Active Learning Approaches to Teaching Mathematics Content Courses for Elementary and Middle-School Teachers Home Page
Laurie Burton, Maria Fung
July 7-11, 2003
Western Oregon University, Monmouth, Oregon

This PREP workshop is made possible by the NSF grant DUE: 0089005

PREP Home Page PREP application form (Microsoft Word Format)

Workshop Abstract Short Presenter Bios
Workshop Agenda (Lead-In,   On-Site,   Follow-Up)
Resource Notebook Conference Center Meals & Lodging
Evening Activities Costs/Funding

Workshop Abstract

This workshop is for collegiate mathematics faculty and advanced graduate students seeking to improve their proficiency in teaching K-8 mathematics education courses. Participants will experience hands-on, lively lessons, view video vignettes, and receive sample course materials from Western Oregon University’s successful program for pre-service K-8 teachers. Participants will be guided in an experiential framework to create dynamic and appropriate activities, lesson plans, and course plans for their own K-8 mathematics education classrooms. Materials development will focus on hands-on visual methods and manipulatives, problem solving, and effective assessment techniques. Participants will leave the workshop with a well-developed Mathematics Education Resource Notebook.

Prior to the workshop, participants will share descriptions of the mathematics education courses they will be teaching and will be assigned readings selected to meet their specific needs from NCTM resources, the MET document, and Liping Ma's book. Participants will perform a warm-up activity exploring visual models for signed number operations and will work through a brief introduction to Geometer's Sketchpad. After the workshop, participants will discuss their personal mathematics education experiences via a web bulletin board, implement two workshop designed lessons (as resources permit), and attend a special sharing session at the 2004 Winter Joint Mathematics Meetings.

Presenters  Leaders   Speaker

Program Leaders

Laurie Burton has a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Oregon (1995) and is currently a Mathematics Education Specialist and co-chair of the Mathematics Department at WOU. She has spent the last several years intensely focused on mathematics education for K - 8 teachers.

Maria Fung has a Ph.D. in mathematics with a minor in mathematics education from Cornell University (1999) and is currently a Mathematics Education Specialist in the Mathematics Department at WOU.

Both Burton and Fung have worked extensively in developing appropriate course curricula and materials for basic and advanced mathematics education classes in an outstanding mathematics education program for pre-service and some in-service K - 8 teachers. The mathematics requirements in this program exceed the MET recommendations for content hours and topic coverage. Burton and Fung are responsible for twelve 3-quarter hour mathematics courses designed specifically for K – 8 teachers. They create and select activities, design lesson plans, teach and oversee the courses. They are both proficient in implementing every aspect of a K – 8 mathematics education course and they have both created and gathered a great deal of appropriate curriculum resources.


Sandy Kralovec, a practicing middle school mathematics educator, received her M. Ed. from Portland State University. She has consulted extensively for the Mathematics Learning Center and Northwest Labs, and travels around the country giving workshops on effective visual methods and appropriate classroom assessment techniques.


Lead-In Activities

Six weeks prior to the workshop, using an email list and a Web CT environment:

On-Site Agenda

SUNDAY: Participants arrive
Participants shuttled from Salem, Oregon (about 25 minutes) to the workshop site at Western Oregon University. There is easy access from the Portland, Oregon airport (PDX) to Salem via the HUT shuttle.
Evening Dinner, catered on-campus for interested participants
MONDAY: Algebra Theme
Early a.m. Individual access to breakfast provided on campus
9:00 a.m. Welcome & Introductory Hands-On Algebra Activity: Multiplication of Integers
10:15 a.m. Video Vignette: College Algebra for K - 8 Teachers, Black and Red Tiles
11:00 a.m. Participants design Pattern Generation Algebra Activity using MME resources
12:00 noon Lunch, catered at Conference Center
1:00 p.m. Participants share their morning activities with the other groups
3:30 p.m. Activity: Discovering the definition of a group. Video Vignette follow-up of the same activity from the WOU Abstract Algebra course for K - 8 Teachers
4:30 p.m. Assessment Techniques: College Algebra & Abstract Algebra
4:45 p.m. End of day: Reflections & Discussion
Evening Dinner, catered on-campus in the Historic Gentle House
Special Guest: Dr. Adele Schepige, WOU School of Education
Social: Ice cream and fresh local fruit
TUESDAY: Geometry Theme
Early a.m. Individual access to breakfast provided on campus
9:00 a.m. Opening Geometry Activity: Exploring Symmetries (Mirrors and Pattern Blocks)
10:15 a.m. Video Vignette: Symmetry Through Paper Folding, Geometry for K - 8 Teachers
11:00 a.m. Participants design Tessellation Activities with visual and manipulative resources
12:00 noon Lunch, catered at Conference Center
1:00 p.m. Geometer's Sketchpad Activities: Symmetry and Tessellations (Computer lab) Video Vignette follow up: GSP Lab Explorations of the Golden Ratio
3:0 p.m. Plane Isometry Activities. Lesson design with GSP: Isometries
4:30 p.m. Assessment Techniques: Geometry for K - 8 Teachers
4:45 p.m. End of day: Reflections & Discussion
Evening Dinner, state capital (Salem)
Side trip: Walk by the Willamette River, see (ride?) the Salem hand-painted carousel
WEDNESDAY: State & National Assessment Theme
Early a.m. Individual access to breakfast provided on campus
9:00 a.m. Kralovec: Oregon State Assessment Goals, connections to National Standards
9:15 a.m. Kralovec: Visual methods activity
11:00 a.m. Kralovec: Overview of assessment methods for the morning activities
12:00 noon Lunch, catered at Conference Center
1:00 p.m. Problem-Writing Session led by Burton, Fung & Kralovec: How Do We Teach Teachers To Write, Select and Assess Their Own Problems?
3:30 p.m. Participants design assessment techniques for use in the college classroom
4:30 p.m. Participants will share their developed assessment approaches with the cohort
4:45 p.m. End of day: Reflections & Discussion
Evening Dinner, Corvallis
Side trip option: Oregon State Research Forest
THURSDAY: Probability & Statistics Theme
Early a.m. Individual access to breakfast provided on campus
9:00 a.m. Introduction to Probability: River Crossing and Checkerboard Games
11:00 a.m. Non-transitive dice simulation. Lesson Plan design: Simulation / Expected Value
12:00 noon Lunch, catered at Conference Center
1:00 p.m. Introduction to Fathom: Excerpts from Statistics Labs for K - 8 Teachers
3:30 p.m. Participants design a lesson plan for Statistics using Fathom
4:30 p.m. Assessment Techniques: Probability and Statistics
4:45 p.m. End of day: Reflections & Discussion
Evening Dinner, Lincoln City, Oregon Coast (Seafood and non-seafood options)
Side trip: Walk on the beach
FRIDAY: Number Sense Theme
Early a.m. Individual access to breakfast provided on campus
9:00 a.m. Manipulative Activity Stations: Exploration of Whole Number, Decimal and Fraction Operations: Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division
11:00 a.m. Linear & Area Piece Manipulative Activity: Multiplication and Division of Whole and Decimal Numbers with Measurement Units
12:00 noon Lunch, catered at Conference Center
1:00 p.m. Participants select a topic suited to their interests and needs, and complete a class plan appropriate for the college classroom. Each plan will include effective use of visual models or manipulatives, problem-solving activities, detailed assessment goals and class objectives.
3:00 p.m. Presentation and discussion of participant-created class plans with the cohort
4:30 p.m. Discussion of follow-up activities and session at the Joint Winter Math Meetings, Winter 2004
Evening Dinner, catered on-campus for participants leaving late Friday or on Saturday

Follow-Up Activities

After the On-Site workshop:

Resource Notebook

During all aspects of the workshop, participants will compile useful materials in a Mathematics Education Resource Notebook. Some items that will be included are:

Conference Center

WOU has a fully appointed, dedicated "University Park Conference Center". Our room will have moveable tables and chairs, video equipment, a computer/scanner/printer station and a small kitchen/counter area.


WOU has excellent on-site facilities and catering. As planning for the workshop proceeds, we will communicate with each participant regarding any specific food or beverage needs. We want everyone to be comfortable and worry-free at our workshop. We and the WOU catering staff are happy to accommodate any special dining needs.


WOU has very nice dormitories. Each participant will have his or her own private "dorm-suite" with a bedroom, private bathroom and a sitting room.


The Western Oregon University campus is in the beautiful North Willamette Valley, close to the state capital, Salem and one hour from the Oregon coast. The
weather in early July should be warm and (mostly!) dry. Each evening, we have planned local social activities for entertainment and so that participants will have the opportunity to see some of the beauty of Western Oregon. We will have (trained), hand picked, mathematics education student drivers driving large state vans to these events. Of course, dinner options will be available on-campus for those not electing to join the evening activity.


All on-site expenses (workshop materials, food, lodging, local travel and activities) are covered in the workshop budget through the generous support of the MAA (NSF grant DUE: 0089005),

Participants are responsible for the $100 application (registration) fee and for their travel to Salem, Oregon. The MAA will provide travel support for a limited number of participants from resource-poor institutions to attend a PREP program. Funding is available on a case-by-case basis through the MAA. To request funding contact Michael Pearson, He will ask you for the information that he requires.

More details will be posted.

Please feel free to contact Laurie ( or Maria ( if you have questions.