MSI Courses

Course information provided below.  Click on the course of interest for additional information.

Morning Block - 9:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

List of 6 items.

  • Creative Coding

    Middle School Science and Math, Morning Course Block
    Instructors: Jenna Deboisblanc, Isidore Newman School, New Orleans, LA
    Creative Coding is a six hour course suitable for all teachers who want to help their students learn through computer science.  Come and see how to make computer science fun for everyone!

  • Geogebra for Beginners

    Morning Block, Middle and Upper School
    Instructor: Michael Huberty, Moundsview High Schools, Moundsview, MN
    Geogebra for Beginners is a six-hour course designed to allow you to learn some of the basics of Geogebra (a free dynamic geometry software package).  No prior experience is required. 
  • Low-floor, high-ceiling and multi-grade problems including some that literally start on the floor (grades 7-12 math)

    Middle and Upper School Math, Morning Course Block
    Instructor: Ron Lancaster, Univ of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
    In this workshop we will begin by examining problems that all students in grades 7 - 12 can enter into by making use of the floor space in classrooms, gymnasiums and hallways. We will create physical representations of the solutions to these problems that can be displayed on a wall or hung from a ceiling. We will examine other low-floor, high-ceiling and multi-grade problems that don't make use of the floor space and discuss how all students can access all of these problems according to their own competency and background knowledge, and learn alongside their peers with different strengths.
  • Dealing with Fractions (upper elem/middle)

    Middle School Math, Morning Course Block
    Instructor: Ira Nirenberg, Ben Franklin HS (ret)
    Fraction mathematics is one of the most challenging topics for middle school students. In fact, there is a substantial body of research that asserts that a poor understanding of fraction mathematics is the best indicator of a poor understanding of algebraic concepts. In this day long workshop we will address strategies in teaching fractions from the Fraction ThinkBook: Bridging the Fraction-Algebra Gap. The methods used are visual and conceptual and seek to build student comprehension and mathematical intuition rather than techniques that focus on memorization or rote learning. We’ll also take a look at a few challenging problems involving ratio, proportion, decimals and percentages, and, explore the rules governing fraction mathematics. A free digital copy of the Fraction ThinkBook is available for all participants on Amazon.com. Please contact me at iranirenberg@yahoo.com for information on claiming your free copy. This workshop addresses CORE concepts!

    In this six-hour course, designed for upper elementary and middle school teachers, we will address strategies in teaching fractions from the Fraction ThinkBook: Bridging the Fraction-Algebra Gap. The methods used are visual and conceptual and seek to build student comprehension and mathematical intuition rather than techniques that focus on memorization or rote learning. We’ll also take a look at a few challenging problems involving ratio, proportion, decimals and percentages.
  • Math Modeling (upper school)

    Upper School Math, Morning Course Block
    Instructor: Karen Bryant, St. Marks School in Southborough, MA
    Math Modeling is a six hour course suitable for upper school mathematics teachers who want to help their students see how mathematics can be applied to real world problems. You will learn how to engage your students to solve such problems as: 

    • How can you determine if a particular flight you want to book is going to be safe?
    • A young entrepreneur is going to set up a coffee cart on his college campus, where should he locate it?
    • Finding an efficient way to get all employees to their respective floors on time with only three elevators.

    Mathematical modeling is a “Standard for Mathematical Practice” of the Common Core, and is the answer to: When am I going to use this? Learn how to integrate modeling exercises into existing courses or create a course on mathematical modeling. During the course, participants will solve problems using the mathematical modeling cycle, examine models, and create their own modeling problem. In addition, we will discuss successful problems and grading rubrics for modeling exercises.
  • Algebra Fun (middle & upper school)

    Middle and Upper School Math, Morning Course Block
    Instructor: Dan Butler, Moundsview High Schools, Moundsview, MN

    Algebra is solving equations, graphing functions, and studying the mysterious X. But it is so much more. Algebra is thinking about the world around us and figuring out how to use mathematics to better understand this world. In this course we will use our Algebra skills to help us solve some real, and interesting problems. We will also try to look at some of our regular Algebra topics and find some ways to get a better understanding of how our algorithms work. We will explore Algebra using Geogebra, spreadsheets, calculators and anything else we can think of that might help. Come and join the fun!


Afternoon Block - 1:15 PM - 3:30 PM

List of 6 items.

  • Scratch Integration

    Middle School / Upper School Mah & Science, Afternoon Session
    Instructor: Jenna Deboisblanc
    Scratch Integration is a six-hour course designed to help teachers integrate the programming environment Scratch (MIT Media Lab) into their math and science teaching. 
  • TBA

    ??, Afternoon Session
    Instructor: ??
  • STEM/STEAM Challenges

    Upper School Math & Science, Afternoon Course Block
    Instructor: Karen Bryant, St. Marks School, Southborough, MA
    Have you seen or heard about the marshmallow challenge? Want to engage your students in other fun STEM/STEAM challenges? Do you want to incorporate good problem solving using the engineering design cycle into a course? Over the six hours, participants will engage in some challenges that I have used that require students to brainstorm, prototype and refine. Most of the challenges require very inexpensive materials and are suitable for all ages of students.
  • Remarkable and extraordinary applications of powers of 2 and logarithms (upper school math)

    Upper School Math, Afternoon Course Block
    Instructor: Ron Lancaster, Univ of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
    We will begin by examining a number of surprising appearances of the powers of 2 such as in shuffles performed by magicians, the making of candy in South Korea and the poems of an award-winning Canadian poet. Then we will examine applications of logarithms, particularly ones that are not very well known. These applications will engage students in Algebra 1 & 2 and Precalculus classes. The materials developed in this course will arouse students' curiosity about mathematics; deepen their understanding of mathematics and strengthen their appreciation of the subject.
  • Simple Hands-on Activities for Sixth through Ninth Grade Math Students

    Middle and Upper School Math, Afternoon Course Block
    Instructor: Ira Nirenberg, Ben Franklin HS (ret), New Orleans, LA
    It’s been said that the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results—ready to try something different? In this workshop, rather thanbeginning with definitions, formulas, and equations, we begin with hands-on activities that inspire those definitions, formulas, and equations. Let’s stop putting the cart before the horse.  Most middle and high school mathematics begins with an abstraction—we write down a ratio, and then go through some kind of mathematical manipulation (perhaps we cross multiply) to arrive at an answer. We draw lines and begin talking about slope and intercept. We show students how to “solve” word problems. We give students formulas that appear out of the blue. How well have these approaches worked for you? If they haven’t been as effective as you’ve wished, and you’d like to bring back some classroom ready activities, join us for something a bit different. Please bring a calculator!
  • Just Five Good Precalculus Lessons

    Upper School Math, Afternoon Course Block
    Instructor: Dan Butler, Moundsview High School, Moundsview, MN
    Let's spice up our precalculus curriculum with some amazing labs. We will use
    Excel, The Geometer's Sketchpad, GeoGebra, the TI-84, hands-on materials and anything else we decide to use to explore some of the concepts of precalculus through great problems and interesting constructions. We will also take some time to discuss what needs to be in a precalculus course in light of the current state mathematics education.

Session being Planned

Wednesday, June 7
Open Session 12:15 pm - 1:00 pm

Location: Boggs Center

Session being Planned

Thursday, June 8
Open Session 12:15 pm - 1:00 pm

Location: Boggs Center

Session being Planned

Friday, June 9
Open Session 12:15 pm - 1:00 pm

Location: Boggs Center