The Fall 2014 Teacher Cadet Day featured the 2014-15 North Carolina Teacher of the Year and had the theme “What’s Your Superpower? I TEACH!” Faculty and students from the Department of Mathematics, Science, and Instructional Technology Education (MSITE) recruited during the Program Fair portion of the agenda. The 100 or so teacher cadets (mostly seniors, with a few juniors) visited tables and discussed programs, all the while getting answers to questions on an education scavenger hunt. At the MSITE table we had brochures, recruitment/advising handouts, rulers, scholarship opportunities, and candy. Part of the draw to the table was an activity – roll a 7 or 11 with a pair of dice and win a bag of M&Ms. There were 20 students who signed up, indicating that they have some interest in mathematics or science teaching. A special thank you to the MSITE students and faculty who participated: Dr. Ron Preston, Dr. Rhea Miles, Dr. Charity Cayton, Amanda Penwell, Taunya Stevens-Johnson, Jenny Jones, and Rebecca Ray.
Congratulations to Rebekah Currie, named the Outstanding Mathematics Education Student from the Eastern Region of NCCTM!!!
Rebekah is a senior double major (BS Mathematics Education and BA Mathematics), Maynard Scholar, member of the Honors College, member of the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society, intern at South Central HS, student worker in the MSITE office, Vice-President of the Gamma Chapter, and is very active in the community. Rebekah was nominated by the faculty, provided professional information and experiences for the nomination form, and then her materials were considered by the NCCTM Awards Committee. We all agree that they picked the right candidate for the award. Congratulations, Rebekah!
From June 22nd through July 19th, the Center for STEM Education hosted the 2014 class of Summer Ventures in Science & Mathematics. This year was the 30th year the program has been held. Summer Ventures in Science and Mathematics is a cost-free, state-funded program for academically talented North Carolina residents who have demonstrated interest in science and mathematics and aspire to a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). We housed fifty-five of the top rising high school juniors and seniors from across North Carolina. The students were housed in Jones Hall, where they participated in various student-life activities, such as attending the Student Recreation Center, games, arts & crafts, water sports at the North Rec Complex and a talent show, just to name a few. Academically, the students participated in courses and conducted research in STEM fields, facilitated by our ECU faculty in the areas of DNA Fingerprinting, Engineering, Data Driven Decision Making, Physics, and Archeology. One cohort of students attended courses and conducted their research at the Brody School of Medicine for the duration of the program. The research component of Summer Ventures is critical to the success of the program, as well as to the success of the students upon returning to their high school. Working alone or with a partner, they carried out hands-on research on their topic for approximately two weeks. The students prepared a paper that was the culminating product of the research. They then gave an oral presentation of their research paper on the final day of Summer Ventures to their fellow students, staff and parents and friends. Presentations were judged by an outside panel of experts and the top presentations were the Catalyst Award winners. For more information on this exceptional program please visit the following web site: http://www.ecu.edu/cs-educ/smventures/Index.cfm
Dr. Ron Preston was elected as president of the North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics. He assumed his position as president-elect on 1 May and will serve in that position for a year, becoming president for a two-year term on 1 May 2015. Then he will serve as past president for a year after that.
The president oversees the operations of the North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics, which includes an annual state conference, two leadership seminars, a journal, and activities like a math fair, math contest, mini-grants, graduate scholarships, etc. Congratulations to Dr. Preston and to the hundreds of members of NCCTM for choosing such a well-deserving president, he will serve you well!
Congratulations to Brooke Kott, an ECU Math Education student who has been awarded with the prestigious USA Scholar Athelete-of-the-Year distinction. This award is given based on academic achievement (GPA), athletic achievement and service. Read more in the article dated June 10th in the Daily Reflector. Way to go, Brooke!
In the session, “Heat, Light and Sound, Oh My”, 4th and 5th grade boys use tuning forks to create sound waves that can be seen, heard, and felt! Andrew Hung (age 11, pictured above) says that, “High pitched sound waves are really loud and travel super fast!”
Claire (age 7) and Sophie (age 6) are building a draw bridge at Lego Explorers during ECU Summer Science Camp. Students also hook their creations up to batteries so that they move all by themselves!
Dr. Ann Bullock, Chair of the Department of Elementary and Middle Grades Education, received an NC-QUEST award of $472,394 titled Integrating Neuroscience into Mathematics Instruction (INMI). INMI continues the partnership with UNC-GA New Teacher Support Program (NTSP) and extends it to the Harriott College of Arts & Sciences, Department of Mathematics.
The INMI pilot project consists of an intensive scientifically-based professional development program designed to assist beginning teachers to become highly knowledgeable and pedagogically skilled in leading students to mastery of the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics. The INMI pilot project will target elementary schools in Edgecombe County and Hertford County that have been identified as among the lowest performing in the state.
The project will recruit thirty beginning teachers to participate in a year-long professional development program designed to increase their knowledge of the Common Core Standards for Mathematical practice, brain-compatible elements of mathematics instruction, brain-compatible instructional strategies, and whole-brain teaching techniques.
The INMI extends the professional development offerings currently provided by the NC NTSP, which include an institute/boot camp, six days of professional development, and ongoing instructional coaching. INMI teachers will attend an extended summer session at the beginning of the academic year, Saturday sessions and site-based sessions at their schools during the academic year, and a summer session at the conclusion of the academic year.
In addition, participating teachers will receive weekly on-site support from NC NTSP Instructional Coaches and monthly consultations from an ECU mathematics content expert. Through the integration of neuroscience in mathematics instruction, beginning teachers will be better equipped to engage diverse learners, offer effective feedback that leads to deeper understanding, create a rich learning environment that attends to students’ social and emotional needs, and ensure that students’ mathematical achievement is reflective of their true abilities.
It was a wonderful weekend to celebrate with our MSITE Spring 2014 Graduates! Dr. Ganter joined faculty, students and guests for breakfast on Saturday before the ceremony in the Flanagan building.
Eunice Hoefling enjoyed breakfast with family and friends as she joined our 2014 graduating class. Eunice teaches Radiography at Fayetteville Technical Community College. She plans to use her MS degree in Instructional Technology to develop and enhance the hybrid and distance education courses she will use teach to her X-Ray Tech students.
Dr. Adu-Gyamfi and Dr. Grady are pictured with purple-gowned Zack Credle and Joseph Otellio. Zack plans to teach math at Southwest Edgecombe High School after graduation and Joseph plans to math teach at Gray’s Creek High School in Cumberland County, NC.
Congratulations MSITE Graduates! Welcome to the Class of 2014…
On Sunday, April 27, 2014, graduate and undergraduate mathematics education students gathered with mathematics education and mathematics faculty at the Blount Sports Complex. The warm weather and blue skies were perfect for a game of kickball featuring mathematics education students with Dr. Cayton and Dr. Adu-Gyamfi on opposing teams. After working up an appetite, attendees gathered in the shade to enjoy cheeseburgers, hot dogs, and best of all one another’s company.
This wonderful event marked the end of a phenomenal year of growth for the Gamma Chapter and continued a long-standing tradition of building community among students and faculty. We would like to thank everyone that attended and helped make the event a success. Enjoy your summer and look for more great events sponsored by the Gamma Student Chapter in Fall 2014!!
Tomika Altman-Lewis receives 2014-2015 MET Emerging Teacher-Leaders in Elementary School Mathematics Grant from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. She will be providing professional development for teachers at Burton Magnet Elementary School.
Mathematically Speaking: Best Practices for Teachers and Students
Tomika R. Altman-Lewis, Burton Magnet Elementary School, Durham, North Carolina
Elementary teachers are faced with the challenge of being “experts” in not just one subject area, but in multiple subjects. Often this results in being a novice in one area; which is especially daunting when we are equipped with the task of developing the mathematical foundation for all higher level mathematics. We are our students first introduction to mathematics in which they either learn to love or loath mathematics. More often than not, professional development is geared toward literacy with little to no emphasis on mathematics. Considering this, the purpose of this grant is to equip fourth and fifth grade elementary teachers at my school with much needed professional development. Teachers will participate in sessions that will expose them to best practices and strategies while deepening their mathematical reasoning and understanding in an effort to more effectively teach our students while allowing me to further develop my math leadership skills.