Joann Barnett

No picture - large size Instructor

Academic Interests

As a mathematics instructor, my favorite thing to do is to design a lesson that is going to engage, intrigue, and advance students in their mathematics thinking. There are so many pieces that are part of excellent instruction, and the challenge I face as a teacher is to attend to as many of these pieces as possible. After designing and implementing a lesson, I look forward to the discussion with colleagues about what can be done to improve the lesson. I am also interested in designing professional development for K-8 mathematics teachers. In particular, I like to think about how children learn fractions, what barriers exist that prevent children from developing number sense with fractions, and how we can help teachers help children understand fractions. 

Top Scholarly Accomplishments

  • Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (2003)
  • Co-Author of book "High-Yield Routines for Grades K-8" published by National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 2013.
  • Article published in Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School May 2012 "Functions and the Volume of Vases"
  • Article that will be published in November 2016 issue of Teaching Children Mathematics, "Paper Plate Fractions: The Counting Connection."

Presented at the following conferences for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

  • New Orleans, 2014: "Thinking About Fractions; Helping the Halves and the Half-Nots"
  • Boston, 2015:  "Fraction Fluency: Helping All Children Become Part of the Whole" San Francisco
  • 2016:  "Making the Mathematical Practices Routine in Grades 3-5" San Antonio
  • 2017:  "Closing the Gap: Fraction Equivalence and Comparison"  

Previous Experience

I taught middle school math in three Missouri public school over a 28 year period (Mansfield, Sparta, and Ozark). During the last 26 years, I have worked as a consultant with various providing professional development for mathematics teachers throughout the state. I was also a Co-PI for a Math and Science Partnership federal grant for three years with a focus on developing mathematics content and leadership skills for teachers in Missouri. I also have worked closely helping to develop the coursework for the Elementary Mathematics Specialist certification, a collaborative effort of five universities in Missouri. 


Ozark, MO


Learning more about effective teaching of mathematics.

Future Goals and Aspirations

Based on our recent research conducted with a local school district, my colleagues and I have started developing a resource for practicing teachers to help them improve instruction of fractions. Most textbooks do not address the reasoning strategies that students need in developing number sense with fractions. Instead, textbooks move too quickly to procedures which leaves most students with an inability to make sense of fractions. It is our hope that teachers will find this resource valuable and effective in teaching children in grades 3–6 about fractions. 

Life Outside the University

My husband Steve and I have been married (to each other) for 32 years. We live outside of Ozark. We have three children, Lucy, Max and Alexander, one granddaughter Penny, and another granddaughter Olive, who should make her appearance into the world next month. We are thankful that our "boundary lines have fallen for us in pleasant places." (Psalm 16:6)

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