Facilitator's Guidebook for Use of Mathematics Situations in Professional Learning

Edited by:
Rose Mary Zbiek, Pennsylvania State University
Glendon W. Blume, The Pennsylvania State University
M. Kathleen Heid, The Pennsylvania State University

Published 2018

The depth and breadth of a mathematics teacher’s understanding of mathematics matter most as the teacher engages in the daily work of teaching. One of the major challenges to teachers is to be ready to draw on the relevant mathematical ideas from different areas of the school curriculum and from their postsecondary mathematics experiences that can be helpful in explaining ideas to students, making instructional decisions, creating examples, and engaging in other aspects of their daily work. Being mathematically ready and confident requires teachers to engage in ongoing professional learning that helps them to connect mathematics to events like those they live on a daily basis. The purpose of this volume is to provide teachers, teacher educators, and other facilitators of professional learning opportunities with examples of authentic events and tools for discussing those events in professional learning settings.

The work shared in Facilitator’s Guidebook for Use of Mathematics Situations in Professional Learning (Guidebook) resulted from a collaborative effort of school mathematics supervisors and university mathematics educators. The collaborators joined their varied experiences as teachers, coaches, supervisors, teacher educators, and researchers to suggest ways to scaffold activities, encourage discussion, and instigate reflection with teacher–participants of differing mathematics backgrounds and with varying teaching assignments. Each guide has ideas for engaging and furthering mathematical thought across a range of facilitator and participant mathematics backgrounds and draws on the collaborators’ uses of the Situations with in-service and prospective teachers.

The events and mathematical ideas connected to each event come from Situations in Mathematical Understanding for Secondary Teaching: A Framework and Classroom-Based Situations. A Situation is a description of a classroom-related event and the mathematics related to it. For each of six Situations, school and university collaborators developed a facilitator’s guide that presents ideas and options for engaging teachers with the event and the mathematical ideas. The Guidebook also contains suggestions for how teachers and others might develop new Situations based on events from their own classrooms as a form of professional learning. Both teacher educators and school-based facilitators can use this volume to structure sessions and inspire ideas for professional learning activities that are rooted in the daily work of mathematics teachers and students.

Preface. Introduction to Facilitating the Use of Situations, Rose Mary Zbiek. Facilitator’s Guide for Division Involving Zero: Situation 1 From the MACMTL–CPTM Situations Project, Diane Briars, Rose Mary Zbiek, Glendon Blume, M. Kathleen Heid, M. Suzanne Mitchell, Connie Schrock, Steven S. Viktora, and James W. Wilson. Facilitator’s Guide for Product of Two Negative Numbers: Situation 2 From the MACMTL-CPTM Situations Project, Glendon Blume and Connie Schrock. Facilitator’s Guide for Graphing Quadratic Functions: Situation 21 From the MACMTL–CPTM Situations Project, M. Kathleen Heid. Facilitator’s Guide for Circumscribing Polygons: Situation 34 From the MACMTL–CPTM Situations Project, Patricia S. Wilson and M. Suzanne Mitchell. Facilitator’s Guide for Calculation of Sine: Situation 35 From the MACMTL–CPTM Situations Project, Steven S. Viktora and James W. Wilson. Facilitator’s Guide for Mean and Median: Situation 38 From the MACMTL–CPTM Situations Project, Rose Mary Zbiek with M. Suzanne Mitchell. Concluding Thoughts, Rose Mary Zbiek. Appendix: Standards for Mathematical Practice.