Thomas Clark is a life-long teacher of Mathematics and Science with more than 50 years of classroom and tutoring experience at all levels, from elementary through adult. He began his career with twelve years of classroom teaching, including a full year of graduate study, and then served for five years as the State Mathematics Supervisor for the Indiana Department of Education. While there, he was responsible for curriculum development, statewide in-service, textbook adoption, and consultation for all public and private schools in the state. Those opportunities and the valuable knowledge he gained, enabled him to join the Indianapolis Public Schools as the Supervisor of Mathematics, K-12, overseeing staff development efforts and supervising the implementation of curriculum. Seven years later, Mr. Clark was promoted to the position of Director of Curriculum Development for all areas, utilizing his rich background in mathematics, science, art, music, language, and athletics. In subsequent years, he was commissioned to author several Mathematics resources for the Houghton-Mifflin Publishing Co., and for the Addison Wesley Publishing Co.
His unique awareness of the needs of both teachers and students is an attribute that helped him win the IUPUI Chancellor’s Award, the Purdue School of Science Faculty Teaching Award, and the Indiana University Schaller Award for excellence in teaching the adult learner.
As a result of all of his experience, he is convinced that everyone has the ability to understand Mathematics. Consequently, in the last twenty years, he has focused on the development of multimedia programs that challenge traditional methods of instruction, and which help with both individualized and group learning. In addition, eighteen years ago, he founded VideoText Interactive, a company that specializes in bringing the textbook to life through technology. He then began directing his attention toward helping homeschooling parents become more effective instructors, especially in the area of Mathematics. Because of his success, he has been a featured speaker at many major homeschool conferences across the country, and has been asked to write articles on the subject for several homeschool publications. The company’s two major programs, "Algebra: A Complete Course", and :Geometry: A Complete Course, have been acclaimed nationwide, as comprehensive, college-preparatory Mathematics courses, and are now available in two formats. The Classic versions, with books and DVDs are still very strongly received, and the new Online versions (which are closed captioned), are gaining in popularity.
Personal Life: Tom and his wife, Alice, have been married for 47 years. They have been blessed with two wonderful children, Christopher and Kimberly, and eight precious grandchildren. Tom’s recently deceased father was a retired minister, and his recently-deceased mother was the daughter of a missionary to Japan. His sister, Sharon, and his brother, Steve, have been very instrumental in the growth of VideoText Interactive, working with Tom to bring the company to the position of being a major provider of quality Mathematics instruction for the homeschooling community. As well, Kimberly, an accomplished graphic artist, and Christopher, an experienced informational technology expert, have contributed greatly to the professional quality and appearance of the VideoText Interactive educational materials. In fact, the extended families of both Tom and Alice have also participated in conference and parent support activities, with several of those family members having significant educational backgrounds as well. The development of Tom’s “Why?” philosophy, and the eventual production of the VideoText materials began 33 years ago, at “the kitchen table”, with Tom developing notes to explain the “why” of mathematical concepts to his children. His family has enjoyed watching those early “notes” develop into a top-rated, Mathematics program, on video, which has now moved to kitchen tables all across America. As a result, homeschooling families everywhere can now enjoy the benefits of truly understanding Mathematics.
Did you know that Mathematics has parts of speech and sentence structure, just as does any spoken language? Did you know that understanding the “grammar” of Mathematics greatly helps student understanding of problem-solving and applications? In this workshop, Tom Clark, founder of VideoText Interactive, and author of “Algebra: A Complete Course”, and “Geometry: A Complete Course”, clearly and humorously demonstrates this quality of mathematical language. At last, you will truly understand the roles of all types of mathematical symbols, and you will see how easy it is to translate between Mathematics and English, enabling you to improve your understanding, and teaching, of “story problems”, at all levels.
So how do we know what Mathematics to teach to our children? Do we just follow a textbook? How can we be sure we are providing what our students really need, and teaching it correctly, for mastery? These are typical questions homeschooling parents ask, especially as they begin to encounter the middle and high school levels of Mathematics. In this workshop, Tom Clark, founder of VideoText Interactive, will take you on a sometimes humorous journey, through all the levels of Mathematics courses, the sequence, and the logic of Math, from pre-school through college. In addition, attention will be given to identifying the “why” of the study of Mathematics, as an essential part of the plan, with an emphasis on the development of concepts, instead of rules, tricks, and shortcuts.
This educational and entertaining session will consider the Key Points of the Common Core Standards, as we explore the reasons behind the difficulty in teaching traditional "trouble spots" in Mathematics. Topics will be determined by the audience, and may include operations with fractions, story problems, and numerous others, all of which seem to indicate that Mathematics is naturally "difficult", understandable only by the few that seem "wired" for it. In fact, the secret to mastery in Mathematics is understanding concepts. Strategies will be shared which will demonstrate how students at all levels can benefit from a “why” approach to learning.
Algebra is the study of relations (equations and inequalities). It is therefore essential that students completely and conceptually understand the basic concepts necessary to solve them. In this workshop, Tom Clark, founder of VideoText Interactive, and author of “Algebra: A Complete Course”, and “Geometry: A Complete Course”, will help you to develop an inquiry approach which is applicable to all basic relations. You will discover the analytical questions students need to ask, in order to “undo” all of the complications they may encounter, when solving equations and inequalities.
Most Homeschooling parents feel uneasy when planning math courses for their children. "We learned our math a long time ago", or "We learned it a different way", or maybe we learned it not at all. How can we know if the methods we are using will achieve the desired results in our students? In this workshop, Tom Clark, founder of VideoText Interactive, and author of "Algebra: A Complete Course", and "Geometry: A Complete Course", will expose ten common myths about teaching math, and then counter those myths with solid, practical help for parents. You will also leave with a checklist of items which can be used to determine the best math course for your students.