10 Jan Claire Okazaki retires
Claire Okazaki came to CRDG in 2000 for a sabbatical from her position as a seventh grade mathematics teacher at Nānākuli High and Intermediate School. At the time, she planned to return to her then twenty-one-year career as a mathematics and special education teacher at the end of the semester. But she got involved in an exciting new research project that was just getting started, and, as she says, “What could be hard about teaching first-grade math?” The Measure Up project, based on the work of Russian psychologists, mathematicians, and educators, was focused on developing algebraic thinking in children as young as first grade. Nine years later, Claire has been instrumental in carrying out classroom research and developing curriculum materials for grades one through five. “I certainly learned a lot of mathematics,” Claire says. “Ideas I thought I knew but realized I really didn’t understand. I knew how to find answers but didn’t understand what the mathematics was about!” Her background had been in elementary education, so it became her mission to assist other elementary teachers in developing their mathematics understanding. Claire was involved in a variety of research and professional development projects during her tenure at CRDG as well as accumulating an impressive list of publications and presentations. We wish her well in her retirement.