Welcome to MCTM's e-Newsletter!

MI Math Community

September 2020


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

Resources & Guiding Documents for Planning

Teacher Wellbeing:

Everything that we’re hearing from educators around the state and beyond who are in the classroom has an underpinning of anxiety, overwhelm, stress, and fearfulness -- even those who are trying to be as positive as possible.  We are also hearing that their administrations are talking a LOT about the social and emotional needs of students, but few are feeling like anyone is looking out for their teacher's/staff's social/emotional needs. Why is this an issue? Because emotions matter – not only for students but for adults too. We know that emotions matter for memory, attention, and learning. Emotions matter in decision making and relationships of every kind. Emotions matter for physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. Emotions matter in the daily functions of life – professional and personal.

What are some things that teachers can do to help improve or maintain their wellbeing? Here is a reminder of steps you can take to help your and your colleagues’ wellbeing:

Check in with each other – and be honest with your response.

Be kind – especially to yourself.

Gratitude – find something every day that you are grateful for and take a moment to be fully present with it. This can be a powerful and healing practice.

Have a growth mindset – model what this looks like for students and give yourself permission to make and forgiveness for mistakes.

Move your body every day – even if it’s just a few hoops, a 10-minute walk or a close-the-door-and-dance-your-heart-out song.

As much as possible, put boundaries on your professional and personal time – be firm with yourself at the beginning and the benefits will abound.

Notice, name, and accept whatever you are feeling.

Create a self-care plan – please consider investing a little of your valuable, limited time in identifying ways you can take care of yourself. Three pre-designed resources HERE, HERE, and HERE can help you identify what YOU find to be renewing and to help you think about what obstacles might get in your way and how you would handle them. Fill out the chart, print it and post it by your work desk, wherever that may be.

Know when to get help – the key is to take care of yourself the way you take care of your students and families. Talking to a professional is a sign of strength; you are seeking out the resources you need to live the life you want.

Along with the resources linked above, below are two well thought out websites to support teacher wellbeing. They come from Australia and the UK. Please let us know @michiganmath or publications.mictm.org if there are other resources the Michigan math community might find valuable.

Christine Kincaid Dewey, MCTM Publications Director

Reach Out: Teacher Wellbeing
Teacher Wellbeing Toolkit

Deliberate Innovation

How are you feeling at this moment as you prepare for a school year like you have never experienced? Stressed? Anxious? Paralyzed? These emotions, coupled with uncertainty, release cortisol into our bodies that tell us that something is wrong and that we need to get ourselves out of the situation. Although we may not be able to physically relieve ourselves of the current stressors, we may find the path we are looking for through shifting our mental perspective.

Read more about moving from ‘creative coping’ to ‘deliberate innovation’ in Marcus’ full article at the link below.

Deliberate Innovation

#EmpoweringMathEd Series

 Sponsored by MCTM, MDE, MiSTEM, and GELN, the first two Empowering Mathematics Educators sessions were held in August. They will continue to take place on the third Monday of every month. You may register (and earn SCECHs) for individual sessions or the entire series. The topic for the September sessions which takes place on the 21st will be sent in a separate email along with a link to register.

What has been discussed? See the images below for a sampling of the discussions. MCTM President Rusty Anderson, Mathematics Education Consultant at Oakland Schools Geraldine Devine, and others have been facilitating and organizing the discussions.

Focus on Equity

NCTM has been focused on Equity & Access in mathematics education for some time. The following are from EdElements.com  and were created by Dr. Torrey Trust and can be used across the educational spectrum. These image files have also been uploaded to the Publications Page. Thanks to @erinjonesin2016 for sharing these!

Suggested Resources to Check Out!

This collection of Desmos Screen Starters can be used in many grades (and possibly other subjects).  https://teacher.desmos.com/collection/5e715a2dc59e631cf6962db1

Here’s a great way to introduce Demos to you students AND get to know your students at the same time! Can work with many grade levels. https://teacher.desmos.com/activitybuilder/custom/5f1750b313629667bc5afb44

Still thinking about how to set up classroom norms for remote teaching? Here’s some information to consider! https://www.openscied.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Resources-for-Remote-Teaching-Norms.pdf?fbclid=IwAR0dYjq4hcpzsNVRtuDvUmXAYJw8gTAm2oWkMw60uxnbzJ_9UPkKRpTsKfk

FREE Virtual Conference

The Michigan Council for Exceptional Children (MCEC), the Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM), and Alt+Shift are pleased to announce that our 6th Annual Mathematics: Reaching All Learners Together Conference will be structured as an on-demand virtual conference this year. This conference will be designed to strengthen participants’ knowledge of strategies, tools, and techniques that support the teaching and learning of math for students with IEPs, both with in-person and remote teaching.

What: MRALT Virtual Conference

When:This Fall

Time: At your convenience (on-demand)

Where: Online

Cost:   Free!

We will not have a general speaker this year but will offer 1-hour sessions with the opportunity to receive SCECHs for each session that you view.  If you are interested in receiving updates on this conference, please fill out the MRALT 2020 Contact Form so you can get on our mailing list!

MCTM Book Study #27

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 nicoll@aaps.k12.mi.us.

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

MCTM Book Study #26: Follow up

I was fortunately enough to speak with Melissa Rykse (a 17-year high school math teacher in Clarkston Community Schools, and mom to children aged 12 and 10 years) about her experience participating in the MCTM book study #26, A Fresh Look at Formative Assessment. Here is a quick summary of our conversation.

The description of the book says formative assessment is misunderstood. Melissa said that the book study helped her to review formative assessment and to get a fuller picture of what it really is. “Formative assessment really isn’t ‘assessment’ – it’s a component of your entire teacher practice,” said Melissa. “A lot of book deals with linking formative assessment to several big instructional approaches.” She also said that reading the book and participating in the discussions made implementing formative assessment strategies a lot more actionable and not this overwhelming task to take on.

This coming school year, Melissa will implement the skills she learned about posing good discussion questions, which can be a rich source of feedback from students. And, discussions don’t have to be verbal or full class; they can occur in chat boxes, breakout ‘rooms’, journal posts, etc. “My colleagues have been legitimately concerned about authentic assessment [with remote learning that took place this past school year] of student work. But if you have been using formative assessment along the way, you will know their individual work. We need to pose assessment questions that reveal a student’s thinking as well as their answer.”

Melissa also gave praise to Ann-Marie Nicole-Turner and her role facilitating the experience. She joined the book study for several reasons. She had already purchased the book and the study provided a structure to sit down, read, and discuss it with others. Along with knowing Ann-Marie’s reputation as a great professional development presenter, the SCECHs offered by MCTM was a great motivator! Since this is a rather dense book, this format was a great way to deal with it in small junks. She even got to participate while camping in the Upper Peninsula’s Porcupine Mountains! Melissa highly recommends the book and encourages MCTM to repeat this particular title in a future book study!

Region 6

Trish Dunn hails from the Macomb Intermediate School District where she works as a math specialist. She is heavily involved with mathematics in Michigan, as is an Early Math Task Force Member, has her Math Recovery Leader Certification, (October 2019), and supports implementation of Math Intervention for K-8 across Macomb County.

Trish is passionate about creating math leaders in our district. Currently, she is support leadership opportunities for teachers in Macomb County through Math Recovery Intervention Specialist course and Macomb Michigan Mathematics Leadership Team and DACTM. 

She is a proud and busy mom to Chloe and Brendan and wife to Jason.

My name is Scot Acre. I am your region 6 director, servicing Macomb and Oakland Counties. I still remember the first time I became a member of MCTM. It was the "Space Odyssey" themed annual conference almost 20 years ago! I got a chance to meet so many wonderful educators. I learned a great deal from them; over time, I can proudly say that many of them are now my friends. 

Currently I work at the Macomb Mathematics Science Technology Center as a math teacher. This magnet program pulls students from 11 area high schools. I really enjoy teaching STEM in a collaborative, innovative fast paced center.

I am also the "special events" coordinator for the annual conference, so if there is something special that you'd like to see, don't hesitate to reach out to me. Whether remotely, or face to face, I hope that you are all staying healthy and safe as we begin an unprecedented school year.   Sacre@wcskids.net

What's New This Month MCTM Blog

MCTM Blog “StoryCircles”

In our September blog, we have a follow up to our August post on StoryCircles. The opportunity to join StoryCircles' next cycle couldn't come at a better time. We as educators are now facing a new normal where it is our responsibility to engage students in meaningful lessons, both synchronously and asynchronously. The StoryCircles community is solely based online so that teachers from all over Michigan can join in on the discussions, help expand the visualizations described above, and find new and innovative ways to give instruction during these unprecedented times. Accessibility, support, and professional development are the foundational pillars that hold this group together. 

To learn more about the program please fill out this interest form and register for a live webinar on September 21st at 5:00 pm EST. This free webinar will be hosted by Dr. Amanda Milewski (University of Michigan), who will briefly describe the StoryCircles program. After that, we will hear from practitioners who will share how they learned from each other’s knowledge and experience through discussion of alternative instructional actions. Finally, ample time will be devoted to respond to questions from the webinar participants.

Click here to check it out! 

Kelli Vansetters, MCTM Membership Chair

Mindset for Beginning the Year

Achieve the Core has "Free, ready-to-use classroom resources that support excellent, standards-aligned instruction for all students" A recent webinar had the following thoughts about beginning this unique school year.

2019 MCTM Mini-Grants

Sharing with the MCTM Community, Part II

For the first time in 2019, MCTM offered Mini-Grants for members. We will be sharing information about the awardee projects over the next couple months. Stay tuned for information on how to apply for this year's grants! 

Essential Math Skills

Doni Kramer has been teaching Kindergarten at Atlanta Community Schools for the last three years. She has a BA in Elementary Education with an Early Childhood Emphasis from WMU. She has been a member of MCTM for more than eight years. Read her reflection about her mini-grant and then visit HERE to see her project in action!

“I was able to purchase the materials listed in my grant proposal. I was also able to teach half of the Essentials Math Skills for which the grant was written. Then the virus hit. What to do now? I put together packets and sent them home. In the packets, I placed a homemade abacus for each student to use as a math manipulative to help them have a better understanding of the concepts left to learn and review in math.

My students that struggled the most with putting numerals and amounts together were foremost on my mind. The abacus had helped them make strides in their understanding of mathematics. I then remembered the homemade abacus that I learned to make at an MCTM Conference. This would give the students something familiar and useful to help them continue to grow in their understanding of math. I then created YouTube videos to help the students remember what they had learned and to move forward. We continued to work on counting on, skip counting, and using the abacus for addition and subtraction. All this was done using the homemade abacus.”

Thanks to this grant my students are able to finish the school year in a stronger position then they might have been otherwise. They are able to demonstrate an understanding of one to one correspondence, counting on, numerical ordering, and finding or writing the number to go with the amount counted.

Let's do MATH!!!!

Thanks to Simon Gregg for letting us use this image. How might you use it in your classroom?

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!

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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Contact the e-Newsletter editor at Publications@mictm.org