Search This Blog

Thursday, September 25, 2014

PD Opportunity: Components of an Effective K-5 Math Block: Core Instruction

Date: Thursday, October 9, 2014

Math Elem Core
Time: 8:30 am - 3:30 pm
Location: Kalamazoo RESA Service Center, 1819 East Milham Avenue, Portage, MI 49002
SCECH'S: 6 ($10 fee - cash or personal check at sign-in)
Presenter(s): Danielle Seabold
Tuition: $80 Consortium Member | $128 Non Consortium

This one day session is connected to two other sessions, Number Sense Routines and Fluency and Maintenance. Together these three sessions detail the components of an effective K-5 math block. This session highlights the Core Instruction of a Math Block. Together we will explore what Whole-Group Math Instruction and Gradual Release of Responsibility are, the critical stages of learning mathematics, and what instruction (and the math block) look like when we attend to each stage. What is Gradual Release of Responsibility and how does it impact student success in mathematics?

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

View all Kalamazoo RESA PD offerings here:


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

PD opportunity: Effective Instruction for 5th Grade Multiplication & Division

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

5th grade math multi-div
Time: 8:30 am - 3:30 pm
Location: Kalamazoo RESA Service Center, 1819 East Milham Avenue, Portage, MI 49002
SCECH'S: 6 ($10 fee - cash or personal check at sign-in)
Presenter(s): Matt Mayer

Tuition: $113 Consortium Member | $161 Non Consortium
The purpose of this workshop is for educators to learn best-practice, instructional routines and strategies aligned with the Common Core State standards (CCSS) to support students’ understanding and use of algorithms for multiplication and division. Content is built upon the instructional shifts and increased expectations of the CCSS. Teachers will be actively engaged in learning different algorithms for multiplication and division and preparing students for the traditional algorithm.

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

View all Kalamazoo RESA PD offerings here:


Monday, September 22, 2014

PD opportunity: Secondary Math Instruction & Assessment in Light of the Common Core: The Math Assessment Project

Professional Learning Series starts soon at Kalamazoo RESA

Secondary math 2
Dates & Times:
10/1/2014 7:30AM-2:30PM
11/5/2014 7:30AM-2:30PM
12/3/2014 7:30AM-2:30PM
1/23/2015 7:30AM-2:30PM
Location: Kalamazoo RESA Service Center, 1819 East Milham Avenue, Portage, MI 49002
SCECH'S: 18 .. $15 fee is due at sign-in (cash or personal check only)
Presenter(s): Diane Rogers
Tuition: $365 Consortium Member | $503 Non Consortium

Secondary Math Instruction & Assessment in Light of the Common Core This four-day series is activity-based; built around a collection of classroom formative assessment lessons aligned to the Mathematical Practices and Content called for in the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. Groups of teachers will be engaged in constructive discussions about their own practices and how these could change. Teachers will be provided with time to plan to teach a lesson using these ideas in their own classroom, and meet again to reflect on their experiences.

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

View all Kalamazoo RESA PD offerings

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fall Virtual Lecture Series from Illustrative Mathematics

This school year Illustrative Mathematics will offer two series for math educators. In the fall they are featuring “Working with Number in the Elementary Classroom” and this spring they will offer “Incorporating Mathematical Practices into the Middle and High School Classroom.” 
The intended audience for these series is classroom teachers, district and state mathematics specialists, and mathematics coaches. The five hour long sessions will include 40 minutes of presentation from national experts on Adobe Connect, followed by 20 minutes of Q&A. The sessions will also be recorded for participants that are not able to join in person. The cost to virtually attend each series is $150.
The following lectures are scheduled in the series on Thursday nights from 7-8pm Eastern on Adobe Connect.  Watch them live with the ability to ask questions, or watch the recordings at any time:
September 25, 2014 Linda Gojak, Immediate Past President, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Director, The Center for Mathematics Education, Teaching, and Technology, John Carroll University "Using Representations to Introduce Early Number and Fraction Concepts"
October 23, 2014 Dona Apple, Mathematics Learning Community Project, Regional Science Resource Center, University of Massachusetts Medical School "Supporting students' conceptual understanding about number through reasoning, explaining and evidence in both their oral and written work"
November 20, 2014 TBA!
December 11, 2014 Francis (Skip) Fennell, Professor of Education McDaniel College, Past President NCTM "Fractions Sense – It’s all about understanding fractions as numbers (and this includes those special fractions – decimals!) – use of representations, equivalence, comparing/ordering and connections"
January 22, 2015 Susan Jo Russell, TERC: Mathematics and Science Education and Deborah Schifter, Education Development Center (EDC) "Operations and Algebraic Thinking in the Elementary Grades"

Monday, September 15, 2014

Getting our students used to online testing before this spring

So, we don't yet know who the content provider will be for this spring's assessments. We know it won't be Smarter Balanced. Here's just the little we do know:
  • The assessments will be online and testing windows have been assigned
  • Specific dates have been assigned for assessment for those school that elect to do paper-pencil testing instead
  • The mathematics assessments will be offered grades 3-8
  • The content of the assessments will be taken from our Common Core State Standards
  • The platform used will be the same as the platform for the Interim Assessments.
So, how can we get our students ready to take online assessments? The answer might sound a little strange: Sign up for the Michigan Interim Field tests.

Why? There are now two good (big) reasons to do this.
  1. Students can become familiar with the testing platform that will be used this spring. They'll get their practice now in a no-stakes testing environment.
  2. School Districts will earn a $3.00 minimum participation incentive per completed test for the Fall 2014 Interim Assessment Field Test

Although the interim assessment field test window begins Monday, September 15, testing does not have to begin Monday and there is still time for your district or school to participate.

Funding is being made available through the Technology Readiness InfrastructureGrant (TRIG), furthering the TRIG goal to support and build state capacity in technology.
Additional Reasons to Participate
  • The Fall 2014 Field Test provides an opportunity for schools to test bandwidth capacity and student scheduling for online testing, prior to the state summative assessment to be administered in the spring 2015.
  • Students will have the benefit of taking an online assessment in a low-stakes situation and practice using common online assessment tools (calculators, highlighters, etc.)
  • Earn TRIG incentive funds in the amount of $3.00 minimum, per test completed (Each content or subject area test consists of two parts, and both parts of the test must be completed to be eligible for the participation incentive. For example, a student who completes both parts of each assessment in ELA and Mathematics will earn the school district a participation incentive of a minimum of $6.00.)  Final amount to be based on the total number of completed tests throughout the state.
  • Teachers will receive an invitation to provide feedback and recommendations for improvement. 
Technology Considerations
  • Schools may use Windows or Mac desktops and laptops to administer the field test assessments. The field test window is September 15, 2014 through October 17, 2014. Schools may administer the field test assessments any time within this five-week test window.
  • NEW - MDE is also seeking schools to administer the field tests on iPads and Chromebooks. This separate window encompasses only these devices and runs from October 20 - November 14, 2014. Additional information on sign up and on testing with these devices will be provided during the next few weeks. Tests completed as a part of this separate window will also qualify for the TRIG participation incentive as well.
Details regarding the minimum requirements for each device type are provided in the Michigan Testing Device Requirements document.
To participate in the Fall 2014 Interim Assessment Field Test, please complete the registration survey for each school. If you have already completed the registration survey, you do not have to complete it again to qualify for the TRIG participation incentive.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Fraction Foundations: Helping Students Understand Fractions

Are you helping students learn fractions? 

Having trouble attending PD because your school can't afford to send you?

Then help yourself to the latest Massive Open Online Course for Educators (MOOC-Ed) from the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at North Carolina State University's College of Education.
"FractionFoundations" introduces activities about fair-sharing, measurement, and the number line that you can use to teach fractions concepts and skills. Goals of this free, self-directed course include
  • developing a deeper understanding of the fractions content standards, and relevant practice standards, that apply in your school
  • investigating common student misconceptions about fractions and why fractions are hard for children (and adults) to understand
  • analyzing students' thinking about fractions to inform instruction
  • addressing students' learning differences when teaching fraction concepts and skills
This MOOC-Ed is organized around the recommendations of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) practice guide entitled "Developing Effective Fractions Instructionfor Kindergarten through 8th Grade"

The 2014 Fraction Foundations MOOC-Ed is comprised of five units scheduled over eight weeks.  It begins on September 22, 2014 and ends eight weeks later on November 16, 2014.  For those who would like more time to complete their work, the course will remain open until December 16.
More information is provided in the Course Overview section and other links below. Participants are invited to engage in all the units and activities or to select those that are most relevant to their personal learning goals. For those who complete the requirements, a Certificate of Completion will be provided that can be submitted to your local agency to obtain Continuing Education Units (CEUs).
The Fraction Foundations MOOC-Ed is brought to you by the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at NC State University's College of Education. Dr. Glenn Kleiman is the program director, working with a team of teachers, researchers, designers and technologists to develop and offer the course.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Back to school: Time to engage parents and students

Diane J. Briars, NCTM PresidentBy NCTM President Diane J. Briars
August 2014

It’s August—back-to-school time. As you plan for the new school year, don’t forget to make explicit plans for engaging parents and families. As you well know, parents can be invaluable supports for their children’s mathematics learning. While it’s helpful to send parents basic information about their children’s mathematics class, such as course outlines, assignments, and descriptions of teacher expectations, they typically need much more than that to be prepared to support their children’s mathematics learning, as the following examples illustrate:
  • The father of a third-grader who says, “Every night, my son and I fight about math! Like last night. I told him you have to start adding from the right; he says ‘No, you don’t. That’s not the way we do it. I can start adding at the left—or anywhere.’ He gets the right answers—and explains to me what he’s doing. But it’s not the way I learned it! Is that okay? I’m very frustrated!”
  • The mother of a seventh grader who calls the principal, complaining that her daughter’s mathematics teacher is not teaching; she’s just asking students questions instead of showing students “the steps.”
  • The mother of a high school student who complains, “Ms. Smith is not a good teacher. When my son does his homework, there are problems that he struggles to solve. If she were a good teacher, he would be able to work all the problems easily.”
Sound familiar? Read more of Diane's current President's Corner message.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Website Design Competition for High School Girls

The Michigan Council of Women in Technology Foundation is excited to announce its 9th annual MCWTFoundation Website Design Competition for high school girls in Michigan!  
High school girls in Michigan are challenged to create a website addressing this year’s theme, "Repurposing:  The ultimate in creativity and recycling." It is open ended enough to encourage creativity, thoughtfulness, and a little research.

Student teams can be individuals or groups of two. MCWT Foundation will award monetary prizes, ranging from $50 to $750. Girls may enroll in one of two categories: Beginner or Advanced. 

Free optional instruction will be offered in two locations on different Saturdays.  
The application deadline is fast approaching: October 1, 2014. The deadline to upload the design entries is November 12, 2014. Winners will be judged not only on the technology used, but also on their creativity and innovation. 

Recent winners and finalists have been from Lake Shore HS, Utica Stevenson HS, Ferndale University HS, Salem HS, Mercy HS, Warren Fitzgerald HS, Livonia Franklin, Canton HS, UAIS, Lakeview HS, Farmington HS, Dearborn Center for Math, Science and Technology, Centerline HS, International Academy, Ingham County Computer Science Academy, and many others.

MISSION:  The MCWT Foundation is dedicated to inspiring and assisting girls and women in Michigan to pursue technology education and careers. To that end, the Foundation fosters technology aspirations among women, of all ages, throughout Southeastern Michigan to create a sustainable talent pool of women technology leaders for tomorrow.

Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC) updates

The Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC) Frequently AskedQuestions document has been updated to reflect the latest changes in legislation. The credit guidance documents for ELA, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies have been updated as well. Questions should be directed to Ruth Anne Hodges