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SWOSU to Provide Mathematics Institutes for Teachers

February 26, 2008

2008-02-26b
Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford has received grant funding in the amount of $128,000 to provide summer institutes in mathematics for kindergarten through eighth-grade teachers. Among those involved in the program are (front row from left): Jan Sands, KESAM master teacher; and Anita Blankenship, director of SWOSU Office of Sponsored Programs. Back from left-Dr. Don Wilson, professor, SWOSU Department of Education; Dr. John Woods, professor/chair, SWOSU Department of Mathematics and KESAM 2008 principal investigator; and SWOSU Provost Dr. Blake Sonobe.

Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford has received grant funding in the amount of $128,000 to provide summer institutes in mathematics for kindergarten through eighth-grade teachers.

The “Hands on, Brains on Journey of Excellence” program is part of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. The Highly Qualified Teachers and Improving Teacher Quality State Grants program is managed by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (OSRHE).  OSRHE awarded this NCLB grant to Dr. John Woods, chair of the SWOSU Mathematics Department.

The institutes will be held in June on the campuses of SWOSU in Weatherford and Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College in Miami and in July on the campus of Carl Albert State College in Poteau. The goal of the program is to ensure that all students have highly qualified teachers.   

This summer’s primary project is to train 80 K-8 Oklahoma teachers in mathematics content and pedagogy, the Oklahoma P.A.S.S. standards, and to provide follow-up support for the participants during the 2008-09. Teacher participants will come from high need, public and private local education agencies from all regions of Oklahoma. 

The program is a collaboration effort by Woods; Jan Sands, a master teacher and 30-year public school teacher; Dr. Don Wilson, a SWOSU professor of education; and partner local education agencies.

KESAM 2008 focuses on professional development that strengthens mathematical thinking and understanding and best practices for the teaching/learning activities in K-8  teachers’ classrooms. Woods said the participants will be able to provide a better mathematics preparation for their K-8 students and make math learning interesting, challenging and fun. 

Woods said data collected from previous participants shows that participation in KESAM leads to a significant gain in the teachers’ student success rate in mathematics scores and greater student interest, understanding, and enjoyment of math.

Selection of participants will be completed in mid-March 2008.  Information and application forms have been sent to each K-8 school site principal in Oklahoma. Interested teachers should contact their principal or contact Dr. John Woods at 580-774-3038 or by email at john.woods@swosu.edu.

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