Southwest Educational Development Laboratory

Classroom Compass
Volume 2 Number 1
Fall 1995


Resources and Opportunities

Investigations in Number, Data, and Space

Try to envision a small group of third graders working around a table with several manipulative materials, talking about whether to use multiplication or division to solve a problem. The students might be working from a new program entitled Investigations in Number, Data, and Space offered by Dale Seymour Publishers. This inquiry-based mathematics curriculum, currently available for grades 3 and 4, presents activity books with background and preparation information, lesson plans, reproducible teaching materials, teacher notes, and an assessment plan. Students work together, using concrete materials and technological tools, talking, writing, and drawing about math, finding multiple approaches to problems, and inventing their own strategies. Several of the books include activities for use with Geo-Logo software, which is included.

At present, Investigations in Number, Data, and Space provides 21 separate books, 10 for grade 3 and 11 for grade 4. They may be purchased individually; most are $23 each. Investigations was developed at TERC (formerly Technical Education Research Center) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For more information write:

Dale Seymour Publications
PO Box 10888
Palo Alto, CA 94303
or call 1-800-872-1100.

Mathematics Learning Forums

The Bank Street College of Education is sponsoring a series of on-line seminars for elementary and middle school mathematics teachers. Participants from around the nation will discuss specific aspects of mathematics teaching. During the fall 1995 or spring 1996 semesters, 18 forums will be offered. Forum themes include:

  • Assessing Students through Focused Observations (K-4)
  • Investigating Patterns in Mathematics (5-8)
  • Teaching Probability (5-8)
  • Engaged Learning: When Does a Child Really Learn? (K-4)
An on-line facilitator will host the sessions and teachers will view videotapes of students and teachers in many school settings. Graduate credits and inservice credits are available for additional registration fees.

For a registration form and more information phone (212) 807-4207; email or visit the Web Site at

Pathways to School Improvement

The North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL) in Oak Brook, Illinois, has prepared Pathways to School Improvement, an examination of reform in mathematics and science education. The Pathways address on the World Wide Web ( ) outlines a variety of selections that include assessment, leadership, governance, and school to work. The mathematics and science sections examine such issues as providing authentic learning experiences in science, ensuring equity in science and mathematics instruction, and the significance of the NCTM Standards. The site provides thoughtful discussions that support educational reform for mathematics and science education.

The Journey Inside: The Computer

Nothing can replace hands-on experience for learning computer skills. As an introductory segment to learning about the internal workings of the machine and the history of its development, however, this free instructional kit from Intel Corp could be helpful. The kit (pictured at left) includes instructional materials and an introductory video, but best of all is the Chip Kit: a collection of processor chips, a packaged microprocessor, and a silicon wafer. These artifacts can be passed around and closely examined without fear of breaking or contaminating them. The kit is available to teachers of mathematics, science, or computers in grades 5 through 9. To obtain an order form call 1-800-346-3029 ext. 143.

Youth Garden Grants

The National Gardening Association has applications available for its thirteenth annual Youth Garden Grants. NGA, a member- supported nonprofit organization based in Vermont, will award 300 grants to winning applicants nationwide for use during the 1996 growing season.

Each grant, worth about $500, consists of quality tools, seeds, plants, and garden products contributed by 28 leading companies from the lawn and garden industry. Programs involving at least 15 children between the ages of 3 and 18 are eligible. To receive an application, write to:

Garden Grants,
Department PS National Gardening Association,
180 Flynn Avenue,
Burlington VT 05401
or call:

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