CSU California Academic Partnership Program

Affective Curriculum for Effective Mathematics Education

Number of students directly affected: 650
Partners: Chipman Middle School; Encinal High School; The College of Alameda; Mills College; Arthur Andersen, Inc.; and Education for the Future, supported by AT&T and the Telesis Foundation.

Chipman Middle School teachers wanted to excite their students about mathematics. Working with their counterparts at Encina High School, they created what they felt was a coherent, high-level mathematics program that would teach math skills and concepts through a series of computer-assisted, multidisciplinary units carried out by small groups.

The idea worked.

All 650 math students participated in some aspect of this creative project. Seventh and eight grade classes worked in small teams to design a research station in the Antarctic. Using a computer program, they learned geometric principles, studied building and environmental factors and figured in variables such as the heating costs with different amounts of insulation.

Sixth graders learned similar mathematical concepts through the projects of designing and building a dream home.

The Education for the Future Initiative, funded by the Telesis Foundation, supplied 10 classroom computers and 6 Powerbook computers for the teachers.

Eighth graders learned about statistics and graphing through a survey project. They surveyed the student body and then used mathematical principles such as median and mode to figure out the answers to various questions.

"The Students were much more enthusiastic about math this year. It was amazing how some of them who in the pass have tried to sort of blend into the wall suddenly were eager to get involved," said Robert Bergen, eighth grad mathematics teacher. "We're pleased with the student response because we want them to take more than minimal math courses."

In addition to the innovative classes, 120 seventh graders took three field trips, two to the College of Alameda to learn library skills and to attend a science and math seminar, and one filed trip to Stanford University to work in the computer lab and visit the dorms.

This year also marked intensified staff development. All Chipman teachers took part in Math Renaissance and in the middle school Math Through Applications Project held at the institute for Research on Learning in Palo Alto.

 


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Last Updated: January 10, 2005