Activities in the Local Education Community
The faculty in the Mathematics Department at College of the Redwoods have, for many years, been involved in the education community in the wider Humboldt-Del Norte-Mendocino County areas working directly with teachers and also, in some ways, working directly with students to improve math literacy and increase math appreciation and awareness among teachers and students in Humboldt, Del Norte, and Mendocino Counties.
This page describes various examples of the breadth and scope of our past and current involvement.
By working with local teachers, we develop relationships that help to smooth transitions for students coming to CR. This has the added benefit to the college of enhancing CR’s visibility (with us as “CR Ambassadors” in addition to being “Math Ambassadors”). Also, although K-12 teachers may not have degrees in mathematics, they must teach math as part of their assignments. By showing teachers ways they can enjoy math and understand it more deeply, we thereby help their students.
When we work directly with K-12 students, we not only help pre-collegiate students with their math skills, but also with their attitudes about math and about learning and also about CR.
We model and foster an environment that values learning in the community.
Described here are many examples of ways we have been building relationships between CR and the greater educational community over the years.
HomeWork Hotline: working directly with local teachers and local students on a weekly basis throughout the school year
This is a live, call-in television show on our local PBS station, now in its fifth season. A dozen local K-16 math and science teachers take turns being hosts on the show; they respond to questions phoned-in by local students, and give demonstrations and lessons. Tami Matsumoto works closely with these teachers both as a co-producer of the show and also as the math content advisor (thus also providing them with an accessible CR resource person). Kevin Yokoyama and Michael Butler, as hosts on the show, speak and work directly with local students. Through this TV show, CR gets enhanced visibility on the air. We have also gotten feedback from local teachers that this show is making math and science more “cool” among their students.
McKinleyville Middle School Science & Math Club: working directly with middle-school students on a weekly basis throughout the school year
Michael Butler volunteers his time every week at McKinleyville Middle School working with students in their Science & Math Club.
Each year, the students select a project to study and complete. Past projects include building a trebuchet and building a hovercraft. Guest presenters include other CR faculty such as Bob McPherson and Erik Kramer.
Jacoby Creek School MathCounts and Math Camp: working directly with middle-school students on a weekly basis
Brad Morin volunteers his time at Jacoby Creek School working with middle-school students, teaching math and chess. He also ran a summer math camp for middle-school students. Brad organizes scholastic chess tournaments, open to all K-12 students. Weekly, Brad coaches Jacoby Creek students to prepare them for MATHCOUNTS.
MATHCOUNTS is a national enrichment, club and competition program that promotes middle-school mathematics achievement through grassroots involvement in every U.S. state and territory. MATHCOUNTS inspires excellence, confidence and curiosity in middle-school students through fun and challenging math programs.
Dows Prairie School “Bubble Magic” Presentation: working directly with K-5 students annually
Michael Butler volunteers his time to share his “Bubble Magic” with the students at Dows Prairie School yearly.
Academy of the Redwoods/College of the Redwoods Liaison Committee: working directly with AR faculty, staff, administration, and students
Academy of the Redwoods is an Early College High School on the CR campus. Kevin Yokoyama (as committee chair) and Tami Matsumoto are on the faculty liaison committee, and Bruce Wagner and Michael Butler have also been working together with the Academy in other capacities. Our work includes advising students about CR courses, and helping to coordinate usage of facilities. We also are working with Academy faculty on curriculum sharing and development. Kevin Yokoyama, working with CR faculty from other areas, has organized and run “Summer Bridge” programs in 2008 and 2009 for AR students. Bruce Wagner and Tami Matsumoto have administered tests to several AR math classes in our current work refining placement tests and aligning curriculum.
Eel River Valley Math Vertical Team (ERV MVT): working directly with Eel River Valley teachers who teach mathematics in middle-school and high-school
This MVT began as a group of local middle-school and high school teachers working together to align curriculum and to support each other as math educators. Michael Butler and Tami Matsumoto joined the team many years ago and continue to participate, coordinating curriculum, and sharing and cultivating teaching ideas for teachers of mathematics, as well as helping assist and advise high school students, especially regarding CR math courses.
A few years ago, a subset of the MVT did a “Lesson Study” following the model used in Japan. We developed a lesson on slope and we took turns teaching the lesson while the rest of the group observed the students:
Cathy Sinnen taught it to advanced 7th-graders in Algebra I at Toddy Thomas Middle School, Rob Marshall taught it to 9th- and 10th-graders in Algebra I at Fortuna High School, and Tami Matsumoto taught it to a Pre-Algebra class at CR.
The MVT gave the keynote presentation at the GATE Academy at HSU a few years ago and is scheduled to do this every five years. (“GATE” is “Gifted And Talented Education”.) We presented several mathematical concepts to over 600 Humboldt County 5th- through 8th-graders in an interactive format. We also gave a parent presentation, advising parents of ways they can be more involved with and supportive of GATE students. After the keynote, the students break off into smaller groups for special classes, and Michael Butler has taught classes there the last two years.
Also, Rob Marshall (Fortuna High School math teacher), who started the MVT, has done workshops for the Humboldt County Office of Education in to encourage articulation through work with Vertical Teams. Tami Matsumoto was one of the panel members at the last workshop.
Cal-PASS PLC: working directly with middle-school and high-school teachers of mathematics in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties
Cal-PASS (California Partnership for Achieving Student Success) has various PLCs (Professional Learning Councils) throughout the state. The idea is the same as with the ERV MVT except on a larger scale (and with funding from the state). Kevin Yokoyama, Michael Butler, Bruce Wagner, and Tami Matsumoto are participating in this “Professional Learning Council,” working with math teachers from throughout Humboldt and Del Norte counties. Meetings have been devoted to math instructors at various levels discussing challenges and successes in teaching mathematics. We discuss strategies for teaching and learning math that will help improve students' math knowledge, test performance, and college readiness.
Wild Rivers Mathematics Academy (WRMA): working directly with teachers (Grade 3 through Algebra I) in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties
Tami Matsumoto assists faculty from the HSU Mathematics Department (Dale Oliver, Phyllis Chinn, Stuart Moskowitz) to provide teacher training in WRMA, a three-year professional development program for teachers of grades three through Algebra I. WRMA is designed to increase the content knowledge and pedagogical repertoire of 35 mathematics teachers from Humboldt and Del Norte County. The Del Norte County Office of Education received a California Mathematics Project Grant which is funding WRMA through the No Child Left Behind Act. Partners include Del Norte County USD, McKinleyville ESD, Humboldt County Office of Education, Humboldt State University, Educational Support Systems, Inc., and Apple Computers.
CMC-Far North: working directly with local K-12 teachers
CMC-Far North is the North Coast affiliate of the California Mathematics Council and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
This local chapter is run mainly by local K-12 teachers, and hosts a local annual fall conference.
Several of our faculty are members, have served on committees, and, over the years, have regularly given presentations at the local fall conference.
This year’s conference was October 17, 2009, and CR faculty who gave presentations include Michael Butler and Tami Matsumoto. We share with local K-12 teachers mathematical concepts they can present to their students in new and fun ways, and we also share our enthusiasm for mathematics.
Humboldt Math Festival: working directly with local teachers, students, and the whole community in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties
The Humboldt Math Festival is held annually in the spring at the Bayshore Mall in Eureka. It is the creation of Ken Pinkerton, a science teacher currently at Washington School in Eureka, and is a community celebration of mathematics. Presenters include local K-16 teachers, other community members who use mathematics in their professions, and others who share their love of mathematics in subjects that use mathematics (e.g. art). Attendees include members from all facets of the local community. Many members of the CR math department are regular presenters at the Math Festival, including Michael Butler, Robin Carter, Michelle Moreno, Elizabeth Arnold, and Tami Matsumoto. CR students help out and get experience explaining mathematical concepts to community members. Others presenters from CR include Diesel Corsair students, Michael Regan, Betsy Buchanan, and CR alumna Jennifer Kinkaid.
Tami Matsumoto also served on the organizing committee.
Through CR and other outlets, community members distant from Eureka (such as in Crescent City) were given gas cards and/or bus passes to aid their transportation to the Math Festival.
CR Science Night: working directly with local teachers, students, and the whole community in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties
Many CR staff and faculty volunteer time and energy to make “Science Night” an annual success. Attendees include members from all facets of the local community, especially young students and their families. Many members of the CR math department are regular presenters, and many CR students get the experience of helping to share their enthusiasm for math and science with others.
A Celebration of Women in Mathematics, Science, and Engineering: inspiring and educating local middle-school girls
David Arnold created this wonderful event that was hosted at CR in 2005 and 2006. Several different types of activities filled the week-long celebration, with the aim of giving local middle-school girls the opportunity to see women who work in math, science, and engineering – to hear about the work they do, to meet them and speak with them in person, to hear about their life paths that brought them to where they are, and to ask them questions.
Math Awareness Month television segments: educating the community
April is Math Awareness Month, and each year a different national theme is selected. For several years now, members of the CR math department – students and faculty working together – have created television segments that aired in April to raise awareness of mathematics. Past years’ themes include Networks, Internet Security, the Brain, Voting, and the Climate.
Humboldt County Doris Niles Science Fair: giving feedback directly to local students in grades 4-12
The Humboldt County Science Fair hosts local student projects for judging every year in spring. Tony Sartori served as a Board Member and has devoted countless hours. Several CR mathematics and science faculty regularly volunteer as judges of science projects from 4th grade through high school, giving valuable feedback to scores of young students.
Redwood Environmental Education Fair (REEF): working directly with 3rd- through 8th-grade students and their teachers
REEF is a Humboldt County Office of Education event held on the CR campus each spring for Humboldt County 3rd- through 8th- graders. Several CR faculty are regular presenters, educating young students and their teachers in a fun and interactive environment.
(Go to http://www.humboldt.k12.ca.us/ciss/rsf/stud_events.php
and select the link for “Redwood Environmental Education Fair (REEF)”)
CR's High School Counselor Day: working directly with local high school counselors
Bruce Wagner, Michael Butler, and Tami Matsumoto meet with local high school counselors at this CR Student Services event in the fall. We believe it is important to meet them and speak with them directly about the transition for their students regarding math classes, and they value the opportunity to ask questions of us directly.
CalSOAP: helping provide tutors in schools who work directly with students
The California Student Opportunity and Access Program (CalSOAP) trains CR students in tutoring and arranges for them to tutor young students in our local schools. In the Mathematics Department, we identify and recommend good math students for this program.
Expanding Your Horizons: working directly with 5th- through 8th-grade girls
The local version of this event is organized by HSU every other year. Several CR faculty have been presenters, serving as role models as they educate and inspire young girls.
Redwood Area Mathematics Project (RAMP): working directly with K-12 teachers
RAMP was one of about 19 California Mathematics Projects throughout the state, funded by the state of California. The mission of the California Mathematics Project (CMP) is to develop and enhance K-12 teachers' content knowledge and instructional strategies aligned with the California State Board of Education adopted California Mathematics Content Standards and Framework.
RAMP, housed at HSU, offered many different workshops and institutes for many years, but there is no current funding.
In the past, Michael Butler and Tami Matsumoto have worked with many local teachers through RAMP.
Mathematics Courses for Prospective Teachers
At HSU, Tami Matsumoto taught their “Mathematics for Elementary Education” courses for many years.
Currently, because of her past experience teaching mathematics courses for prospective teachers, Tami Matsumoto is a member of California Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (CAMTE) and also subscribes to COMET, California Online Mathematics Education Times (COMET is sponsored in part by a grant from the California Mathematics Project).
Professional Development: Algebra Institute for Teachers of English Language Learners/English Language Development (ELL/ELD) – working with middle-school and high-school teachers in Sonoma County
In 2006, Tami Matsumoto assisted Frank Kutil (retired Eureka High School math teacher) in an institute for the Sonoma County Office of Education, sharing and demonstrating ways to adapt mathematics instruction to teach algebra with less dependency upon English fluency.
Professional Development: Math for Middle School Teachers
Michael Butler and Tami Matsumoto, along with Sharon Brown from HSU, taught a special topics CR Math course in spring 2004. The focus was on algebraic and statistics topics relevant to middle-school math curriculum. The course was designed to improve comprehension and skills of teachers of grades 5-9 and advance their content skills. The content was from grade-specific NTCM standards as well as the California State Standards in Algebra and Statistics. The class assisted meeting the California High Objective Uniform State Standard Of Evaluation (HOUSSE) requirements for NCLB.
This was funded in part by the Northcoast Mathematics and Science Initiative (NMSI).
Professional Development for K-12 teachers: Probability and Statistics
Michael Butler and Tami Matsumoto taught a special topics course at CR’s Mendocino campus in June 2004, at the request of teachers in Fort Bragg. We covered some of the central ideas of Probability and Statistics as related to the California Mathematics Standards and those aspects of the topics covered on the CSET Single Subject Foundational Math test. We demonstrated a variety of ways K-12 teachers can incorporate probability and statistics ideas into their grade-level assignments.
This was funded in part by the Northcoast Mathematics and Science Initiative (NMSI).
Professional Development for K-12 teachers: Exploring Functions
During summer 2004, Tami Matsumoto taught a special topics CR math professional development course exploring a variety of ways of expressing functions. Function Concepts are a central idea in 3rd- through 12th- grade mathematics and an important component of the CSET Single Subject Foundational Math test.
This was funded in part by the Northcoast Mathematics and Science Initiative (NMSI).