Welcome to MCTM's e-Newsletter!

MI Math Community

September 2021


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

See the end for: For the Love of Math (Calculus Focus)

Resources & Guiding Documents for Planning

Wrap Up Part II:

MCTM's 72nd Annual Conference

July 27 & 28, 2021

Over 150 participants attended MCTM's first virtual two-day annual conference.

This year’s conference provided sessions and experiences in four strands:

     Effective Teaching Practices

     Building Knowledge for Teaching

     Teachers as Leaders & Change Agents

     Creating Inclusive Spaces & Promoting Social Justice

Due to the virtual nature of this event, the Conference Committee was able to recruit speakers that normally would have been unable to travel to our in-person event and many participants were able to attend for the same reason. 

Thanks go out to our line-up of phenomenal speakers, sponsors, and to all on the Conference Committee (listed at the end of this section) who volunteered their time and expertise to make this event happen.

This issue will give a snapshot of some of the many valuable sessions offered  with a couple more to appear in October's issue. (See August's issue as well!) We hope to have more content from our awesome presenters features in future issues of MI Math Community

This Month's Highlights from Sessions

Desmos 3Tools: Using Interpretive Feedback to Build Conceptual Understanding -- Claudine Margolis

Claudine led more than one session in using Desmos to create content that builds conceptual understanding using eTools.

Accelerating Learning for Students with Disabilities By Making Mathematical Connections Kate Fanelli 

Kate focused on using constructs that span grade levels. She also reinforced the progression from Concrete à Pictorial à Abstract. In talking about making connections across grade levels in multiplication, participants had the following responses:

“It was incredible to finally understand (beyond age 50!)  that the x (multiplication sign) means “groups of!”  I often don’t even say multiplied by...” CQ

“I go all the way from those tiles to this area model with numerals before I start binomials in the area model, then I do area side by side with FOIL (ick) and I also revisit stacked method and show them how to stack binomials/polynomials too :) Always lining all them up to try and see connections across all methods.” KG 

“It was helpful to be reminded to use as many visuals as possible to start with, then build toward abstract thinking.” LD

What We Can Take Forward: Math Coaching During & After a Pandemic -- Tara Becker-Utess

Math coaches from around the state had to the opportunity to get together to discuss ideas and experiences as well as explore the coaching cycle and developing a partnership relationship with teachers.

Problem Strings: Providing Access & Depth for All -- Andy Levy

What ARE problem strings? "A problem string is a purposeful sequence of related problems, designed to help students mentally construct mathematical relationships." Andy went through several examples including what is below:

Back to School Resources from NCTM!

"As we continue our journey following a year of disruption, we have the opportunity to rethink and reimagine PK-12 mathematics education to build an equitable mathematics education experience." Trena Wilkerson, NCTM President


NCTM Back to School Resources

Disrupted Learning During the Pandemic
Causes Dip in State Assessment Scores

"LANSING – After a year and a half of disrupted learning due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, student state assessment scores from this spring dipped from the last time that students were given statewide assessments in the spring of 2019."

MDE Press Release 8/31/2021

A Beautiful Proof: Why the Limit of sin(x)/x as x Approaches 0 is 1?

"From the day I learned Calculus, I noticed that I had become obsessed with learning how certain things worked. While it is fun to understand how certain things work, it is even more entertaining to learn about how something was discovered...That is why it is so enjoyable to come up with and read about proofs. To write out a proof takes skill outside of coming up with it."

Continue to read this article by Ali  Kayaspor by clicking the button below. He uses the unit circle to frame the proof. (The link goes to his page on Medium which is a subscriber based, but you should get 2 free articles. His page also contains many other interesting posts including the 9/1 post: How Does a Mathematician's Brain Differ from Other Brains?

Article -- scroll back to May 31

Thanks for reading this month's shortened issue! We know you are quite busy right now and just want to say THANK YOU for all you do for students every day. 

(I have been dealing with a broken wrist on my dominant hand, so this issue was shortened to accommodate my limitations.)

Welcome to MI Math Community! One of MCTM’s renewed initiatives is a monthly e-newsletter to share information about mathematics, mathematics education, and the happenings of MCTM. 

Have an idea or topic you’d like to see included? Have a short article to submit for publication consideration? Want to give feedback? Please email MCTM Publications Director and MI Math Community Editor Christine Kincaid Dewey at  Publications@mictm.org . Look for the e-newsletter to develop and grow over time based on member input.

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