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Visit Henri Picciotto's Math Education Page. Send me e-mail .

Summer Workshops
for Math Teachers

with Henri Picciotto

I direct the Center for Innovative Teaching (CIT) at the Urban School of San Francisco. In the summer of 2009, we will offer many workshops for middle and high school teachers, and a symposium for school leaders, on integrating technology and education.

I will lead two workshops, outlined below, and participate in the symposium. Handouts and SmartBoards from the workshops, discounts on some Key Curriculum materials, and a video of my presentation to the symposium will be available to the participants on the (private) CIT wiki.

Visual Algebra

Tuesday-Friday, August 4-7, 2009
9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

sqrt 20

(2 continuing education units from the University of Southern California's School of Education.)

This four-day workshop is designed for middle and high school mathematics teachers who want to make algebra more accessible, richer and more fun. I will present a wealth of visual approaches to the teaching of algebra, including:

  • Lab Gear manipulatives for basic symbol manipulation
  • geoboard lattices for slope and radicals
  • a powerful parallel axes representation for functions
  • intelligent use of technology
  • three distinct visual paths to the quadratic formula

Topics range from Pre-Algebra to Algebra II. Activities complement the material in any textbook, whether reform or traditional.

Participants will learn techniques to serve the whole range of students by offering

  • greater access, because of addressing multiple intelligences;
  • greater challenge, because of expecting multi-dimensional understanding; and
  • greater variety, because of using manipulative and electronic tools.

In addition, we will work on teacher-level problems rooted in high school subject matter, and strengthen understanding of the underlying mathematics.

(This is the same workshop I taught in the past as "The Geometry of Algebra", somewhat expanded.)

Special guest: As part of the "Visual Algebra" workshop, Laura Evans of San Lorenzo High School will present a half-day session on cooperative learning groups. Group work can be made more effective if principles and practices are put in place to support engagement and equity. Laura will outline tools and strategies (using the Complex Instruction framework) to help optimize participation, learning, and accountability for diverse students working on group-worthy mathematical tasks.

More Details

No Limits!

Monday - Tuesday, August 10-11, 2009
9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.


(1 continuing education unit from the University of Southern California's School of Education.)

This two-day workshop is designed for high school mathematics teachers who want to make Algebra 2, Trigonometry and Precalculus more accessible, richer and more fun. I will present a number of units to enrich and deepen the corresponding lessons in any textbook, whether traditional or reform.

  • Concrete introductions to exponential, logarithmic, inverse variation, and trig functions
  • Function diagrams: upper level applications
  • Iterating functions as a gateway to sequences, series, mathematical induction and chaos
  • A visual approach to complex numbers and matrices.

A frequent challenge in teaching upper level high school classes is the limited pedagogical range of most textbooks and curricula. This is particularly harmful to the students who find symbol manipulation difficult, but it is also cheating our stronger students of the multi-faceted understanding that would serve them best. To address this, several of the units presented in the workshop involve the intelligent use of electronic tools, hands-on activities with concrete materials, and/or creative alternate representations.

More details:

Presenter: more info about me

Registration, time, place, logistics:
Urban School Center for Innovative Teaching

Past Workshops: 2008 | 2007

Questions? Send me e-mail

Visit Henri Picciotto's Math Education Page. Send me e-mail .