Summer Teacher Professional Development Math Workshops

Mathematics Department Chair Rachel Chou

Secondary school teachers are charged with delivering a lot of content. A frequent challenge we encounter is the limited pedagogical range of most curriculum. This is particularly harmful to the students who find symbol manipulation difficult, but it is also cheating our stronger students of the multifaceted understanding that would serve them best. These summer workshops will equip participants with a multidimensional approach to the most important topics, along with some side explorations for enrichment.

No Limits! (with Henri Picciotto and Rachel Chou)

August 1-3, 2018 ($720)    Register Today! 
9:00 am-3:30 pm, with a light breakfast from 8:30-9:00 am

This three-day workshop is designed for high school mathematics teachers who want to make Algebra 2, Trigonometry, and Precalculus more accessible, richer, and more fun. We will present a number of activities to complement the corresponding lessons in any textbook, whether traditional or contemporary. Our lessons involve the intelligent use of electronic tools (particularly GeoGebra,) hands-on activities with concrete materials, creative alternate representations, and problem-solving throughout. Our goal is to make Precalculus topics tangible and to help students develop meaningful intuitions for the concepts being studied.

  • Iterating functions as a gateway to sequences, series, and chaos
  • Concrete introductions to exponential, logarithmic, and inverse variation functions
  • Thoughtful approach to graphing: domain and range analysis, transformations
  • Trigonometry: student discovery of all the basics and the elementary identities
  • Function diagrams to visualize rate of change, inverse functions, composition
  • A kinesthetic and visual introduction to complex numbers and matrices
  • Geometry of the conic sections (2D, 3D)

Visual Algebra (with Henri Picciotto)

August 6-9, 2018 ($960)   Register Today! 
9:00 am-3:30 pm, with a light breakfast from 8:30-9:00 am

In this four-day workshop, Henri will present a wealth of visual approaches to the teaching of algebra in grades 7-11, including:

  • Lab Gear manipulatives for basic symbol manipulation
  • geoboard lattices for slope and radicals
  • a powerful parallel axes representation for functions
  • intelligent use of technology
  • three distinct visual paths to the quadratic formula

Participants will learn techniques that will allow them to serve the whole range of students better by offering:

  • greater access, because of addressing multiple intelligences
  • greater challenge, because of expecting multi-dimensional understanding
  • greater variety, because of using manipulative and electronic tools

Registration information:

Register online here.

Tuition includes a light breakfast, snacks, coffee/tea, and lunch. On your registration form, please include any dietary restrictions.

Team discount: 5% off for each teacher if you register more than one teacher from the same school.

Cancellation policy:
- If you need to cancel, and you do so by June 15, you will get a 90% refund. After that, no refund is possible.

About the Instructors

Henri Picciotto is a math education author and consultant. He received his BA and MA in Mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley. Henri has retired from the classroom after 42 years of teaching at every level from counting to calculus. He is the inventor of the Lab Gear, a hands-on environment for algebra, and is a leading authority on the use of manipulatives and geometric puzzles in secondary school. He has been an enthusiastic (and skeptical) user of electronic learning environments since the early days of the personal computer. He has presented hundreds of workshops to teachers. Henri shares his ideas about pedagogy, and much curriculum, on his Math Education Page and his blog. His cryptic crosswords appear in The Nation every week.

Rachel Chou is a math educator and Mathematics Department Chair at Menlo School in Atherton, CA. She received her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and her master’s degree in Curriculum and Teacher Education from Stanford University. Five years into her 15-year tenure at Menlo School, she spearheaded an initiative to make the high school and middle school math programs textbook-free. At the heart of Menlo’s textbook-free approach to math instruction is the belief that students learn best when they interact with interesting and novel math problems, coupled with the belief that it is a teacher’s goal to help students build meaningful intuitions for the mathematical principles that they are studying. In respect of these goals, Rachel has spent much of her career authoring curricular materials that are accessible to students at the onset and help students build authentic, intellectually honest understandings of the math concepts that they are studying.