MCPER Mathematics Institute Director Diane Bryant has been elected vice president of the Council for Learning Disabilities. In addition, Mathematics Institute Principal Investigator Brian Bryant will serve as co-chair of the Conference Committee, and Project Director Kathleen Hughes Pfannenstiel will co-chair the Professional Development Committee.
The Council for Learning Disabilities is an "international organization that promotes evidence-based teaching, collaboration, research, leadership, and advocacy. CLD is comprised of professionals who represent diverse disciplines and are committed to enhancing the education and quality of life for individuals with learning disabilities and others who experience challenges in learning," according to its mission statement.
MCPER Mathematics Institute Director Diane P. Bryant and Principal Investigator Brian R. Bryant recently traveled to Taiwan as international visiting scholars, leading workshops and discussions at multiple universities. Hui-Ching Ko, an assistant research fellow at the National Taiwan Normal University Special Education Center in Taipei and former doctoral student of Diane Bryant, invited the Bryants to the university, where they conducted a keynote presentation and workshops. The Bryants also spoke to graduate students and faculty members at the National University of Tainan and the National Kaohsiung Normal University in Kaohsiung City on learning disabilities, mathematics and reading interventions, and assistive technology.
At right, the Bryants are pictured with faculty and staff members of the National Taiwan Normal University Special Education Center and Department.
Christy Murray, a director of MCPER's Middle School Matters Institute; Greg Roberts, executive director of the Vaughn Gross Center and associate director of MCPER; and Debbie Van Loan of MCPER's Administrative Team will each receive a UT Staff Service Award in recognition of their many years of excellent work at The University of Texas at Austin. Murray will be recognized for 10 years of service, and Roberts and Van Loan will be recognized for 15 years of service. The Staff Service Awards Program "celebrates and recognizes the contributions of committed staff who are responsible for transforming lives for the benefit of society," according to the UT website. Both the centers and the university thank Murray, Roberts, and Van Loan for their valuable contributions to our success.
MCPER Mathematics Institute Fellows Barbara Dougherty and Karen Karp will lead a symposium titled "2b or Not 2b: Preparing for Algebra in Multitiered Systems of Support" from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on February 20 in Thompson Conference Center Room 3.122. The symposium will focus on research-based strategies that can support student understanding at the conceptual and procedural levels. The researchers also will share assessments that target misunderstandings and link them to student learning. Free parking is available; for more information, visit the Thompson Conference Center website. To RSVP, send an e-mail with "Algebra" in the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dougherty is co-author of the Essential Understanding series published by National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), a former board member of NCTM, and the Richard G. Miller Endowed Chair of Mathematics Education at the University of Missouri.
Karp is the co-author of Elementary and Middle School Mathematics: Teaching Developmentally (8th ed.), a former board member of NCTM, and a professor in mathematics education at the University of Louisville.
Tags: Mathematics and Science Institute for Students With Special Needs  Algebra I Supplemental Instruction for Students With Learning Disabilities at the High School Level: Observations and Intervention Algebra-Readiness Mathematics Intervention for Middle School Students: Project AIM
Tier 2 intervention lessons and teacher manuals for various grade levels, published by the MCPER Mathematics Institute for Learning Disabilities and Difficulties, are now available to Texas educators free of charge. Kindergarten to grade 2 products are available on the 3-Tier Mathematics Model website. Grades 3–4 and 6–7 products are available on Project Share.
The kindergarten to grade 2 lessons focus on foundational mathematics skills and build number sense. The grades 3–4 lessons explore prerequisite topics in algebra readiness, including place value concepts; addition and subtraction of whole numbers; multiplication and division concepts; fraction concepts; multiplication and division strategies; multiplication and division of whole numbers; modeling, comparing, and ordering fractions; and fraction and decimal relationships. The middle school lessons cover algebra readiness topics such as variables; equivalence, expressions, and equations; ratios and rates; and proportional reasoning.
Tags: Mathematics and Science Institute for Students With Special Needs  Tier II Supplemental Mathematics Intervention: Grades 3 and 4 The Validation of Early Mathematics Interventions 3-Tier Mathematics Model
Reading and writing intervention lessons and accompanying teacher materials to support English I instruction, published by the MCPER Mathematics Institute for Learning Disabilities and Difficulties, are now available to Texas educators free of charge on Project Share. The new intervention modules are designed to supplement, not supplant, core English I instruction for students with learning disabilities and students who struggle with prerequisite reading and writing skills needed to be successful in English I classes. The modules include reading lessons to support word identification, vocabulary, and comprehension and writing lessons to support the four areas of the writing process: prewriting, drafting, revising, and editing. For more information about these modules or to participate in an ongoing statewide research project using the lessons, contact Brian R. Bryant
Diane Bryant, director of the Mathematics Institute for Learning Disabilities and Difficulties, explored the "RTI: Mathematics" module during a presentation with Deb Smith and Naomi Tyler at the November conference of the Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children. Bryant was a consultant for the module, serving as the mathematics response to intervention (RTI) expert. Created by the IRIS Center at Vanderbilt University, the module is available free online. According to the IRIS Center website, the module "describes the RTI framework as applied to mathematics ... [including] discussions of instruction, assessment, and data-based decision making at the primary, secondary, and tertiary levels."
MCPER has received a $1.5 million federal grant to improve the algebra readiness of sixth- and seventh-grade struggling students. The 3-year Institute of Education Sciences grant will fund a new Mathematics Institute initiative, Project AIM. The project will create algebra-readiness intervention modules (AIMs) for students who score below the 25th percentile on a mathematics screening measure. About 500 students and 24 intervention teachers at middle schools in Texas and Missouri are expected to participate. The project will lead trials and feasibility studies at the schools during the first 2 years of the grant. Then, the project will develop and refine the modules, based on student outcomes and teacher satisfaction. Small-scale experimental studies will take place in the third year.
MCPER's Mathematics Institute recently received a $1.4 million grant from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) for Project AIM: Algebra-Readiness Intervention Modules for At-Risk Students. The purpose of this 3-year project is to develop two sets of instructional modules that focus on mathematics concepts and skills important for success in algebra. More information about Project AIM is available on the IES website.
In addition, MCPER is a partner in the new Center on Secondary Education for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders, housed at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and also funded by IES. During the development phase, MCPER will adapt and test the feasibility of Collaborative Strategic Reading for high school students with autism spectrum disorders in academic content area courses. This effort will be part of a larger school- and community-based comprehensive treatment model to be developed and tested in years 3–5. More information about the center is available on the IES website.
Tags: Autism Spectrum Disorders Institute Mathematics and Science Institute for Students With Special Needs  Algebra-Readiness Mathematics Intervention for Middle School Students: Project AIM Center on Secondary Education for Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders