CATCH Math Workshop Serves Local Teachers
By Marisa Gilbert
Lee University recently finished another successful professional development workshop for local high school math teachers. The workshop, Career and Technical Content in High School Mathematics (CATCH Math), took place June 6-10 and was sponsored by Lee’s Department of Natural Sciences & Mathematics and the Helen DeVos College of Education.
Twenty-one teachers participated, representing eight districts, Bradley, Hamilton, Polk, Monroe, Marion, Meigs, Rhea, and McMinn, along with private schools including Baylor and Silverdale Baptist. The workshop was directed by Lee’s Dr. Caroline Maher-Boulis and co-directed by Drs. Jeneva Clark and Jason Robinson, also of Lee.
The goal of the CATCH Math Project is to raise awareness among high school teachers of non-academic career options in mathematics, according to Maher-Boulis.
“Teachers gain a better understanding of the mathematical content and career-related skills present in three domains: Algebra, Geometry and Functions,” said Maher-Boulis. “This was done through creating real-world problems that outline the targeted mathematical content, the effective use of manipulatives and hands-on scientific experiments and developing workplace and technical skills.”
Instructional practices delivered through the program modeled the TEAM (Tennessee Educator Acceleration Model) approach and showed teachers how to develop within their students the critical skills necessary for the next grade level, and eventually college.
The CATCH Math workshop also included three guest speakers who talked about different careers and/or companies that use mathematics extensively, such as sports analytics; Boeing, an aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defense, space and security systems; companies that create global social entertainment networks such as Xbox by Microsoft; and more.
Participating teachers spent a day at the AT&T Field, home of the Chattanooga Lookouts, where they learned about sports analytics and how to get their students excited about mathematics using sports and relevant classroom activities.
CATCH Math participants received classroom equipment, activities and resources that will help them apply and utilize the strategies and ideas they have gained in the workshop.
“The high school teacher participants were very thankful at the end of the workshop for this opportunity and indicated they learned a lot and that the workshop was one of the best they had attended in years,” said Maher-Boulis.
The CATCH Math workshop was funded by the Improving Teacher Quality Grant program, a professional development initiative for teachers to increase their knowledge and pedagogical skills in math. The project is funded under an agreement with the state of Tennessee through the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC). Four online follow-up sessions will continue this fall for all workshop participants.
For more information visit Natural Sciences & Mathematics or call (423) 614-8275.