Mathematics Teaching

MPLS Elementary Teacher Joan Duea
and MPLS Mathematics Teacher Earl Ockenga were heavily involved in mathematics education on the local, state and national levels. 

During the 1980s, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics made problem solving the focus of its agenda. Because of the scarcity of problem-solving materials for the elementary grades during that time, Joan and Earl developed a curriculum project to help meet the needs of students and teachers across the country.  Under the name PROJECT PLUS, Problem-Solving Nifties were written and field tested at MPLS prior to being marketed to schools from coast to coast. 

DOING THE MATH: Between 1983 and 1998, over 7200 shipments were sent to schools throughout the United States and Canada.  Using applied mathematics and the very problem-solving skills the project promoted, Joan and Earl estimate that over one-million students were impacted by this project. 
  1. The project was in operation for 15 years (1983-1998).
  2. 7200 shipments were sent to schools throughout the United States during those 15 years.
  3. Each shipment averaged 3 modules.
  4. 21,000 problem solving modules were distributed.
  5. Most of the materials were used at least 3 years.
  6. 20 students/class (very conservative estimate) were exposed to the materials.
  7. Over a million students were exposed to the Problem Solving Nifties through Project Plus.

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