[CSD Math MS] Secondary Math Newsletter

Duncan, Allison ALLISON.DUNCAN at canyonsdistrict.org
Wed Nov 2 13:00:36 MDT 2011

November 2011 Issue

Clear your calendar:
3rd : 9th Grade Transition Team Meeting  3:30 @ CAB
4th – 5th: UCTM Annual Conference @ Matheson Jr. High in Magna
5th: Engineering Day at the University of Utah
15th: 7th Grade Study Group 3:30 EBL
22nd: 8th Grade Study Group 3:30 EBL
30th: Deadline to apply for Team America Rocketry Challenge go to www.rocketcontest.org

Check these out:
http://csdmath.weebly.com/index.html <http://csdmath.weebly.com/index.html>

http://schools.utah.gov/CURR/mathsec/default.aspx <http://schools.utah.gov/CURR/mathsec/default.aspx>

http://savedelete.com/25-great-websites-for-learning-maths.html <http://savedelete.com/25-great-websites-for-learning-maths.html> : 25 great websites for learning math…some are better than others, but definitely worth a tour…

A Little Thanksgiving Reading:

Accessible Mathematics: 10 Instructional Shifts that Raise Student Achievement by Steven Leinwand – if you have not read this yet, it’s worth the couple of hours it takes to digest…definitely worth the time! Contact Allison Duncan if you would like a copy of the book.

Cornered by the Real World: A Defense of Mathematics by Samuel Otten Mathematics Teacher Vol. 105 No. 1 August 2011.  Accessible here:  http://www.nctm.org/publications/article.aspx?id=30406  Ever get the question of “When am I ever gonna use this?” from your students? Yeah, me either.  Oh, wait a minute… :) Who DOESN’T get that question?  This article addresses the typical answers we give our students and how they actually DETRACT from the validity of the math…

Personal Best: Top athletes and singers have coaches.  Should you? By Atul Gawande  What makes top performers better?  “No matter how well trained people are, few can sustain their best performance on their own. That’s where coaching comes in.” New Yorker Magazine, Oct 3 2011  Accessible here:  http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/10/03/111003fa_fact_gawande?currentPage=9 <http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/10/03/111003fa_fact_gawande?currentPage=9>

Yes, Virginia, There is a Difference and Your Students are Being Left Behind by Steve Leinwand.  An excellent article defending the Common Core State Standards.  You might want to recommend it to your hesitant parents…

Utah Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Conference

There is still time register for this fantastic conference!  Once you have registered, submit your receipt to Allison Duncan in EBL for a full reimbursement!

Need Some Technology Training?

Texas Instruments announces free T3 webinar series for math.  The webinars are presented by experienced educators with math and science backgrounds.  The series features live and on-demand sessions where educators can learn how to effectively use TI technology to build student understanding of math and science concepts.  The webinars also show teachers how to take advantage of the many other free resources that TI offers.  All webinars are about one hour long and are recorded for on-demand viewing later.  “Certificates of Attendance” will be available to conference participants.  For more information go to:  http://education.ti.com/calculators/pd/US/Online-Learning/Webinars

Instructional Shift of the Month from the book, Accessible Mathematics.  Preview a summary at:  http://www.vanguardnyc.net/foodforthought/mainidea031410.pdf
Instructional Shift #3:  Have students draw, describe, model, and visualize mathematics.

Student achievement will increase when we begin to spend more time in math classrooms drawing a picture, using a number line or asking what it looks like.  Failing to have students visualize the math they are learning is one of the most detrimental missed opportunities in math instruction.  Without teaching students to visualize, all we provide them with are abstractions.  For some students this works, but for others to make sense, the math needs to be grounded in pictures or models.  In fact, we need to provide them with a variety of representations.  Rarely do students have the opportunity to process the math, see the math, or feel the math.  Math classes need to consistently have students draw, describe, model, and visualize mathematics. (Sound familiar?  Concrete, Representational, Abstract [CRA] learning and teaching cycle)

So what should we see in an effective math classroom?

•       Frequent use of pictorial representations to help students visualize the mathematics they are learning.

•       Frequent use of number line and bar models to represent numbers and word problems.

•       Frequent opportunities for students to draw or show and then describe what is drawn or shown.

*This instructional shift is important to ALL grade levels for increased math understanding.  Students are never “tool old” for use of manipulatives and/or visuals to build conceptual understanding…even in high school!

Awesomeness in the District!  “There is no charge for Awesomeness” Po - Kung Fu Panda

A shout out to Jen Santoro at Eastmont Middle School for implementing and sharing an AWESOME honors project! Her students recently finished a 7th grade honors project: “Probability Carnival”. In this project students were put into teams (each team member had a responsibility) and each team had to design a game that others would play, but that they (her students) would win. The project involved students investigating probability (theoretical vs. experimental) as well as probability distributions.  Because of a ticket tracking system, they were able to tally experimental odds and probability based on the tickets.  Once the projects were finished other classes were invited to come and play the games.  It took 4 days and the students had a blast designing and implementing the games.

Have your students done something awesome lately???  Please share with us!

Tips of the Trade:  Some hints to make life in the classroom a bit easier…

Maria Soriano from Mt. Jordan Middle has been implementing “Pink Slips” for missed homework assignments and has found her homework completion rate improving among her students.  Taking an idea from Harry Wong, when a student does not have their homework, she hands them a “pink slip”.  On this “pink slip” the student states why they did not complete their homework and when they will be turning it in, thus making student responsible for things they are not doing…  check out this link for more details  http://teachers.net/wong/SEP06/

Having problems helping students remember how to graph linear equations in slope-intercept form?  Neiko Gilgen at Albion Middle found a great hint to help them remember:  y = mx + b   B stands for BEGIN and M stands for MOVE.

“There’s an app for that...”

All you smart phone users: there is a free app for the Common Core State Standards.  Search for “Common Core State Standards” and the best one I found is from MasteryConnect.

Students from Cody Henrichsen’s computer programming class at CTEC recently created math apps for the Android Phone.  These apps computed everything from the distance formula to the Pythagorean Theorem to derivatives and integrals.  Part of the assignment was to show the app to their math teacher.  What a great example of integrating math with CTE.

Anyone see a great app that your student made?

Having problems with the 8th grade core??

Don’t worry, you are not alone!  As we know this year is a transition year for our 8th grade students as they transition from the 2007 core to the 8th grade Common Core State Standards.  We will be creating an 8th grade drop box where teachers can share lessons and activities that have worked for their 8th graders.  If you would like to be a part of this collaboration, please email Allison.

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