Lisa Litchfield (WIU grad) making a difference for students with mobile devices.

Jim Olsen's Home Page

Kirk Humphries (WIU grad) making a difference for students by flipping his classroom.



James R. Olsen, Ph.D.
Western Illinois University
Teaching Resources
For Students
Info on Dr. O.

Mathematics Teacher Education Summit, Saturday, March 1, 2014, 9am – 4pm at Lincoln Land Community College. This teacher education summit is designed to provide updates, networking, and sharing opportunities for all involved in the teacher education process in Illinois. The focus is on the new math standards for elementary ('Part 20') and middle school teachers ('Part 21'). For more information, and to register, see

 9/2013This is project is now complete.  There are 4 Learnist Boards (1, 2, 3, 4). Each board explains 6 important percent concepts (for a total of 24 concepts). Click>>24 Percent Tweets for the information webpage. Click>>Learnist Board to get started. I hope you can use this to teach or learn about percent and its applications.

Mental Math Curriculum Mental Math Worksheets DONE for Eighth Grade and for Algebra I - 30 worksheets each, teaching 30 strategies.  Free download.

CCSSMCommon Core Math Standards: Information, Links, and Resources

Annual Western Illinois University Mathematics Teachers Conference - April 10, 2015, on the WIU Macomb campus.

24 Percent Tweets

Macomb Teacher Institute Day Workshop for Junior and Senior High Math Teachers - 1/3/2014

Tasks and Resources for Preparing High School Classrooms for the PARCC Assessments (9-12) - Teacher workshop materials & links. Adkinson, IL (BHS R.O.E. - 10/29/2013), Rock Island, IL (RI-R.O.E. - 12/5/13), Macomb, IL (R.O.E. #26 - 2/26/14); Quincy, IL (R.O.E. #1 - 4/30/14).

Math Contests at Western Illinois University For Middle School and High School Students - This is as ongoing initiative at W.I.U. Get your students involved!

My Spring 2014 Courses: (Click here for office hours.)

Quizlet Page - Quizlet is a great program (and app for iPad or other tablet) for making flash cards and review materials.

Western Illinois Mathematics Teacher Transformation Institute (WI-MTTI) This ISBE grant provides professional development for secondary mathematics teachers in our area during summer 2012, the 2012-13 school year, and summer 2013.  Please see for the details.

Shared (google drive) folder of images of congruent triangles.

Quincy K-6 CCSSM Presentation (1/18/2013) Agenda/Outline and PowerPoint. Most of the resource are found on the Common Core Math Standards: Information, Links, and Resources page.

E.I.U. (April 9, 2013) - Teaching and Practicing Mental Math Strategies in Applied and Mathematical Contexts presentation PowerPoint slides.

ISMAA (April 5, 2013) - PowerPoint slides and Handout for Teacher Education Session: CCSSM, PARCC, and the Model Curriculum presentation given at Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL.

Resources and Updates for the CCSSM, PARCC, and the iPad - For West Prairie School ~ 11/16/2012

Increasing Mathematical Understanding for the Common Core - Number Sense and Fractions - Quincy, IL (4/12/13), Macomb, IL (1/30/13), Moline, IL (1/25/2013), Monmouth, IL (10/19/2012), and Atkinson, IL (9/21/2012) Workshop Materials/Handouts/Links

Brain-Based Learning and Learning Theories - much has been discovered and written lately -- and this helps us help our students learn.

iPad For Novices and iPad For Schools: Information, Links, and Resources - Since I'm new at the iPad, I made these pages to help myself and other newbies. A Few More iPad Tips

Volume and Surface Area Webpage - Prisms, Pyramids, Cylinders, and Cones

Online Math Games, Demonstration/Exploration Tools, & Puzzles IndexOnline Math Games, Demonstration/Exploration Tools, & Puzzles IndexOnline Math Games, Demonstration/Exploration Tools, & Puzzles Index
       Online Math Games, Demonstration/Exploration Tools, & Puzzles
, organized by grade, K through 12.
       Spreadsheet of All Games ~ ~ Spreadsheet of All Demonstration/Exploration Tools

Navigating the Landscape of Fraction, Decimal, and Percent Problems - Documents, problems, and handouts from our presentations at the Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Meeting, October 22, 2011, the International Conference on College Teaching and Learning, April 8, 2011, and the Western Illinois University Mathematics Teachers' Conference, March 23, 2012.

PFD Boot Camp (Percents, Fractions, and Decimals) and Basic Training.

Mental Math Workshop Handouts - Feb. 28, 2012, Macomb, IL & Nov. 1, 2011, Atkinson, IL.

Top Ten Lists for Using Technology to Help Elementary/MS Students Learn Mathematics
Top Ten Lists for Using Technology to Help Jr. High and High School Students Learn Mathematics

RATES Project - Real-world Applications Teaching Everyday Solutions curriculum development project

Math Fundamentals - How ~ Why ~ Games ~ Practice

My PowerPoint on the Berlin Wall.

Macomb Math Olympiad Web site (NEW website - update your bookmarks)

Secondary Mathematics Teaching Methods (Math 503) is an online course we offer here at W.I.U. At present, the next semester that it will be available is not set. If you are interested in this online course for future semesters, e-mail me.

I am a professor in the Mathematics Department at Western Illinois University. I teach mathematics courses and teaching methods courses for prospective and practicing teachers. My research interests are student understanding of the function concept, educational uses of technology, and problem solving. For more detailed information, click Info on Dr. O.

Some things which have caught my interest lately are:

Please use the following links:

Teaching Resources For Students Other Info. Info on Dr. O.
(including information for Practicing and Prospective 

Math Education Links
Mastery Quizzes
TI Graphics Calculator Tips
N.C.T.M. (& Standards)
I.S.B.E. and Illinois Learning Standards

WIU Home Page ~ Math Department ~ MERO

James R. Olsen, Ph.D.
Mathematics Department
Western Illinois University
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455
phone: 309/298-2317
Page URL:  or
Old (past) announcements archive.
updated: June 28, 2014
QR Code

The ultimate goals of mathematics education are to find meaning and to solve problems.

Love ~ Learn ~ Engage ~ Empower

Counter since 9/17/05

Frank and Ernest (comic), by Tom Thaves, is often subtly profound with a light-hearted approach. "You just need an outlet" - which provides power - has meaning on multiple levels.

You Just Need an Outlet