of the standards; only the standards dealing with assessment and instruction were excluded, since it was decided that all standards would focus on student behaviors and not on the character of the classroom environment.

It is anticipated that the Department of Education will soon begin the process of revising the 8th grade Early Warning Test (EWT) and the 11th grade High School Proficiency Test (HSPT-11), and of instituting a new 4th grade statewide assessment, to reflect the new standards and the student indicators for achievement of those standards.

A revised version of the New Jersey Mathematics Curriculum Framework will be published later this spring, and will be based on the standards adopted by the Board; the publication of the framework will be the culmination of a three-year collaborative effort of the New Jersey Mathematics Coalition and the New Jersey Department of Education, with funding provided by the United States Department of Education.

Hold the Date

General Meeting of the Coalition

June 1, 1996
9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

At Rutgers University,
New Brunswick

Call (908) 445-2894 for details

Presentations on the Mathematics Standards

The Coalition is offering to send speakers throughout the state to inform the public - educators, parents, teachers, policy makers, corporations, and taxpayers - about the vision and recommendations of the New Jersey Mathematics Standards.

The presentation is titled "Mathematics to Prepare Our Children for the 21st Century" and discusses the proposed New Jersey Mathematics Standards. The presentation, which lasts for 20-30 minutes, will discuss the vision and recommendations of the standards, and current efforts to develop and implement state mathematics standards.

If your Board of Education, PTA or organization is interested, please call Debbie Toti at 908-445-4065 or check off the Presentation line on the Response Form.

Graphing Calculator Conference

April 19-20, 1996

The Coalition's Third Annual Graphing Calculator Conference will take place on:

Friday, April 19 (1:00 - 4:00 pm) and Saturday, April 20 (9:00am - 4:00 pm)
at Rutgers University, New Brunswick

* for new users and experts * for math teachers * for science teachers

Featured will be introductory and intermediate sessions on graphing calculators and the Calculator Based Laboratory (CBL) system of scientific probes. These scientific calculators can be linked to a variety of probes and sensors to measure motion, sound pH, temperature, light intensity, voltage and other physical variables, providing an ideal connection between scientific phenomena, data collection and mathematical modelling. Advanced graphing calculators to be highlighted include the TI-92 with 3-D and computer algebra system capabilities, the TI-83 with a full array of new statistical graphing and hypothesis testing features, and the Casio CFX-9850G Color Graphing Calculator.

Cost: Friday $40
Saturday $60
Both days $90
Sponsors: New Jersey Mathematics Coalition, Middlesex County College, and Rutgers University's Center for Mathematics, Science and Computer Education

To reserve your space call Debbie Toti at 908-445-4065 ASAP. Reservations are on a first come first served basis.

New Jersey Dept. of Education's Mathematics Instruction Guide Now Available

The New Jersey Department of Education published a new document in January 1996 entitled, Mathematics Instructional Guide: Linking Classroom Experiences to Current Statewide Assessments. This guide is designed to provide instructional support to mathematics teachers in their effort to engage their students in rich mathematical experiences. The creators of this guide hope that it will assist teachers in improving mathematics instruction throughout the state and in preparing their students for successful performance on current statewide assessment instruments, the Grade 8 Early Warning Test (EWT) and the Grade 11 High School Proficiency Test (HSPT11). A copy of this guide will be available to each school building, through the county offices, beginning in February 1996. Districts may make additional copies as needed. Individual copies will be available through the NJDOE Office of Publication Services (609) 984-0905 (use PTM # 1373.00 for ordering). For additional information contact the project facilitator, Dorothy Varygiannes at (609) 984-1540.

Rowan and Plainfield: Both Active NJ SSI Participants

Dr. Janet Caldwell is a Professor of Mathematics at Rowan College of New Jersey where she also serves as Professional Development Site Director for the New Jersey Statewide Systemic Initiative (NJSSI). Rowan is one of 13 Professional Development Sites in the state taking part in this five year effort to reform mathematics, science, and technology education where K8 teachers learn alternative teaching methods, share ideas with one another, and receive hands-on experience using new technologies. In addition to overseeing the professional development network at Rowan, Dr. Caldwell also works with the Pennsauken school district on their systemic reform efforts. She recently joined other state leaders in Arlington, VA to present the accomplishments of the NJ SSI to panelists with the National Science Foundation at the midpoint of the five year grant.

As an NJ SSI Professional Development Site, teachers and administrators have the opportunity to attend programs taught by Dr. Caldwell and other members of the Rowan faculty which highlight areas in science and math, alternative assessment techniques, and uses of new technologies. Recent topics have included the use of theme parks to demonstrate mathematics and studying the physics of toys, including exercises designed to foster a handson approach to science and mathematics.

The SSI staff at Rowan has also been working closely with museums and science centers, personnel from other schools, and businesses to supplement their oncampus professional development programs. Teachers recently took trips to the Beuhler Challenger Center and Liberty Science Center. Each teacher is also required to identify someone in a business that involves science, mathematics, and/or technology and spend at least one day shadowing that person. These exercises have helped teachers form various thematic units, ranging from studying the solar system to natural disasters.

Teachers taking part in the SSI program at Rowan are given access to multimedia software, CDROMs, and Internet capabilities. Dr. Caldwell and the SSI staff set up a computer network and a World Wide Web homepage so that all of the teachers can stay in constant contact with each other to share ideas and practice their newfound telecommunications skills.

The Plainfield Public School District is one of nineteen district clusters participating in the New Jersey Statewide Systemic Initiative (NJ SSI).

Dr. Larry Leverett, Superintendent of Schools in Plainfield, has been instrumental in initiating systemic reform in his district and was also a major participant in the successful NJ SSI presentation to the National Science Foundation in Arlington, VA on January 23 marking the midpoint in the grant.

Plainfield is an urban special needs district located in central New Jersey serving 7,000 students. The district is committed to long term educational reform, as evidenced in their SSI involvement and the 12Step Framework for Reform in the Public Schools of Plainfield, a plan developed by Dr. Leverett which outlines an overhaul of the entire district structure. As an SSI districtwide reform site, Plainfield administrators, educators, parents, and community members have embarked on groundbreaking efforts to engage the publicas well as the school districtto improve academic achievement.

To emphasize the role that SSI has played for school districts in the state, Leverett explained to NSF panelists that in New Jersey, equity is not an hors d'oeuvres, it is the main course. In Plainfield specifically, NJ SSI is guiding the district in structuring their program to bring equity to the areas of math/science and technology education.

To ensure parent involvement in specific reform efforts, all elementary schools in the district take part in Family Math, an extracurricular activity which engages the entire family in learning about mathematics. Plainfield has also formed a Community Planning Task Force consisting of administrators, teachers, parents, and community leaders. The Task Force meets to discuss issues concerning all areas of districtwide reform including curriculum changes and new technology implementation. This committee, which has over 150 members working in six design teams, will present its recommendations to the Plainfield Board of Education in May. Anthony Dentino, Supervisor of Mathematics and Acting Deputy Superintendent, heads the Technology design team, which is working with SSI to bring all Plainfield schools up to date with the latest technology and telecommunications software. Also as a result of SSI, teachers from six elementary schools are participating with the K8 professional development programs at three different sites.

Calendar of Events - Spring & Summer 1996

March 15, 8:30am-3:30pm.
Precalculus Conference. The tenth annual "Good Ideas in Teaching Precalculus and..." Conference will be held at the Busch Campus of Rutgers University.

Registration is $60 and includes lunch. Open to all high school and college instructors, the conference will include presentations, idea exchanges and software sessions on precalculus, probability and statistics, and discrete mathematics. For more information contact - Stephanie Micale (908) 445-4065 or e-mail Sponsored by the Rutgers University Center for Mathematics, Science, and Computer Education.

March 25-26,
Using Technology as a Tool in the Classroom - Technology conference at Educational Information & Resource Center (EIRC)

- Hands -on use of CD-ROM, World Wide Web, Internet, NJ Link... Cost $125 per participant, $175 for a team of two. For more information call 609-582-7000.

March 30.
Mathematical Association of America (MAA) Meeting at Kean College.

Featured speakers include Joan Birman (Knot Theory) and Fred Roberts, Director of the Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science (DIMACS). For information call Theresa Michnowicz at (201) 200-3219.

April 1, 15, May 6, 13, 20.
TRANSIT-NJ C2PC (Calculators and Computers in Precalculus) Institute

to enhance teaching with the aid of TI-82 graphing calculators for teachers of advanced algebra, trigonometry, precalculus, math analysis, and calculus. For additional information contact Ken Wolff, Montclair State University, e-mail or (201)655-5353.

April 1-30,
Math, Science, and Technology Month.

For more information on events in your area call 1-800-44-APRIL (see article on page 8).

April 13,
Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges of New Jersey (MATYC-NJ) Meeting at Brookdale Community College.

For more information call Agnes Azzolino at (908) 739-3951.

April 19-20,
Graphing Calculator Conference

sponsored by the New Jersey Mathematics Coalition, Middlesex County College, and the Rutgers Center for Math, Science and Computer Education. Friday 4/19 from 1 to 4pm and Saturday 4/20 from 9 to 4pm Registration fee is $40 for Friday and $60 for Saturday, or $90 for both. See page 4 of this Newsletter for details.

April 25-28,
74th Annual National Convention of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics,

San Diego, California. Call (703)620-9840 ext. 143 or e-mail for more information.

AMTNJ Regional Meetings "Mathematics: The Key to Interactive Learning" at: Rowan College (May 13), Montclair State University (May 15), and Trenton State College (May 22).

For information, call Nancy Schultz at (201) 790-6184.

June 1, 9:30am-12:00pm,
General Meeting of the New Jersey Mathematics Coalition

at Rutgers University's Busch Campus. Call (908) 445-2894 for location.

June 4, 3:00-6:00pm,
New Jersey Mathematics Coalition Board of Governors Meeting, Educational Testing Service (ETS), Princeton.

Call (908)445-2894 for information.

June 24 - July 19.
Leadership Program in Discrete Mathematics for K-8 teachers. Two-week residential (7/8-7/19) and commuter (6/24-7/9) institutes at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ.

Graduate credit is available and funding from the National Science Foundation will provide food and lodging (for residential participants) and a $600 stipend. This program is sponsored by the Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science (DIMACS) and the Rutgers Center for Mathematics, Science, and Computer Education. For more information call Stephanie Micale, e-mail to or (908)445-4065. Applications are due by mid-April.

June 24-28
AP Statistics Institute at Montclair State Unversity.

For teachers planning to teach the new AP Statistics course. Graduate credit, which includes work beyond the institute week, will be available. Estimated cost $600 includes breakfast, coffee breaks and lunch as well as printed materials, text books and a loaner calculator. For additional information contact Tony Piccolino, e-mail or 201-655-7247.

June 26.
Calculator and Computer Precalculus (C2PC) five day summer institute at Middlesex County College (MCC).

The institute focuses on advanced algebra, trigonometry, precalculus, math analysis and/or calculus. For more information contact MCC's Office of School Relations (908) 906-2554.

July 1 - 16.
The New Jersey Mathematics Coalition's Standards Dissemination Project.

See article for more information.

TRANSIT-NJ Geometry Institute (7/8-7/12),
Middle School Mathematics Institute (7/15-7/19),
Elementary School Mathematics Institute (7/10-7/11).

For additional information contact Ken Wolff, Montclair State University, e-mail or (201)655-5353.

July 15 -19,
TRANSIT-NJ AC2E (Algebra with Calculator Enhancement) Institute.

Designed to help teachers become proficient in the use of the TI-82 in the teaching of pre-algebra and algebra. For additional information contact Ken Wolff, Montclair State University, e-mail or (201)655-5353.

July 15 - August 9,
Young Scholars Program In Discrete Mathematics at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey.

High School Teachers: if you know of a sophomore or junior who could become interested in a career in mathematics you should contact Stephanie Micale at (908)445-4065. There are only 45 slots open for students throughout New Jersey. The students will participate in an intensive one-month academic program where they will meet mathematicians and computer scientists, learn about discrete mathematics, work on a research project, be engaged in computer activities, participate in workshops on careers in the mathematical sciences, and go on field trips.

August 21 - 25.
Institutes for New Mathematics Teachers, New Science Teachers, and New Elementary Teachers, Rutgers University, New Brunswick.

Three parallel programs for those who will be teaching mathematics, science, or elementary school for the first time in the fall of 1996 or those who have at most two years of prior teaching experience. To help prepare and orient new teachers toward emphasizing problem- solving, discovery learning, conceptual understanding, hands-on demonstrations, math & science integration, and experimental inquiry throughout the curriculum. This is a residential program at Rutgers Unviersity, New Brunswick, New Jersey. Districts will be expected to pay for the cost of the program. Graduate credit is available. For more information call Stephanie Micale at 908-445-4065 or e-mail

April is Math, Science, & Technology Month!

Math, Science and Technology Month is a series of events that is coordinated by an extraordinarily diverse group of educators, museums, organizations, and business and industry representatives. Last year over 420 events took place in April with over 60,000 participants. Our goal for April 1996 is 1,000 events. As of February 7th we had 215 events logged in and we're crossing our fingers and expecting that, with your help, we'll reach our goal.

For 1996 we are inaugurating a Math, Science, and Technology Month Calendar Design Contest open to every school in the state. The challenge is to illustrate a picture and write an essay about a specific mathematics, science or technology achievement, discovery or invention that occurred during a particular month. Each grade level is assigned a month (i.e., K-1 - January, Grade 2 - February, ...). There will be twelve statewide winners, one for each grade level/month, judged by local and state Chambers of Commerce. NatWest Bank and Jersey Central Power & Light are sponsors of this contest. The winning entries will be displayed throughout the state. The first site is Liberty Science Center which is tentatively scheduled for the last week in April. Also new this year is the organization of County Coordinators who encouraged and cajoled Superintendents to have events in their school districts. The County Coordinators also served as mentors to those educators designing their first MSTM event. Thanks County Coordinators!

Atlantic            Dan Kortvelesy

Burlington          Pat Toy

Camden              Bill Smith

Cape May            Donna Szemcsak

Cumberland          Karen Harris

Essex               Mary Bradley
                    Isobel Villano

Gloucester          Ed Denton

Hudson              Nadia Makar

Hunterdon           Sue Larson

Mercer              Norine Seiden

Middlesex           Rosemarie Maltese

Monmouth            Joan Vas

Morris              Mariann Licato
                    Merilee Anderson

Salem               Bob Walker

Somerset            Tena Wright

Sussex              Marguerite McDonough

Union               Christine Salcito

Warren              Glenna Kuhlman
                    Ann Frank
For Information on MSTM'96 events in your area:

Call 1-800-44-APRIL

or visit the MSTM '96 Web Page