|Volume VI Number 1||March 1997|
Inside This Issue
It is our hope that each school will use the Framework to develop curricula incorporating New Jersey's Mathematics Standards, and which will embody the goal of preparing all students to meet the mathematical challenges they will face in their education, careers, and lives. Moreover, we hope that each school will make use of the Framework as a professional development resource, with regular staff development based on discussion and implementation of the recommendations and activities in the Framework.
It was my pleasure to present the Framework to the New Jersey State Board of Education at its January 8 meeting. The document was well received by Commissioner Leo Klagholz and the Board, and is being regarded as a model for curriculum frameworks that the Department of Education is preparing for other content areas. (A proclamation by the Governor marking the occasion appears on page 7.) The development of the New Jersey Mathematics Curriculum Framework involved a four-year collaborative effort of the New Jersey Mathematics Coalition and the New Jersey Department of Education, with funding by the United States Department of Education. Using that collaboration as a model, the Department has enlisted the Merck Institute for Science Education and New Jersey Network (NJN) to work with the Department to develop the science and language arts literacy frameworks, respectively.
We were all pleasantly surprised the following Tuesday when Governor Christie Whitman, in her State of the State address, showed the Framework to the Legislature, and focused her remarks on our high expectations for all students, emphasizing the "all" that is highlighted in the Coalition's logo. (Her remarks are on page 9.) And many of you first saw the framework the following day, when a picture of the Governor holding the Framework appeared on the front page of many of the state's newspapers.
But the completion of the Framework is only a step, albeit an important one, in the major task that we have of achieving the Goal described in New Jersey's Mathematics Standards:
"To enable ALL of New Jersey's children to move into the twenty-first century with the mathematical skills, understandings, and attitudes that they will need to be successful in their careers and daily lives."
New Jersey's Mathematics Standards serve as a vision of excellent mathematics education and as a banner around which we can all rally. The standards also present a powerful challenge to all teachers, schools, and districts. It will not be easy to meet this challenge, nor will it happen overnight. The New Jersey Mathematics Curriculum Framework is a major tool which we can use to meet that challenge. But in the final analysis it is up to all of us to accept and meet the challenge of ensuring "Math For All".
Read all about the reception of these documents in this issue of the Newsletter. Joe Rosenstein describes the final stages of development of the Framework and plans for next steps in his article on this page. A great highlight excerpted from the Governor's address, in which she shows herself to be pretty good in probability, is on page 6. On page 7 is her proclamation that officially releases the document to the teachers of the state.
The adoption of the standards and publication of the Framework have also raised the general level of mathematics education activity in the state and much of the rest of the content of this issue is devoted to letting you know what's coming up. From our annual invitation to plan an MSTM event, to a solicitation for participants for this year's Standards Dissemination Project (focusing on grades 5 - 8), to announcements of institutes of all sorts, the Graphing Calculator Conference, and a new program at Jersey City State, there is certainly no shortage of opportunities for you to get involved and contribute to the improvement of mathematics education in New Jersey.
The Coalition needs your help to reach out to parents, business, and public policy makers, and to help implement the standards.
Become an Affiliate of the New Jersey Mathematics Coalition today! For a $25 donation you will be enabling your Coalition to accomplish these valuable tasks. Along with the knowledge that you are helping to improve mathematics education in New Jersey you will receive an attractive white mug with the distinctive blue Coalition license plate logo. These mugs will not be reordered, and they are only available on a first come first served basis.
Please join us in these important efforts. Just check off the AFFILIATION box on the response form on page 11 and send us a check today.
To comment on any topic related to the Newsletter, send e-mail, write or call:
Believing that the New Jersey Mathematics Curriculum Framework can be a valuable professional development tool for teachers of K-12 mathematics, the Coalition has designed a three-year project to establish a cadre of sixty mathematics educators who will prepare and perform workshops based on the Framework. Phase 1 of the Teaching the Teacher Trainers (T3) Project, a K-4 institute, took place during the summer of 1996 with the generous support of Johnson & Johnson. Twenty teachers were trained and delivered workshops to hundreds of teachers from throughout New Jersey over the past several months. Based on the success of Phase 1 of the project, Johnson & Johnson has agreed to fund Phase 2, a 5th-8th grade institute, during the summer of 1997.
In each of its three years, the Training the Teacher Trainers (T3) Project will recruit four staff members and twenty participants for an intensive two-week summer training and development institute focused on a particular grade-level span. Participants will review the Framework, will research and model the best approaches to professional development workshops in general and the various areas of mathematics specifically, and will create teacher workshops on particular standards and groups of standards. The institute participants will then, individually and in small groups, provide teacher training to teachers both within and outside of their own districts in those areas in which they have enhanced their own expertise. The outreach efforts will begin to take place at the end of the summer of each particular institute and will continue throughout the next several years.
Participants will be paid a stipend for their time spent in the summer institute and will be paid fees for their professional development efforts thereafter.
How to Get Involved
Potential participants in Phase 2 of the institutes are teachers who have a good bit of experience with the NCTM standards at the 5th-8th grade level and a familiarity with the New Jersey standards. They should be curriculum leaders in their schools or districts, and used to sharing their innovative teaching approaches and good ideas with their colleagues.
Staff members are experienced teacher trainers who have conducted successful mathematics workshops and more generic teacher workshops for several years. They may be in teaching or supervisory positions in schools or employed in some other capacity that frequently allows them to work with mathematics teachers.
If you would like to be a participant, please let us know by checking off the appropriate box on the response form on page 11. You will receive an application form in the mail in early Spring. We will be making other solicitations for participants, but you can be first on the list if you respond to this initial announcement.
Spring Workshops on the Standards for K-8 Teachers
If your Board of Education, PTA or other civic group is interested, please check off the PRESENTATION box on the Response Form on page 11.
STANDARDS IN-DISTRICT WORKSHOPS
SUMMER REGIONAL WORKSHOPS ON THE STANDARDS
Meeting AnnouncementThe Framework on the Web
Tuesday March 18 from 3-5 p.m. 228 SERC, Busch Campus, Rutgers University
(Note: This meeting will take place directly after the completion of the Precalculus Conference.)
The Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) can be found on the Webhttp://www.ed.gov/NCES/timss
Pursuing Excellence: A Study of U.S. Eighth-Grade Mathematics and Science Teaching, Learning, Curriculum, and Achievement in International Context
As educators, we need to reach out to parents and highlight the changes in teaching and learning of these disciplines and how these changes will reinforce the knowledge and skills their children will need to succeed in their lives and careers. By dynamically demonstrating the relationship of these subjects, and their integration, to solving problems in the real world, we can encourage parents to become supporters and advocates of the standards.
Last year over 450 events took place in April with over 89,000 participants. We hope to beat this record setting attendance in 1997. Your event can be the size of a classroom or an entire school. You don't need to organize and implement the entire event alone. A collaboration of several teachers can enrich any event.
Please consider coordinating an event. If you are interested and wish to receive an information packet which contains several great ideas for events, please call Debbie Toti at 908-445-4065. Call now so that you can receive your packet in plenty of time to develop your event.
MSTM -- Event Goals
State of New Jersey
GIVEN under my hand and the Great Seal of the State of New Jersey, this
seventh day of January in the year of Our Lord one thousand nine hundred and
ninety-seven and of the Independence of the United States the two hundred and
In May, 1996, when I received the New Jersey Sate Department of Education Core Curriculum Content Standards, followed immediately by the June 1996, New Jersey Mathematics Coalition Newsletter heralding New Jersey's Mathematics Standards, I felt these important new guidelines must be incorporated into my course for prospective teachers. And so an "Addendum" to the Classroom Observation Project was created.
By requiring my students to address "at least two" of the Standards in their reports, I felt that they would read and reread each standard. In fact, this is exactly what did take place. I was delighted to find many more than two standards referenced in both their written and oral presentations.
My intent in requiring the discussion of New Jersey's Mathematics Standards in this assignment was:
3rd grade "When the teacher allowed the children to help each other, she was using the fourth standard. She used the idea that if you allow the children to help each other out, you are teaching them to use there own minds in trying to help another child solve mathematical problems."
5th grade "The blocks were a wonderful tool for the teacher to incorporate into the lesson. The students were able to hold in their hands something tangible when trying to comprehend decimals as opposed to an abstract idea. (Standard #2 and #5)"
Kindergarten "The cave game demonstrates both Standard Three and Standard Six. By using rocks and a cave, the students are able to connect mathematics to other parts of life. In this case, the students are able to recognize that things in nature have numbers."
In conclusion, some happy and enthusiastic comments about the classroom observation experience:
"I really enjoyed observing a classroom. It was so much fun. There is so much love and excitement in a classroom. The children are a handful and they keep you occupied all day. I am looking forward to becoming a school teacher. I can't wait to be able to teach these lively children."
"To sum this observation up, I would like to say that this classroom was the perfect environment to learn in. The teacher was great, she handled the children very nicely. The most important thing was that the children really got involved in what they were doing."
Dynamic Instructors Needed for Innovative Science/Math Summer
From New Jersey Governor Whitman's "State of the State" Address
The first step is to describe all the possible results of the playoff. Using a tree diagram is a strategy which works beautifully for this kind of problem.
Note that if either team wins the first two games, then the third game of the playoff is not played.
Now what is the probability of each possible result? For example, what is the probability of the three games being won in order by the Eagles, the Giants, and then the Eagles?
For the first game, the probability of the Eagles winning is 60%, or .6. For the second game, the probability of the Giants winning is 40%, or .4. For the third game, the probability of the Eagles winning is 60%, or .6. Since we assume that these individual results are independent of one another, the probability that all three happen in sequence is the product .6 x .4 x .6 = .144, or 14.4%. This principle is called the multiplicative law of probability, and is used to generate each of the probabilities in the chart.
Now what is the probability that the Giants win the playoff? Well, this can happen in three different ways, corresponding to the first, second, and fourth rows of the tree diagram. And the probabilities of each of these outcomes are, respectively, .16, .096, and .096. Since these results are mutually exclusive, the probability that any one of these happen is the sum .16 + .096 + .096 = .352, or 35.2%. This principle is called the additive law of probability, and that's how she did it! No question about it.
Now try the following problem. The weatherperson announces that the probability of rain is 50% on Saturday and 50% on Sunday. What is the probability that it will rain on the weekend? (Adding them up and concluding that it will definitely rain is the wrong answer!) Or try this: Suppose the probability that it will rain on Saturday is the same as the probability that it will rain on Sunday. What is that probability if there is only a 10% chance of a completely rain-free weekend?
Sponsored by the Rutgers Center for Mathematics, Science, and Computer Education.
Math, Science, and Technology Month.
For more information see the article on page 5. For information about events in your area call 1-800-44-APRIL.
Mathematics Symposium "Technology in Mathematics Day", Montclair State University. Keynote Speaker Franklin Demana.
Cost is $30. Call 201/655-5353 for more information.
Mathematical Association of America (MAA) New Jersey Section, Spring Meeting. Middlesex County College, Edison.
For more information contact Theresa C. Michnowicz at 201-200-3219.
Graphing Calculator Conference
sponsored by the New Jersey Mathematics Coalition, Middlesex County College, and the Rutgers Center for Math, Science, and Computer Education.
Friday 4/25 from 1 to 4pm and Saturday 4/26 from 9am to 4pm.
Registration fee is $45 for Friday and $65 for Saturday or $100 for both. See page 12 of this Newsletter for details.
May 6, May 12, May 14
Association of Mathematics Teachers of New Jersey (AMTNJ) Spring Conferences. Mathematics: A Reflection on Your Future - sessions and mini-workshops.
May 6 - Montclair State University, May 12 - Rowan College of New Jersey, May 14 - The College of New Jersey.
Call Nancy Schultz at 201/790-6184 for information.
June 4, 3:00pm - 6:00pm.
New Jersey Mathematics Coalition Board of Governors meeting, Educational Testing Service (ETS), Princeton.
Call 908/445-2894 for information.
A Crash Course in Discrete Mathematics for High School Teachers, Busch Campus, Rutgers University.
For information call Bonnie Katz at 908/445-4065.
June 23-27, June 30 & July 1, July 7-11, July 14-18.
TRANSIT-NJ Summer Institutes.
The New Calculus AB/BC Course June 23-27 (local linearity, slope fields, Euler's method, discovery projects in AP calculus). July 7-11 AP Statistics (Exploratory data analysis, probability distributions, statistical inference, TI-83 and Minitab). T-cubed Institutes -- Elementary June 30 & July 1 (combining the use of calucaltors and manipulatives), AC2E July 7-11 (Algebra with Calculator and Computer Enhancement), C3E July 14-18 (Calculus with Calculator and Computer Enhancement). All at Montclair State University.
Call 201/655-5353 for information and applications.
June 25 - July 11.
Leadership Program in Discrete Mathematics for K-8 teachers. Two week commuter institute at Rutgers University.
Graduate credit is available and funding from the National Science Foundation will provide food 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 Bonnie Katz 908/445-4065 or e-mail email@example.com. Applications are due by April 15.
June 30 - July 3.
Workshops on New Jersey's Mathematics Standards for teachers of grades K-4. Academy Central, Edison and Academy South, Sewell.
Fill in WORKSHOP box on next page or call Debbie Toti at 908/445-4065 for further information.
July 7 -18.
Standards Dissemination Project Grades 5-8. Indian Fields School, South Brunswick, NJ.
See article on page 3. For an application form, call Debbie Toti at 908/445-2894 or return the form on page 11.
July 14 - August 8, 1997.
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 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.
July 14 - July 25.
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 Bonnie Katz 908/445-4065 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications are due by April 15.
August 11 - 15.
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 1997 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 $850 per participant. Graduate credit is
For more information call Christine Allen at 908/445-4065 or e-mail email@example.com.
August 18 - 22.
Helping ALL Students Succeed in 7 - 12 Mathematics; Rutgers University, New Brunswick.
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 call: Christine Allen at 908/445-0841 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Workshops on New Jersey's Mathematics Standards for teachers of grades 5 - 8. Academy Central, Edison August 20, 21, 22 - and Academy South, Sewell - August 25, 26, 27.
Fill in WORKSHOP box on this page or call Debbie Toti at 908/445-2894 for more information.
Graphing Calculator Conference
April 25-26, 1997
at Rutgers University, New Brunswick
* for new users and experts * for math teachers * for science teachers