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Wildwood Hosts Annual Math association Conference

April 15, 2013

Cheryl Ooten making a presentation at the MOMATYC conference  
Cheryl Ooten, author of "Managing the Mean
Math Blues," was the keynote speaker at the
MOMATYC Conference.

The Missouri Mathematics Association of Two Year Colleges (MOMATYC) held its annual conference at Wildwood April 4-6. 

This was the first time that St. Louis Community College has hosted the event.

Becky Schantz, math instructor at STLCC-Wildwood, currently serves as president of MOMATYC and Kim Granger, chair of Mathematics at Wildwood, is the president-elect.

Pat Seuss and Debbie Char, also instructors at St. Louis Community College, serve as members of the MOMATYC board

The association helps math instructors become more successful by providing a network for sharing innovations in instructional strategies and learning environments, and opportunities for professional development.

The keynote speaker was Cheryl Ooten, author of “Managing the Mean Math Blues.” Ooten holds a master’s degree in math and family and marriage counseling, and through her own struggles became interested in learning how to help students overcome their own anxieties and succeed.

“Anxiety comes from being required to stay in an uncomfortable situation where we believe we have no control,” said Ooten. She examined anxiety through a paradigm of five behavioral models, and identified ways in which students can help themselves.

“One tool is to reframe your thoughts with the word 'yet.' Under this model, 'I can’t do this problem,' becomes 'I can’t do this problem yet.'” said Ooten. 

Ooten explained that this is not simply positive thinking, but actually reframing expectations. She also explained that students should use study activities that encourage the growth of dendritic connections.

“Do you homework as soon as possible after class,” she suggested. “The more times you revisit the material, the stronger the pathways in your brain become.”

Members of MOMATYC participated in workshops throughout the afternoon on a variety of topics that were aimed at helping them become more effective instructors. Attendees came from all over the state of Missouri.