Author: Jim Olsen (James R. Olsen)

Brief author description: I teach at Western Illinois University & have a great wife and 3 great children. I consider myself a Christian, family member, teacher, athlete, and scholar.  I taught math in the public schools for 10 years. I have been a teacher educator in the Mathematics Department at Western Illinois University since 1994.  More Info on Dr. O here.

Purpose of this Site: The purpose of this site is to help people understand grade 1 through 6 mathematics, make mathematics meaningful (make connections), and make it enjoyable.  I want to help teachers gain pedagogical content knowledge–that is, an understanding of mathematics from a teacher’s point of view.

Initial Audience: Initially (this site was created 1/13/2015), this site is created for teacher education majors in Math 260, at Western Illinois University. Math 260 is taken by (a) elementary education majors, (b) early childhood majors, (c) bilingual education majors, and (d) special education majors.

Intent: My intent is to create a website that is highly organized, based on solid mathematics and the CCSSM (Common Core State Standards for Mathematics), and useful for teachers and their students.

The Title: I titled this site Personal Flotation Device, which is a PFD, to call attention to Percents, Fractions, and Decimals. A thorough understanding of percents, fractions, and decimals is the foundation and gateway to high school mathematics (and beyond). I also like the title because as a PFD keeps your head above water, I hope that this website can help people keep their head above water in mathematics.

Some of My Beliefs: In 2014 the NCTM published a book, titled Principles to Actions: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All.  I believe (support) the 8 Mathematics Teaching Practices and the 5 Guiding Principles for School Mathematics. These (best) teaching practices and guiding principles can be seen in the Executive Summary.

Feedback/Comments: I do welcome feedback from students and readers of this site. Please call me or email me. [I have disabled the comment feature on the website itself.]

Social Media: I use (in somewhat decreasing order of significance)

Some of my other webpages and projects:

URL: math260.drjimo.net