Practice Teaching for Future Math Teachers

by Dr. Kimberly Vincent

 During November of 2003, the students in the Math Methods class and Dr. Vincent hosted the first annual INME, for 75 middle school and high school students, coming from Spokane, WA, St. John, WA and Kendrick ID. Each student in the Math Methods class contributed to writing one activity, edited another activity and facilitated the activities.  Guest teachers received the student activity sheets and accompanying facilitators guide.

 The four activities done during INME were: The visiting 7th and 10th graders worked on creating fractals using Geometer’s Sketchpad.  They were able to make: Koch’s Curve, Sierpinski’s Triangle, and The Pythagorean Tree. -There was a shipwreck and a science team’s supplies were on one side of the river, in the path of a raging fire ˝ hour away.  The students used problem solving skills to determine what supplies to salvage and how to get them to the other side of the river in an efficient manner, before they were consumed by fire. Students built a pyramid and prism with congruent bases and the same height to determine the ratio of their volumes. Using a a Calculator Based Ranger (CBR) and a graphing calculator, students walked graphs to learn about slope.  Even the 7th graders, who had not done any graphing, were able to articulate what all math teachers want their students to understand about slope—including the difference between a slope of zero and “no slope”.  As one 7th grader so eloquently said, “I cannot walk that vertical line I would have to be infinitely many places all at the same time”.

Funding is being sought to run INME again for fall 2004.  The day was a great success and all the teachers want to bring their students again, for the learning curve was high and the guests had a great time.  The Math Methods students learned an immense amount from the entire experience, with a unanimous recommendation to continue offering INME.  Two methods students will co-present with Dr. Vincent at the annual Washington Community College Conference, April 2004.  Dr. Vincent has presented results from assessing INME at a national conference and a state retreat, as well as published one article describing the process and assessment in more detail. Thanks to all involved for a successful day!

View IN ME flier.