Almost 75 teachers from Tennessee’s Robertson, Maury and Sumner counties, Lebanon city schools and the Metropolitan Nashville School System attended this year’s SEE-Math Institutes U, V and Y, two-week professional development seminars focused on making math relatable and fun for students.
SEE-Math (Student Engagement in Exploring Math), funded through a Tennessee Math and Science Partnership Grant, is designed to serve middle- and high-school teachers in high-need school districts and features hands-on activities such as origami, painting stained glass windows, shooting off rockets, measuring the height of the Allen Bell Tower from the ground, calculating the angles at the Parthenon and plenty of visually-based computer software.
The institutes are conducted by professors in the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Education. They have proven so successful over the years, that the state has allotted $1.5 million to conduct and expand the programs for more than 350 Middle Tennessee teachers since 2006.
Throughout the state’s various academic standards changes and reform efforts, the SEE Math program has been refined to serve the specific needs of teachers facing continually rising state standards in math and science. Middle school teachers were trained to prepare students earlier for ACT college entrance exams, when the state added more math requirements. In 2007 a program in teaching calculus was added at the request of the schools.
In addition, the participating teachers go back to their classrooms armed with several computer programs, a TI-81 graphing calculator, a three-inch thick folder of written resources and a box-full of supplies and references to teach students problem-solving, deductive reasoning, geometry and statistics.