Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi

Dr. Faye Bruun

An Outstanding Islander

Outline photo of Dr. Faye Bruun

Fun by the Numbers

Dr. Faye Bruun is showing in-service teachers how to make mathematics engaging for students through children’s literature and interactive games.

As a former Corpus Christi elementary and middle school math teacher, Bruun, a recipient of the fall 2010 Texas A&M System Teaching Excellence Award, quickly realized that memorizing rules and algorithms is an ineffective method to get kids to understand mathematics. 

“Educators can engage their students by reading interesting stories to the class and tying mathematical concepts into the lesson,” said Bruun, assistant professor of Curriculum and Instruction. “This is a new area in math education for middle school students, and these students react positively to this type of instruction.”

Bruun uses pattern blocks to teach geometry, tangram puzzles to teach fractions, and literature and hands-on manipulatives to help students understand various math subject areas. She has written articles on using the book “Math Curse,” to teach math concepts.

“You can think of almost everything as a math problem,” stresses Bruun, an alumnus who received her master’s and doctoral degrees at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.  “The possibilities are endless.”

After she came to the University in 2004, the former president of Coastal Council of Teachers of Mathematics started the annual “ME by the SEa conference” for 300 area math and science teachers.  

“The number of teachers attending the conference increases every year,” she said. “We’ve also provided graduate students with more opportunities to present at the conferences.”

At the University, Bruun is a Governor’s Academy of Teaching Excellence faculty scholar who demonstrates the use of manipulatives to teach mathematics. As a GEAR UP faculty fellow, she designed a scavenger hunt for middle school students to measure the volume of campus buildings. Earlier this year, she coordinated with ELITE Graduate Program to bring elementary school students to campus for her Leonardo da Vinci “Are You a Square?” workshop.

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