The Bay Area Circle for Teachers (BACT) endeavors to support teachers learning, enhancing and sharing content knowledge and instructional practices that bring such rich mathematical exploration into our schools. Currently we facilitate two workshops, a day-long winter workshop and a week long summer workshop that gives teachers experience with and resources from some of the wealth of math circle lessons currently being led in many math circles both local and national. We are continually looking to understand teacher's needs, to facilitate their interaction with research and applied mathematicians, and to support their development as math educators.
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Imagine a math classroom where students willingly engage on collaborative exploration and problem-solving of rigorous mathematical concepts. Now imagine that students broaden their understanding of what mathematics is, and while doing so develop problem-solving strategies that may be applied in any area of mathematical challenge. Imagine mathematics instruction that is in its nature engaging and often fun and students participate of their own free will.

A good math circle lesson does just this. It involves exploring mathematical concepts or problems in such a way that most students can engage and be challenged yet which have no ceiling to where this exploration takes them. It respects and extends student thinking. It provides them with models and approaches to develop their own observations. It promotes the role of student to that of budding mathematician capable of investigation and expression of critical thinking. And while doing so, it exposes students to the variety, complexity, and perhaps beauty of mathematics itself.
 BACT Resource Library

Applications review begins February 28th

We strongly encourage all school math teachers who would like to incorporate a problem-solving approach into their daily curriculum and who are interested in exploring engaging, accessible topics in mathematics to apply for The Circle for Teachers. Applications will be evaluated on a first-come first-served basis beginning February 28 , and spaces are expected to fill up fast, so please apply early! Decisions will be sent via email to applicants on a rolling basis beginning March 10th.

This program consists of two components: the summer workshop and the evening sessions during the school year. The summer workshop will take place in Berkeley, CA during the week of June 17 - June 21, 2013. Lodging will be provided for all participants free of charge and food will be provided during the day. Furthermore, no tuition charges will apply since the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI), the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and the Firedoll Foundation are supporting our instructors and covering other expenses. We ask that all participants remain on site, even those within commuting distance, since collegial interaction and evening activities form an important part of the workshop.

Follow-up sessions in the form of teacher and student Math Circles will be offered on Monday or Thursday evenings during the ensuing academic year to provide further resources and support. Participants are asked to commit to attending these events. In particular, those teachers receiving professional development units or college course credit must attend.

Approximately 30 teachers will be selected from the Bay Area. Acceptance will be based as much on a desire to implement this new style of teaching as on each applicantís current use of problem-solving, so we urge all interested teachers to apply, regardless of mathematical background.

See our brochure:

Application Form

To apply for The Circle for Teachers, first choose two individuals who could serve as personal references. Select people who are familiar with your teaching or your interest in enlivening mathematics education. You will need to provide an email address for each person serving as a reference. Please note that letters of recommendation are not automatically solicited from your references.

The second step is to prepare a statement explaining why you are interested in participating in The Circle for Teachers and how you expect to benefit from this program. There are no specific guidelines regarding the length of this statement; simply include enough information to give the reviewers an adequate summary of your reasons for wanting to participate, without writing so much that it becomes a burden to read. Prepare a document on your own computer using any word processor, so that you can cut and paste your statement into the online application form. (Text only, pleaseóno graphics or other files.)

Once you have selected two people who can serve as references and prepared a statement as described above, please apply to The Circle for Teachers using the online form provided by MSRI at their web site at .

If you have further questions or need additional information, please do not hesitate to Contact Us.


Bay Area Circle for Teachers redesign and modified logo by Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI)