TLC Secures Martha Holden Jennings Foundation Grant
Visualizing Math via Manipulatives
Local teachers will get a much-needed assist with math instruction thanks to EHHS professors Karl Kosko, Joanne Caniglia, and Rick Ferdig, who have been awarded a nearly $15,000 grant by the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation (MHJF) for their project, "Visualizing Math via Manipulatives."
From March 2023 through February 2024, this grant will fund professional development for elementary school teachers in three different public school districts in Portage County.
“Recent reports from the federal government show a decrease in math scores nationwide,” said Karl Kosko, professor in the School of Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Studies. “Yet, even before this report, research suggests many students do not learn math beyond routine memorization. We know concrete manipulatives help students make meaning of written procedures, but these materials are expensive, and the cost is often paid out of a teacher's own pocket.”
Additionally, because of the lack of materials in most classrooms, teachers also don’t have access to professional development to learn to use these materials effectively. However, MakerSpace technology like 3D printers and Cricut machines can be used to create these materials at a fraction of the cost.
The MHJF grant will allow teachers to create and use mathematics manipulatives (while saving money) in the following ways:
- Learning how best to facilitate math lessons.
- Using MakerSpace technology (3D printers and Cricut machines) to create and produce their own classroom materials.
- Receiving funds to purchase these machines.
“Fraction tiles may cost $7 - $10 per student from a vendor but could be produced from a 3D printer for $1.50 per student,” said Kosko. “When considering that class sizes often include more than 20 students, this amounts to a significant savings in cost.”