MSMI 2011: Fractions is a 5 day (plus 5 day followup) institute, June 20-24, 2011 in downtown Saint Paul, MN. MSMI 2011: Rational Numbers is a 4 day (plus 5 day followup) institute, June 27-June 30, 2011. Both institutes will be held at the CoCo Coworking and Collaborative Space. Local arrangements are available at the Crowne Plaza in St. Paul, a short walk from CoCo.
These institutes are designed to develop fractions and rational numbers in a coherent, sequential, and precise manner that builds both conceptual understanding and procedural fluency. Teachers will learn how to help their students increase the depth of knowledge by providing the scaffolding needed for abstract mathematical reasoning. Teachers will develop a better understanding of how they math they teach relates to the math taught prior to and beyond their classroom. By teaching this material in a coherent, precise fashion, teacher will be able to lead students to understand and master this mathematics, enabling their students to achieve a solid foundation for Algebra 1.
Why fractions and rational numbers? MSMI concentrates on fractions and rational numbers following the National Mathematics Advisory Panel's recommendations on "Critical Foundations for Algebra". Fractions are the first abstractions in school mathematics. Fractions prepare students because they depend on precise definitions in order to be well defined. Fractions are handled best by thinking symbolically, not by analogies (no more pie pieces, pizza slices, etc.) Negative numbers have no grounding the way counting numbers do. They are best handled by thinking symbolically and working with definitions. Learning to work with fractions and negative numbers helps students because if they can handle these elements for fractions and negative numbers, they can handle them in algebra.
Institutes are not geared toward any specific textbook or pedagogy, but provide deeper content knowledge immediately applicable to any classroom. The textbook for these institutes is Hung-Hsi Wu's Understanding Numbers in Elementary School Mathematics . This material is aligned with both Minnesota state standards and Common Core standards.
Allison Coates will teach the Fractions institute. UC Berkeley Professor Emeritus Hung-Hsi Wu will teach the Rational Numbers institute.
Topics covered in Fractions Institute include:
Formal definitions of Fractions and Decimals
Equivalent Fractions and the Fundamental Fact of Fraction-Pairs
Addition and Subtraction of Fractions and Decimals
Multiplication of Fractions and Decimals
Division of Fractions
Ratio and Rate
Topics for Rational Numbers institute include:
The Two Sided Number Line
A Different View of Rational Numbers
Addition and Subtraction of Rational Numbers
Multiplication of Rational Numbers
Division of Rational Numbers
While the summer session of 4 or 5 full days provides the bulk of the mathematics content, 5 follow-up Saturday sessions are provided throughout the school year. Saturday sessions review material from the institute and provide time for teachers to discuss implementation of institute material in their classes. In these sessions, teachers work together to determine what works best for their students in their classrooms, and provide feedback to each other.
Online registration is available here. Additional information is available on the www.msmi-mn.org web site.