The Middle Grades Mathematics Initiative: Rational Number and Algebra is a collaborative effort between Toledo Public
Schools and The University of Toledo. This professional development project is designed
to support 6th through 8th grade mathematics teachers as
they implement the Patterns, Functions, and Algebra Standard and aspects of the Number,
Number Sense and Operation Standard related to rational
number (fractions, decimals, percents, ratios and proportional reasoning) in the Ohio
Academic Content Standards for Mathematics.
While algebra has historically been defined as the gatekeeper to success in higher education, current policy and research indicates that rational number is also one of the most challenging and the most essential to success in higher education (Lamon, 2007; U. S. Department of Education, 2008). This initiative will bring together 6th through 8th grade mathematics teachers for introductory sessions in Spring 2009, an intensive 9-day workshop in Summer 2009, and follow-up sessions, including site visits where teachers observe in other classrooms, in Fall 2009/Winter 2010. This work is designed to support existing programs in place in TPS including Thinking Mathematics, the Mathematics Specialist Program and the district’s recent adoption and implementation of the Connected Mathematics Project (CMP) middle grades (6-8) mathematics curriculum—a curriculum that strongly focuses on rational number development and a functions-based approach to algebra. The outcomes of this project will support both teacher development of practice and student achievement. These outcomes include increased (1) student achievement, (2) teacher implementation of Ohio Patterns, Functions, and Algebra Standard and rational number as outlined in the Ohio Number, Number Sense, and Operations Standard, (3) teacher content knowledge of algebra and rational number, (4) focus on student reasoning as it informs planning and teaching, and (5) support to implement an inquiry-based approach to algebra and rational number.
This Middle Grades (6-8) Mathematics Initiative is funded by an Improving Teacher Quality grant administered by The Ohio Board of Regents