Welcome to the new MCTM e-Newsletter!

MI Math Community

May 2020


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

In this issue:

- Thank YOU!

- MCTM 71st Annual Conference & Institute

- #25 MCTM Book Study

- Math Treats

- Blog: "More Than Just Math"

- Building Conceptual Understanding

- Free Virtual Manipulatives

- MDE Resources for COVID-19

- Member Spotlight Region 9

- Math Choice Boards

- Call for Presenters! 

- A Tribute to John Conway

-Math @ Home

-Virtual Number Talks

-Using the Census with Students K-12


2020 MCTM Institute & Conference Stopped by COVID-19 #ForwardMotion Continues

The MCTM Conference Committee regrets to announce the cancellation of the 2020 MCTM Institute and Conference in Grand Rapids for July 28-30. To promote the health and well-being of attendees from all around Michigan, as well as to minimize the negative financial impact on MCTM, we are cancelling these events. Any pre-paid participant and vendor fees will be refunded as quickly as we can get those processed.

Your 2020 Conference Committee created an outstanding lineup of speakers and events, and we intend to see that #ForwardMotion continues in some form.  We are working toward enabling learning together from at least some of these facilitators over the next several months, and even at the 2021 event. Watch for news about upcoming support, sharing, and learning opportunities – face-to-face when permitted, and virtually when that is more sensible.

Please join me in thanking the 2020 Conference Committee for their hours and hours of work on behalf of all of us:  Andrew Smith, Megan Coonan, LuAnn Murray, Scot Acre, Denise Leonard, Chris Berry, and Christine Kincaid Dewey

Kathy Berry, MCTM Conference Committee Chair

MCTM Book Study #25

This spring’s book study discussed Math that Matters: Targeted Assessment and Feedback for Grades 3-8 by Marian Small.

The images below come helped guide the first session discussion, which is held using a virtual conferencing application. The general format of our book studies begins with a brainstorming session. After that specifics of the book are discussed for the targeted chapters, as well as how that reading shows up in our classrooms and school district. The book study sessions close with individual participants making a commitment to implement one idea mentioned in their classrooms before the next meeting.  We share how that commitment went at the beginning of the next meeting.

My hope for the next books studies are the following:

Summer - A Fresh Look at Formative Assessment

Fall - Humanizing Disability in Mathematics Education: Forging New Paths

I am looking for feedback on the suggested titles as well as suggestions for other books to use. Please email me directly at nicoll@aaps.k12.mi.us.

Book studies are a great way to connect with fellow educators from the comfort of your own home, build your PLN (Personal Learning Network), learn something new, and model being the life-long learner we want out students to be. Look for details for future book studies coming to your inbox over the next couple weeks.

Anne Marie Nichol-Turner, NCTM Representative & Book Study Co-ordinator

Math Treats

Recommended age group: 8 and up

Raj Shah, Founder of Math Academy (MA), posts fun Math videos called Math Treats, on the MA website. Each video presents a math task designed to engage learners with mathematics in a meaningful way.  Students and family members are encouraged to explore different strategies for solving math tasks together.  On the following Monday at 3 p.m. est, Raj hosts a free live Zoom meeting to further explore the math task. If you are looking for ways of engaging students in math without assigning drill and kill worksheets, then try a sample of these delicious Math Treats! Previously posted Math Treats can also be found on the website.

Monday Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/j/914882989

Noncy Fields, MCTM VP Elementary

Math Treats Website
What's New This Month MCTM Blog

MCTM Blog “More than Just Math”

Holly Vostad is a Kindergarten teacher in Godwin Public Schools in West Michigan. Check out her blog post titled, "More than Just Math" about her recent journey with AVMR. Holly exemplifies lifelong learning and sums up her experience as, "For the first time in 26 years of teaching, I felt like I was moving my kids on to first grade with a deep understanding of number sense and an ability to be fluid and flexible with numbers. More importantly, I was moving on a group of children who had confidence in their thinking and problem solving skills."

We appreciate our teachers’ voices here at the MCTM blog. Have an experience you’d love to share? Reach out to us! membership@mictm.org

Kelli Vansetters, MCTM Membership Chair Byron Center Public Schools

Building Conceptual Understanding...

Kevin Dykema is not only an active MCTM member but a sought after professional development leader. He has written an article for us that is posted on the NEW Publications page of our website.It begins....

"Teaching mathematics is so much fun!  There is so much to learn as a teacher to help ensure success for each and every student. Building conceptual understanding is crucial for the mathematical development of our students.  One way to build such an understanding is..."

Head on over to our website by clicking on the button to read the entire article!

Looking for FREE virtual manipulatives to use with your students this spring? Didax has 17 different options from ten-frames and base-ten blocks to geoboards and algebra tiles. These can be used for a variety of grade levels.

MDE COVID-19 Resources

The Michigan Department of Education has posted optional resources for teachers on the MDE website whose purpose is to "assist with supplemental online distance and virtual learning opportunities for all students." Included in these resources is a guidance document authored by MI Regional Teachers of the Year with input from a variety of educator organizations and the Michigan Department of Education. Links to the MDE webpage and the document are below.

Region 9

Cristie Ebner is in her third year of teaching at Capac Jr. Sr. High school but has been teaching since 2000. For a while she stayed home with her three daughters but taught part time at St. Clair Community College. She and her husband live in Capac where all three children are attending school in her building! Her hobbies are watching her oldest competitively ride horses, her middle daughter in band & robotics, and her youngest in drama and dance! Cristie loves math. “So, for me, getting students excited about solving, learning, and thinking logically is the best part.  I know once I form a relationship with a student, I can also help them form a relationship with math.” The most positive experience about remote teaching has been ‘seeing’ students at during Google Meet sessions – “everyone is relaxed and laughing.” The biggest challenge is connecting with students who do not have internet. Why be a part of MCTM? “I think it is important to stay current on the direction education is headed, policies, and most importantly resources and tools to make my classroom the best place for my students.”

Denise Leonard, Region 9 Director, has been teaching at Capac Junior/Senior High School for the past 22 years. She taught middle school for many years but now teachers three math classes at the HS level and has been known to teach a science class occasionally. Denise and her husband Brett have three daughters and 2 beautiful granddaughters. Her youngest daughter is set to get married this summer and is studying to be a teacher too! Denise loves teaching Algebra I. “One of my happiest teaching moments is when students understand the math and get excited about what we are learning.  I feel like algebra 1 is a puzzle and when you figure out how it goes together, you see the whole picture of mathematics.” With the suspension of F2F instruction, her biggest challenge is getting information to students without internet as she lives in a rural area with many students having poor or NO internet services. A longtime MCTM member, Denise feels that “.  Professional organizations give teachers a support system that they possibly did not even know they needed.”

Teaching & Parenting:

Math Choice Boards

Navigating learning from home as a parent of a kindergartener and 3rd grader has been an interesting challenge. I feel a constant battle between wanting to address the content standards my children are missing being out of school, and wanting to instill a love and general curiosity of the world of numbers. I know these two things are not mutually exclusive, but planning for each has proven to be challenging. The Facebook group Build Math Minds has been a constant source of motivation for this task, and recently, a math teacher named Chelsea McClellan shared a resource she made called Math Choice Boards. This resource contains sample activities across several math domains, all under the theme of instilling a love of and curiosity for numbers. 

Recently, my kindergartner was so engaged in a Math Choice Board task that she wanted to share the task with the world! So, she asked to go outside and make the task into chalk art on our sidewalk. She even got the idea to make the task into a hopscotch board, with expressions in a “line” being equal. She watched out our front window for a long time, waiting for people to do some math while on their walks!

Mary Christensen-Cooper, MCTM Region 11 Director

Call for Presenters!

The Michigan Council for Exceptional Children (MCEC) and the Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM), in conjunction with Alt+Shift, encompassing (Mi)2, seek presenters for their 6th annual joint conference Mathematics: Reaching All Learners Together. The conference takes place on Monday, October 19, 2020 at Wayne County Community College (Down River Campus). Click the link below to find the document with more details about the event which is posted on our Publications page, which includes the link to submit a proposal. Proposals due by June 12th.

A tribute to Master Mathematician

John Conway

I have had the advantage of meeting many great Mathematics Educators, but few outstanding pure Mathematicians. In the summer of 1992, I was awarded a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship at Princeton. During the four weeks, I had the pleasure of finding a mentor and friend in John Horton Conway (26 December 1937 – 11 April 2020). In addition to being a Princeton professor and Mathematician, he was charismatic, engaging everyone who would listen. John Conway’s boundless curiosity produced profound contributions to number theory, game theory, coding theory, group theory, knot theory, topology, probability theory, algebra, analysis, combinatorial game theory and coding theory, and more. Foremost, he considered himself a classical geometer. His legacy will live on through his books and YouTube videos that capture his simple games that could demonstrate a point and clarify a concept. You can learn more about him in his bio by Catherine Zandonella, Office of the Dean for Research at Princeton.

Murney Bell, MCTM Past-President


"Most people would agree that “math is all around us”.  When pressed for examples, though, many often remember computation used at the store and maybe a little geometry (anyone rearranging or painting a room during the COVID-19 quarantine?).  But mathematics – multidimensional, beautiful, intriguing, useful, puzzling, fascinating – really is all around us all the time if we just know where to look.  Even as you are reading this, letters are nothing more than geometric figures, positioned so as to convey agreed-upon meanings.  Perhaps you have some children handy at home or school to join you in these adventures and look at the world through math-colored lenses. While playing with mathematics is fun, participating and talking about ideas together makes the best memories and leads to lasting learning."

Full Math@Home Article

For the remainder of this article, which includes lists of @home mathematics, click on the link!

Number Talks -- Virtually?

The Macomb Intermediate School District (MISD) have been hosting Elementary Math Chats with Mathematics Consultants (and MCTM members) Trish Dunn and Lea McAllister. The most recent chat was about doing Number/Dot Talks with students via video conferencing. They shared a sample presentations. Posted on the Publications page of the MCTM website, there are two documents, one is a 'clean' PowerPoint and the other is a PDF that has annotations after used with students. An example is pictured below along with the link to the full document. Thanks for sharing!

Virtual Number Talks Resources

Use the Census Maps and Data with K-12 Students

The United Stated 2020 Census has opportunities for teachers to use data in their Statistics in Schools initiative. Click HERE for an interactive map to share with students about response rates by state, county, city, town, congressional district, and tribal area. Wouldn't this be a great opportunity for a "What do you notice? and What do you wonder?" instructional routine?

Teachers can also access the website at the link below for lesson ideas and plans to use K-12 and sign up to get emails with further and future information.

MDE Press Release 5/7/2020

The Power of the Profession: Dr. Rice Reflects on the Power of Teachers

Click on the image below to be taken to a video by the MI Superintendent of Public Instruction.

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 Publication@mictm.org . Look for the e-newsletter to develop and grow over time based on member input.

Please share this newsletter will ALL of your educator colleagues! We want to spread the good news!

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