Posts Tagged ‘math’

Free Math in Welding Webinar – May 22, 2014

Friday, May 16th, 2014

Bill & Katie prepare for math in welding On May 22 at 4 PM, PST you can learn how to “Ignite Your CTE Students’ Math Skills.” Sierra College instructors, Bill Wenzel, Welding and Katie Lucero, Mathematics will present a free webinar on infusing welding assignments with essential math skills.

Register for this free “Ignite Your CTE Students’ Math Skills”webinar.

Read more about the May 22 Math in Welding event.

Flyer on May 22 Ignite Your CTE Students’ Math Skills 

Link to IGNITE Math in Welding Report and 8 Lessons

After the event, the Sierra College Ignite Welding infused with Math webinar will be posted on YouTube:

Sierra College instructors will present eight turnkey activities and worksheets that they developed and used successfully in multiple welding classes to raise students’ math scores. The materials were created for the 2011-12 National Science Foundation (NSF) IGNITE (Infusing GeNed Into Technical Education) project, funded through a sub-grant from the University of West Virginia at Parkersburg.


Sacramento Common Core Math Workshops

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Teachers at Hands-on Math Workshop Sierra College STEM DSC01627The Sierra College Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Collaborative is offering a series of three workshops on implementing the Common Core standards of mathematical practice. To prepare teachers to meet the new Common Core mathematics requirements, participants will learn how to use hands-on activities to engage students and facilitate critical thinking.

Implementing the Standards of Mathematical Practice on Fridays March 14, April 4 and May 9, 2014 in Roseville CA. Sierra STEM Hands on Math Common Core March May 2014 Workshops Flyer


MIT BLOSSOMS offers Math & Science Teaching Videos

Monday, July 29th, 2013

MIT BLOSSOMS (Blended Learning Open Source Science and Math Studies) is a source of over 50 math and science video lessons developed by MIT faculty and others.  The Video Library makes lessons freely available to teachers as streaming video and Internet downloads. One goal of MIT BLOSSOMS is to encourage teachers around the world to explore and sample the many excellent teaching and learning resources that are today available for free online. In the MIT BLOSSOMS Video Library, you can search by education standards as well as topic and language.

STEM Faculty Integrate Math Lessons into Welding

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Through a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant,  Sierra College Math and Welding  faculty participated in the University of West Virginia at Parkersburg (UWVP) IGNITE project to develop math lessons applied to a welding project. The results showed that students’ math skills improved significantly.

Watch the movie about this NSF project integrating math into a welding technical education class at Placer Herald Sierra College addresses skills gap by fusing math with welding (11-29-2012).

Sierra College Welding Department chair, Bill Wenzel and Katie Lucero, chair of the Sierra College Math Department, developed the new applied academic curriculum. Carol Pepper-Kittredge, director, Sierra College Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT), facilitated the collaboration of faculty with the University of West Virginia on this NSF grant project.

See the photo gallery of Sierra College welding students learning applied math as part of the NSF grant at the Placer Herald Sierra College fuses math and welding


Class refreshes math to combat need for remediation

Friday, November 16th, 2012

According to the Journal Sentinel UW-La Crosse developing free online math course to boost students’ proficiency, a new tool is being piloted to refresh students’ math skills so college students don’t have to take remedial classes that impede  graduation.

This might help prepare and encourage more students to pursue and graduate in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

Math in Welding Addresses Skills Gap

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Sierra College ( welding students are better prepared for employment because the critical math skills sought by industry are being overtly integrated into class projects. Sierra College Welding Department chair, Bill Wenzel worked with Katie Lucero, chair of the Sierra College Math Department to develop new infused math in welding curriculum and test it in two classes. While welding classes have always included some math, incorporating math lessons tied directly to a student project significantly improved students’ math skills.

The Sierra College IGNITE (Infusing GeN-ed Into Technical Education) project was developed in partnership with the West Virginia University at Parkersburg (WVUP) and funded by the National Science Foundation, according to Carol Pepper-Kittredge, director, Sierra College Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT). (Read the Final Report: Sierra College IGNITE Final Report, Conducted Under the University of West Virginia at Parkersburg National Science Foundation ATE grant award #1003709)

Using the math competencies WVUP identified for infusion into welding, Sierra College faculty developed hands-on, applied math curriculum that related directly to welding projects. Students in Welding Technology 10 classes learned welding and technical skills as they fabricated a Hibachi Barbeque, according to Wenzel. “Classes were provided with drawings that showed measurements as fractions and decimals, step-by-step assembly directions and instruction on the use of shop equipment and hand tools,” said Wenzel. “For the experimental class, we designed weekly math lessons that covered critical math skills that applied directly to the construction of the barbeque.”

For example, students multiplied and divided fractions to determine how many lengths of a specified measurement could be cut from a rod. They calculated how much material would be used for the Hibachi handle and the grill. In another exercise, students designed two different grill patterns and calculated the amount of material needed and the cost to construct each design.

“The class that completed the hands-on math exercises performed significantly better than the control group on basic and pre-algebra skills based on pre- and post-tests,” said Wenzel. The infused math in welding curriculum was also tested in another class, Welding Technology 15, and again the students’ mathematics performance improved.

On a student survey, 52% of the students in the infused math WT-10 class had not enrolled in a math class at Sierra College but 82% said they would feel more comfortable taking a math class in the future as a result of the WT-10 class; and 48% would be more likely to take the math assessment for placement in a math class at Sierra College. So, math confidence improved too.

The Sierra College CACT provides customized training in shop math for Placer and Nevada County businesses. “Employers report that skilled employees can’t apply fractions, decimals and basic math to their work,” said Pepper-Kittredge. “Infusing math into welding shows great potential to address the skills gap before students go into the workforce.”

Introduction to Project Based Learning

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

The Buck Institute for Education (BIE) interviewed Telannia Norfar, a math teacher using Project Based Learning extensively. The interview focused on benefits, resistance, bridging subjects, and more that a teacher considering Project Based Learning should consider. Read the brief interview here. She also hosted a half hour webinar discussing the creation of Project Based Learning projects. Click here to watch the webinar.

Teachers pilot math games

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

On October 20, 2011, teachers who are piloting Fraction Contraption ( through the Sierra College STEM Collaborative and National Science Foundation grants met to debrief on their experience, discuss teaching methods and learn a new game also developed by Jono Schwartz, Fence the Yard.

What teachers say is going well with testing Fraction Contraption in their classrooms:

  • The students love it
  • The students like the competition

Teaching tips:

  • Use ruler and write down conversions
  • Write down rolls – show total, then challenge teacher to “graduate” to not writing it down
  • Use number line – student have it out while playing
  • Had them pair up with peers who understand it to help the ones having trouble
  • Teacher helps pick who to play for 1st game, then can challenge anyone
  • Class plays against the teacher


  • Uses play money and treats it like a gambling game – 5th grade – they love it
  • Uses prizes from the dollar tree – vw bugs, erasers, cones on desk when doing well, big erasers, gold trophies that you can write their name on and post – juniors and seniors in HS still like these gestures

Track rank in tournaments:

  • Keep track with yard stick – mounted away from the wall and place the cloths pins with the students name on them – change position as rank changes
  • Uses magnets on file cabinet for tracking tournament place
  • Smart board – position – drags name –for tournament play
  • Made ladder with Velcro to move ranking


Cold Call in Class

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Cold Call is a classroom technique used to engage students in practicing math skills outloud. Watch Calling on Students

New York Times March 2, 2010 Teaching Techniques Narrated by Doug Lemov, Uncommon Schools

NYT Op-ed: How to Fix Our Math Education

Friday, August 26th, 2011

The New York Times published an Op-Ed by Sol Garfunkel and David Mumford on August 24, 2011, “How to Fix Our Math Education.” 

It suggests that that the current way we teach math does not prepare students as well as it could for a variety of careers and personal needs. Teaching math in context may have more value, according to the authors: “… most citizens would be better served by studying how mortgages are priced, how computers are programmed and how the statistical results of a medical trial are to be understood.”

They recommend making math more relevant. “A math curriculum that focused on real-life problems would still expose students to the abstract tools of mathematics.”

In addition, they suggest that the typical classes taught today be organized by how the math applies. “Imagine replacing the sequence of algebra, geometry and calculus with a sequence of finance, data and basic engineering.”