Professional Development for Math Educators

June 7th, 2006 by Adam

The NH-IMPACT Center at Plymouth State University is offering several exciting summer study opportunities for math teachers at all levels, including an inside look at the Math Recovery program, a mathematics institute for elementary teachers and a series of courses designed for middle school math instructors.

The two-credit graduate class “Teaching Strategies for Primary Students” (MG 5000) will focus on the research behind Math Recovery, a program designed to help struggling math students in the primary grades by identifying learning strategies and providing individualized instruction. Course instructor James Martland, one of the authors of Math Recovery materials, will share the knowledge he has gained from his work with elementary school students, teachers and administrators in Wales, England and Scotland.

Martland is a senior fellow in the University of Liverpool’s Department of Education and director of the Mathematics Recovery Programme (UK & Ireland) Ltd. He is also a member of the International Board of Mathematics Recovery. In his long career in education, Martland has held headships in primary and middle schools and has served as Director of Primary Initial Teacher Education at Liverpool University. In all his posts, he has continued to teach and pursue research in primary mathematics, culminating in research on early intervention with young children who were losing confidence and becoming disenchanted with mathematics. Martland currently works with education authorities in the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada to deliver professional development courses on assessing children’s strategies and difficulties in numeracy and designing, implementing and evaluating teacher intervention programs.

Math Recovery, used by school systems in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia, is internationally recognized as a highly successful program of intervention in early number learning. The Math Recovery course at PSU will be held June 26 – 30, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. each day. The Math Recovery program is partially sponsored by donations given to the NH-IMPACT Center on behalf of Helen Oronski, who was a teacher and graduate of Plymouth Teachers College.

From July 31 – August 4, Drs. Doug and Barbara Clarke, from Australian Catholic University and Monash University will lead a two-credit course focused on teaching mathematics to primary school students. The Clarkes will share their research from a three-year study called the Early Numeracy Research Project, which examined several primary mathematics topics and their relationships to student learning and understanding. This is the fourth year the Clarkes have shared their research at PSU.

Three summer courses will also be offered for middle school teachers as part of the Middle School “Achieving Excellence” Program. These courses are fully supported by a Math and Science Partnership grant from the New Hampshire State Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Education. Enrollment priority will first be given to teachers from partner school districts and then to any middle school teacher seeking to become highly qualified under the provisions of the No Child Left Behind federal education act. Participants in these courses will receive three graduate credits, books and materials for the course, and lunch and snacks for each day.

The courses for middle school teachers include “Using Technology in Middle School Mathematics,” held June 26-30 and July 5-8, which focuses on the use of the TI-83 graphing calculator, Geometer’s Sketchpad and other software, equipment and Internet technologies that can be adapted for middle school teaching.

“Calculus for Middle School Teachers Part II,” held July 10-14 and July 17-21, is the second part of a calculus course taught last summer. Topics explored include curve sketching, definite and indefinite integrals and applications of integration to area. Teachers who have taken a previous Calculus I course are eligible for this course.

“Topics in Number Theory for Middle School Teachers, held July 24 – 28 and July 31 – August 4, focuses on a variety of topics, including divisibility, factoring, congruence, numeration systems, modular arithmetic, clock arithmetic, Diophantine equations, Pythagorean triples, Fermat’s Last Theorem, mathematical induction, proofs, figurate numbers and Magic Squares.

To find out about these and other professional development opportunities offered by the NH-IMPACT Center at Plymouth State University, visit

The NH-IMPACT Center was made possible by a grant from the Center for the Enhancement of Science and Mathematics Education (CESAME) at Northeastern University. The Center was funded on April 1, 1999, and currently maintains a Curriculum Implementation Center at Plymouth State University to assist New Hampshire teachers and school districts. The Center provides assistance in implementing standards-based science and mathematics curriculum materials that will enrich and enhance the learning of science and mathematics for all New Hampshire children.

Plymouth State University (PSU) is a regional comprehensive university offering a rich, student-focused learning environment for both undergraduate and graduate students. PSU offers 42 majors and 62 minors in programs that include education, business, humanities, arts, and natural and social sciences. The College of Graduate Studies offers coursework that promotes research, best practices and reflection in locations on- and off-campus as well as online. For non-traditional students, PSU’s Frost School of Continuing and Professional Studies offers working professionals opportunities to pursue an undergraduate degree by attending classes in the evenings, weekends and online. Located in a beautiful New England setting, Plymouth State University has been recognized as one of the “Best in the Northeast” by The Princeton Review.