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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     Summer 2013 Resources
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     Summer 2010 Elementary
     Summer 2009
 
     Winter 2013 Resources
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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.
 
 
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The BACT Summer Workshop supports teachers in their development of problem solving skills as well as supporting the incorporation of problem solving into their teaching curriculum. During the earlier part of the week teachers will gain experience with a variety of problem solving techniques such as symmetry, mathematical patterns, and parity. Subsequent sessions will focus on particular topics such as geometry, sequences, counting, and number theory.

A major theme throughout the week will be finding creative answers to the question of how to incorporate a problem-solving approach to math education into the existing curriculum. To this end leaders will supply participants with handouts or short modules based on the material covered during their sessions. They will also work with teachers to share ideas for enlivening any math class and to develop lesson plans. Focused discussions will be held regularly to determine what obstacles exist to incorporating this style of teaching into the present curriculum, what resources would be most helpful to teachers, and other related topics.

Past Workshops

Find more detailed workshop information about past BACT programs including session handouts and other resources visit individual summer programs:
Summer 2013 BACT Workshop
Summer 2012 BACT Workshop
Summer 2011 BACT Workshop
Summer 2010 Elementary BACT Workshop
Summer 2010 BACT Workshop
Summer 2009 BACT Workshop

General Daily Schedule

The summer workshop consists of daily sessions Monday through Friday. The sessions will meet at Clark Kerr Campus in Berkeley, CA, with daily meetings 9:00am -5:00pm. Evenings will be reserved for related, informal activities including further exploration of the day's problems and discussions of other mathematical fun and games. The core of the summer workshop will consist of the morning and afternoon sessions held from Monday through Friday. This time will be devoted to discovery, problem solving, and interactive learning. During the earlier part of the week teachers will gain experience with a variety of problem solving techniques such as symmetry, mathematical patterns, and parity. Subsequent sessions will focus on particular topics such as geometry, sequences, counting, and number theory. Traditionally relegated to the high school curriculum or beyond, these topics actually provide a natural starting point for exploring and appreciating interesting mathematics at the middle school level. All the sessions will be led by exceptional educators and mathematicians from the San Francisco Bay area.

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.

Past Accommodations

Accommodations will be provided at Clark Kerr conference center located on the U.C. Berkeley campus, in the beautiful Northside Berkeley hills. This lovely residence hall features rooms with separate, locked entrances and shared living rooms, wireless Internet, laundry facilities, and a Dining Center with vaulted ceilings and redwood finishes. All meals and program supplies are provided by the program. We are grateful to the Firedoll, Simons and Bechtel Foundations as well as MSRI for supporting our summer instructors.

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