2015 Conference‎ > ‎

Keynote Speakers

We are happy to announce two keynote speakers for our 2015 TeMaCC Conference:

Stephen (Steve) Blair, Eastern Michigan University (EMU)
Theresa (Terry) Grant, Western Michigan University (WMU)

See their abstracts and bios below.

Keynote Workshop: Steve Blair (EMU)

Co-presented by: the University of Michigan Department of Mathematics Teaching Mathematics Seminar
Saturday 1:45 - 4:00 with break for refreshments.

Going Off the Pegs: Using an Exploration to Generate Content-based Questions Leading to Reasoning and Proof

In this hands-on workshop we will investigate the simple yet rich context of forming squares on a Geoboard as an example of a mathematical exploration appropriate for pre-service elementary and middle school teachers. The focus of our work will be to consider how relevant mathematical content can be unearthed and used by students as they construct objects, organize results, and justify conclusions within this context. Furthermore, we will consider the usefulness of using such explorations to motivate the need for reasoning and proof as students take ownership of their work.

Steve Blair is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Eastern Michigan University; husband to his beautiful wife Bailey; and “father” to three wonderful dogs Ray, Marvin, and Gladys. He has worked in the field of mathematics education for over twenty years and has taught a variety of content and methods courses for pre-service elementary, middle, and secondary teachers. Steve has taught mathematics in Nepal, The Federated States of Micronesia, as well as at The University of Michigan, Portland State University, and Grand Valley State University. He gratefully received the 2010 Ronald Collins Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award at Eastern Michigan University. He has also worked with in-service teachers on a variety of projects, such as The Algebra Project and Intel Math. Steve was on the editorial panel for Mathematics Teacher (published by The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics) from 2010–2012 and served on the executive committee of the Michigan Section of The Mathematical Association of America from 2012–2015. His most recent publication is “Going Off-the-Pegs: Revisiting Geoboard Squares,” coauthored with Dan Canada and Matt Ciancetta in Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, January 2015.

Keynote Address: Terry Grant (WMU)

Saturday 9:15am-10:15am.

Laying the Foundation for Productive Struggle

For many of us, the choice of a first-day activity is carefully considered. We endeavor to find a task that will both engage students in doing mathematics and set the tone for the entire semester. For over a decade I have worked on developing a Number and Operations course for pre-service elementary teachers (PSTs) designed so that PSTs (re-)learn mathematics through problem solving. In this keynote talk I will use the changes to the first-day activities over the years as a context for my growing understanding of the barriers to achieving productive struggle, and my views on how to best support PSTs as they make the journey from rule-follower to meaning-maker.

Terry Grant is a professor of mathematics education at Western Michigan University. For the past decade, Terry has led a collaborative effort to develop, enact, and revise curriculum materials for a Number and Operations course for pre-service elementary teachers (PSTs). This course has an overarching goal of facilitating PSTs’ abilities to reason mathematically and to justify their thinking in ways appropriate for elementary students. Terry’s curriculum work has a strong focus on providing detailed notes to support instructors as they engage PSTs in doing mathematics. This work has been influenced by her work with practicing elementary teachers implementing reform curricula, experiences teaching prospective teachers, research on PSTs’ understanding of mathematics, and being a mother.