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Math teachers in Akron Thursday

By John Published: October 13, 2010

Don't forget, the 60th Annual Conference of of the Ohio Council of Teachers of Mathematics starts Thursday in Akron at the John S. Knight Center.

Teachers from several area districts are making presentations including Akron, Stow-Munroe Falls, Medina, Hudson, Rootstown, Woodridge and Wooster.

I'm hoping to go over Thursday morning to check out some presentations. Here's a few that caught my eye:

Keynote speaker Gail Burill from Michigan State University (9 a.m.)

Where are all the black kids in that AP math class? with Carol Phillips-Bey from Cleveland State University (10 a.m.)

Wrapping your mind about spatial sense with Trish Koontz from Kent State University  (noon).

She's talking about grades 6-8, but I'm interested in this one because of a paper on spatial thinking in preschoolers in the current issue of Mind, Brain and Education. Here's the abstract for that paper:

Spatial representation and thinking have evolutionary importance for any mobile organism. In addition, they help reasoning in domains that are not obviously spatial, for example, through the use of graphs and diagrams. This article reviews the literature suggesting that mental spatial transformation abilities, while present in some precursory form in infants, toddlers, and preschool children, also undergo considerable development and show important individual differences, which are malleable. These findings provide the basis for thinking about how to promote spatial thinking in preschools, at home, and in children's play. Integrating spatial content into formal and informal instruction could not only improve spatial functioning in general but also reduce differences related to gender and socioeconomic status that may impede full participation in a technological society.
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