Teaching Geometry through Euclid’s Elements

Euclid’s Elements is the most successful and influential mathematics textbook ever written, served as the foundation of mathematical understanding for students for over two millennia, and stands as one of the greatest and most beautiful achievements of the human intellect produced by Western civilization. While it’s obvious that the Elements ought to stand at the center of a classical approach to math, it’s not at all obvious how to teach a class from the Elements. This talk aims to share practical reflections arising from several years of experience teaching geometry from Euclid, as well as some reflections on what this book has to teach us about that nature of mathematics and math instruction across the curriculum.

Arron Kau

Arron Kau is Mathematics Department Chair at Covenant Classical School in Fort Worth, where he lives with his wife and four children. He has previously worked in Mathematics and Humanities at The Ambrose School in Boise, and also as Mathematics Curriculum Director for Brilliant.org, an online math and physics problem-solving community with millions of members.

Goes Into What? Making Long Division Make Sense

Long division is often an area of mathematics where students (and teachers) struggle to make sense. Come explore how different models of division help to make long division make sense. We will also discuss how to use manipulatives and context to support students making sense of division.

Janet Andreasen

Janet B. Andreasen, PhD, is an Associate Lecturer of Mathematics Education at the University of Central Florida (UCF). She is the coordinator of secondary education and works with prospective and practicing mathematics teachers at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Dr. Andreasen’s research interests include examining mathematical knowledge for teaching and using technology to foster student learning of mathematical concepts. Prior to joining the faculty at UCF, Dr. Andreasen was a high school mathematics teacher. Her children a end The Geneva School in Winter Park, FL. Dr. Andreasen has published books, book chapters, and articles in state and national publications as well as professional presentations throughout the United States. She is a member of the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and the Florida Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Dr. Andreasen received a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Miami and both a master’s degree in Mathematics Education and a PhD in Education, Mathematics Education from the University of Central Florida. Her dissertation focused on the ways that prospective elementary school teachers come to understand whole number concepts and operations in meaningful ways for teaching through the use of classroom norms and explanations and justi cations in a mathematics course for teachers.

Navigating the Challenges and Pitfalls of Transitioning to Singapore Math, and the Fruitful Harvest that Awaits Those Who Do

Implementing Singapore Math, though well worth the effort, is not without an abundance of obstacles. Teachers are unfamiliar with how to teach it, and interpreting the teacher’s manual can feel like trying to teach math in Mandarin! Engineering parents of fth- and sixth-graders don’t know how to help their child (who hasn’t learned algebra) to solve homework problems. Students don’t know what to make of Singapore Math when they are introduced to it, as math looks and feels different than it ever has before. How can these obstacles be overcome? Come learn practical ideas to work through the challenges of implementing Singapore Math, and be encouraged in the rewards you will reap if you persevere in this endeavor.

Cynthia Leakey

Ms. Cynthia Leakey earned her BS in Mathematics from Biola University and her teaching credential from California State University, Fresno. For 17 years, she honed her instructional abilities and enhanced her liberal arts education by homeschooling her four children from grades K–12. She has taught Singapore Math at The Cambridge School in San Diego in grades 3–6 over the past four years. She had the monumental task of learning Singapore Math lesson by lesson the rst year that she taught it, carefully deconstructing piece by piece the math mindset with which she had been educated, and resolutely learning to see math through the delightful clarity of the Singapore mindset. At Cambridge, she endeavors to cultivate in her pupils a sense of wonder and joy in the beauty and artistry of math itself, and further, in the glories of our wise God who created such a lovely and dependable structure for His world.

Mathematics in the Liberal Arts Tradition

While today math teachers often struggle to convince their students of the usefulness of the discipline, the tradition famously advocated the study of mathematics for a completely different reason. The ancients and Medievals believed the study of mathematics to play a crucial role in developing wisdom and the faculty of human reason in students. But in order for this study to truly develop the mind, it must be taught in a soul-shaping manner and not merely as a collection of useful algorithms. This session will explore how teachers in 7th–12th grade mathematics can teach in a richer manner that cultivates the soul through a pedagogy of puzzle, proof, and play. In the light of these themes we will reevaluate the role of the Cartesian coordinate system, the interface between geometry and algebra, and the role of models and manipulatives in higher math such as Calculus. We will also explore how a properly resituated mathematics naturally opens to questions of transcendence and even God as it did for Plato, Augustine, Pascal, and Descartes. Join us to delve more deeply into mathematics in the liberal arts tradition.

Ravi Jain

Ravi Jain graduated from Davidson College with a BA and interests in physics, ancient Greek, and international political economy. He worked at various churches, received an MA from Reformed Theological Seminary, and later earned a Graduate Certi cate in Mathematics from the University of Central Florida. He began teaching Calculus and Physics at The Geneva School in 2003, where he has developed an integrated double-period class called “The Scienti c Revolution.” In this class the students read primary sources such as Galileo and Newton in order to recapitulate the narrative of discovery while preserving the mathematical and scienti c rigor expected of a college-level treatment. During his tenure there, he co-authored The Liberal Arts Tradition: A Philosophy of Christian Classical Education. He has given more than 100 talks and workshops throughout the country and overseas on topics related to education, mathematics, and science. He has two young boys, Judah and Xavier. A er the duties of the week have been discharged (by 8:53 Saturday night), the few remaining hours he enjoys spending with family, friends, and his wife, Kelley Anne, whom he met in Japan.

Cultivating Mathematical Affections through Service-Learning

This seminar will focus on the integration of service-learning projects in the mathematics curriculum as a means of cultivating mathematical affections in students–developing a habitual inclination to view mathematics as a worthwhile endeavor. This seminar will equip participants to design, implement, and evaluate service-learning projects in which students partner with nonprofit organizations. Through these projects, students integrate their conceptual understanding of math with the practical functioning of their local community. Ultimately, students gain deeper knowledge content, a deeper appreciation for the role that math performs in society, and a deeper grasp of our Christian responsibility of stewardship.

Josh Wilkerson

Josh Wilkerson has been a “Math Appreciation” teacher for more than 10 years. For the past five years he has taught Upper School Mathematics at Regents School of Austin and he recently completed a PhD in Math Education from Texas State University. His dissertation focused on “cultivating mathematical a ections” through service-learning projects in K–12 mathematics. He is the founder of the website www.GodandMath.com, focused on the integration of Christian faith with the teaching of mathematics.

Puzzle, Proof, and Play: A Pedagogy of Wonder for Mathematics

Most math teachers love mathematics and one of their greatest desires is to nurture a similar love in their students. But more often than they might like, the structure of the mathematics curriculum seems opposed to the cultivation of this wonder in mathematics. This workshop will explore how teaching math through a pedagogy of puzzle, proof, and play can help recover this wonder and cultivate wisdom. In the Laws, Plato said that free-born boys should learn simple mathematical calculations adapted to their age, put into a form such as to give amusement and pleasure as well as instruction. As it turns out, a pedagogy of wonder for mathematics, in addition to being fun, is also eminently classical.

Ravi Jain

Dr. Philip Dow (PhD, Cambridge) has been involved in Christian education for 15 years in both classical and nonclassical schools. He is currently the Superintendent at Rosslyn Academy, a Pre-K–12, international Christian school in Nairobi, Kenya, of 650 students from over 50 different nationalities. Phil is also the author of Virtuous Minds: Intellectual Character Development for Students, Teachers and Parents (IVP Academic, 2013).

Effort Alone will not Develop a Growth Mindset in Math

Carol’s Dweck’s book Mindset has revolutionized classrooms across the country. But in an effort to get on the bandwagon, many people have mistakenly associated effort alone with a growth mindset. In this session we will explore best teaching practices to develop and maximize the benefits of a growth mindset in teaching mathematics.

Patti Chesney

Patty Chesney has been a part of the Regents School of Austin community for 17 years. She has been a math instructor in all three divisions of the school: Rhetoric, Logic, and Grammar. While serving as the K–8 Math Coordinator in 2008, she led the initial transition from Saxon Math to the Singapore Math Primary Math series, then later to Math in Focus. She currently serves as the 3rd and 4th grade Director and math specialist for Regents Grammar School. In this role, she supports and advises teachers as they develop and implement math instruction in the classroom and coordinates mathematics curriculum decisions. Mrs. Chesney earned a bachelor of science in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas and holds a Professional Engineering License in the state of Texas. She earned her teaching certi cation from Texas State University. Pa i and her husband enjoy living in Austin, and have two married children and one grandson.

Why Before How: Making a Math Transition

Whether you are implementing Singapore Math or are simply looking to rev up the math culture in your school, this session is for you. Changing the way math is taught requires more than a change of textbooks. A successful transition requires thoughtful navigation through a constellation of considerations, from the scripts that guide your teachers’ instructional choices to the nature of your questioning. We have successfully moved to a liberal arts augmented Singapore Math program across the past three years. Come learn from our successes and our failures, and enter the conversation about how to move from good to great.

Chris Hall

Chris Hall earned a BA in Philosophy from Ge ysburg College and an MAT in Elementary Education from Towson University. His naturalist pedigree starts far earlier than his college days: roving far and wide through the local streams and fields on his bike at a time when such things were not yet frowned upon by community associations, earning Eagle Scout, training in tracking, and logging years of outdoor time as a backpacker and ancestral skills practitioner. Before serving as Lower School Academic Dean at the Covenant School in Charlottesville, VA, Chris was a PK-8 Science department chair, a teacher of Conceptual Physics, and a wide-ranging classroom teacher in elementary and middle schools. He currently lives o the beaten path in central VA on a homesteaded microfarm with his wife, Catherine, and three sons.

Making Mathematics Memorable

This session will begin with a brief survey of works on the art of memory from those of the ancients to modern works on neuroplasticity. Then implications for the teaching of grammar school mathematics will be described, including the teaching of arithmetic proficiency through memorable concrete and visual experiences that result in enduring understanding.

Andrew Elizalde

Andrew Elizalde earned a B.A. degree at Depauw University where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude, earned a mathematics major, physics minor, and religious studies minor, and received the H.E.H. Greenleaf Award as the most outstanding graduate of the school’s mathematics program. His teaching experience includes work in both public and private schools as well as private tutoring in subjects ranging from elementary mathematics to advanced calculus and physics. Andrew currently serves as Dean of Academics, at Covenant Classical School in Fort Worth, Texas. Andrew also regularly o ers consulting services to schools striving to teach mathematics with a a distinctly classical and Christian framework and pedagogy. Andrew and his wife, Brooke, have three daughters.

Singapore Math in the Classical School

This session will focus on four topics: the basics of the Singapore math philosophy, how the Singapore math philosophy aligns with classical model of education, teaching Singapore math with fidelity, and how parents can support the children at home.

Patti Chesney

Patti Chesney has been instructing children, teachers, administrators and parents across the United States in the pedagogy and instructional strategies of the highly successful Singapore Math philosophy since 2008. Patti is a frequently requested Math in Focus professional development facilitator because of her extensive experience with a variety of grade levels as well as her experience teaching and training teachers in the Singapore Math philosophy.Patti has eleven years of teaching experience, nine of which have been at Regents School of Austin. While serving as the K-8 Math Coordinator, she led the initial transition from Saxon Math to the Singapore Math Primary Math Series, then later to Math in Focus. Patti will begin serving as a Grammar School Director at Regents in the 2015-2016 school year.