Teachers’ Circles are collaborations between research mathematicians, math teachers, and school administrators. They are motivated by the principle that a key component in students’ understanding of mathematics comes from the process of problem solving and critical thinking. This has been a successful approach for engaging the interest of young people in the classroom.
The main activities of a Teachers’ Circle are discussion sessions among math teachers led by a mathematician. Although the Teachers’ Circle is for teachers, the real focus is on students. Rather than emphasizing math exercises, the techniques discussed during the Teachers’ Circles sessions aim to create a culture of problem solving in the classroom. This method presents a challenge where students first have to figure out how to approach the problem and then use creativity and technical skills for the solution.
Another important aspect of the Teachers’ Circles is to create a network among math teachers and research mathematicians. This network becomes an invaluable resource of ideas, activities, and support with fellow professionals.
Participation in The Pikes Peak Math Teachers’ Circle entails attendance at the Pikes Peak Math Teachers’ Circle Summer Academy and six evening seminars throughout the 2012-2013 school year. Attendance is free, and you will earn a stipend for full participation.
A four-day residential Academy will be held at Estes Park, Colorado, June 19-22, 2012. Dr. Brian Hopkins from St. Peters College will conduct a series of workshops during the day focusing on problem solving techniques for the math classroom, and during the evenings teachers will meet for more discussion and networking. Lodging and meals for all four days will be provided by PIPES.
6 dinner seminars will be held through the academic year, from 5:30 -8 PM. A guest mathematician will present a lecture and lead discussion among the math teachers with opportunity for sharing materials and ideas. Participants in the Otero, Trinidad and Lamar areas will participate in these dinner meetings via tele-presence at these local Community/Junior Colleges.