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President's Message

Here we go again! Does it feel like it used to? Should it? Or should this year feel different? Opportunities and uncertainty. Anxiety and hope.

Emotional gymnastics.

Our team is working on presenting a fall conference that will offer something for everyone. Our keynote speaker is Amanda Jansen, author of Rough Draft Math. Our breakout sessions will follow, offering a range of amazing topics about effective instruction, building our own mathematical knowledge, and teaching and learning in today's era. I hope that you will be able to join us in October, and that you will encourage colleagues to join MCTM and attend the conference as well. 

As you get your year started, I want to encourage you to think about humanity. When I teach I get caught up in the beauty of mathematics and the connections and patterns. My kids see my energy and tend to reflect that long enough to be active in my lesson.

But not all of them. Not every time. Sometimes I engage with the content and forget that I am supposed to engage with the human beings in the room. When I was still new to teaching I misunderstood what it meant to have engaging math lessons. I thought that engaging meant entertaining.

Student engagement is not something that our students are supposed to do with our lessons. Engagement is something WE are supposed to do with our students. We have to engage with them.

The teachers that had positive impacts on our young lives are likely the ones that we connected with. They were the ones that really knew us, and they crafted learning opportunities around us.

The most important strategy for Student Engagement: engage with your kids. Show them that you see them and that you believe in them.

It is not easy, but the results are out there. Success is the result of strong and meaningful relationships. Look at championship sports teams as one example. Ask any member of the team why they are successful and they start of with "we". They talk about family and trust. Without those relationships there is no quick fix product that can be dropped in to create success. Invest in strong and meaningful relationships with every child. Build family and trust.

Then you can show them how beautiful mathematics is, because then they are more likely to believe you.

Good luck this year.


A Fan of Worlde and Like Math? Then Nerdle is for you!

Article contributed by:  Christine Kincaid Dewey, MCTM Member

Whether you play this daily game yourself or share with students, Nerdle (www.nerdlegame.com) is a fun math puzzle. Critical thinking, proper use of the order of operations, and strategy are combined to find the equation of the day using digits from 0 to 9 and the four basic operations. You have six attempts to discover the equation and are given feedback about each attempt to improve your guesses. Whether you try original Nerdle, Mini-Nerdle, Instant Nerdle, or even Bi-Nerdle (two equations at the same time with seven total guesses), it’s worth checking out! In classrooms, teachers have put students into small groups to work on the daily puzzles to practice collaboration in addition to the skills above. Nerdle was envisioned by Richard and Imogen Mann from the UK in response to the popular game World. Follow Nerdle on Instagram (@nerdlegame), Facebook, and/or TikTok!

Nerdle Landing Page Complete Nerdle Mini Nerdle

STATS: How Important is it to Graph the Data? VERY!

Article contributed by:  Christine Kincaid Dewey, MCTM Member

Albert Cairo (http://albertocairo.com/) created a data set called Datasaurus to show the need to VISUALIZE date and not to rely on summary statistics alone. These 13 sets of data (Datasaurus plus 12 others) have the same mean, standard deviation and Pearson’s correlation to two decimal places but look vastly different when graphed.

What a great visual for teachers to use with students studying statistics! Learn more about the process, including a free download of both the data sets themselves and the Python source code in an article on AUTODESK. Click the button below or go to https://www.autodesk.com/research/publications/same-stats-different-graphs

Link to main article: https://www.autodesk.com/research/publications/same-stats-different-graphs

time to update your pattern block supply?

Article contributed by:  Victoria Easterbrook, Publications/MCTM Member

These new 21st Century Pattern blocks are encouraging mathematical creations.  The kids love them and the teachers are happy with the results.  You can use them to teach scaling, symmetry, area and perimeter and for comparing side lengths.  See the article on how to teach with them here.  If you just want to play and challenge your students to create patterns then visit here or check out what others have created on Twitter with #21centurypb.  Ready to buy?  Check it out on Amazon or right on the math for love website.  Interested in other math games, lessons, or curriculum.  Check out math for love and join their email list for more resources.

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