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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

SEEING AS UNDERSTANDING: The Importance of Visual Mathematics for our Brain and Learning

As Thomas West, author, states, there is a centuries-old belief that words and mathematical symbols are “for serious professionals – whereas pictures and diagrams” are “for the lay public and children” (2004). This idea is an example of a damaging myth in education, and this paper will present compelling brain evidence to help dispel the myth. We will also provide examples of ways that visual mathematics may be integrated into curriculum materials and teaching ideas across grades K-16. 

Read the recently published paper by Jo Boaler and Lang Chen Seeing as Understanding: The Importance of Visual Mathematics for our Brain and Learning. If it interests you, use the corresponding activities A Range of Visual Activities and Representations in your classroom.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

MATH 6540 Secondary School Mathematics Curriculum Studies: Geometry

Western Michigan University
Dr. Jon Davis
Summer II 2016
Enroll in a course to learn what students know and are able to do in the areas of geometry and measurement as described in mathematics education research studies and the recent administration of the National Assessment of Educational Progress. In the United States and other countries, school geometry has often been the repository of proof. Consequently, you will also learn about students’ proof capabilities in the area of geometry. You will also learn about the van Hiele Levels of Geometric Understanding. We will also explore geometry in the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics as well as students’ use of and understanding as a result of interactive geometry environments (e.g., Geometer’s Sketchpad). These research findings and the frameworks that they use will be marshaled to analyze different middle school and high school curricula. A number of different activities, such as online discussions, will be used during the course. All students will be asked to complete a culminating project geared toward their particular interests.
Practicing teachers who are not currently students at WMU may apply for Graduate Non Degree Admission to take the course. Prospective teachers who are WMU undergraduate students may take the course using the course number Math 5990 – Geometry in Curriculum.
For more information, contact Jon Davis.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

PD Opportunity for MS Math Teachers: Number Sense Routines in the Middle Grades

For middle school math teachers...

Number Sense Routines in the Middle Grades

Math Rocks

. . . . . .

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Explore basic fact fluency progressions and high-impact teaching strategies for developing number sense in the middle grades.
Click the Register button for more details...

February 17 Number Sense

To see all IC services and PD offerings click this address link or type it into your browser's address bar:

Registration help: Linda Bussema @ or 269-250-9210

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Conversations Among Colleagues Early Registration Ending Soon

MI-AMTE Conversations Among Colleagues

Bringing the Standards for Mathematical Practice to Life

Join colleagues involved in the preparation and professional development of P-12 mathematics teachers for engaging and stimulating conversations related to preparing and supporting teachers mathematically and pedagogically.
March 19, 2016
Sangren Hall, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo

Registration Information

Student registration: $10 early registration; $15 early registration plus one year membership in MI-AMTE $20 late, $25 late registration plus one year membership in MI-AMTE
Non-Student: $40 early registration; $55 early plus one year membership in MI-AMTE
$60 late; $75 late plus one year membership in MI-AMTE
Early Registration ends January 31, 2016
If you have questions, please contact Christine Browning or Laura Van Zoest at:

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Save the date! Math in Action 2016 will be held on Saturday, February 27, 2016 at Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI
Conference Highlights
Math in Action presents lively and informative discussions of current issues in mathematics education while providing an opportunity for practicing PreK – 12 teachers, prospective teachers, curriculum directors, and college and university faculty to share ideas, concerns, and resources. SCECH credits are available for most sessions. The conference consists of six hour long sessions with eight separate interactive presentations during each. 
Presentations are focused on specific mathematics topics at a variety of grade levels.
Questions: For further information, please email conference co-chairs Charlene Beckmann at or Firas Hindeleh at

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Play this video for your students

Everyone can learn math at the highest levels.
If you work harder, you'll get smarter.
Play this in class today and then support your students in living by these messages.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Opportunity for Kalamazoo county educators

The INSPIRE Conference
Be sure to join the Learning Network for Greater Kalamazoo for the educators conference of the year on August 19th! Be among the first 1,000 people to register by Saturday, August 1st to receive a $25 gift card. 

Now in its second year, the Inspire 2015-2016 conference takes place on Wednesday, August 19th from 9 am to 12:15 pm. at Miller Auditorium in Kalamazoo. The event is open to anyone involved in education in Kalamazoo County; teachers, custodians, secretaries, tutors, the home-school community, volunteers and more. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

PD opportunity: A High School Probability Course with REAL answers

Create a new mindset for mathematics teaching and learning that is applications-based & problem-driven. Experience the standards for mathematical practices as they come to life with probabilistic decision models.
When will we ever use this?
Probabilistic Models of Complex Decisions for High School Mathematics
Professional Development Workshop – 3 days
Probabilistic models are critical for improving decision making in the uncertain environment
faced by businesses, government, and each of us on a personal level. This workshop provides a
wide array of contexts that involve the development and interpretation of probabilistic decision
models. Probabilistic reasoning is emphasized and technology is employed to represent
randomness. Participants will learn to use probabilistic models to assess risk and explore options.
The curriculum is applications-based and problem-driven. These include applications from
medical testing, investment, scheduling, the hospitality industry, health care management, sports,
personal life, and emergency services. We say that it is problem-driven because the problems are
stated up front and drive the development of the mathematical ideas. In this way, we hope to
improve students’ ability to solve multi-step problems and interpret the results. Through this
approach, we demonstrate the broad applicability of mathematics. This obviates a common
student question and complaint: When will we ever use this stuff?
The workshop materials are currently in use in high schools in Michigan, North Carolina,
Georgia, California, New York and Indiana.
For more information visit our website

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Register now for the MCTM annual conference - supporting assessment

The MCTM annual conference offers numerous opportunities to learn about upcoming assessments.  The conference is being held in beautiful Traverse City on July 29-30.  Additional information, including a schedule of sessions, registration, and lodging, can be found at the MCTM website.
*Are you looking for the latest information on the M-STEP?
On Thursday, Pat King, Assistant Director of the Office of Standards and Assessment for Michigan’s Department of Education, will be delivering a keynote titled “Next Steps with M-STEP”.
She will then be joined by Ruth Anne Hodges and Kyle Ward for grade-banded breakout sessions on Thursday.  This will be a great opportunity to ask questions as well as offer feedack.
*Are you looking for the latest information on the SAT?
On Wednesday, Kathy Berry, MCTM’s President-Elect as well as the Coordinator of Research, Evaluation, and Assessment for the Monroe County ISD, will be presenting a session titled “New SAT/PSAT- Preparing for the Mathematics Portion”
*Are you looking for ideas and strategies for Formative Assessment?
There are several sessions throughout the conference focusing on this including:
  • “Tips for Incorporating Formative Assessment Activities in Your Classroom” presented by Joanne Philhower on Thursday
  • “JumpStart Formative Assessment Modules- an NCSM Resource” presented by Denise Brady on Wednesday
  • “Stress-free Formative Assessment: Concept Development and Re-engagement” presented by Diane Rogers and Danielle Seabold on Wednesday

Questions can be directed to Kevin Dykema.