Math in Real Life (MiRL) continues!

MiRL is an ODE-funded collaborative professional development opportunity for teachers to develop and implement highly relevant applied math lessons for students in middle and high school. During the summer of 2016, math teachers in the Portland Metro area engaged in professional development that included site visits to businesses and research entities as well as access to expertise to experience and better understand applied math in real contexts. Then during the 2016-17 school year, teacher teams collaboratively developed applied math lessons informed by those experiences. Utilizing existing professional development learning communities, teacher teams piloted the lessons within their classrooms. Watch this video about one teacher team’s experience last year: goo.gl/cPF8gP.

In Phase 2, we will be building off this foundation by moving beyond lesson development and expanding opportunities for participation. Changes include:

  • More focus on the implementation, adaptation, and revision of the existing applied math lessons with a focus on developing and refining the instructional strategies needed to support those lessons. Professional development will likely include topics on math discourse, math mindsets, and mathematical modeling as well as summer industry externships.
  • A leadership development opportunity for teachers interested in supporting and engaging a team in a Lesson Study type process. This group will receive additional professional development on peer leadership, supporting math professional development, and facilitating peer learning.
  • Expanded ways for teachers to participate including as an individual, as a member of a team, or as a leader of a team.
  • Opportunities for non-math teachers to participate on a team; for instance, science teachers, CTE teachers, etc. A team does need to include at least one 7-10th grade math teacher.

Are you a business or industry? Please consider hosting teacher externships!

 Teachers visiting a construction site as part of their externship experience

Teachers visiting a construction site as part of their externship experience

Externships are opportunities for small teams of teachers to see firsthand how math is used in local businesses and industries. By seeing and experiencing authentic workplace applications of mathematics, teachers will be better able to help students connect “classroom math” to real-world, applied math. An ideal MIRL externship would include a variety of experiences during which teachers would learn useful new ways to apply mathematics and lead to a lasting relationship with one or more industry partners. Externships take place in the summer (usually July) and provide approximately 15 hours of experiences for the team.

For more information, please contact:

Steve Boyce, PI
PSU Project Lead
sboyce@pdx.edu

Jerian Abel
PMSP Co-Director
Jerian.Abel@pdxstem.org