Friday, September 20th, 2019

Catalyzing Change-position students as being “math strong” with mathematical powers that empowers

Worked with 52 amazing Gr 3-8 VA teachers @VaSCL on using learning progression to position students as being “math strong” with mathematical powers that empowers them-moving away from deficit language to catalyze change in Elem & Middle School and bring #ETP Equitable Teaching Practices in the math class @kmorrowleong @Mathburner @math_rickard @Deb_crawford @nctm

Launched the day with a keynoteExperiencing Wonder, Joy and Empowerment through Modeling with Mathematics “


Saturday, March 9th, 2019

MSRI 2019-Math Modeling K-16 and beyond

Mathematical Modeling (MM) now has increased visibility in the education system and in the public domain. It appears as a content standard for high school mathematics and a mathematical practice standard across the K-12 curriculum (Common Core Standards; and other states’ standards in mathematics education).  Job opportunities are increasing in business, industry and government for those trained in the mathematical sciences. Quantitative reasoning is foundational for civic engagement and decision-making for addressing complex social, economic, and technological issues. Therefore, we must take action to support and sustain a significant increase in the teaching and learning of mathematical modeling from Kindergarten through Graduate School.

Mathematical modeling is an iterative process by which mathematical concepts and structures are used to analyze or gain qualitative and quantitative understanding of real world situations. Through modeling students can make genuine mathematical choices and decisions that take into consideration relevant contexts and experiences.
Mathematical modeling can be a vehicle to accomplish multiple pedagogical and mathematical goals. Modeling can be used to introduce new material, solidify student understanding of previously learned concepts, connect the world to the classroom, make concrete the usefulness (maybe even the advantages) of being mathematically proficient, and provide a rich context to promote awareness of issues of equity, socio-political injustices, and cultural relevance in mathematics.

A critical issue in math education is that although mathematical modeling is part of the K-12 curriculum, the great majority of teachers have little experience with mathematical modeling as learners of mathematics or in their teacher preparation.  In some cases, mathematics teacher educators have limited experience with mathematical modeling while being largely responsible for preparing future teachers.

Currently, the knowledge in teaching and learning MM is underdeveloped and underexplored.  Very few MM resources seem to reach the K-16 classrooms.  Collective efforts to build a cohesive curriculum in MM and exploration of effective teaching practices based on research are necessary to make mathematical modeling accessible to teacher educators, teachers and students.

At the undergraduate level, mathematical modeling has traditionally been reserved for university courses for students in STEM majors beyond their sophomore year.  Many of these courses introduce models but limit the students’ experience to using models that were developed by others rather than giving students the opportunity to generate their own models as is common in everyday life, in modeling competitions and in industry.

The CIME workshop on MM will bring together mathematicians, teacher educators, K-12 teachers, faculty and people in STEM disciplines.  As partners we can address ways to realize mathematical modeling in the K-12 classrooms, teacher preparation, and lower and upper division coursework at universities.  The content and pedagogy associated with teaching mathematical modeling needs special attention due to the nature of modeling as a process and as a body of content knowledge.

Overarching critical issue of the 2019 CIME Workshop:   How can we individually and collectively advance the teaching and learning of mathematical modeling in K-16?

The following questions will frame the structure of the CIME 2019 Workshop:

What is the current state of mathematical modeling (MM) education and why isn’t it a central part of mathematics education from K-16?

  • What policies bring MM into the curriculum and which have presented obstacles?  What has been the impact of Common Core Mathematical Practice Standard 4: Model with mathematics?  What is the role of MM with respect to quantitative literacy?
  • What curricular resources exist?  How do teachers access them?  How are they understood by teachers?  How are they enacted in classrooms?  What is needed?
  • Which professional development approaches are effective for teachers?
  • How does MM appear in current assessments?  How have current assessment development processes and test items supported or created barriers for MM education?
  • What current MM teaching practices support equitable classroom environments in which student thinking is valued and respectfully considered?
  • How does the way we teach mathematics connect with the workplace?

How can we coordinate and increase efforts to infuse K-16 classrooms with equitable teaching practices through mathematical modeling (MM) education?

  • Student Learning in Equitable and Collaborative Environments
    How can research inform learning trajectories for math modeling elementary, secondary and undergraduate education? What are key competencies to develop for students to be successful modelers?  What are the relationships between mathematical modeling and statistical modeling? How do teachers assess their students’ modeling proficiency?
    What are the affordances and challenges of MM with respect to providing a more equitable, just, and humanizing mathematics education? How can MM be taught through effective, equitable and collaborative group work?
  • Experiential Learning and Community Engagement
    How can modeling tasks be tied to community/cultural contexts?  How can students use their lived experiences and cultural knowledge along with their mathematical tools and reasoning, to engage in MM?  How might MM engage students, especially those who may be marginalized from mathematics?
  • Policy
    How do we convince policymakers and stakeholders of the need for MM in K-16?  What are the benefits and challenges of including MM in standards, textbooks and assessments?  How might MM be included in state/national teacher certification as a competency/domain?  What kind of policy changes would need to happen in order to make MM central in K-16?
  • Professional Preparation and Development: Teachers, teacher educators, mathematicians
    What MM experiences/competencies/support do teachers and teacher educators need to in MM teaching practices and pedagogy?  As they teach MM, how can teachers get ongoing support to meet the challenges associated with acquiring mathematical and computational content knowledge as well as contextual information?
  • Career Preparation and Readiness
    How do we position MM as a critical element of workforce preparation in similar ways to computing and engineering?  How might we use public awareness of data science (including the positive and negative associations) to help people see the value of MM education?  How do we educate policy makers, admissions officers, recruiters, and career counselors about the value of MM in businesses, industry and government agencies?

What will you do after the CIME Workshop to contribute to MM in K-16?

  • What can mathematicians, mathematics teacher educators, teachers, and professionals in industry do to bring more mathematical modeling into the K-16 classrooms?
  • What is the role of each of the constituencies in realizing the vision for mathematical modeling in education?
  • How can the mathematics and mathematics education research communities come together to offer solutions?
  • What innovative ideas are there to provide professional development to teachers at a global scale?
  • How can we use the new Math Modeling Hub platform to create professional communities and resources and sustain these efforts so that they continue to be accessible and useful?

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

Embracing Failure-Focus on what you do after you fail

Productive Failure and Productive Struggle



Download (PDF, 475KB)

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

Facilitating Team Time at NCTM’s INNOV8

photo-1NCTM launched their first Innov8 conference focused on Supporting Struggling Learners. I had an awesome opportunity to meet with motivated school teams that attended this conference to be inspired and focus on a solution-oriented action plan!


Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

Keynote at the 25th Annual Teacher Researcher Conference

Creating a Multiplier Effect through Teacher Researchers—Tapping into the Geniuses & Scholars in our Schools



Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

GMU IMMERSION Team Presents at the SIAM Education Conference


ED16 logoA

Saturday, October 1

Implementing Mathematical Modeling in the Elementary Grades and Beyond

9:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Room: Assembly E – Fifth Level

Mathematical modeling is an important topic of study and mathematical practice in the newly adopted Common Core State Standards in grades K-12. This symposium will engage the SIAM audience in considering ways in which early introduction to mathematical modeling can promote computational thinking. Brief presentations from a team of mathematicians, math educators, teachers and undergraduate STEM scholars will demonstrate how they collaborated on Mathematical Modeling tasks in the early grades. They will share case studies of how MM enhanced the teaching and learning of mathematics by bringing in the real world context to students and enriched the learning environment.

Organizer: Jennifer M. Suh
George Mason University, USA
Padmanabhan Seshaiyer
George Mason University, USA

9:30-9:55 Mathematical Modeling with Inservice Teacher Education abstract
Spencer Jamieson, Fairfax County Public School, USA; Jennifer M. Suh and Padmanabhan Seshaiyer, George Mason University, USA
10:00-10:25 Teachers Roles in Promoting Mathematical Modeling in the Classroom abstract
MaryAnne Rossbach, Fairfax County Public School, USA; Kathleen Matson, George Mason University, USA
10:30-10:55 Undergraduate Stem Scholars Inspiring Young Math Modelers abstract
Kathleen McClane, George Mason University, USA; Liz Taylor, Fairfax County Public School, USA
11:00-11:25 Mathematical Modeling to Promote 21st Century Skills and Computational Thinking abstract   Jennifer M. Suh and Padmanabhan Seshaiyer, George Mason University, USA

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016


April 2016

GMU COMPLETE hosted a booth at the USA Science and Engineering Festival.

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

Presentation in Korea-Math Modeling in the Middle Grades




Barbie and Rescue Hero Bungee Jumping Task


Footprint problem revealed!