Welcome to MCTM's e-Newsletter!

MI Math Community

June 2021


Best viewed on a desktop or go HERE to see as webpage.

See the end for: Esti-Mysteries YouTube Channel, Mathematic Tic-Tac-Toe &      MathWalk - Graph Story

Resources & Guiding Documents for Planning

President's Message

Thank you.  After this past school year these two words mean so much.  As I reflect back on my journey in education, putting a bow on the school year is a time that is exciting, refreshing and humbling.  This year is different.  Educators have been challenged in ways that no one could predict.  Yet, we made it, our kids made it and we all learned a lot.  

This learning over the past year centered on mathematics but, maybe more importantly, it focused on one another.  

Supporting our colleagues in our complex work, truly listening to and engaging with the concerns of others, and putting the children we serve above all else had to take priority.  This pandemic has brought with it an abundance of trauma and as we begin to see the other side, we must be sure to take note of what we should carry forward.  There have been many advancements in the use of technology but it might not necessarily be the most important lesson from the past year to take into the future.  This year we have worked together and supported one another in ways that far exceed the norm.  This practice of empathy, collaboration, and group problem resolving can and should shift the ways we work for the long term.  We now better understand the importance of family, culture and each person’s individual journey that they bring into the school setting.  We are all here for the same purpose and it is now much more clear that our work is not about “me” but about “us”.  

Thank you for your time, expertise and understanding as we continue to provide the best teaching and learning of mathematics in the country.  As you put a bow on the school year, find time to rest, learn and reflect.  I appreciate you.  We appreciate you.  Thank you.  

Rusty AndersonMCTM President

Join me at:

2021 Annual Conference (Virtual)

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Think Again

The Infinite Game

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Street Data

Quality Implementation

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    For more details and information, visit:

    2021 Virtual Conference

    Our Virtual Annual Conference:

    July 27 & 28, 2021

    Interested in attending this year’s conference? Register here!

    This year’s conference will provide sessions and experiences in four strands on:

         Effective Teaching Practices

         Building Knowledge for Teaching

         Teachers as Leaders & Change Agents

         Creating Inclusive Spaces & Promoting Social Justice

    Disciplinary Literacy  - Summer Learning Opportunities

    It's early June and some of us already have an earworm of Alice Cooper belting out "School's Out for Summer", even with another week or so of classes left.  While everyone is eager for the end of this unusual school year, the MAISA GELN's Disciplinary Literacy Task Force is looking ahead to August, preparing relevant and practical professional learning for you.  For a full listing of PL opportunities, please visit the recent Smore  which also includes announcements for these upcoming sessions:

    August 5, 2021 - Thursday - VIRTUAL - 8:30 AM - 12 PM

    "Disciplinary Literacy Introductory Institute" - 3.25 SCECHs (pending)

    This is a reprise and update of the half-day institute held last summer.  Come for a refresher or for a full introduction to Disciplinary Literacy. 

    August 11-12-13, 2021 - Wednesday, Thursday, Friday - VIRTUAL - 9 AM - 11 AM plus ~6 hours asynchronous learning on-your-own.

    "Disciplinary Literacy Deeper Dive Institute" - 12 SCECHs (pending)

    This is a condensed and updated version of the 22-hour Deeper Dive held during the 2020-2021 school year.  Walk through thinking about an upcoming lesson or unit of your own with an eye toward intentionally leveraging DL to improve mathematics teaching and learning.  And, get your DL questions answered from the DL PL team.

    Watch this space in August for ideas to raise your DL game going into the 2021-2022 school year.  And, from the DL PL team, we wish you a restful and enjoyable summer break!

    Kathy Berry, Immediate Past-President, MCTM

    MAISA GELN Disciplinary Literacy Task Force/Professional Learning Team  kathy.berry@monroeisd.us

    #EmpoweringMathEd Series May

    The final event of the series had record attendance and great conversation around the topic Detracking an Equity Practice. Thanks to our guest speakers from the University of Central Florida. Here are a couple images and thoughts from the event.

    • "Every student, every day should have the opportunity to talk about their mathematical thinking." Dr. Childs (D.C.M -- Dr. Child's Method)
    • Radical Inclusion Model: "If students don't see themselves reflected in your curriculum, why are you using that curriculum?"

    Tying it All Together! 

    In Jason Gauthier's final installment of "Let's Talk About High Quality Math Instruction", he ties all of the previous posts together by breaking down the notion that, "a classroom math learning community is a group of individuals who show up expecting to explore unfamiliar problems and make sense of unfamiliar situations using mathematics" and ways in which we make that happen. Click here to read this latest installment and join us in thanking Jason for sharing his team's wisdom through these last few months in the comments! In what ways has this series helped shape your thinking around high quality math instruction? 

    Kelli VanSetters, MCTM Membership Chair

    Visit Our Blog Page

    5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematics Discussions

    Part III: Selecting, Sequencing & Connecting

    Marcus Deja, Kent Intermediate School District

    As we close out the current school year we are excited to bring you Part Three of the Three-Part Series centered on “5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematics Discussions” by Margaret S. Smith and Mary Kay Klein. 

    The practices expressed in these three articles have shifted many teachers’ perceptions of what learning is possible in the math classrooms. More importantly, students’ voices are being heard and connected to their community which gives them a mirror to see themselves as mathematicians.

    The purpose of this article serves to provide us with the tools to guide our students’ thoughts to the target by selecting, sequencing and monitoring. When we are know exactly where students are and where we want them to go, we need to be very purposeful in selecting student work and how it provides clear learning path to our target. 

    Click HERE for Full Article

    More from the Stats Fan…

    What, Exactly, IS a Standard Deviation, Anyhow?

    Ruth Miller, Kent Denver School, CO

    Data is, in its raw form, an ugly, often large, and unwieldy set of facts, usually represented numerically.  But in that form, data is impossible to work with, so we try to organize it.

    Data falls into a distribution, which we can look at as a histogram or dot plot (for example); there are lots of ways to display data (maybe this is the subject of another article). 

    But even this is difficult to use, we can see a shape, and make some statements, like, “The best fuel economy in this data set is just a little less than 45mpg.”  But we want some consistent ways to describe distributions of data, and the ones that statisticians have settled on are Center, Spread, Shape, and Unusual Features.  We quantify Center by using the mean (average) or the median (middle data point).  Shape has to do with symmetry and the clusters that exist in the distribution, and Unusual Features are things like gaps or outliers.  But today’s topic is a measure of spread, the Standard Deviation. *Article Continues - click link below!*

    AND:  #shamelessplug: I will be leading some Calculus APSI’s this summer; I’d love to “see” some Michigan peeps!

    AP Calculus AB/ BC online 7/6 – 7/9


    AP Calculus BC online 7/12 – 7/16


    AP Calculus BC online 7/19 – 7/23


    Full Article: What IS Standard Deviation?

    This our series that focuses on the SMPs across grade levels. We are coordinating with Professor of Education and Mathematics Patricio Herbst and Assistant Research Scientist Amanda Milewski from the University of Michigan to bring MI Math Community readers information and opportunities around the Standards of Mathematical Practices.  District math specialists and curriculum leaders are encouraged to reach out to discuss ways of providing professional development to larger groups of teachers.

    SMP 6: Attend to Precision

    The Common Core State Standards for Mathematical Practice #6 states that students should learn to “attend to precision”.  In this module, participants will have the opportunity to engage with an instructional scenario drawn from the secondary geometry curriculum.  Specifically, participants will observe, annotate, and read other participants’ annotations of a scenario in which students are working on what one can say about the angle bisectors of a quadrilateral. In the scenario, students run into difficulties understanding a classmate’s argument, gradually “trying to use clear definitions in discussion with others and in their own reasoning.” After considering various ways the teacher could support SMP #6, participants will have the opportunity to try implementing the SMP with their own students and receive feedback from an online facilitator.

    The course will award 5 SCECHs upon completion. Visit https://lessonsketch.catalog.instructure.com/ to enroll for $75 (use the code MCTM1).

    Once again we turn to Debbie Waggoner to provide some student friendly language on Attend to Precision for different grade levels (http://www.debbiewaggoner.com/math-practice-standards.html) The images below represent Grades 2-3 and 6-12, respectively.

    Visit the Newsletter Page for a SPECIAL document showing the progression of ALL eight mathematical standards throughout the grade levels as well as a document focusing on High School. 

    The Chasing Einstein Challenge is a 9-week activity for 3rd-12th grade students designed to help them become creative and persistent problem solvers. Click on the image below to go to the video or click HERE. These materials are free for classroom teachers to use!