Old Announcements Archive

The purpose of this page is to put old announcements and links to pages which have been removed from my homepage.
Most of the pages below are no longer being maintained.
The intent it to list the most recent things removed first.

Removed 8/19/2022

Advanced Perspective of Topics from Secondary School Mathematics - Geometry and Calculus - Summer 2022 Online Course Offering ~ WIU ~ Math 656 Click here for details.

Removed 4/5/2022

Logic For Middle School - workshop at NCTM Centennial Annual Meeting & Exposition, in Chicago, IL, April 3, 2020, 9:45 - 11 am. (conference cancelled, due to COVID). Session #369 (on page 67 of the program book; location: McCormick Place - South Building, S401BC). Workshop by Jesus Aguirre, Alejandro (Alex) Rangel, and Jim Olsen of Western Illinois University. Logic for Middle School is the web site. Parking information.

Number Theory Concepts in School Mathematics - Fall 2019 Online Course Offering ~ WIU ~ Math 407(G). Click here for details.

W.I.U. Basic Skills Test Preparation Page

Improving Vertical Alignment by Identifying Essential Learning Outcomes in Math - Workshops with Macomb C.U.S.D. #185 teachers October 17 and November 28, 2018. Facilitator: Dr. Jim Olsen.

Summer Academy - 2018 - Engaging Learners with Video - In June, I attended this summer academy put on by the WIU CITR. The academy provided numerous tools for designing, developing and integrating video for educational use.

Desmos and Desmos Classroom Activities for Math Grades 7-12 - Workshop at Rock Island ROE, July 11, 2018. Slides - Handout.

Desmos Updates - presentation at the NCTM Regional Conference in Chicago, IL, November 30, 2017. Click here for the Google Slides, which have links.

Percent: From 7RP.3 through College and Career Readiness (.PPT) - presented at the Mini-Conference on Secondary Mathematics Teaching - Thursday, November 16, 2017.

Mental Math Strategies PowerPoint - created and presented for WIU Math Club, 10/4/2017. This is an overview of mental math strategies with seven strategies highlighted.

New SAT Test

SAT / ACT / TAP Preparation Page

STEM through A Wind Turbine

Desmos and GeoGebra Updates - Handouts: page 1; page 2 Illinois Math and Science (ICTM/ISTA) Conference presentation, Oct. 7, 2016 at 4:00 p.m., in Peoria, IL.

Standards Based Grading - presentations at the ICTM Annual Conference, Oct. 24, 2015, at Tinley Park, IL; the W.I.U. Mini-Conference on Secondary Mathematics Teaching, Nov. 19, 2015, in Moline, IL; NCTM Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX, April 6, 2017; MAA MathFest, Denver, CO, August 2, 2018 at 3:30-5:00 pm.

Beauty of Three Dimensional Polyhedra Workshop (in Celebration of the MAA's Centennial) at MAA MathFest, August 7, 2015 (Washington, DC) and at the ISMAA Annual Meeting April 8, 2016 (Illinois College, Jacksonville, IL). Links to the presentation and resources.

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

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

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.

Removed 10/28/2020

I believe that this graphic, from Pam Harris, is very useful for teachers and students. These are the key themes of P-12 math education. Also note that Spatial Reasoning runs the entire span (and Algebraic Reasoning runs from Additive Thinking to grade 12). More information here.Developing math reasoning

Removed 10/22/2019

Investigations in School Geometry - Fall 2018 Online Course Offering ~ WIU ~ Math 402(G). Click here for details.

Removed 2/12/2019

The WIU Men's Basketball Team earned a high academic excellence award from the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). This was one of only two programs recognized from the Summit League. This shows a lot of work done by our student-athletes on and off the courts. Click here for details.

Removed 1/19/2019

WIU Basic Skills Test Preparation Page has been moved to its permanent location of http://www.wiu.edu/coehs/teacher/advising/basic_skills.php


Removed 10/12/2018

364 Info

Removed 7/13/2018

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 http://illinoiseledandmsteachered.wordpress.com/.

TI-73 Graphics Calculator Information

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

Five Representations HenryFord Quote


Removed 4/6/2018

Problem Solving and the History of Mathematics - Spring 2018 Online Course Offering ~ WIU ~ Math 406(G). Click here for details.

The 24 Percent Tweets project is complete.  Click>>24 Percent Tweets for the information webpage with links. Click>>Learnist Board if you want to use the Learnist version. There are 4 Learnist Boards (1, 2, 3, 4). Each board explains 6 important percent concepts (for a total of 24 concepts).

Seeing Structure in Expressions - Symbols Come to Life: Meaningful Mathematics with A-SSE. This webpage created for my ICTM presentation on October 18, 2014.

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

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.

Removed 11/3/2016

Vora on the brains and learning


Removed 10/31/2015

Wir sing ein Volk. Berlin Wall Brandenburg Gate LEGO

Wir sind ein Volk (We are one people) - In 2015, a 2 Euro commemorative coin was released commemorating the 25th anniversary of the reunification of Germany. The Berlin Wall going up, and coming down, in my lifetime is a big deal. The coins show people celebrating in front of the Brandenburg Gate, in Berlin. Also on the coin: on the edge of the coin: EINIGKEIT UND RECHT UND FREIHEIT (Unity and Justice and Freedom), 25 Jahre Deutsche Einheit 2015 (25 years of German Unity25 years of German Unity). A number of years ago I made a PowerPoint on the Berlin Wall, chronicling the history of the Wall (my perspective). Berlin is one of my favorite cities. The Wall came down in 1989 and Germany was reunified in 1990. I have the 2 Euro coin and a LEGO model of the Brandenburg Gate in my office. Stop by and see it.

Removed 10/6/2015

Fall 2015 Online Course Offering ~ Math 406 - Problem Solving and the History of Mathematics - Begins (online course) Aug. 24, 2015. Click here for more information.

Math Resources for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment - Workshop for Farmington Jr. and Sr. High, October 31, 2014

Rates, Ratios, Proportions, and Linear Functions: Algebraic Reasoning in Grades 6-9 - Workshop at RI-ROE, October 29, 2014

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).

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

Removed 1/19/2015

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

Removed 11/6/2014

Four Lists for Teachers

Removed 8/9/2014

Lisa Litchfield (WIU grad) making a difference for students with mobile devices.   Kirk Humphries (WIU grad) making a difference for students by flipping his classroom.

Removed 7/5/2013

IMPACT - Integrating Mathematical Practices and Classroom Teaching webpage

Removed 10/21/2012

Hot Potatoes Hot Potatoes is a great program for making online quizzes. I have some online math quizzes.

Removed 8/20/2012

Moved to Teaching Resources>>Math Education Research and a Plethora of Committee and Government Reports* - *The list of reports was compiled on the occasion of the Common Core State Standards - these reports were the precursors for the CCSS.

Moved to Teaching Resources>>Teacher Facilitator Page - I prefer the term "Teacher Facilitator" over "Teacher Leader," but they are similar.

Moved to For Students Page>>Notes for Student Teachers - a page of suggestions written for math majors.

Removed 8/15/2012

Making (Informed) Mental Math Decisions: Four Factors for Appropriate Use - Presentations delivered at the

Linking Mental Math, Concepts, and Context in 7-12 Mathematics - Presentation delivered at the ICTM Annual Meeting, 10/16/2009, the MoCTM Annual Meeting, 12/4/2009, and the NCTM Annual Meeting, 4/23/2010.

Removed 6/28/2012


Packer Barn in Wisconsin

Removed 3/39/2012

The collaboration pyramid (or iceberg) - Teamwork is alway interesting. This blogger has a few things to say about the rest of the pyramid/iceberg.

collaboration pyramid

Removed 6/24/2011

Timeline for Department of Mathematics 4-Year Chair Review - Fall 2010

Hot Potatoes Online Quizzes Hot Potatoes is a great program for making online quizzes. I have some online math quizzes and we plan to make more.

Click here if you are a New WIU Student to learn how to Activate Your WIU Computer Username and Password.

Math and Science Academy 2007 - Online Math Games and Activities for the Teachers and Students at Kewanee and Sherrard

After School Math Games

What Do Middle School Teachers Need to Know to Teach Mathematics Effectively - from the State of Illinois and professional societies.

Removed 2/22/2011

Timeline for Department of Mathematics 4-Year Chair Review - Fall 2010

Removed 2/4/2011

You Can Do the Cube.com - Solve the Rubik's cube. Lots of nice educational materials. Download the solution YouCanDoTheCube.com

Removed 1/20/2011

Truncated Icosahedron


Tom Hull's Origami Work - Tom Hull invented the PHiZZ (pentagon-hexagon-zigzag) unit which can be used to make a dodecahedron or truncated icosahedron (soccer ball) - with only 3 colors. Google or YouTube for PHiZZ unit or Tom Hull to find more (including the 5 Intersecting Tetrahedra model).
5 Intersecting Tetrahedra



Removed 12/13/2010

Removed 6/3/2010

Removed 6/1/2010

My father, Walter J. Olsen, passed away Sunday, May 2, 2010. He will be missed. His obituary can be found here.

Removed 1/15/2010

Removed 1/12/2010

Millennium Math Express Page - (from Other Info page) [program has been discontinued] Fun online math activities especially for students in grades 4-8.

Removed 10/12/2009

World Maths DayWorld Maths Day - Unfortunately this has past for 2009. I just now learned of this event - which is quite large and growing. It is the first Wednesday in March each year. The students play against each other in mental arithmetic games. Students are captivated by the fact that they are playing in real time. Each game lasts for 60 seconds, students can play as many games as they wish. BTW, "maths" is the short form of mathematics used in most of the english-speaking countries outside the US, where we use "math."

Removed 10/7/2009

Removed 8/21/2009

Millennium Math Express Page
Upper Room Devotional
Today in the Word

Removed 5/29/2009

Math 100 page
Math 123 page
Math 206 page
Math 503-WesternOnline

MASA 2008 Online Math Games and Activities
ISAMS 2008 Infomation Page

Removed 5/18/2009

Hot Potatoes-free software for making quizzes Hot Potatoes - Hot Potatoes Online Quizzes This is software for making online quizzes. "Hot Potatoes is not freeware, but it is free of charge for those working for publicly-funded non-profit-making educational institutions, who make their pages available on the web." From the University of Victoria.

Removed 4/16/2009

Google Sketchuphttp://sketchup.google.com/

Removed 3/2/2009:

Kiss My MathMath Doesn't Such

Danica McKellar, TV-star and UCLA mathematics major, has written two great books: Math Doesn't Suck: how to survive middle school math without losing your mind or breaking a nail, and (her new, second book) Kiss My Math: Showing Pre-Algebra Who's Boss.

Removed 2/6/2009:

BuckyballThe graphic at the top is a "Buckyball" (after Buckminster Fuller) or fullerene. Buckminster Fuller invented the geodesic dome, which has a similar structure.
The Buckyball is a model of the C60 molocule, is made up of 60 carbon atoms. Mathematically, we call this shape the truncated icosahedron. It has 32 faces, of which 20 are regular hexagons and 12 are regular pentagons. See also and Buckminster Fuller Institute. He was even on a US stamp.

Math 303 from fall 2008 page.

Removed 8/25/2008:

Summer 2008 Course Offering ~ WIU Quad Cities Campus ~ Math 599 ~ Algebraic Mathematical Modeling for Middle School Teachers

Removed 7/7/2008:

Math 100 Page

"Westernonline" Click https://westernonline.wiu.edu/

Removed 3/21/2008:

Actress and UCLA-Math Major graduate, Danica McKellar has written a great book titled, Math Doesn't Suck: how to survive middle school math without losing your mind or breaking a nail. It was named in Amazon's "100 Best Books of 2007." Danica has played many roles, including Winnie Cooper of The Wonder Years.

Removed 2/13/2008:

Third Grade Quickie Online Math Activities I

The KnotPlot Site is a very nice site to see an example of math and beauty. You can even study mathematical knots. Interestingly, this is one of the oldest sites on the Internet, which is still being activly updated. It was actually the first "cool math site of the week" on February 4, 1996 at Knot a Braid of Links. It is by Rob Scharein. Has a Knot Zoo and more.

Removed 11/14/2007:

The theme for Mathematics Awareness Month (April) 2007 is Mathematics and the Brain. Mathematical models play a central role in understanding brain cells, their interaction, and their function. Poster & Activities.

Removed 8/23/2007:

Math 303 Page - Technology and Secondary School Mathematics - Fall 2006. Daily notes.

Online Math Games and Activities for the Teachers and Students at U.T.H.S. II (2005)
Online Math Games and Activities for the Teachers and Students at U.T.H.S. I (2004)
Math-Science-Technology Integration: Dealing With Data for the Teachers and Students at U.T.H.S. Summer 2006

Math 106 (sections 1 and 2) notes and assignments page

Removed 3/8/2007:

This year is the 300th anniversary of Leonhard Euler's birth. Celebrate Euler's 300th birthday. Check out EulerArchive, EulerSociety, or Euler-2007.

Removed 1/2/2007:

Two things noteworthy from the NCTM: (1) The Mathematics Teacher is an official journal of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). It has been around for 100 years (it is actually older than the NCTM itself, because it started with the Association of Teachers of Mathematics). It is a wonderful resource for mathematics teachers. It's focus is secondary mathematics. The NCTM also has other quality journals. (2) The NCTM has recently released the Curriculum Focal Points which lists important mathematical topics which should represent major areas of content emphasis in K-12 classrooms. The document builds on the Principles and Standards for School Mathematics.

Removed 8/15/2006:

NUMB3RS is a drama about an FBI agent who recruits his mathematical-genius brother to help the Bureau solve a wide range of challenging crimes in Los Angeles (CBS - Friday nights at 10/9 Central - see about the show). NCTM and Texas Instruments have partnered with CBS to put together the We All Use Math Every Day Program, which provides math activities related to the math topics seen on the TV episodes of NUMB3RS. Check it out, I think you'll like NUMB3RS and We All Use Math Every Day.

Math 366 Students I have some practice percent change problems for you in a "quiz" on QuizStar. Click here for directions on how to use QuizStar.

Math 100 links - including the Problem Supplement.

Technology and the Secondary School Mathematics Curriculum (Math 655) - This is a "hybrid" course which is primarily an online course with two, all-day, face-to-face meetings on the W.I.U. Macomb Campus. We plan to offer this course summer 2006 (May 22 through July 13). If you are interested in this course, e-mail me.

Click here for a sample video.

The older WebCT system is found by clicking WebCT41 (then click Log in to My WebCT--then use your Ecom username and password).

Removed 1/13/2005:

Numb3rs -A new crime show on CBS in which detectives use mathematics to help solve crimes. Friday nights at 9 p.m. central time, starting in September. I have not seen the show yet, but hope to. See also the official "We All Use Math Every Day" web site. See also NCTM News. (My top graphics change from time to time.)

Removed May 11, 2005:

Math 402 Students Click Here for Geoboard Dot paper and here for Isometric Dot Paper.
Removed August 17, 2004:

Math 366 students click here for some Geometry Applets.

Math 303 Students: We have two sites:

Removed February 11, 2004:
(Old heading) Jim Olsen's Home Page

The graphic and animation at the top come from Scott Kim's Inversions Gallery. An inversion is a word or name written so it reads in more than one way. Symmetry is one of my personal interests.

Removed January 23, 2004:

Math 390 Students: We have two sites:

Removed August 16, 2003:
Math 503 on-line students Click WebCT.
Mathematical Modeling for the Real World Workshop participants:
  • Formerly on Blackboard (with CAIT), but it has been taken down.
  • Click Overview to see the workshop overview information.

Removed July 16, 2003:
Please click here for IDSM Parking Information.

Please click here for IDSM ~ Math 550 ~ Course Information - This information is for participants in the In Depth Study of Mathematics (IDSM) Workshops, June 23-25, 2003 who wish to enroll for graduate credit through Western Illinois University

Pi Day a Big Success

On April 24, 2003 Pi Day was held at Western Illinois University. Eighty-five fifth graders from Havana, Illinois came to campus for a day of fun math activities and pizza pie. There teacher wrote this response:

"All of the teachers, chaperones, and students had a great day at WIU from beginning to end. It was very well planned and coordinated. Lunch on a field trip is usually not peaceable, but having 2 groups at a time and puzzle activities was great. Every part of the day was well done. Please tell your students how much we appreciated their efforts as well as the WIU Math Dept.
Student response to the day, the food, and the campus were all positive. One student was heard to say while walking from the bus to the Union, "Wow, I didn't think I'd ever want to go to college, but I'm going to have to work hard so I can go." [emphasis added] Responses to activities were equally enthusiastic. There were several groups doing Mathemagic Sheets on the way home.
Thanks again from all of us. Karen Barrett, Havana Schools"

Math 406 students you may be interested in 1000problems.com. (They may not have 1000 yet.)
Problem solving form: ps-form.doc, ps-form.rtf, ps-form.wpd (you can right-click and Save-As).

Math 503 on-line, Secondary Mathematics Teaching Methods is again being offered spring of 2003. If you are interested in future offerings, e-mail me.

New students, click here to learn how to get your Ecom username and password.

The Western Illinois University community is taking the opportunity to focus on the issue of civility on our campus and on society.

Previous Math 100 students, click here to go to the old WebCT Home page (then click logon to My WebCT--then use your Ecom username and password).

James R. Olsen
Mathematics Department
Western Illinois University
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455
phone: 309/298-2317
Homepage URL: www.wiu.edu/users/mfjro1/wiu/
E-mail: jr-olsen@wiu.edu
updated: April 5, 2022