Art Education Faculty Graduate Admissions K-12 School of Education

Learning – Not by the Numbers; School of Education a Partner in Conference of the Assoc. for Constructivist Teaching

Jacqueline Grennon-Brooks and students.

 At the National Museum of Mathematics; October 18 and 19, 2013

The Association for Constructivist Teaching (ACT) has partnered with Hofstra University’s IDEAS Institute and Department of Teaching, Literacy and Leadership, as well the professional society Phi Delta Kappa, to present its annual conference at the National Museum of Mathematics in New York City, October 18-19, 2013. Hofstra faculty members will be among the scholars to present at this prestigious meeting of educators and scholars from across the country. Hofstra’s IDEAS Director Jacqueline Grennon Brooks, a past president of the association, has played a significant role in developing the stimulating conference agenda.

The National Museum of Mathematics is located at 11 East 26th Street in Manhattan. More information on the conference is available at

The constructivist logoACT is based on the constructivist teaching values of learner reflection, cognitive conflict, and peer interaction. The national organization is dedicated to fostering teacher development based on these same principles.

The conference location in New York City and at the National Museum of Mathematics will give participants the opportunity to:

  • play with museum exhibits
  • adapt exhibit ideas for classroom use
  • participate in hands-on workshops
  • reflect on teaching and learning
  • plan creative lessons linked to Common Core Standards

Keynote addresses:

John Adam will present “Mathematical Patterns in Nature” on Friday, October 18. Dr. Adam is professor of mathematics at Old Dominion University. He co-authored Guesstimation: Solving the World’s Problems on the Back of a Cocktail Napkin, and more recently authored A Mathematical Nature Walk and X and the City: Modeling Aspects of Urban Life.

Catherine Twomey Fosnot will present “Practices that Develop Young Mathematicians” on Saturday, October 19. Dr. Twomey Fosnot is professor emeritus of childhood education at CUNY and the founding director of Mathematics in the City. She serves as the senior content consultant for the award-winning DreamBox Learning and is the CEO of New Perspectives on Learning, LLC.

Sessions presented by Hofstra faculty members include:

Understanding Mathematics Through Artmaking and Aesthetics
Susan G. Zwirn, Graduate Director and Associate Professor of Art Education and Sharon Whitton, Graduate Director & Professor of Mathematics Education
Artists and architects have used mathematical concepts to create theirmasterpieces throughout history and yet we continue to erect arbitrary divisionsin schools between these subjects. In this presentation participants will learn approaches to interdisciplinary thinking and creating that foster a deeper knowledge of core math concepts as well as an aesthetic pleasurein achieving this understanding.

A Curriculum Stroll of Floor –1!
Irene Plonczak, Co-Director, Elementary STEM Education and Associate Professor, Hofstra University
Let’s stroll the exhibit space on a quest for classroom curriculum challenges that can advance students’ basic reasoning skills.

Fractions at “Rhythms of Life”
Eileen Simons, Co-Director of Elementary STEM Education and Adjunct Professor, Dept. of Teaching, Literacy and Leadership
Teachers will learn classroom tasks inspired by the Museum’s Rhythms of Life exhibit to foster students’ abilities to compare and contrast fractions.

Learning Multiplication with the Balance Beam
Blidi S. Stemn, Associate Professor, Dept. of Teaching, Literacy, and Leadership
A balance beam model of multiplication will be demonstrated as an instructional method helpful in strengthening the learning of multiplication facts as students problem solve, write multiplication sentences in equation form, and explore other relationships.

How can teachers use “Coaster Rollers” and the “Square Wheeled Trike” in their classrooms?
Julia Caliendo, STEM Studio Master Teacher
Two museum exhibits will be adapted for the classroom with low-cost small scale materials that teach the same concepts of non-round rollers

Implementing Effective Questioning Strategies that Support Reading Complex Text
Esther Fusco, Chair, Department Teaching, Literacy and Literature
This workshop explores the questioning cycle and how teachers can improve content instruction through effective questions for dealing with the complexity of text and utilizing the Common Core Standards. An overview of connecting questions, subject areas and the tests students face will be presented. Participants will review how to structure a question and explore how to assess students’ responses in order to build students’ conceptual development.

How can Teachers use Ideas from “Formula Morph” and Other Exhibits with Students with Special Needs?
Gloria Wilson, Associate Professor, Dept. of Special Education, Hofstra University
Let’s discuss how complex activities impact the learning of struggling students.



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