HAMMOND | An East Chicago junior high school math teacher believes the speakers at a math conference were especially helpful to her as a new teacher.
Evelyn Morales, who teaches seventh- and eighth-graders at E.C's West Side Junior High School, was one of nearly 200 teachers and administrators who attended the 32nd annual Purdue University Calumet Improvement of Mathematics Teaching Conference on Friday.
The all-day conference featured Anderson Norton III, a Virginia Tech professor; Robert Panoff, Shoder Education Foundation president/executive director; and Glenda Ritz, state superintendent of public instruction.
Diana Underwood-Gregg, PUC associate professor of mathematics education and director of the university's Center for Mathematics Teaching and Learning, said the conference offers a high quality professional development opportunity at an affordable price for local educators.
Morales said that's exactly what the conference did for her.
"I have to make sure the children understand. There is more to understanding than just memorizing something," she said.
Morales said she intends to use the Shoder website to introduce students to interesting math facts and exercises.
During the conference, Norton, who has been recognized for his research in mathematical development using teaching experiments and quantitative methods, said algebra is connected to people through their experience in the world. He told teachers to have their students think of fractions as parts of a whole.
MacArthur Elementary School teacher Joe Bysiek, who was paired with former PUC professor Gayle Millsaps, presented a session on teaching fractions to children in grades three to five. MacArthur Elementary is in the Crown Point Community School Corp.
Passing out problems in a workshop for teachers to complete, Bysiek said it's important to help young children understand fractions and how they relate as a part of the whole.