CORRECTION: Conference Survey Link Now Active!

Welcome to MCTM's e-Newsletter!

MI Math Community

October 2020


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MCTM Annual Conference Survey  Corrected Link

The MCTM Conference Committee has been hard at work to determine how to provide the best annual conference taking place in July, 2021. Just as you give voice and choice to your students over their learning, we ask that you share your perspectives with us too. Please take less than 2 minutes to complete the 3 questions survey to inform how we might best serve you. We appreciate all that you do.

Conference SURVEY
Resources & Guiding Documents for Planning

I reached out to a variety of Michigan teachers through a variety of platforms about how they are managing the 2020-2021 school year, and the feedback was consistent -- teachers are tired. Teachers have been asked to do what not even our 1918 predecessors were asked during the Spanish Flu pandemic: learn what amounts to a whole new way to design and deliver content while planning for an ever evolving map of the school year and tending to the their students' SEL needs. In addition, the 'requests' from administration have been coming non-stop and many teachers feel they have little input. So many also have personal and family challenges due to the pandemic and economy. 

We are all in the same storm, but everyone is in a different boat. Some teach F2F with safety protocols implemented, some teach in a synchronous or asynchronous remote fashion, and then there's the infinity variety of 'hybrid' scenarios with the most challenging being managing online learners while teaching in person learners. Some are adapting current curriculum, others are creating brand new curriculum (alone or with others), and yet others are now using 'canned' curriculum to make shifts between in-person and online smoother. Technology decisions, training, and issues abound. But, I'm not telling you anything you don't already know.

When I asked these same people what could be done to support teachers? -- that was within the realm of possibility of those without authority to make wholescale changes -- the consensus was loud and clear: 

Value our efforts and work.

Show empathy.

When I asked what is helping teachers manage the demands of this school year?, again the answer was immediately forthcoming:

Connecting with fellow teachers.

Encouragement from students and parents.

Whether to vent frustrations, troubleshoot technology, brainstorm about student issues, learn new ways to migrate to a LMS, or discuss other professional/personal issues, teachers are creating personal networks of support. These networks are forming within schools, within districts, within unions and professional organizations, within counties and states, and across the nation. Through email, text, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms, people are joining, creating, and evolving current and new groups. 

Teachers are showing -- once again -- that we adapt, learn, change, and come together to help our students AND our colleagues be successful. Teachers know that the current model is not sustainable in the long run, and that boundaries on our time and workload are even more important than ever in order to be effective during working hours.  Teachers know that we are stronger together than we can ever be individually.

Christine Kincaid Dewey, MCTM Publications Director

Are Teachers OK? No, and Toxic Positivity Isn't Helping.
Teachers Share How They Are Creating Boundaries Right Now

Resources from Student Achievement Partners (SAP)

And St. Clair RESA

The Coronavirus pandemic has forced many of us to make decisions that we would not otherwise have to under normal conditions, such as face-to-face, hybrid or totally online instruction; synchronous v. asynchronous – to name a few. It may also force us to also examine the content that we are able to teach this year. To help with these decisions, Student Achievement Partners (SAP) has created documents to give guidance to teachers and school curriculum directors on how to prioritize the teaching of mathematical content this year. The 2020-21 Support for Instructional Content in ELA/Literacy and Mathematics gives guidance to K-8 teachers by grade level and the 2020-21 Support for Instructional Prioritization in High School Mathematics gives advice to teachers of secondary mathematics courses, whether organized by subject or integrated.

In an effort to make these documents more user-friendly to teachers, the math consultants at St. Clair RESA takes the SAP documents and adds links to resources that teachers will find helpful in teaching the mathematical standards.

·         The K-8 Document, Important Prerequisite Math Standards with Resources contains links to free virtual manipulatives for most grade level content standards and the prerequisites standards contains resource links for reteaching.

·         The high school document, Resources for the 2020-21 Support for Instructional Prioritization in High School Mathematics is a spreadsheet that contains links to units, lesson plans and meaningful tasks for  standards which the SAP document identify as priority or reduced emphasis standards.  It also identifies standards aligned to the PSAT and SAT as given in the College Board + Michigan SAT Suite of Assessments: Alignment to Michigan Standards document.  The tabs for Algebra 1, Geometry and Algebra 2 are complete.  The Integrated Math 1, 2 and 3 will be completed soon.  

We hope that MCTM members will find these documents helpful as they navigate through this difficult year.

Jim Licht, Laura Chambless, & Minna Turrell, St. Clair RESA

PDF Version of This Content

Upcoming Dates: October 19, 2020 7:00 - 8;30  p.m.

                               November 19, 2020 7:00 - 8:20 p.m.

Register NOW!

#EmpoweringMathEd Series

 September's Empowering Mathematics Educators series was well attended and great discussions were had in breakout rooms and as a whole group. 

See the images below for a sampling of September's topic. MCTM President Rusty Anderson, Mathematics Education Consultant at Oakland Schools Geraldine Devine, and others have been facilitating and organizing the discussions. September's focus was @todosmath essential action of "eliminating deficit views of mathematics learning"! We will be led by the dynamic duo @ORmath4justice & @yarisha9

“Nothing changes unless we learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable” Diane Owen-Rogers

Video Series Lessons about Space for MS/HS Students

Texas Instruments has made this material available for teachers and students. Lessons designed for both in-person and virtual learning. Oh, and yes, it's THAT John Urschel (retired NFL guard and center)!

Dot Cards!

K-2 teachers know that subitizing (the ability to recognize a small group of objects without counting for MS/HS folks) is a fundamental skill. A document was shared in the FB Group Build Math Minds with materials all set and read to go! We have permission to share, so take a look at our Publications Page on the website to download the PDF for yourself. These could easily be inserted into a PPT or used on their own.

Dot Card PDF

MCTM Mini-Grant Application Window Open!

The application for teacher mini grants is now available.  Teachers may apply for up to $500 for materials to support mathematics in their classroom.

MCTM 2020 Mini-Grant Application

Click on image at right to be taken to an informational video on YouTube

Info & Register

MCTM Book Study #27 -- NEW DATES

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. Register today!

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

Anne Marie Nichol-Turner, NCTM Representative & Book Study Coordinator

What's New This Month MCTM Blog

MCTM Blog “A Positive Relationship with Math”

Our blog this month comes to us from Jessica Tufnell, a 5th grade teacher in Kent City. Her blog titled "A Positive Relationship with Math" interrogates the relationship between a student's math identity and their engagement in the subject. She says "Engaging student learning around mathematics in my classroom is always overarched with the same purpose:Students are able to identify as mathematicians that are capable of perseverance in problem solving." Click here to read more from Jess!

We appreciate our teacher authors sharing their voice and would LOVE to hear from you! Reach out to to be featured on the MCTM blog! 

Kelli Vansetters, MCTM Membership Chair

"So, How DO I Get to Know My Students if I'm Remote Teaching?"

That question has been asked over and over again by teachers on social media. So, we did a little digging to come up with ideas for you. "There's No Single Right Way to Do Distance Learning." Boy, did we cheer at that quote -- it's easy to get in the mindset that you have to imitate that teacher you read about on Twitter that seems to have everything together! However, just like in the classroom, every teacher has their own style and develops their own classroom culture. Who said this? John Spenser. Never hear of him? Neither had we. 

He has a great blog post about five ways to build relationships with students. Some are tried and true -- familiar to most of us -- but with a spin for a virtual or hybrid environment. More than just a blog, he included videos, examples, and step by step instructions. 

For those of you teaching remotely, you might want to visit THIS page while you're there. Suggestions to Boost Attendance & Engagement, Empower Students, and Craft Choice Menus are thoroughly discussed via video.

We knew we were going to like him when we saw that his webpage logo included a compass, ruler, and set square!

"I'm Teaching Remotely. I Feel Like I'm Talking to Myself! What Can I Do?"

This is another plea hard-working teachers are making to their fellow educators. So, we sought out strategies to improve participation that our e-newsletter recipients might find worthwhile. Some of the best ideas came from THIS article posted on Edutopia. From spider web discussions and adapting Think-Pair-Share strategies to virtual gallery walks, we found easy, actionable strategies we just HAD to share with you.

Are there are questions/issues you would like us to speak to? Let us know via @michiganmath or on our Facebook page or send an email to Let us save YOU some time gathering information.

Adventures with Mathematics Activities

An MCTM initiative created a series of books called Adventures with Mathematics, designed for students as summer activities. Here are the two activities we are highlighting this month. They are free of charge on the Publications page of the MCTM website. Are you a member? You get access to ALL 12 books for free!

Get These for FREE on our Publications Page!

Additional Resources for Teachers

Over the last six weeks, NCTM has shared some free resources for teachers around a variety of topics -- everything from Powerful Practices to Implementing Virtual Manipulatives. Thanks to MCTM member JC for bringing these to our attention!

Our area's Texas Instruments Representative, Michelle Grooms, also reached out to share that TI has extended free trial of the beta version of the TI-84 Plus CE App for Chrome OS™ through July 15, 202. A link to high quality classroom activities is also below.

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 . 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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