West Visayas State University

Math Investigation - Every Math Teacher’s Best Tool

NO LESS THAN the DepEd Regional Supervisor for High School Mathematics Jerry Oquendo appealed in the strongest possible way to the 86 Ilonggo participants of the MTAP-IC 2nd Regional Math Investigation Seminar-Workshop to hone their skills “like a sharp knife” in math investigation for it is “every math teacher’s best tool in the classroom.”
Liking MI (math investigation) to the sharpening of a saw, Oquendo said, “we must not just routinely execute our task as teachers by just doing what is averagely required, but more importantly continue to look for better ways to make our strategies more pointed and sharper… and MI is one of the ways to do it.”
“We need to be open and ready enough to master MI in order for us to use this in our classroom—so that students will see further how elegant and exciting high school math is. Hence, I congratulate you all, most especially the MTAP-IC (Mathematics Teachers Association of the Philippines-Iloilo Chapter) organizers, for this very successful seminar-workshop initiative to charge forward and face the educational frontier which is MI.”
Math Investigation is an exploration of an open-ended mathematical situation where the student is free to choose what aspects of the situation he or she would like to do. Whatever claims or conjectures and justifications of the same are made as results of the investigation are conveyed in written or oral form for further evaluation.
The three-day math investigation seminar-workshop, held April 12, 13, and 21, 2012 at the Center for Education Excellence building at West Visayas State University, was participated in by math teachers from all provinces of Western Visayas, reaching as far from Caluya Island, Antique, Boracay Island in Aklan, and Kabankalan City in Negros Occidental.
WVSU / MTAP“We are so blessed with the immense help of our DepEd officials, most especially to Regional Director III Dr. Corazon Brown who helped us encourage teachers to join our seminar,” Dr. Herman Lagon, overall organizer of the event, said, adding, “in order to maintain a manageable size of participants, we had to regrettably decline the application of scores of teachers who were late in making the reservation, but we promise them to hold the same set of sessions next year.”

Themed “Conquering the Mystery of Math Investigation (MI),” the math workout is facilitated in by three main resource speakers who were trained by the University of the Philippines National Institute for Science and Mathematics Education (UPNISMED). They are Dr. Emellie Palomo, director of the Integrated Laboratory School of WVSU, Dr. Myrna Libutaque, math teacher of Philippine Science High School-Western Visayas Campus, and Dr. Elvira Arellano, associate dean of the College of Education and director of the Center for Research in Science and Mathematics Education of WVSU. They are being assisted by about 10 more math doctors, professors, and experts of the field coming from the MTAP-IC.

The first day of the training, April 12, focused more on inputs given by the resource speakers. Dr. Palomo covered the “Nature and Purposes of Math Investigation,” “Types of Math Investigation,” and “Stages in the Conduct of Math Investigation.” Dr. Libutaque followed suit and talked about “Conducting Math Investigation,” and “Writing Proofs in Math Investigation.” She also shared the results and findings of her dissertation on Math Investigation entitled “MI Approach in Teaching Algebra in the Development of Problem Solving and Proof Writing and Mathematical Habits of the Mind.”
The last to give inputs was Dr Arellano who discussed “Mathematical Habits,” “Using Investigation in the Classroom,” “Assessing and Formulating Rubrics,” “Format in Writing Math Investigation,” and Writing Math Investigation.” The first day was capped by preliminaries in MI writing workshop. Here, participants were grouped by six or seven to form a team that will eventually design, work on, and create their very own Math Investigation.
The second day, April 13, was used entirely by the MI groups for the skirmishing, formulating of problem statements, making conjectures, and searching for proofs, among others. Four main facilitator-trainers guided them in the whole duration of the workshop.
After seven days (April 14-April 20) of independent group work, the teams went back to the CTE building Saturday, April 21, and formally presented their finished MI masterpieces before panel of experts namely Dr. Palomo, Dr. Arellano, Dr. Alona Belarga, and Mr. Mario Banavo. These outputs were entitled “Over-Laughing Trianges,” “Oblong, Oblong, Where Do We Belong? (Oblong Numbers),” “Amazing Cubes,” Behind Reflections: Angles and Images,” “Total Perimeter of a Square and the Inscribed Squares Formed by Joining Endpoints,” Trianges from a Chorded Circle,” “(10n-1) Times ‘P’ in Seconds,” “Angles in a Fan,” “The Ladderized Cubes,” Rectangles: How Many Are You?,” “Twin in Grid Squares,” and “The Ultimate 8.” Part of the reporting was the power point presentation and an MI poster that showed the summary of their investigation.
Group 1 (Over-Laughing Triangles) was declared the landslide winner bagging the Best Presenter, Best MI and Best Poster awards. They were composed of Rowell Rublico, Stephen Jinon, Kim Jay Encio, and Jenever Nievares of PAREF-Westbridge School, Inc., Analie Guion of Buntatala National High School, Christina Carsula of Passi National High School, Christina Carsula and Rutchell Gania of Passi Montessori International School, and Nezel Francisco of Colegio de San Jose. Their MI paper will be printed in The Infinity, the official publication of MTAP-IC.
The last day of the seminar was also capped with the oath-taking rites of the new set of MTAP-IC officers. Inducted were president: Dr. Alona Belarga, Director of Instruction and Quality Assurance of West Visayas State University (WVSU); vice president, Dr. Herman Lagon, subject area coordinator of Ateneo de Iloilo Santa Maria Catholic School (AdI); secretary, Prof. Rosemarie Galvez, college math teacher of University of San Agustin (USA), treasurer, Prof. Rhodora Cartagena, head of the Math and Physics Department of USA, and auditor, Engr. Engr. Ramon Jardiniano, math professor of Western Institute of Technology (WIT).
Also took their oath were the other members of the Executive Board, namely: Dr. Alex Facinabao, dean of the USA College of Education, Dr. Wilhelm Cerbo, associate dean of the WVSU College of Arts and Science, Engr. Nimfa Sotomil, math professor of WIT, Mrs. Ma. Aries Pastolero, math teacher of Iloilo National High School Special Science Class (INHS-SSC), Ms. Catalina Reales, elementary math teacher of Maasin Central Elementary School, Engr. Roberto Neal Sobrejuanite, math and computer professor of John B. Lacson Foundation University, Prof. Alfonso Maquelencia, math teacher of USA, Prof. Alexander Balsomo, head of the math department of the WVSU College of Arts and Science, Mr. Alex Jaruda, math teacher of INHS, and Dr. Harold Cartagena of the soon-to-be-opened Iloilo City Community College (ICCC).
“It is just apt for us to be inducted before Sir Oquendo and the active participants of this MI seminar-workshop; we really hope that with you as witnesses, we will be inspired more to initiate worthy projects to the betterment of our math education in Iloilo and in Region VI,” Dr. Belarga told the participants after the oath-taking rites.
To note, MTAP-IC is now planning to hold a Regional Math Camp this July and a Regional Math Convention this October, among others.

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