New Jersey Mathematics Coalition

Volume VII Number 1 June 1998

Inside This Issue
A publication of the New Jersey Mathematics Coalition © June 1998

FANS is here!

We have completed our preparations for The FANS Workshop, and workshops are now being given for parent groups throughout New Jersey. Here is what we have accomplished in the past six months:

  • We have created a 35-minute videotape which conveys the basic messages of The FANS Project;
  • We have developed hands-on activities that parents do as part of The FANS Workshop;
  • We have developed training sessions and have trained over 200 leaders of The FANS Workshop;
  • We have created and published The FANS Family Kit, a take-home set of materials for parents;
  • We have identified thirteen regional coordinators who will be generating workshops and matching workshop leaders with sites in their regions;
  • We have established a FANS Web site ( which has a state-wide calendar of all FANS Workshops.


For $25 You Can Help Us Implement Our Programs

Become an affiliate of the New Jersey Mathematics Coalition. With your $25 contribution you will be joining with hundreds of others who are supporting the Coalition's efforts to improve mathematics education in New Jersey. Please join us in these important efforts. Just check off the AFFILIATION box on the Response Form and send us a check today.

Affiliates will receive a copy of
The Fans Family Kit

Thank You Supporters!

The New Jersey Mathematics Coalition is a collaborative effort of the education, business, government, and public sectors of the community working together to improve mathematics education in New Jersey. The Coalition and its projects are supported by:

Association of Mathematics Teachers of New Jersey
American Chemical Society
The Bunbury Company
Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation
The Fund for New Jersey
Johnson & Johnson
Merck Institute for Science Education
MidAtlantic Eisenhower Consortium
National Science Foundation
National Starch and Chemical Company
New Jersey Department of Education
New Jersey Statewide Systemic Initiative
Rutgers University

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:
Daniel Gerger
Chris Magarelli

To comment on any topic related to the Newsletter, send e-mail, write or call:


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

(732) 445-2894

FAX: (732) 445-3477

The New Jersey Mathematics Coalition

Joseph G. Rosenstein
Associate Director:
Warren D. Crown
FANS Project Manager:
Daniel Gerger
FANS Project Coordinator:
Jennifer Lomench
Chair of the Board of Governors:
Manya Ungar

FANS Fall Focus

This fall we plan to inform a large number of parents about The FANS Project when they come to school for back-to-school night, and to invite them to attend a FANS Workshop.

The strategy is simple. We will provide a three-minute self-standing videotape which can be shown, without additional commentary, at the assembly on back-to-school night. Parents will be encouraged to sign up directly after the assembly to attend a FANS Workshop that has been scheduled for another evening in the near future.

What do you need to do? First, tell your school administrator about The FANS Project and get his or her approval for showing the videotape at back-to-school night, and for soliciting parents' participation in The FANS Workshop at a table outside the assembly. Second, schedule a workshop for an evening soon after back-to-school night. Third, please ask the regional coordinator for your county to find a workshop leader for your FANS Workshop. Fourth, keep us informed about your plans well in advance (see the Response Form) so that we can provide you with the materials when you need them.

Alternative strategies: Sign up for an August training session so that you can lead a workshop yourself. If you cannot show the video at the assembly, request permission to show the video at a table in the hall; it will be structured for continuous showing.

A Brief Introduction to The FANS Project

The FANS Project (Families Achieving the New Standards in Math, Science and Technology Education) is a three-year parent outreach project sponsored by the New Jersey Mathematics Coalition and funded by the National Science Foundation. It is co-directed by Joseph G. Rosenstein and Warren Crown, respectively Director and Associate Director of the Coalition.

Its goals are to inform parents about the standards in mathematics, science, and technology adopted by the New Jersey State Board of Education in May 1996; to involve parents in helping their children reach the standards; and to encourage parents to support the local implementation of the standards.

The FANS Project intends to reach, during a three-year period, parents of over one-half of the school-age children in the state. A major component of the project is The FANS Workshop that will be given 10,000 times over three years, by 1000 trained workshop leaders, for a total of 300,000 parents.

Many FANS Workshops will be held in schools. But workshops will also be offered at alternative location such as libraries, community centers, churches, and worksites. It is the intent of the project to reach a broad spectrum of New Jersey parents, particularly including parents who do not typically attend school-based activities.

The 95-minute FANS Workshop will involve a 35-minute videotape, shown in three segments. The video will convey to parents the following key messages:

  • High achievable expectations are appropriate for their children.
  • New Jersey's standards set high expectations for all children.
  • Parents can help their children achieve these high standards.

Between segments of the videotape, parents will do hands-on activities similar to those that their children will be doing in their classrooms. These activities will reinforce the video's messages, and will provide parents with direct experiences of the kinds of activities that will be taking place in schools as the standards are implemented. Take-away materials will provide additional information about the standards and will include a selection of math, science, and technology activities that parents can do at home with their children.

Additional funding for The FANS Project has been provided by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, NJ SSI, Mid-Atlantic Eisenhower Consortium, the Merck Science Institute, Casio, and the American Chemical Society.

The FANS Videotape

These ten pictures are intended to provide an overview of the FANS videotape-the themes introduced in the videotape, the scope of the activities shown (spanning all grade levels and all content areas), and the variety of people and classroom scenes. The tape features interviews with teachers, students, parents, and business leaders, as well as an abundance of illustrative footage shot in twelve New Jersey classrooms. We hope that this collage, though showing only classroom scenes, will whet your appetite for more, and encourage you to volunteer to be a leader of The FANS Workshop.

In the opening segment of the videotape, this 3rd grade student announces that "I want to be a rocket scientist when I grow up" and, after a shot of a rocket taking off, we see her with her "rocket" taking off in Garnetta Chain's science classroom in McKinley Elementary School (New Brunswick).

This student in Jean Arden's secondgrade class in Spruce Run School (Clinton Township) plans to build a toy using an axle, and is shown here with his teacher examining axles using the Internet. This scene illustrates in two ways the theme that in standardsbased classrooms "students are using tools and technologies."

In an interview with a parent, we hear him comparing today's classrooms with those of his childhood. While he is saying that "now calculators just seem to be normal for elementary school", we see this student using a calculator very deliberately.

Students in Bob Krech's secondgrade classroom in Dutch Neck School (West Windsor-Plainsboro) were asked to weigh various items using a balance beam and standard cubes. Most students chose light objects, but this student weighed a dictionary, patiently adding a few cubes at a time to the bucket.

Students in Jennifer Wolf's 6th grade science class at Hillsborough Middle School created landscapes using sand, and then slowly poured water until the landscape collapsed and a delta began to form. Their excitement at that moment ensures that they will always remember this hands-on lesson.

These middle-school students are participating in a statewide "technology challenge" at Washington Township High School, conducted by Ed Denton and Michael Anderson. They are working in teams on designing a boat which must be made out of specific materials and meet various constraints.

These students in Lanette Waddell's math class at Crossroads Middle School (South Brunswick) are learning to use maps and plan trips, and, at the same time, are reinforcing their understanding of and facility with ratios, fractions, and decimals, while doing what they recognize are realworld problems.

This student in Liz Marquez' AP Calculus Class (North Brunswick High School) is comparing the graph of a function on the overhead projector to the graph on her graphing calculator. This class was discussing how to minimize the materials used in a can which contains a fixed amount of liquid.

An important theme in the videotape is workplace readiness, which plays a prominent role in the crosscontent standards. After several business leaders discuss what skills are needed for the workplace, we show a number of classroom scenes juxtaposed with parallel workplace scenes. Pictured here are a student and an employee presenting their results.

In the closing portion of the videotape, we discuss how parents can help their children achieve the standards. One theme is that parents can involve their children in daily activities which use science or mathematics. In this scene, a child is pouring liquid from a measuring cup while her mother discusses her daughter's excitement about being involved in science.

The FANS Family Kit

The FANS Family Kit contains two types of materials - information about the standards and how to achieve them, and activities that parents can do with their children.

In order to provide parents with information about the standards and how they can help their children achieve them, seven pamphlets were prepared which expand on various issues raised in the videotape. Based on a Parents Guide created and distributed earlier by the New Jersey Mathematics Coalition, these seven pamphlets address the following seven questions:

To provide parents with activities that they can do with their children, three existing booklets of activities were selected for distribution to parents as part of The FANS Family Kit, one involving mathematics, one focusing on science, and one using technology.

  • Uncovering Math With Your Family: Fun Activities in the World Around You developed by Texas Instruments;
  • the WonderScience issue on "Inventions"; and
  • a booklet of materials from various issues of WonderScience selected previously by the Merck Institute for Science Education.

Two other activities are also included in The FANS Kit for Families

  • a one-page introduction to Tangrams, and
  • a Snafooz puzzle - this is a three-dimensional puzzle which involves fitting together six foam pieces to form the surface of a cube; this item is intended to serve as an ongoing reminder of The FANS Project and its messages.

Finally, The FANS Family Kit contains an invitation to parents to become further involved in their children's education by attending a conference of The FANS Project; the invitation includes a tear-off on which parents can express their interest in attending such a conference.

Put the Standards into Action in Your Classroom

Mathematics Standards-Based Workshops
for K-4, 5-8, and 9-12 Grade Teachers

Monday August 24, Tuesday August 25, Wednesday August 26
NORTH: Heritage Middle School, Livingston
CENTRAL: SERC Building, Busch Campus, Rutgers University
SOUTH: Gloucester County Office of Education, Sewell

Grades K-4 workshops NORTH CENTRAL SOUTH
Number Sense and Operations (K-2) Mon a.m. Tues a.m. Wed a.m.
Number Sense and Operations (3-4) Mon a.m. Tues a.m. Wed a.m.
Measurement and Geometry (K-2) Mon p.m. Tues p.m. Wed p.m.
Measurement and Geometry (3-4) Mon p.m. Tues p.m. Wed p.m.
Estimation and Mental math Tues a.m Wed a.m. Mon a.m.
Patterns and Relationships Tues p.m. Wed p.m. Mon p.m.
Understanding Data Wed a.m. Mon a.m. Tues a.m.
New Directions in Content Wed p.m. Mon p.m. Tues p.m.
Grades 5-8 workshops NORTH CENTRAL SOUTH
Number Sense Mon a.m. Tues a.m. Wed a.m.
Estimation and Mental Math Mon p.m. Tues p.m. Wed p.m.
Data Analysis Tues a.m. Wed a.m. Mon a.m.
Discrete Mathematics Tues p.m. Wed p.m. Mon p.m.
Algebraic Thinking 5-6 Wed a.m. Mon a.m. Tues a.m.
Algebraic Thinking 7-8 Wed a.m. Mon a.m. Tues a.m.
Patterns and Relationships Wed p.m. Mon p.m. Tues p.m.
Measurement and Geometry Wed p.m. Mon p.m. Tues p.m.
Grades 9-12 workshops NORTH CENTRAL SOUTH
Algebra for All Mon a.m. Tues a.m. Wed a.m.
Achieving the Standards for the non-College Bound Mon p.m. Tues p.m. Wed p.m.
Discrete Mathematics Tues a.m. Wed a.m. Mon a.m.
Geometry in Two & Three Dimensions Tues a.m. Wed a.m. Mon a.m.
Fractals Tues p.m. Wed p.m. Mon p.m.
Connecting Geometry and Algebra Tues p.m. Wed p.m. Mon p.m.
Using Real Data in the Classroom Wed a.m. Mon a.m. Tues a.m.
Mathematics of Change Wed p.m. Mon p.m. Tues p.m.

Each of these workshops is a half-day workshop. All morning workshops are from 8:45 to 11:45; all afternoon workshops are from 12:30 to 3:30. The cost is $50 per workshop. This fee includes refreshments; those attending two workshops on one day will also receive lunch.

These workshops were created and will be led by teachers in the Standards Dissemination Project sponsored by the New Jersey Mathematics Coalition and funded by Johnson & Johnson. (60 teachers and supervisors, 20 at each grade-level cluster, have participated in this program.)

Enrollment is limited; applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. We must receive your registration and non-refundable payment information by Monday August 17. To obtain a registration form, call Debby Toti at 732-445-2894, email, or download at

FANS Regional Coordinators

Atlantic Dan Kortvelesy 609-327-4599
Bergen Claire Passantino 215-493-0458
Burlington(N) Susan Weinman 609-883-8290
Burlington(S) Mike Anderson 609-859-8795
Camden Mike Anderson 609-859-8795
Cape May Donna Szemcsak 609-886-7525
Cumberland Donna Szemcsak 609-886-7525
Essex Isobel Villano 973-751-5894 NA
Gloucester Mike Anderson 609-859-8795
Hudson Charmaine Dickens 973-375-1614
Hunterdon Sue Larson 908-735-9445 NA
Mercer Susan Weinman 609-883-8290
Middlesex Rosemarie Maltese 732-821-7097
Monmouth June Kelley 732-938-3045
Morris Claire Passantino 215-493-0458
Ocean June Kelley 732-938-3045
Passaic Barbara Tanis 973-595-0872
Salem Dan Kortvelesy 609-327-4599
Somerset Rosemarie Maltese 732-821-7097
Sussex Conrad Wachter 973-875-7087
Union Rose Goldstein 908-925-9758
Warren(N) Conrad Wachter 973-875-7087
Warren(S) Sue Larson 908-735-9445 NA

Coalition Update

  • The Coalition has received an $80,000 grant from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation primarily to conducts standards-based workshops for teachers in Abbott district schools; the grant also supports The FANS Project and other activities of the Coalition.

  • The Coalition has received a $50,000 grant from Johnson & Johnson to support, during July 1998, the development of standards-based workshops for 9-12 grade teachers and the training of 20 teachers to conduct these workshops. This grant complements grants in previous summers for developing and training leaders for K-4 and 5-8 workshops.

  • Peter Sobel left the Coalition in December 1997 for a position with KPMG Peat Marwick; he is still involved in Coalition activities. We welcome to our staff Jennifer Lomench, who is Coordinator of The FANS Project, and Dan Gerger, who is FANS Project Manager and is responsible for the production of this Newsletter.

  • With this issue we resume our regular publication schedule of three issues of the Newsletter each year - in October, February, and June.

Wanted:FANS Workshop Sites... order to reach parents and family members in convenient and comfortable locations throughout New Jersey

  • We seek rooms where approximately thirty adults can sit around tables and where an overhead projector, VCR, and monitor are availalbe
  • Locations can include schools, churches, community centers, businesses, day care centers, etc.
  • Workshops will generally take place during the evening, on weekends, and, in some business settings, during lunch.
  • Will begin in April 1998 and continue to March 2001.

If you are interested in hosting a FANS Workshop, please contact the regional coordinator for your county or send in the Response Form.

Wanted:FANS Workshop Leaders...

...who volunteer to conduct at least three workshops for parents per year over three years

  • We seek educators, parents, business people, community leaders, corporate trainers, etc.
  • All workshop materials will be provided including hands-on activities, print materials, and interactive video-tape
  • Training sessions for workshop leaders will discuss communicating with adult learners as well as the content of the workshop
  • Full-day training sessions are being scheduled in a variety of locations throughout the state during August. Additional sessions will be scheduled for the fall.

If you are interested in being a workshop leader, please send in the Response Form indicating the dates in August and September on which you are available.

Visit the Coalition's Home Page On the World Wide Web

Visit the FANS Home Page at

1997 National Recipients

Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

The National Science Foundation recently announced the following winners of the 1997 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Congratulations to the winners.

Secondary Mathematics
Alexis Kopperman
Franklin School

Elementary Mathematics
Robert Krech
Dutch Neck School

Secondary Science
Florence Baumann
Branchburg Central School

Elementary Science
Janet Manganiello
Smithville Elementary School

Their schools receive grants of $7,500, to be spent under the awardee's direction over a three-year period to improve school mathematics or science programs. In addition to various gifts, awardees receive an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., during June 14-18, for a series of events including an awards ceremony attended by the President.

Calendar of Events
Summer 1998

June 10, 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm.
New Jersey Mathematics Coalition Board of Governors Meeting,
Educational Testing Service (ETS), Rosedale.
Call Debby Toti at 732/445-2894 for more information.

June 29-July 2.
SimCalc Conference, at Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey

This program is sponsered by SSI and is designed for middle and high school students. For more information call Bonnie Lehet at 732/445-2539.

July 13-July 24.
Leadership Program in Discrete Mathematics for K-8 teachers. Two-week residential institute at Rutgers University.

Graduate credit is available and funding from the National Science Foundation will provide food, lodging and a $600 stipend. This program is sponsored by the Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science (DIMACS) and the Rutgers Center for Math, Science, and Computer Education. For more information contact, or call Bonnie Katz at 732/445-4065 or check out the WEB site (

July 13-August 7.
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 Lisa Estler at 732/445-4065. 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. This program is sponsored by the Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science (DIMACS) and the Rutgers Center for Math, Science, and Computer Education. Major funding is provided by the AT&T Foundation. For more information contact, or call Lisa at 732/445-4065 or check out the WEB site (

July 13-17.
Family Tools and Technology, Busch Campus, Rutgers University.

This program is sponsored by the Center for Family Involvement in Schools at Rutgers University. Call Jeanette Corris for information at 732/445-1288.

August 10-12.
Connected Math Workshop, Busch Campus, Rutgers University.

The curriculum material in this program, sponsored by SSI, is primarily designed for middle school students. For further information call Bonnie Lehet at 732/445-2539.

August 10-14.
Institutes for New Mathematics Teachers, New Science Teachers, and New Elementary Teachers. Busch Campus, Rutgers University.

Three parallel programs for those who will be teaching mathematics, science, or elementary school for the first time in the fall of 1998 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 University, New Brunswick New Jersey. The fee is $900 per participant. For more information, contact Christine Allen at 732/445-4065, or e-mail, or check out the WEB site (

August 12-13.
A Crash Course in Discrete Mathematics for High School Teachers, Busch Campus, Rutgers University.

For Information call Bonnie Katz at 732/445-4065.

August 17-21.
Helping ALL Students Succeed in Mathematics (7-12): 1998 Institute for Experienced Teachers, Busch Campus, Rutgers University.

Designed for those with classroom experience, this week-long institute for mathematics teachers of grades 7-12 will focus on strategies to motivate students and help them to succeed in math. The fee is $500 per participant. For more information, contact Christine Allen at 732/445-4065, or e-mail or check out the WEB site (

October 22-23 1998.
AMTNJ Annual Conference.
New Location, Ocean Place Hilton - LongBranch.
Supervisors Conference - October 21.
For further information call Nancy Schultz at 973/790-6184.