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University of Northern Iowa

Faculty Publications

Science and Mathematics Education

Articles 1 - 11 of 11

Full-Text Articles in Education

Special Speciation, Lyn L. Countryman, Jill D. Maroo Jan 2015

Special Speciation, Lyn L. Countryman, Jill D. Maroo

Faculty Publications

Considerable anecdotal evidence indicates that some of the most difficult concepts that both high school and undergraduate elementary-education students struggle with are those surrounding evolutionary principles, especially speciation. It’s no wonder that entry-level biology students are confused, when biologists have multiple definitions of “species.” We developed this speciation activity to provide clarity and allow students a hands-on experience with a speciation model.


Providing Preservice Teachers With Worthwhile Field-Based Experiences In Mathematics, Glenn Nelson Jan 2011

Providing Preservice Teachers With Worthwhile Field-Based Experiences In Mathematics, Glenn Nelson

Faculty Publications

Providing preservice teachers with worthwhile field-based experiences is recognized as an important component in their development as good teachers. Because mathematics instruction in general has moved from a teacher-directed, procedurally-focused process to a more student-centered, conceptually-oriented approach, preservice mathematics education classes – especially methods courses - should reflect this shift as well. Field-based opportunities can be instances for preservice teachers to personally experience such a shift to real-world relevance.


Meaningful Distributed Instruction— Conceptual Previews For Symbolic Procedures, Edward C. Rathmell Jan 2010

Meaningful Distributed Instruction— Conceptual Previews For Symbolic Procedures, Edward C. Rathmell

Faculty Publications

Understanding a symbolic procedure means far more than “getting the right answer.” A mathematical symbolic procedure or written skill involves step-bystep thinking that leads from a computational problem to a solution. Memorizing this step-by-step procedure may enable a student to answer the problem, even answer it correctly. Yes, that is important, but understanding means much more.


Skittles Chocolate Mix Color Distribution: A Chi-Square Experience, David R. Duncan, Bonnie H. Litwiller Jan 2009

Skittles Chocolate Mix Color Distribution: A Chi-Square Experience, David R. Duncan, Bonnie H. Litwiller

Faculty Publications

In teaching statistical processes, it is important that there be application to realworld settings and activities. When this is done, students are more likely to see the meaning of the steps being developed.

One such activity involves using the Chi-Square statistical test and its applications to counting Skittles Chocolate Mix candies. Many students are aware that these candies come in five different flavors: Brownie Batter (BB), Vanilla (V), Chocolate Caramel (CC), S’mores (S), and Chocolate Pudding (CP).


The Iowa Core Curriculum And Me: How My Teaching Of Mathematics Methods Will Change, Catherine M. Miller Jan 2009

The Iowa Core Curriculum And Me: How My Teaching Of Mathematics Methods Will Change, Catherine M. Miller

Faculty Publications

It is an exciting time to be a mathematics educator in Iowa! We are joining the other 49 states by having a set of state standards. In fact, Iowa is exceeding federal expectations by having a curriculum to inform the work of teachers and school administrators. Because of this, we enter an era of change in Iowa and, as we know, change is never easy. To succeed in implementing the Iowa Core Curriculum (ICC) in mathematics all teachers need to learn about it and have help in implementing its core ideas and content. This includes teachers who will begin their ...


Problem-Based Instructional Tasks, Larry Leutzinger Jan 2009

Problem-Based Instructional Tasks, Larry Leutzinger

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Conceptual Previews In Preparation For The Next Unit Of Instruction, Michele Carnahan, Bridgette Stevens Jan 2009

Conceptual Previews In Preparation For The Next Unit Of Instruction, Michele Carnahan, Bridgette Stevens

Faculty Publications

Understanding meanings of operations and how they relate to one another is an important mathematical goal for students in fourth grade (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 2000). Using pictures, diagrams, or concrete materials to model multiplication helps students learn about factors and how their products represent various contexts. The foundation of understanding how operations of multiplication and division relate to one another deepens the understanding of the composition of numbers. Discussing different types of problems that can be solved using multiplication and division is important, along with the ability to decompose numbers. When students can work among these relationships ...


Meaningful Distributed Instruction— Developing Number Sense, Edward C. Rathmell Jan 2009

Meaningful Distributed Instruction— Developing Number Sense, Edward C. Rathmell

Faculty Publications

What Is Number Sense?

The primary goal for elementary and middle school mathematics is to help students learn to use numbers meaningfully, reasonably and flexibly in everyday life. This means that students must develop a deep understanding of

-- numbers and operations,
-- when operations can appropriately be used to solve problems, and
-- judging the reasonableness of their solutions to problems.

They also need to develop attitudes so they

-- believe they can make sense of mathematics, and
-- habitually try to make sense of mathematics.

In other words, students need to develop number sense.

Understandings Needed for Number Sense

To develop number sense ...


Selecting U.S. Senators By The Original Method: Intersecting Mathematics And Social Studies, Bonnie H. Litwiller, David R. Duncan Jan 2008

Selecting U.S. Senators By The Original Method: Intersecting Mathematics And Social Studies, Bonnie H. Litwiller, David R. Duncan

Faculty Publications

Mathematics teachers are concerned with incorporating connections with other academic areas in their mathematics curriculum. Social science provides a rich source of data which can be collected, organized, and interpreted by mathematics students. These data become of particular interest to many students if they involve political questions and processes.


Playing Games To Build Understanding, Michele Carnahan, Bridgette Stevens Jan 2007

Playing Games To Build Understanding, Michele Carnahan, Bridgette Stevens

Faculty Publications

I am fortunate. I teach from Investigations in Number, Data, and Space [TERC] (1996), a standards-based elementary mathematics curriculum. My evolution from teaching in a traditional teacher-centered approach to one that supports a student-centered community of learners has been a slow and gradual process during the past six years of teaching. Fortunately, through experience, professional development, and graduate level courses, I have come to appreciate the conceptual understanding students acquire from learning mathematics via a student-centered approach and how playing games is an effective instructional strategy for learning mathematics. As intended by the authors of Investigations and envisioned by the ...


Student Explorations Of Quantum Effects In Leds And Luninescent Devices, Lawrence Escalada, N. Sanjay Rebekki, Dean A. Zollman Mar 2004

Student Explorations Of Quantum Effects In Leds And Luninescent Devices, Lawrence Escalada, N. Sanjay Rebekki, Dean A. Zollman

Faculty Publications

We developed activity-based instructional units to introduce basic quantum principles to students with limited physics and mathematics backgrounds. To emphasize the practical applications of contemporary physics, we introduced concepts using the contexts of light-emitting devices such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs), fluorescent lamps, and glow-in-the-dark toys. As our standard of living becomes more dependent on the latest developments in science and technology, our students' literacy must be at a level that enables them to make educated decisions on science- and technology-related issues and their everyday applications. Students need to have at least a basic understanding of 20th-century physics and its applications ...