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
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
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.