By Kim Robinson
Thanks to all who attended GPC 14th Annual Mathematics Conference and
GMATYC’s annual business meeting. Susan Wood, President of AMATYC,
spoke at the opening address. She challenged us to consider what
our beliefs and actions about pedagogy and student outcomes were 10 years
ago and what they are now. She asked us to consider what the catalyst was
for our own personal change.
Mathematics educators are experiencing exciting
times. NCTM’s Standards and AMATYC’s Crossroads in Mathematics provide
frameworks and guidelines to assist anyone interested in reforming their
own teaching practices. Even so, effective change doesn't occur
easily or quickly. And along the road of reform, we fall into potholes
and run into barriers that sometimes feel like mistakes. So, for
those of us interested in improving pedagogy, the road is paved with lessons
to be learned. My question to you is this: Do you reflect on
your classroom sessions with the intent of pinpointing where you succeeded
and determining what still needs improvement? After class, do you
ask yourself, “What went well?” or “Did you achieve what you planned?”
or last, but not least, “What would you do differently if you were to teach
the same lesson again tomorrow?” These are not easy questions, but
if we are to improve our classroom strategies, they are necessary questions.
The Reflective Teaching Model encourages teachers
to ask these questions of themselves, but not to do it alone.
The RTM provides a framework for teachers to plan a lesson with a trusted
colleague, to observe each other teaching this lesson, and then finally,
to debrief together about the lesson. The goal is not to criticize,
judge, or condemn for any mistakes. Instead, the RTM advocates that
both teachers to look back, honestly and thoughtfully, and try to determine
if the plan for that topic succeeded in reaching students and helping them
In our busy and hectic lives, finding time
to plan, observe, and debrief with a colleague can be difficult.
So I offer an alternative method. In each of your different preps,
commit to trying at least one new Standards based lesson each term.
Before you enter your classroom that day with your manipulatives, or new
technology strategy, make a few thoughtful notes about you hope to accomplish
with this new plan. At the end of the lesson, ask your students to
write down answers to these two questions: 1) What was the clearest
point? and 2) What was the muddiest point? As soon as possible
after class, take a few minutes and review your notes and then read the
students written comments. Consider questions such as:
Do you need to rearrange the order of actions or questions? Did the
use of groups (or lack of groups) hinder or help accomplish your goal?
Would a handout with instructions and thought provoking questions be helpful
We can transform our teaching, one lesson
at a time. Yes, this takes time and energy. But if the result
is the refinement of an effective teaching practice, isn't it worth the
GPC 14th Annual Mathematics Conference
Congratulations to Sandee House for chairing a great conference.
We look forward to holding GMATYC’s next business meeting at GPC 15th Annual
Mathematics Conference, Georgia Perimeter College, Dunwoody Campus, February
8-9, 2002. Mark your calendars now to attend both the conference
and the business meeting.
GMATYC Business Meeting
The Georgia Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (GMATYC)
held its 12th annual meeting on Friday, February 9, 2001, at Georgia Perimeter
College in conjunction with the Georgia Perimeter Mathematics Conference.
Minutes for membership approval will be available in the Fall 2001 Newsletter.
Highlights from the meeting are itemized here.
By-Laws Changes Proposed
At the annual meeting, president Kim Robinson moved that the deadline
for nominating candidates for office in GMATYC be changed to coincide with
the date of the annual business meeting. Madelyn Gould seconded the
motion. The motion was approved unanimously. Additionally,
Sallie Paschal moved change in Article 3 of the By-Laws to state
that : "Each year the nominating committee will also submit at least
two candidates for the two vacant positions on the succeeding nominating
committee." GMATYC members may vote on these changes online by following
the By Laws ballot link from GMATYC.org.
The link will appear late in the summer so members may vote as soon as
GMATYC List Updated
The GMATYC listserv will be updated at the end of May. All subscribers
who are not current members of GMATYC will be removed. If you have
not paid your 2001-2002 dues, please send a $5 dues check to Stephanie
Holcombe at ABAC now so you won't be left out of the loop.
Many thanks to Margie Clark who was responsible
for getting the list "up and running" several years ago and to Sallie Paschal
who is the new list owner.
Gainesville College Hosts Successful Math Tournament
The Gainesville College Mathematics Tournament was held on Saturday,
April 7, 2001 on the Gainesville College campus. Participants
included five two-year colleges from Georgia, South Carolina and North
Carolina including Georgia Perimeter College, Durham Technical College,
Gainesville College, Spartanburg Technical College and Isothermal Technical
College. The competition consisted of a morning individual competition
and an afternoon team competition.
The winners of the individual competition were:
First Place: Qixing Zheng, Gainesville College, Sponsor: Evie Robbins.
Second Place: Tengzhou Zhuang, Georgia Perimeter College, Sponsor:
Third Place: Tsu-Wang Yang, Durham Technical College, Sponsor: Chuck
The winners of the team competition were:
First Place: Gainesville College Team 1, Sponsor: Evie Robbins, Members:
BJ Cooley, Kasia Hebda, Elie Vivant, Qixing Zheng.
Second Place: Durham Technical College, Sponsor: Chuck Wessell, Members:
John Absher, Shea McInter, Chris Wickline, Tsu-wang Yang
Third Place: Georgia Perimeter College Team 2, Sponsor: Jacqueline
Spann, Members: Nia Cook, Justin Simms, Tengzhou Zhuang.
Many positive comments were received about
the tournament and a good time was had by all who participated. Special
thanks should go to the faculty
and staff of Gainesville College for sponsoring the tournament, to
the team sponsors and students for participating, and to Durham Technical
for being a first time participant.
The Gainesville College math tournament provides
a forum for recognizing and rewarding our best and brightest math students.
Gainesville College is looking forward to sponsoring future tournaments.
GMATYC.org New Official GMATYC site
The GMATYC membership approved the purchase of a domain name.
The purchase has been finalized and you can now find our web site at GMATYC.org.
Thanks to Sallie Paschal for acting as webmaster for this site.
Membership Committee Report
Gloria Hitchcock reported that 44 new members joined GMATYC during the
Fall term. Thanks again to committee members: Beryl Boyd, GPC; Ann
Crowson, GPC; Jean Millen, GPC; Jan Scott, East Georgia College; and Kathy
Simons, Valdosta State. Funds spent to conduct the membership drive
should be reimbursed by a grant from AMATYC. The membership committee
plans to conduct another drive and keep this momentum rolling.
The new Membership Committee for 2001-2002 is:
Kathy Simons, Valdosta State College, Chair,
Beryl Boyd, Georgia Perimeter College, 2002
Jean Millen, Georgia Perimeter College, 2003
Jan Scott, Georgia College, 2003
Gina Reed, Gainesville College, 2004
Kitt Lumley, Columbus State College, 2004.
As president-elect, Gloria Hitchcock will continue to serve on this
New GMATYC Officers Elected
Tom Wheeler announced the slate of officers for the next year.
The new officers are:
President Elect -- Gloria Hitchcock -- Georgia Perimeter College
Nominating Committee -- Alice Pierce -- Georgia Perimeter College
Nominating Committee -- Ann Hardy -- Georgia Perimeter College
Alice and Ann will join Tom Wheeler and Pat Zrolka on the Nominating
Committee. Pat will chair this committee.
Donna Saye of Georgia Southern and Stephanie Holcombe of ABAC will
continue their terms of Secretary and Treasurer respectively.
AMATYC Student Math League Contest
The rotating GMATYC plaque having names of students who have scored
highest on the Georgia AMATYC Math League Contest is full.
The plaque was presented to the school that had the most names, Georgia
Perimeter College. A new plaque has been purchased and will rotate
each year to the winning students school. Membership approved
the Board’s recommendation that an annual cash award of $200
will be given to the student representing a Georgia Institution who scores
highest on the Georgia AMATYC Math League Contest. In case
of a tie, the prize money will be divided evenly among those who tie.
GSAMS at Work
The GMATYC executive board met Monday, May 7, in GSAMS classrooms all
over the state. The three Atlanta officers met at the Rockdale Center
GSAMS room at GPC while Donna Saye connected from Statesboro and Stephanie
Holcombe connected from Brunswick.