Event Title

Alternative Texts in the Math Classroom: Exploring Sphereland

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of Mathematics

Honors Thesis Committee

Trent Kull, Ph.D.; Kristen Abernathy, Ph.D.; and Frank Pullano, Ph.D.

Location

West 214

Start Date

20-4-2018 2:00 PM

Description

Improving student literacy has become an increasingly important educational goal in the last decade. South Carolina, for example, recently adopted Read to Succeed legislation that requires teachers to receive special training on how to incorporate literacy into their specific content areas. One method of improving literacy is to incorporate alternative texts that provide supplementary reading beyond the classroom textbook. This is especially useful in mathematics, where students have difficulty understanding the high density, symbolic language associated with the subject. The alternative text used for this study was Sphereland by Dionysus Burger, a fictional novella that couples an interesting tale of discovery with geometry, trigonometry, dimensions, and relativity. Along with two related animated movies produced by Flat World Productions, the researchers for this project used Sphereland to develop supplementary lessons for Algebra 1 and 2, Geometry, Precalculus, and Calculus courses. Ten high school teachers and 13 mathematics classes used these lessons over two semesters. This project examines the constructed lessons, survey results from the 209 students, and feedback from the participating teachers.

Grant Support?

Supported by a grant from the Winthrop University Research Council

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Apr 20th, 2:00 PM

Alternative Texts in the Math Classroom: Exploring Sphereland

West 214

Improving student literacy has become an increasingly important educational goal in the last decade. South Carolina, for example, recently adopted Read to Succeed legislation that requires teachers to receive special training on how to incorporate literacy into their specific content areas. One method of improving literacy is to incorporate alternative texts that provide supplementary reading beyond the classroom textbook. This is especially useful in mathematics, where students have difficulty understanding the high density, symbolic language associated with the subject. The alternative text used for this study was Sphereland by Dionysus Burger, a fictional novella that couples an interesting tale of discovery with geometry, trigonometry, dimensions, and relativity. Along with two related animated movies produced by Flat World Productions, the researchers for this project used Sphereland to develop supplementary lessons for Algebra 1 and 2, Geometry, Precalculus, and Calculus courses. Ten high school teachers and 13 mathematics classes used these lessons over two semesters. This project examines the constructed lessons, survey results from the 209 students, and feedback from the participating teachers.