Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Private Universe Project in Mathematics

Brochure (PDF)


About the Workshop

Series Structure

Workshop Components


Site Investigation: GETTING READY
60 minutes of doing math problems, discussion and activities to prepare you for the workshop video

Workshop Video
60 minutes of video, divided into two parts with each part including a focus question

Participants should stop the video for discussion at the end of each part.

Site Investigation: GOING FURTHER
30 minutes of discussion and activity to wrap up the workshop video
Note: Episode Boxes contain a brief description of a particular video clip and a related question(s).


Homework Assignment
an exercise or activity that ties into the previous workshop or prepares you for the next one

Reading Assignment
an introduction to the next workshop

Ongoing Activity
a reflective journal for keeping track of reactions to readings and videotapes, collecting and reflecting on data, and recording teaching ideas for yourself

This Web site http://www.learner.org/workshops/pupmath/
a place to go for additional activities, resources, and discussion

an opportunity to communicate with other workshop participants via email


Helpful Hints

Included in the materials for each workshop you will find detailed instructions for the content of your Getting Ready and your Going Further Site Investigations. The following hints are intended to help you and your colleagues get the most out of these pre- and post-video discussions.

Designate a facilitator.

Each week, one person should be responsible for facilitating the Site Investigations (or you might select two people — one to facilitate Getting Ready, the other to facilitate Going Further).

Review the Site Investigations and bring the necessary materials.

Be sure to read over the Getting Ready and Going Further sections of your materials before arriving at each workshop. The Site Investigations will be the most productive if you and your colleagues come to the workshops prepared for the discussions. The weekly readings and homework assignments also provide for productive and useful workshop discussions. A few of the Site Investigations require special materials. The facilitator should be responsible for bringing these when necessary.

Record your discussions.

We recommend that someone take notes during each Site Investigation, or even better, that you make an audiotape recording of the discussions each week. These notes and/or audiotape can serve as "make-up" materials in case anyone misses a workshop.

Share your discussions on the Internet.

The Site Investigations are merely a starting point. We encourage you to continue your discussions with participants from other sites on the discussion area of this Web site.


Materials Needed


Paper, pens or markers
You will need paper and pens or markers for preparing solutions to the problems. If you are a large group, you may want to have an overhead projector, blank transparencies and pens for participants to use for sharing solutions.

Unifix® or other snap cubes
Each participant will need about 100 cubes (50 of each of two colors) to complete the homework assignment for Workshop Two. Although not essential, sharing and discussing solutions will be much easier if everyone is using the same two colors. If this is impossible, sets of cubes need to be made up for each participant to use with two colors that can be designated as "light cubes" and "dark cubes" when their solutions are discussed. If Unifix® cubes are not available, use the "cut-out cubes" sheet included with the packet at the end of Workshop 1. You can also use the online version in the Towers Problem Web activity.


Unifix® or other snap cubes, or cut out cubes (see above)


Pascal's Triangle
Pascal's Triangle handout (included in the print materials)


You will need at least two copies of Muybridge's cat photographs on 11x17 paper (one copy is included in the print materials) and on transparencies, metric rulers (clear plastic ones work best), graph paper, a calculator (graphing calculator if possible), and pens or markers for preparing solutions to the problems. You will also want to have an overhead projector, blank transparencies and pens for sharing solutions.

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