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Collab Lab 12: Middle School Math – What should we be trying?

Thursday August 10, 2017 @ 8:30 am - 11:00 am

How would you want to teach math?

“The first thing to understand is that mathematics is an art. The difference between math and the other arts, such as music and painting, is that our culture does not recognize it as such.”

— from A Mathematician’s Lament by Paul Lockhart

Barely half of 3rd graders in Wisconsin are proficient in math. By the time students reach 8th grade, that number is down to less than 40 percent. There are huge racial disparities in these scores.

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Should we be trying something different?

We’re delighted to have Milwaukee Succeeds join us in hosting a discussion focused middle school math:

  • How can we help effective methods spread?
  • If we wanted to do something different, what would it look like?
  • Where and how could we try something out?
  • What support would teachers need to do so?

Among others, you’ll get a chance to talk with:

Dr. Kevin McLeod, Associate Professor – Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Dr. McLeod is a research mathematician and an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). Dr. McLeod has long had an interest in good mathematics teaching. He was a co-PI for the Milwaukee Mathematics Partnership grant, and has worked extensively with MPS teachers for several years, taking an active role in planning the mathematical content for the coursework for MPS Mathematics Teacher Leaders, and assisting with the development and alignment to standards of district-developed classroom assessments.


Shannon Olson – UCC Acosta Middle School

Shannon Olson with UCC Accosta’s student built boat

UCC Acosta Middle School is a technology and skilled-trades focused charter school that offers its students Project Lead the Way Pre-Engineering curriculum, blended learning methods, including project based learning, and a Genius Hours where students are able to follow their passions. This spring, Shannon’s students built and a launched a boat in collaboration with All Hands Boatworks.


8:30 – 9:00 am: Have a cup of coffee, say hello

9:00 – 9:30 am: Introductions, ideas/examples from Math Circles, Project Based Learning

9:30 – 10:45 am: What would be useful to try, what might stand in the way, how might we move forward anyway.

10:45 – 11:00 am: Where to we go from here?


There is no charge for participation but space is limited


Special thanks to Milwaukee Succeeds for hosting this session with us!


The Collab Lab will be held in the innovation space at Ward 4, 333 North Plankinton Avenue, Milwaukee, WI. Space provided courtesy of The Commons.


Thursday August 10, 2017
8:30 am - 11:00 am
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