at Rowan University

Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00am - 2:30 pm

McSiip at the CSM STEM Center of Rowan University is offering a wide variety of engaging, hands-on workshops this year with a focus on technology in mathematics and science education. A brief description of each workshop is provided below. Be sure to click on the link in the description to view a full color flyer for each workshop (they will be up shortly), or click here for a brochure with all of our workshops listed!

All workshops are $149 per day, run from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm (unless otherwise stated), and will be held at Rowan University with room locations to be given in your confirmation email.  All participants will receive a certificate for 5 PD hours (upon completion) and will only have a few short breaks, but no long lunch break. Please bring snacks with you.

Please note that registrations via phone, fax, mail, or e-mail will NO LONGER be accepted. (Please note: Submitting school paperwork does not constitute registration on our website; you must submit the online registration form with your contact information in order to receive a confirmation from us via email.) For more information please contact Mary Hartman at (856-256-4827). Please register early – those who have been on our waiting lists know - space is limited!

Mathematics, Science and Technology Workshops: Fall 2016 / Winter 2017


1. LEGO EV3 Robot Programming for Absolute Beginners – Parts I & II
Come learn the basics of LEGO EV3 Robot Programming and discover a new way to bring math, science, and computer science content to your students both in and out of the classroom. No prior programming experience of any kind required. By the end of this hands-on class, you will have programmed a robot to dance around the room.

Part I - Grades K to 12, Date: 11/1/16,Facilitator: Dr. Jennifer Kay
Part II
Grades K to 12, Date: 12/6/16,Facilitator: Dr. Jennifer Kay (Please Note: You must attend Part I on 11/1/16 in order to attend Part II)

2. Number and Number Sense and the Problem of Teaching Algorithms Too Early; or Why Doesn’t the Common Core Mention “Standard Algorithms” Until Grade Four?
This workshop presents research about the ramifications of teaching algorithms before students are ready and looks at the emphasis in the common core which they designed to avoid such problems. We’ll look at whether there is one correct algorithm for each of the operations. In addition to whole number operations, we’ll look at how to make connections to operations with fractions and decimals.
Grades: K to 4, Date: 11/3/16, Facilitator: Bill Smith

3. Developing an Understanding of Fractions as Numbers
Fractions are a notoriously difficult mathematical concept for students. In this session, we will discuss how some of the common fraction activities actually require only whole-number knowledge and thus do little, if anything, to help students develop an understanding of fractions as numbers. We will then explore a variety of activities that have been shown to be useful in helping students develop an understanding of fractions.
Grades: 3 to 6, Date: 11/8/16, Facilitator: Dr. Karen Heinz

4. Skills to do problems or problems to do skills?
Textbooks in the United States are predominantly structured to present skills which students practice for an extended period of time before they are used to solve problems. However, some textbooks begin by students attacking problems collaboratively and, through that, developing skills. The belief is that students often can develop many skills on their own through collaborative problem solving. Even when they get stuck, it becomes the perfect time to introduce a skill so they could move forward. Participants will work in a collaborative problem-based environment to understand the power of this pedagogical approach.
Grades: K to 6, Date: 12/1/16, Facilitator: Bill Smith - Please Note Date Change! (Originally scheduled date of 11/10/16 conflicted with NJEA Convention.)

5. How the brain learns mathematics and how teachers can use it to maximize their students’ success
Significant research has studied our brain and what happens when we learn. This research indicates there are things that we do that help people learn and things that we do that get in the way of learning. A calculus consortium developed their rule of four that said students should be taught using words, numbers, pictures, and rules. Singapore moved from the bottom of international testing to the top by changing their math textbooks to a more visual approach. How can helping children see mathematics visually make a difference; especially with numbers? We’ll also look at class time and the brain, what homework accomplishes or not, and the importance of students doing the work.
Grades: K to 12, Date: 11/17/16, Facilitator: Bill Smith

6. Building innovative problem solving lessons for the elementary grades
This workshop showcases innovative lessons from 3 act videos to numberless word problems in which students are engaged in mathematical problem solving and word problems unlike traditional lessons. Teachers will also explore innovative warm up activities and computational games.
Grades: K to 5, Date: 11/22/16, Facilitator: Dr. Eric Milou

7. Building innovative problem solving lessons for the secondary grades
This workshop showcases innovative lessons from 3 act videos to numberless word problems in which students are engaged in mathematical problem solving unlike traditional lessons. Teachers will also explore innovative warm up activities and computational games.
Grades: 6 to 12, Date: 11/29/16, Facilitator: Dr. Eric Milou

8. Biology: the Historical Science
Science is a form of inquiry. Science also has a history. However, most of us encounter science as a body of established fact, as theories and methods to be committed to memory. In the textbooks, history is usually confined to gray boxes, and we are told to revere the heroes while learning contemporary theory. This workshop will examine the philosophical underpinnings of science and demonstrate that science is a creative, human activity. Knowing the history and philosophy behind science makes it more interesting, and it makes one a more adventurous, reflective scientist.
Grades: 9 to 12, Date: 12/8/16, Facilitator: Dr. Matthew Lund

9. Teaching Biology using NGSS
This workshop targets teachers teaching middle and high school life science content. The purpose of the workshop is to help provide teachers with models specific for teaching Biology content using the Next Generation Science Standards. Participants will engage in an activity demonstrating the use of the model and be afforded the time to generate their own lesson commensurable to their teaching context.
Grades: 7 to 12, Date: 12/15/16, Facilitator: Dr. Issam Abi-El-Mona

10. Formative Assessment with Technology
This session will have teachers engaging in several formative assessment tasks using free technology from Desmos and Peardeck. The tasks will demonstrate that we can engage students in their learning and assess their understanding in real time using such technology.
Grades: 6 to 12, Date: 12/20/16, Facilitator: Dr. Eric Milou

11. Computing With Fractions
With respect to the four basic operations (+, –, x, ÷) with fractions, the NJ Student Learning Standards for Mathematics describe a specific progression of skills. For example, in grade 4 students are to “solve word problems involving multiplication of a fraction by a whole number.” In this session, we will analyze the details of the progression from grades 4 through 6 and explore activities useful for helping students learn how to compute with fractions at each grade level.
Grades: 4 to 6, Date: 1/5/17, Facilitator: Dr. Karen Heinz

12. Using Ten Frames and Hundred Charts Effectively
Ten frames and hundred charts are useful tools for students to use to add and subtract, to compare numbers, and to solve problems. However, sometimes students become dependent on those tools. In this session, we will explore a variety of ways that ten frames (and five frames) and hundred charts can be used effectively with students. We will also discuss when and how to help students learn how to do the mathematics without them.
Grades: PreK to 2, Date: 1/10/17, Facilitator: Dr. Karen Heinz

13. Statistical Insight for High School Teachers
This workshop will cover topics including teaching statistical thinking regarding tendency and variability using graphs and writing exercises, using simulation to teach the concepts of sampling distributions and the central limit theorem as well as the meaning of a confidence level, using simulation results to teach the concept of the p-value . Throughout the workshop, we will use free data analysis software that is available via the Web. Instructors will receive instruction in using the software along with learning the statistical methodology. Participants will be given insight on using technologies used in statistics.
Grades: 9 to 12, Date: 1/10/17, Facilitators: Dr. Christopher Lacke and Bethany Gummo

14. Death of the Dinosaurs, Birth of a Fossil Park
Come hear from Dr. Ken Lacovara, Director of Rowan Fossil Park, and Rowan Fossil Park researchers Dr. Paul Ullmann and Dr. Kristyn Voegele discuss Earth history, including the ancient history of New Jersey, and engage in several STEM activities for your classroom.

Grades: 6 to 8, Date: 1/23/17, Facilitators: Drs. Ken Lacovara, Paul Ullmann & Kristyn Voegele

Coming Spring 2017!

Introduction to Simple Machines using Lego Mindstorms
The goal of this workshop is to provide Middle School teachers with the knowledge and skills necessary to introduce Simple Machines to their science students. Examples of Simple Machines include levers, pulleys, wedges, inclined planes and gears. Participants will learn to build at least one example of each machine using parts from the Lego Mindstorms kit, and will also learn the basic mathematics behind each machine. This workshop will be especially useful to teachers who are serving as mentors for First Lego League teams.

Grades: 5 to 8, Date: 3/14/17, Facilitator: Eric Constans

The Standards and Statistics
The Standards now put an emphasis on statistics and probability starting in Junior High continuing through high school. Many teachers have had only one course (at most) in statistics and probability. We will review the standards for each grade, reviewing vocabulary for everyone, but we will mostly work on using manipulatives that you can use in your classroom to introduce or reinforce the concepts of the Standards. Bring that TI calculator and come prepared to have fun!

Grades: 7 to 12, Date: 3/16/17, Facilitator: Douglas Smith