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Dr. Joan A. Cotter, Ph.D.:  Homeschool Conference Speaker and Workshop Leader Details



Address 2

Phone 2
Cotter, Joan A.

321 Hill Street
PO Box 468
Hazelton, North Dakota (ND)  58544
United States of America (US)

Activities for Learning, Inc.
321 Hill Street; PO Box 468
Hazelton, North Dakota (ND)  58544
United States of America (US)

Fax: 320-587-0123
Keynote Speaker?Unknown
Featured Speaker?Unknown
Presentation Titles & Descriptions

RightStart Math: Building a Solid Foundation
Mathematics is about patterns and relationships, much more than memorizing facts and procedures. The AL Abacus enables children to learn through guided discovery. It uses their natural ability to visualize, which helps them master the facts and solve problems. Understanding concepts and relationships are critical for building a strong foundation.

The Power of Abacus-Based Math
Learn how the AL Abacus, a kinesthetic and visual tool grouped in fives and tens, enables a child to internalize concepts, not merely memorize rules and procedures. Children learn the facts through visualizing strategies based on the abacus and practice them with games.
Session Objectives:
To see how the AL Abacus with its fives groupings enables the child to internalize concepts and facts without needing to count
To understand the importance and be able to employ the math way of counting
To personalize learning math through card games in lieu of flash cards
To learn more background on Dr. Cotters research that used the AL Abacus to teach math
To realize children need mathematics beyond arithmetic.

Visualizing, A Powerful Tool for Learning Math
A baby at five months is able to visualize and distinguish sets of quantities up to three. Helping children visualize quantities enables them to internalize mathematics more easily. Learn how the AL Abacus encourages visualizing through grouping and provides visual strategies for mastering the facts.

Learn Geometry with Drawing Board and Tools
Children of all ages love to use drawing boards, T-squares, and triangles to construct geometrical figures, equilateral triangles, hexagons, stars, squares, tangrams, and to discover their relationships. This work naturally blends with fractions, measurement, area, symmetry, and art.

Understanding Fractions: The Whole Story
Fractions become very understandable with the linear model compared to circles. It gives students a visual overview and a foundation for mathematical reasoning. Comparing, simplifying, and calculating with fractions will be explored. You will see some fraction card games that provide practice for learning some fraction concepts.
Session Objectives:
To provide a visual overview of fractions that always works
To understand why many students have trouble with fractions
To play some card games that teach fraction concepts
To understand multiplying fractions

Practicing Math Skills Through Card Games
Games are to math as books are to reading. Learn
some math card games that teach concepts with understanding
and the facts with strategies. In this session, you will see some
addition, multiplication, and fraction games. Instructions and
visual strategies will be provided.
Session Objectives:
To learn some games for mastering concepts and the math facts
To understand the problems with flash cards
To provide families with an alternative for math fact practice
To improve students attitude toward math
To learn to assess students progress while they play the games

Teaching Mathematics with the Al Abacus, Games, and Drawing Board
Join Joan Cotter, President of Activities for Learning, Inc. for
an in-depth exploration of effective, tried and true math teaching strategies.
Topics include:
Understanding the negative aspects of teaching math through counting and other rote practices
Realizing mathematics is logical reasoning and problem solving, not a set of procedures
Approaching place value as is done in Asia
Appreciating the importance of grouping in 5s as well as 10s
Using the AL abacus to teach visual strategies for learning the facts
Personalizing math learning through card games in lieu of flash cards
Teaching fractions and operations with the linear model (not circles)
Introducing the beauty and practicality of geometry through constructions with the drawing board and tools
Learning about a visual way to master most middle school topics

Joan A.'s AchievementsFounder: Activities for Learning, Inc. Author (curriculum): RightStart Mathematics Author: Math Card Games: 300 Games for Learning and Enjoying Math Author: Activities for the AL Abacus: A Hands On Approach to Arithmetic Developer: AL Abacus and drawing board Contributor: Growing Professionally Ph.D. in Mathematics education Master's degree in curriculum and instruction: University of St. Thomas (fka College of St. Thomas) Bachelor's degree in electrical engineering: University of Wisconsin-Madison Has an AMI Montessori diploma for ages 3-6
Cotter's Bio
Date Created12/11/2008
Date Modified8/16/2010 9:22:41 AM
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My hope is that this list will assist conference organizers in connecting with Joan A. Cotter and other workshop leaders and speakers. Furthermore, my desire is to help homeschool workshop leaders and speakers develop relationships with more convention planners and audiences. May your efforts be for the glory of Christ and the strengthening of His saints.

Disclaimer:  Balancing the Sword makes no claims about the speakers' faith, ability, materials, etc.  This speaker profile information is being provided free of charge.  Please click the links and do your own research before issuing an invitation to your conference.  Postings are subject to change.


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