[CSD Math MS] October Math Newsletter - a must read!!!

Duncan, Allison ALLISON.DUNCAN at canyonsdistrict.org
Mon Oct 3 13:30:23 MDT 2011

October Issue

Clear your calendar:
•     6th: EBL Math Team visit with Jordan High School Math Dept, 7:00 am

·     7th: EBL Math Team visit with Brighton High School Math Dept, 7:00 am

·     7th: NUMBERS complimentary Math Workshop sponsored by Utah Professional Development Workshop

o   Go to www.pages04.net/29006/UT_RSVP <http://www.pages04.net/29006/UT_RSVP> for more information

·     11th: 7th grade study group

o   CAB EBL mini conference room 3:45 pm

·     12th: 8th grade study group

o   CAB EBL mini conference room 3:45 pm

·     20th – 21st: Fall Recess

·     27th: 9th Grade Transition Team Meeting

o   3:30 CAB room 351

•     4th – 5th: Utah Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Conference – Cathy Seeley, past president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics will be the keynote speaker Friday night! Fabulous presenter!


http://csdmath.weebly.com/index.html <http://csdmath.weebly.com/index.html> - This is the Secondary Math website created to help support teachers with the implementation of the new common core.

http://schools.utah.gov/CURR/mathsec/default.aspx <http://schools.utah.gov/CURR/mathsec/default.aspx> - This is the State’s secondary math website.  It has links to the 2007 core, the common core, as well as other resources.  Click on the COMMON CORE link and it will take you to the secondary strands of the math common core.

http://www.k12.wa.us/SMARTER/Resources.aspx <http://www.k12.wa.us/SMARTER/Resources.aspx> - Want a sneak peek at what our future state tests will look like?  Go to the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium web page (this is the assessment consortium to which Utah belongs). Click on Content Specifications for math in the lower right hand corner.

http://www.hippocampus.org/ <http://hippocampus.org/> - AWESOME interactive math website!  Includes videos and audio for remediation and reteaching of math concepts!

A Little Fall Reading:

Accessible Mathematics: 10 Instructional Shifts that Raise Student Achievement by Steven Leinward (contact Allison Duncan if you’d like a copy of the book) A quick and easy read!

Teach Like a Champion: 49 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College by Doug Lemov

Faster Isn’t Smarter: Messages about Math, Teaching, and Learning in the 21st Century by Cathy L. Seeley

Utah Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Conference:

This year’s keynote speaker at the UCTM conference will be Cathy Seeley!  This past NCTM president is a veteran mathematics educator and change facilitator with 35 years of experience at the local, state, and national levels.  Motivated by a deep commitment to equity for all students, she has been an active participant in and spokesperson for the improvement of mathematics education throughout her career. She will be speaking on “Connecting the Common Threads – Utah Leads the Way.”

The Evidence-Based Learning Office would like to extend an invitation for you to attend…at no cost to you!  The conference also includes a dinner on Friday, Brunch on Saturday, annual UCTM membership, and a UCTM Journal subscription.  There are 35 slots available so please respond as soon as possible!  Please email Allison.duncan at canyonsdistrict.org <mailto:Allison.duncan at canyonsdistrict.org> if you are interested in attending.

CRT Update

The pilot test for the new common core is not scheduled to come out until 2013.  For this year, College Prep Math Core 7 will take the 2007 Math 7 CRT and College Prep Math Core 8 will take the 2007 Pre-Algebra CRT.  All other courses will take their regularly scheduled CRT. :)

What’s Your Endorsement Level???

Here is the latest information on endorsement levels needed for the common core state standards:

Level 2: can teach up to 8th Grade honors
Level 3: can teach up to 11th grade NON-HONORS
Level 4: all secondary common core math classes, including honors,


Freaked out About Teaching 9th Grade Next Year?

You are NOT alone.  Next year Canyons School District will be implementing the 9th grade Common Core State Standards in all the middle schools.  And yes, it is true; there is no textbook…yet. The EBL math team has assembled a group of 14 teachers (a representative from every secondary school) to work on developing resources and supports for next year’s implementation.  This team will work on creating a common scope and sequence, teacher and student resources/workbooks, district common formative assessments, and suggested lessons and activities.

Training for the 9th grade common core will be available to all secondary teachers next summer.


Instructional Shift of the Month (October)

(from the book: Accessible Mathematics, preview a summary of this book:  http://www.vanguardnyc.net/foodforthought/mainidea031410.pdf <http://www.vanguardnyc.net/foodforthought/mainidea031410.pdf> )

Instructional Shift #2: Adapt what we know works in our reading programs and apply it to mathematics instruction.

In other words: move beyond one right answer to incorporate higher order thinking. In reading classes, students are frequently asked questions that do not have one single correct answer or answers that come straight from the text.  They are asked questions that demand inferential and evaluative comprehension.  In the math classroom, Teachers should be consistently asking their students if the answer makes sense, if it is reasonable.  Students should be constantly critiquing the work of others, especially during the “going over of homework” time.  Students should be building on answers and seeking alternative approaches (where applicable) and teachers should be encouraging this to ensure student understanding.

“But I don’t have time!” is a common response.  “The answer is as simple as it is discomforting: less is really more!  Racing through a jam-packed curriculum and a 700-page textbook is senseless if we know ahead of time that fewer than half are likely to succeed, especially if ‘success’ might mean nothing more than superficial understanding demonstrated by good memorizers or effective listeners.  It makes no sense to assign, as homework, thirty or forty practice problems that serve only as busy work and can’t reasonably be reviewed in meaningful ways.  And it makes no sense to try to cover so much material during a school year when every professional bone in your body tells you it’s not sinking in for many, it’s not making sense to many, and it’s creating more and more serious long-term mathematics problems” (Leinward, 2009, italics added).

So what should we see in an effective math classroom?
•     Consistent parallels are apparent between the types of questions that require inferential and evaluative comprehension in reading instruction and the probing for ways in which the answers were found, alternative approaches, and reasonableness in mathematics instruction.

·     All numerical and one-word answers are consistently greeted with a request for justification.

·     Only reasonable homework assignments are given. When homework is reviewed, the focus is on explanation and understanding, not on just checking for right answers.

And last but not least….

Don’t forget to laugh!

If you have any items for our newsletter, let us know!

Allison Duncan – math specialist
Allison.duncan at canyonsdistrict.org

Julie Fielding – math specialist
Julie.fielding at canyonsdistrict.org

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