Search This Blog


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Apply for a MCTM conference scholarship

Want to attend the MCTM Annual Conference and Institute this year in Traverse City to hear Dan Meyer, Cathy Williams, and many others but finances are an issue?  With cutbacks in school/district professional development monies, many more teachers are paying for PD opportunities from their own funds. The MCTM Scholarship Committee is excited to offer a new opportunity to MCTM members: $500 Teacher Conference Scholarships for the MCTM Annual Institute and Conference! 
Any teacher who is an Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM) member is eligible to apply for the scholarship (except for current MCTM Board Members).  Scholarship applications and guidelines can be found below.   Applications are due on May 20, 2016, with recipients notified by June 10, 2016. Up to five $500 scholarships will be awarded.
The application is made up of an information form as well as a brief, typed proposal (two pages maximum), a letter of support that describes your role in mathematics education (preferably from your current administrator), and confirmation that you are a current member.  Details are available at the link above.
Applications are due no later than May 20, 2016, and are to be emailed with attachments to
Questions about the scholarship?  Please contact Scholarship Selection Committee Chair, Christine Kincaid Dewey at

Monday, May 9, 2016

Will Michigan toss out Common Core?

Information and Talking Points Regarding:  Senate Bill 0826 (SB 0826)
Opposed by Leaders from Several Michigan Mathematics Education Organizations
Leaders of several Michigan mathematics education organizations met during the week of April 24, 2016, to discuss the potential ramifications of Michigan Senate Bill 0826 (SB 0826). Many of the proposed actions from that bill are presented below as they are stated in the Senate fiscal analysis document. 
“The bill would amend the Revised School Code to do the following:
·       Terminate all plans, programs, efforts, and expenditures relating to the implementation
of Common Core standards.
·       Prohibit the State Board of Education and the Department of Education from adopting or implementing any other national or multistate consortium standard, or the use of any assessments aligned with such a standard, that would cede control of Michigan educational standards.
·       Require the State Board and the Department to adopt for all grades State academic content standards in English language arts, math, and social science, and require the standards to be substantially the same as those used in Massachusetts during the 2008 - 2009 school year.
·       Require the State Board to develop academic content standards independently, instead of as part of a multistate consortium.”

*We ask that you take action today and contact your state representative and state senator to express your thoughts and any concerns you may have regarding this proposed action. And, please share this information, your thoughts, and your concerns with colleagues in other content areas.  Ultimately, ALL content areas are likely to be affected by this bill, should it pass.

Find your Michigan representative:
In addition, Representative Amanda Price is the Chair of the House Education Committee.  Her contact information is:
Phone: (517) 373-0838  or   
Toll Free: (888) 238-1008

Other initiatives and programs would also be affected:  MTSS, School Improvement, educator evaluation, STEM courses and grants, K-3 early literacy efforts, and more!
Kathy Berry, President, Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM)
Karen Reister, President, Michigan Mathematics Consultants and Coordinators (M2C2)
Dr. Shari Stockero, President, Michigan Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (MI-AMTE)

Key talking points you may wish to consider addressing:
1.        The high quality of our Michigan Academic Standards, including the ELA and Mathematics standards adopted in 2010 and the K-12 Science Standards adopted just this year (2016), has already been established. These standards have been supported by a number of respected professional organizations.  See a listing of many diverse organizations supporting the 2010 Michigan Academic Standards for ELA and Mathematics at:
2.       The 2010 Michigan Academic Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics are just now reaching the full-implementation stage.  Very limited data is available from state assessments from spring 2015, and the structure of the spring 2016 assessment has been altered from that 2015 version, complicating any attempts to try to draw conclusions about the standards, their implementation, and students’ performance and growth.  Change to another set of standards would be highly disruptive to teaching and learning, curriculum, and assessment.
3.       Aside from state assessment, many local schools and districts have only recently created or purchased resources designed to align to these state standards.  Across the state, this cost is likely in the hundreds of millions of dollars. These costs include software supports and tools, textbooks, revised and redesigned courses and units of study, collaborative efforts to connect Career and Technical Education with the core academic standards, teacher and administrator training, and more. The MAISA ELA and Mathematics units across K-12 are excellent examples of thousands of hours of collaborative work by hundreds of educators across Michigan. You are likely to be able to readily name several other examples of expenses – including time - your school and district have incurred to be able to best support teachers and students in learning the content in our state standard.
We thank you for considering these urgent issues.  Please know that – on past advice from state representatives and senators – direct communication with constituents via telephone or email truly does affect how these legislators think about and ultimately act upon proposed legislation.  Your voice does have power to effect change to move mathematics education forward in Michigan.  Please take just a very few minutes of your time to call or email your state legislator elected officials.
Scot Acre, President, Detroit Area Council of Teachers of Mathematics (DACTM)
With support from Valerie Mills, Past-President, National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics (NCSM)

Full text of SB 0826 as well as its associated fiscal analysis may be found at:
A Fact Sheet from the Michigan Department of Education regarding the 2010 ELA and Mathematics Standards:

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.