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Summing Up: September 5, 2014

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Getting on Bus-96x150Tips for the First Days of School…  
…and all year long! Keep seating charts handy. Become an advocate for mathematics. Let go of things that don’t really matter. Plan for a successful school year by getting into good habits from the start! Read these helpful tips from NCTM to help you get started. 

Are We Seeing Our Kids Thinking Yet?
In his recent post, “Joy and Inspiration in the Mathematics Classroom,” on the Mathematics Teacher blog, Greg Stephens jokes with his students that he forgets everything over the summer: “Not just the stuff I teach but even how to think about the stuff!” he writes. “We laugh at both aspects of it—that we all forget stuff during summer break but also the irony of thinking about thinking itself.” 

Diane J. Briars, NCTM PresidentBack to School—The Time to Engage Parents and Families  
Did you catch the August President’s Message? As you plan for the new school year, don’t forget to make explicit plans for engaging parents and families. Parents can be invaluable supports for their children’s mathematics learning. Although 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.

Binding Success
Imagine having your whole year planned out before stepping foot in your classroom. Cindy Stofferahn, third-grade teacher at Sturgis Elementary School in South Dakota, already knows what she’s teaching today, tomorrow, and for the rest of the year. Read her success story and send us yours about how you used Illuminations to prevent summer learning loss.

Dividers_SU_Other News 

Join the SBAC Online Panel
Participate in the Online Panel process to recommend achievement levels for the Smarter Balanced assessments in mathematics. Recommend an achievement level score that demonstrates how much students should know or be able to do in order to meet the grade-level standards and to be on track for eventual college and career readiness. This opportunity will allow a large group of educators and administrators to help establish consistent measures of progress for the Smarter Balanced interim and summative assessments. The Online Panel to Recommend Achievement Levels will be in session October 6–17. Register by September 19.

NBC Parent Toolkit App  
The Parent Toolkit App is designed to help parents navigate their child’s growth and development from pre–K through grade 12—in the classroom and beyond. For each grade, the app offers benchmarks that parents can use to see what their children will be learning in school, as well as recommendations for diet, sleep, and physical activity. The grade-by-grade tips are designed for parents to incorporate into their everyday schedules to support their children in what they are learning and promote a healthy lifestyle. Pass this along to your students’ parents this year!

First Woman to Win Top Honor in Math  
History was made last month! Maryam Mirzakhani, 37, became the first woman to win the prestigious Fields Medal, widely acknowledged to be the Nobel Prize of Mathematics. Mirzakhani is also the first Stanford professor to be awarded the prize since its establishment in 1936. Mirzakhani is being recognized for her work in the fields of geometry and dynamic systems. “I will be happy if it encourages young female scientists and mathematicians,” Mirzakhani said in a statement. “I am sure there will be many more women winning this kind of award in coming years.”


Call for Nominations: NCTM Lifetime Achievement Award
NCTM’s Mathematics Education Trust (MET) is currently accepting nominations for its Lifetime Achievement Award, awarded to members who have exhibited a lifetime of achievement in mathematics education at the national level. Consider nominating an exceptional colleague who is an NCTM member and has contributed significantly over a lifetime to mathematics education through leadership, teaching, and service. The award will be presented at the 2015 Annual Meeting and Exposition in Boston. Submit a nomination packet by November 7.


Connecting the Common Core to Journal Articles  
Discovering Lessons for the Common Core State Standards in Grades 6–8, a new eBook-only title, is the first of a three-book series and is intended to create a critical and timely resource that aligns articles previously published in NCTM journals with the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM). Teachers will find ready-made CCSSM alignment with high-quality, peer-reviewed, engaging activities from NCTM’s outstanding journals that they can use with their students in grades 6–8. 

Back to School Savings with NCTM!  
Members save 25% off all books and special products for the month of September! To ring in the new school year and thank our wonderful members, NCTM is offering 25 percent off all NCTM publications, such as the newly released Lessons Learned from Across the World and the landmark Principles to Actions: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All. In addition, show your love of all things mathematics with our fun NCTM gear and posters, including the best-selling I Love Math Pencils and the beautiful I Heart Math posters. Use code SUM25 when placing orders. Offer expires September 30. 


Dynamic Exhibits and More than 200 Presentations  
Whether you’re a classroom teacher, administrator, college professor, preservice teacher, or math coach, the NCTM Regional Conferences have something for you. Explore best practices for implementing college- and career-ready standards, learn the most effective teaching practices to support students’ learning, refine your assessment techniques, and more.NCTM’s 2014 Regional Conferences will be held in IndianapolisRichmond, and Houston. Register early and save $80!


Update Your Profile 
Now that school is back in session, make sure that your NCTM member profile is as up to date as possible. Whether you have changed schools, or moved to a new home, we want to ensure that we have the most up-to-date information for you in our records so that you will continue to receive all of the latest news and information that NCTM has to offer! Make changes to your account today.


While Congress was out of town in August, education advocates busily prepared for the last few months of the 113th Congress. When the members return, they could make some progress on a number of policies of interest to NCTM and its members. Capitol Report 

Because of the August recess, this issue of Summing Up has no Legislative Update. Instead, we invite you to learn more about the status of early childhood education policy, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and the Higher Education Act.


CBMS National Forum
The Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences (CBMS) National Forum will be at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Reston, Virginia, October 5–7. The focus and theme will be on building student success in the first two years of college math. This will continue and expand the work begun at our previous national forums. These previous four forums have focused upon K–12 mathematics education and the lifelong education of K–12 teachers. Register by September 25!

Albert Einsten Fellowship 
Applications for the 2015–16 Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Program are now being accepted. The AEF Program provides a unique opportunity for accomplished K–12 educators in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to serve in the national education arena. Fellows spend 11 months working in a federal agency or U.S. congressional office, bringing their extensive classroom knowledge and experience to STEM education programs or education policy efforts. Applications are due by November 20.

Preschool Development Grants 
A new preschool development competition will offer $80 million to states lacking a robust early-childhood education program, as well as $160 million in expansion grants to states with existing successful preschool programs. The goal of Preschool Development Grants is to support states in building, developing, and expanding voluntary, high-quality preschool programs in high-need communities for children from low- and moderate-income families.

Strategy for American Innovation 
The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy is calling on thinkers, doers, and entrepreneurs across the country to submit their proposals for promising new initiatives or pressing needs for renewed investment to be included in next year’s updated Strategy for American Innovation. What will the next strategy accomplish? In part, it’s up to you. Your input will help guide the administration’s efforts to catalyze the transformative innovation in products, processes, and services that is the hallmark of American ingenuity. Responses must be received by September 23.

Stimulating Innovation in STEM Education 
The Innovation Corps Teams Program administered by the National Science Foundation encourages proposals that take discoveries and promising practices from education research and development and promote opportunities for widespread adoption, adaptation, and utilization. I-Corps for Learning Teams will receive support—in the form of mentoring and funding—to accelerate innovation in learning that can be successfully scaled in a sustainable manner.

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