New organization welcomes math teachers - Engineering & Natural Sciences

New organization welcomes math teachers

The Math Teachers’ Circle (MTC), a national network sponsored by the American Institute of Mathematics (AIM), has launched a local chapter in Tulsa. The organization is dedicated to increasing student achievement in mathematics by enhancing problem-solving skills and encouraging mathematical discovery.

mathLocal middle school math teacher Marilyn Howard established the Tulsa Math Teachers’ Circle with support from The University of Tulsa Department of Mathematics and department chair Bill Coberly. Tulsa’s MTC also received a seed grant in November 2013 from the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute to help with meeting expenses.

The group, dedicated to enriching Tulsa’s mathematical community, includes professional mathematicians, elementary school, middle school, high school and college mathematics educators, and school administrators. Members experience open-ended problem solving firsthand in lively discussion sessions led by mathematicians. Howard said the professional development group is improving students’ problem-solving abilities.

“MTC teachers say changing their own understanding of and attitudes toward mathematics has changed their classroom practice,” she said. “Students are working together and discussing problems in groups or exploring them individually before sharing them with the class. As a result, they develop the insight and confidence necessary to be skilled quantitative thinkers.”

Tulsa’s MTC will host a summer immersion workshop June 10-12 at Post Oak Lodge in Tulsa. Local middle school math teachers have been selected to attend the three-day, two-night workshop made possible by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.

The Summer Immersion Workshop will feature 10 problem-solving sessions facilitated by Brian Conrey, executive director of the American Institute of Mathematics; Bob Klein, associate professor of mathematics at Ohio University; Richard Grassl, professor of mathematics at the University of Northern Colorado; and Donna Farrior of The University of Tulsa.

The MTC program was established in 2006 and has more than 100 active sites across the United States.

Marilyn Howard