About the author and this web page.
Author: Jim Olsen (James R. Olsen)
Brief author description: I am a retired teacher educator and have a great wife and 3 great children (2 of which are married to wonderful people) and 3 wonderful grandchildren. I consider myself a Christian, family member, teacher, athlete, and scholar. I taught HS math in the public schools for 10 years; higher ed while in graduate school for 5 years; mathematics and teacher education in the Mathematics and Philosophy Department at Western Illinois University for 29 years. More Info on Dr. O here.
Purpose of this Site: The purpose of this site is to help people understand grade 7 through 12 mathematics, make mathematics meaningful (make connections), and make it enjoyable. I want to help teachers gain pedagogical content knowledge–that is, an understanding of mathematics from a teacher’s point of view.
Intent: My intent is to create a website that is highly organized, based on solid mathematics and the CCSSM (Common Core State Standards for Mathematics), and useful for teachers and their students. The Internet is easily overwhelming. My intent is to curate resources and materials to illuminate mathematics.
I’m not-throwing-stuff-at-the-wall Disclaimer: This website will grow gradually and may never be comprehensive. This is to be carefully curated. (For a wall with stuff on it look at my Pinterest or here or here.)
Intended Audience: This site is created for grade 7-12 math teachers and prospective math teachers (e.g., college students majoring in teacher education). In addition, this site is open to mathematics students, who wish to gain a better understanding of mathematics. Corollary uses: I will also use aspects of this site in the teaching of Math 304 and 439 at WIU and this site may be used by secondary math teacher education candidates preparing for the math content exam.
Initiation Date and Aspiration: This site was created Jan. 3, 2015. I have been making web pages since 1999 (see other webpages below). I expect (as of January 2015) to maintain this website as one of my primary websites for at least the next 8 years.
Blog Aspect: I do not have a great need to regularly have a platform to ‘say my piece.’ However, it is useful, from time to time, to discuss current trends in mathematics education. Therefore, this site will include occasional weblog postings related to mathematics education. I welcome comments from viewers. (My twitter account will have a more steady stream of quips, comments, and links.)
Some of My Beliefs: In 2014 the NCTM published a book, titled Principles to Actions: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All. I believe (support) the 8 Mathematics Teaching Practices and the 5 Guiding Principles for School Mathematics. These (best) teaching practices and guiding principles can be seen in the Executive Summary.
What this is Not: This is not a list of lists of resources. Lists of lists are important and have been created by others and myself) elsewhere. (See websites below.) I intend for this site to be focused on math.
Feedback/Comments: I do welcome feedback from students and readers of this site. Please call me or email me. [I have disabled the comment feature on the website itself.]
Social Media: I use (in somewhat decreasing order of significance)
Some of my other webpages and projects:
- Common Core Math Standards: Information, Links, and Resources – I created this page (and continue to maintain it) to provide an easy way for teachers (and myself) to find CCSSM (and PARCC/Smarter Balanced) information, links, and resources.
- Course Specific Mental Math Curriculum – This is a curriculum I’ve been creating for a number of years. The Grade 8 and Algebra I curricula are done. Seventh grade and Geometry are in the works.
- Jim Olsen’s Home Page – this remains as my ‘front’ page. Lists current projects and pages and links to most everything else you see here.
- Teaching Resources – this is a very extensive list of resources for teaching.
- A Few Things I’ve Created list – a list of some of my other webpages (smaller projects)
- Online Math Games, Demonstration/Exploration Tools, and Puzzles – created a number of years ago. This site is not currently being maintained.
- PFD Boot Camp – PFD = Percents, Fractions, and Decimals
- Math Education Research and a Plethora of Committee and Government Reports
- Brain-Based Learning and Learning Theories