Meet the Teachers Roundtable is a half-day highly interactive workshop,
where prospective teachers participate in exemplary math and science lessons taught by
talented K-12 teachers, learn how to present those lessons, and make
appointments to observe in the classrooms of role model teachers. The
word "Roundtable" in the event's name reflects the fact that
the teachers present their lessons to small groups of eight or nine
future teachers at round tables. The
intimate roundtable grouping is an innovative feature, which enables the
role model teachers to interact on a more personal level with future
Beginning in 2004, Meet the Teachers Roundtable was designated as one of the
Washington Mutual Future Teachers Workshops. Current information
can be obtained at www.futureteachersconference.org.
planning team of two to five college faculty can organize a Roundtable
event. Faculty with
connections to K-12 teachers and who can identify excellent role models
for the teaching of K-12 math and science are indispensable members of
active planning process takes two to three months; but normally the
reservation for a large room must be made farther in advance. A single
large open room works well for the event.
Having a raised platform at one end is especially useful for the
welcoming remarks and introduction of the teachers.
Large round tables placed around the edges of the room provide
ideal workspace for the model lessons.
Allow six weeks to secure the K-12 role model teachers and
several more weeks to obtain information about their lessons. Begin
publicity about six weeks before the event.
Lessons by the Role Model Teachers
Typically 10-12 lessons take place concurrently.
Students attend three lessons each 30 minutes in length.
Sample Roundtable lessons are described below.
- learn the structure of DNA by making DNA earrings
Bears in the
Forest - look at limiting factors of a population of black bears
Recessive Genes - toss coins to observe the frequency of dominant and
Fractions with Linoleum Tiles - see what “reducing” fractions really
Bird Beaks -
experience how adaptions play a role in the development of bird beaks
How Fair is This
Game? - experience probability in games
and Science Concepts in Simple Machines - investigate the concepts of
mechanical advantage and ratio of Lego Dacta gear kits
World: GLOOP! -
participants will mix 3 common ingredients to make "gloop" and
investigate its properties
Where Do I
Belong? - describe and classify different types of leaves
The teachers and attendees are asked to complete an
evaluation form at the end of the event.
Comments from participants include:
really like the idea of the camera out of a Quaker oats container!
I think that kids would love this project! By doing a hands-on activity, students realize that light
doesn't bend and that pictures are taken upside down!
I also like the idea of using M&M's to learn about
probability - this way kids can relate math to every day
feel great knowing that I can call these teachers for future resources
and for observations. They
were all very helpful and encouraging.”
"This roundtable gave a lot of opportunity to
get a feel for what's going on out there in different schools.
I really loved it!"
“It was nice to have a variety of grade
levels since I am still unsure of the grade level I would like to
teach. I liked that even
though I wasn’t able to attend every lesson – could still get a
"This has been one of the best workshops that I
have attended regarding education…because we were able to take part
in the activities rather than sit and listen to speakers and how they
do it. The half-day
format was perfect."
A handbook detailing the event and the planning
process was produced with support from the Los Angeles Collaborative for
Teacher Excellence (NSF-DUE #94-53608).
The handbook was revised in 2003 with support from Washington
Mutual. The Meet the Teachers Roundtable Planning Handbook
(REVISED in 2003) is
on-line at this website in PDF format.