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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

The common core for K-12 Mathematics were released in June 2010. Michigan has adopted the Common Core. But where does that leave us? District or school teams of teachers, instructional leaders, and administrators should attend this one-day workshop to begin to answer these important questions
  • How does the Common Core compare the Michigan´s GLCE and HSCE for math?
  • When will we be expected to fully implement the Common Core?
  • What resources will we need to implement the Common Core?
  • How will the Common Core affect assessments like the MEAP and MME?
  • What will we have to change? What will stay the same?
Information and resources will be shared and teams will work together to determine the impact of the Common Core as they move toward implementation.

November 12, 2010
Three Rivers Administration Building
851 Sixth Avenue
Three Rivers, Michigan 49093
$30 registration fee per person
Register now

Note: If you can't make it this day, another session is being offered at Kalamazoo RESA on March 22, 2011 and registration is currently open.

RtI Intervention Program for K-8 Mathematics

Curious about implementing RtI for K-8 math? In search of MI-aligned resources? Come to this free informational session to learn about Delta Math

Response to Intervention (RtI) in elementary and middle schools, when implemented with fidelity, helps educators to ensure that all students are successful. The Ottawa Area ISD has piloted the DELTA MATH RtI Program in grades 1 through 8 and will be describing and demonstrating the program in this half-day session. Interested school teams consisting of teachers, instructional leaders, and administrators should attend to explore this low-cost program. The DELTA MATH RtI Program provides web-based screeners, customized data reports, guided reviews, and progress monitoring. Join us to discover how schools throughout Michigan are currently using this program to gather actionable data to meet the needs of all learners.
December 7, 2010 9:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Kalamazoo RESA
presented by Michael Klavon, Ottawa Area ISD

Registration required. Register NOW - space is filling quickly

Thursday, October 21, 2010

October's Problem to Ponder

Each month the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) challenges us with a Problem to Ponder. This month, we get to explore how the strength of our desire to eat chocolate predicts our age.

A Howling Good Halloween Puzzle

Many of you may have already seen a version of October’s Problem to Ponder, a number puzzle that determines your age on the basis of the number of times that you want to eat chocolate per week. The October Problem to Ponder includes an additional challenge: Why does the puzzle work?

  • How many times a week do you want to eat chocolate? (Pick more than one but less than 10 times).
  • Multiply that number by 2.
  • Add 5.
  • Multiply that result by 50.
  • If your birthday has occurred this year, add 1760 to that result. If your birthday is still to come this year, add 1759.
  • Subtract the year (all four digits) in which you were born.
  • The result will be a three-digit number. The first digit will be the number of times a week that you want to eat chocolate, and the last two digits will be your age.

Extension: Suppose you wanted chocolate 10 or more times a week, or no chocolate at all. Could you still make the puzzle work?

Note to teachers: You can base the puzzle on anything that your students might want to do a number of times a week—for example, play video games, talk with or text friends, or read a book.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Geometry and...Toilets?

Dan Meyer is a high school algebra and geometry teacher who believes teachers need to DO LESS... for their students. He has a knack for viewing the world through mathematical lenses. And, he shows his students how to do the same. Dan's students learn geometry and algebra in context. They explore and create mathematics on a daily basis.
Dan's most recent dy/dan blog post and mathematical exploration was inspired by his new Toto toilet with dual-button flush feature.
Curious? Check out what he did with this button in I’m In Love With This Toilet Basically.
After you've explored the problem, I have two further suggestions (for high school math teachers and the math-intrigued)
1. Subscribe to his posts.
2. Then, check out the My Curriculum links for Algebra and Geometry on the right side for access to just about everything Dan does in his high school classes on a daily basis.

For those of us interested in learning more about Dan's "do less" philosophy of teaching, check out his TED talk entitled "Math class needs a makeover". It's truly inspirational.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Helping Educators Address Cyberbullying

The past several months have brought far too many stories of children, teens, and young adults who have been harassed and emotionally tortured by others using technology in ways that are, well, just WRONG. Unfortunately, several of these stories have ended in tragedy.

So, for the greater good, I want to share a new resource that has just been launched, Cure The Bullies. Cure The Bullies was developed by SchoolAid, a national Australian schools-based philanthropy network that empowers kids to help kids in crisis. Cure The Bullies "identifies and personifies the different types of cyberbullying behaviors, and in particular, bystander behavior, to raise awareness of this crucial issue, while encouraging open discussion among children and adults alike." It is intended to reach middle school aged children - before cyberbullying escalates. It provides kids self-assessment tools and offers a diagnosis for how to stop The Bullies.

Please check out the website and see what you think.

The essential question for educators is
How can we use tools like Cure The Bullies, in educational settings, to prevent cyberbullying?

What do YOU think?

Monday, October 11, 2010

K-5 Monthly Math Workgroup: Using math centers to increase student learning in math

Are you a K-5 math teacher who wants to know more about effectively integrating math centers into your math lessons?

Do you wonder how you can use math centers to ensure all of your students are learning?

If so, come to this month’s Math Workgroup.

We will spend time exploring various centers and discussing ways to use them to enhance the mathematics learning in your classroom. You will leave with math centers resources that will help you to plan lessons that integrate centers into your math instruction.

Who? K-5 Teachers & Specialists

When? October 26 from 4:30 to 6:30 pm

Where? Kalamazoo RESA

How much? FREE

Agenda: We will…

  • Participate in math centers that use manipulatives
  • Align the use of math centers to the Mathematical Practice Standards
  • Explore various activities to identify math center candidates
  • Explore what the research says about incorporating centers into math instruction?
  • Explore lessons and begin lesson planning
  • Summarize and reflect

Light refreshments will be provided free of charge but feel free to bring your own snack as well.


In order for us to get an accurate count for materials and refreshments, complete the short form at:

by the Friday prior to the Math Workgroup monthly meeting: October 22, 2010.

Each month, the Math Workgroup will focus on one key topic

  • 10/26: Using math centers to increase student learning in math
  • 11/30: Using math games to increase student learning in math
  • 1/11: Using children’s literature to increase student learning in math

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Are Michigan's students college and career ready?

ACT released their 2010 Condition of College and Career Readiness report earlier this week. The report provides national and state snapshots of college readiness of the graduating seniors of the class of 2010 who took the ACT in high school. 19% of Michigan's students are reported to be college and career ready across all four benchmarks: English, Math, Science, and Reading. What's our trend? Read the Michigan report to find out.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Resources for developing number sense

The Mathwire blog has posted a great teacher-developed activity (assessment), The Number Pull, to help teachers understand each of their student's degree of number sense. The assessment was developed as a followup to Mathwire's Number Line-Up activity. Use the two together to help your students develop rigorous and flexible number sense.

Illuminations Writing Group & Summer Institute

Apply for the Illuminations Writing Group & Summer Institute, a great opportunity for all teachers grades preK–12! The Illuminations Writing Group is an online opportunity to learn from your peers, grow through professional development, and contribute to Illuminations by developing resources.


Applications are now being accepted for the 2011 Illuminations Writing Group & Summer Institute. All participants will have the opportunity to learn from their peers, grow through professional development, and contribute to the Illuminations library. These are two distinct opportunities for teachers. Teachers of grades 6–12 are eligible for the Illuminations Writing Group (IWG). Teachers of grades preK–6 are eligible for the Illuminations Writing Group & Summer Institute (IWGSI), which includes both IWG and the Illuminations Summer Institute.

Private Universe: Are you convinced?

Following Children’s Ideas in Mathematics is an unprecedented long-term study conducted by researchers at Rutgers University followed the development of mathematical thinking in a randomly selected group of students for 12 years – from 1st grade through high school – with surprising results.

In this session, Are you convinced?, we explore the concept of PROOF. Proof making is one of the key ideas in mathematics. Looking at teachers and students grappling with the same problem, we see how two kinds of proof – proof by case and proof by induction – naturally grow out of the need to justify and convince others.

November 9, 2010
4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Kalamazoo RESA
$10 PD Consortium Members
$12 Non-Consortium Members

Register now

This is Session #2 of a 6 Part Workshop Series.
Each Session is a Stand Alone Session.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Using Tiles to Understand Mathematical Operations

How do students best learn mathematics? Research shows that using a Concrete (Models) – Representational (Pictures) – Abstract (Symbols) instructional progression helps more students to be successful in mathematics. Come learn how to start this progression with your students as they learn numerical properties and addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of integers. Introduce these concepts using TILES and show your students how to make connections to the pictures and symbols that represent them. Teachers will gain experience and understanding in using TILES to model, manipulate, and simplify numeric expressions. Teachers will also have time to incorporate the use of TILES into their lesson, unit, and assessment plans. This exploration and development will be focused through a careful study and analysis of the Michigan and Common Core State Standards that call for and are supported by the use of concrete models like TILES.
This workshop is a pre-requisite to the series Algebra 4 All: Making It Happen with Algebra Tiles (Dec. 9 & Feb. 3)

Date: November 11, 2010
Presenter: Danielle Seabold
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Audience: K-12 and Special Education Teachers
Limit: 40
Fees: $40 PD Consortium Members;
$50 Non-Consortium Members
Place: Kalamazoo RESA
SB-CEUs: 0.6 (additional $10.00 fee)

Register now

Extending Learning in High School Geometry

This three-day workshop series will help high school geometry teachers explore the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ of teaching high school geometry for understanding:
  • What is the essential learning for a high school geometry course?
  • How do I focus instruction so that my students develop the necessary geometric skills and concepts?

Each of the three days is packed with hands-on exploration of activities and assessments to help teachers focus on teaching geometry for understanding. We will also explore interactive geometry tools and ways to integrate their use into daily classroom instruction. Teachers will have time to develop plans for incorporating the resources into your lessons, units, and assessments.

Dates: 11/1, 12/14, & 2/16/2011

Presenter: Danielle Seabold

Time: 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Audience: HS Geometry Teachers & Instructional Leaders

Place: Kalamazoo RESA Limit: 25 (current enrollment is 9)

SB-CEUs: 1.8 (additional $15.00 fee)

Fee: $75 PD Consortium Members

$94 Non-Consortium Members

Register now

Friday, October 1, 2010

Teaching students fractions: grades K-8

This week, IES released its newest practice guide: Developing Effective Fractions Instruction for Kindergarten through Eighth Grade. In it, IES outlines five research-supported recommendations for helping student to understand fractions and develop fluency with fractions.
Why not get together with your teaching colleagues (or use grade-level meetings) to study each of the recommendations for common strategies to integrate into your fraction lessons?
The recommendation are:
Recommendation 1.
Build on students’ informal understanding of sharing and proportionality to develop initial fraction concepts.
Recommendation 2.
Help students recognize that fractions are numbers and that they expand the number system beyond whole numbers. Use number lines as a central representational tool in teaching this and other fraction concepts from the early grades onward.
Recommendation 3.
Help students understand why procedures for computations with fractions make sense.
Recommendation 4.
Develop students’ conceptual understanding of strategies for solving ratio, rate, and proportion problems before exposing them to cross-multiplication as a procedure to use to solve such problems.
Recommendation 5.
Professional development programs should place a high priority on improving teachers’ understanding of fractions and of how to teach them.