During the summer of 1994, veteran mathematics educators Hope Martin and David Spangler co-founded ActiveMath Workshops to provide high-quality, personalized, K–12 professional development for teachers in the Chicagoland area to help them better meet the needs of their students. To date, more than 2,700 different teachers have taken our workshops — with some teachers having taken 20 or more of our workshops.
The focus of our unique workshops is hands-on, real-world mathematics for both regular and special needs students. Some of our more unique workshops have been “Math at the Art Institute,” “Outdoor Mathematics,” and “Probabilities in Gaming.” All of our workshops have the goal of demonstrating why mathematics is important and how it is used — so that students don’t think about asking the question, “When am I every going to use math?”
Registrations are limited in ActiveMath Workshops so that we can provide participants with individual attention and the sharing of ideas among teachers —thus enabling active participation. Our focused workshop curricula, created by our facilitators for each specific course, are aligned with the Common Core State Standards and are based upon the latest teaching techniques and best practices. So you can be assured that your facilitator has the deep content and pedagogical knowledge necessary to provide you with a truly worthwhile experience.
ActiveMath provides a comfortable and professional environment for the workshops through the use of fully equipped meeting rooms, a full breakfast, and a delicious lunch. All participants receive a binder replete with original activities that are designed to be used directly with your students. The binders provide duplicate copies of the activities so that teachers will be encouraged to be active during the workshops, modeling for themselves what their own students will be doing in class. Our philosophy is that teachers should feel that their ActiveMath experience is first class in every way — from the quality of instruction, to a comfortable room atmosphere, to quality meals.
ActiveMath also provides on-site workshops — and will customize workshops to meet the needs of individual districts or schools.
Overall, since 1994, our goal has been for ActiveMath participants to convey the same enthusiasm for teaching mathematics to their students as we convey during our workshops. We look forward to working with you in this most important endeavor.
David Spangler’s Tribute to Hope Martin
On Nov. 30, 2015, my dear friend Hope Martin passed away. For 21 years Hope and I worked together to provide meaningful learning experiences for teachers — that often took math out of the classroom — including Math at the Zoo, Math at the Art Institute, Outdoor Math at the Botanic Gardens, and even Math at the Racecourse.
Over the years I personally learned so much from Hope about teaching and learning — especially the importance of asking rich, open-ended questions. Hope’s approach to teaching was to teach for understanding through hands-on, mind’s-eye, activities. To ensure that what she taught was up to her personal standards, she wrote virtually all of the materials she ever used. Hope did not focus on answers. Rather, her focus was on multiple solution strategies. When asked for answers, she would often say, “If I had the answers, I wouldn’t need YOU to do the problems.”
At the time of her passing, Hope was in the midst of writing a new book on Mathematical Warm-ups. This would have been her 18th published book! The mathematics education community has lost a gem — a person who devoted her entire professional life to warming-up mathematics education. I will forever miss Hope.
Students learn mathematics more effectively when they are active participants and see its relevance to their own lives.
— Hope Martin