$25K Award Seeks Best Math Lesson for Grades 4–8
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Teachers with an amazing and original activity that helps students in grades 4 through 8 learn math can win a cash award of $25,000. The Rosenthal Prize is an annual set of awards issued by the National Museum of Mathematics, based in New York. Along with the top prize, five other teachers may also be in line to win thousands of dollars in additional prizes for their "noteworthy activities."
Last year's winner, Traci Jackson, took the top prize for her lesson, "Creating Color Combos: Visual Modeling of Proportional Relationships!" in which students explore proportional reasoning by mixing colored solutions to create different color combinations for visualizing ratios. Jackson is a teacher at Poway Unified School District near San Diego, CA. Second place winner, Dena Lordi, of Diamond Bar High School, also in California, won $10,000 for her lesson, "Where Can I Find a Weightless Stick?" in which students trace the changing balance point on a scale as weights are added in order to identify the mean value of a set of numbers. The 2015 winner, Jillian Young, a 5th grade teacher at Elwood Kindle Elementary School in New Jersey, earned the top award for "MUTANT Creature Invasion," a lesson that helps students learn about surface area and volume using Minecraft (a small portion of which is pictured above).
The Rosenthal Prize has four goals:
- To "recognize and reward exceptional 4th through 12th grade teachers" who use innovations appropriate to their classrooms;
- To demonstrate that innovative math teaching exists and can successfully reach the middle grades;
- To share innovative activities with educators around the country; and
- To encourage other teachers to innovate and use hands-on methods in their instructional practices.
The submission process starts with an application, which is due by May 24, 2017.