Let's Read Math Professional Development for Teachers

AAUW Poughkeepsie and Marist College Collaborate for Workshop

Successful Collaboration between AAUW Poughkeepsie and Marist College  The AAUW Poughkeepsie branch Let’s Do Math special interest group, represented by AAUW members Dr. Anthula Natsoulas (Professor Emeritus, University of Toledo, OH) and Dr. Zsuzsanna Szabo (Marist College Education Department), completed a successful collaboration in organizing a two-day professional development workshop for teachers: Let’s Read Math.

A diverse group of twenty-two 5th and 6th grade teachers, and Marist teacher candidates participated in the workshops hosted and sponsored partially by Marist College on September 27 and November 15, 2014. Dr. Claire Passantino, author of the Let’s Read Math program, worked with local members to in-service participants on how to use children's literature to develop mathematical concepts. Co-presenters were Dr. Anthula Natsoulas, Mrs. Amy Schwed (AAUW, former teacher), and Mrs. Kathy Barpoulis (part time faculty at Marist College, and Math teacher in Rhinebeck school district).

The goal of the workshop was to provide teachers with techniques for integrating literacy and mathematics learning. Under the AAUW/STEM umbrella, fifth and sixth grade classroom teachers and teacher candidates from Marist, were guided through the two-day workshop to explore various mathematical topics through reading and related hands-on activities. These topics included: investigation of spatial patterns, tessellations and angle measurements, and ratio and proportion. Teachers received classroom-ready instructional materials and select children’s books. The goal of the program was not only to acquaint teachers with techniques that can effectively be used with girls in mathematics teaching, but also to promote professional development for teachers that could use their knowledge to inspire young girls to follow STEM professions later. The activities were aligned with New York State curriculum guidelines and the Common Core Standards. Teachers and Marist candidates had also the opportunity to show case their ideas through lesson plans where they used the provided books.

The two-day workshop was a success and we received positive feedback from participants. We are looking forward to future collaborations between AAUW Poughkeepsie and Marist College Education Department.

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