October 3, 2013
Making Mathematical Connections
One of the most memorable moments I had in teaching mathematics occurred in a fifth-grade class. We began the year using rectangular arrays as a model to develop the concept of prime and composite numbers. We hung student-made posters of the numbers from 1 to 100 with representations of arrays and lists of factors for each number around the room. By the end of that unit all my students had mastered multiplication facts and could factor with facility as we began our work with fractions. Read more.
Principles to Actions: An Urgent Agenda
Following in the tradition of Principles and Standards for School Mathematics, NCTM has developed Principles to Actions: An Urgent Agenda for School Mathematics, which outlines and describes the imperatives for an excellent mathematics education. Principles to Actions was developed to apply to all teachers and students in any school setting or under any set of standards. Comments on the public draft will be accepted until October 23.
Build It, and They Will Come!
This activity provides a series of experiences that develop student understanding of how two-dimensional drawings can be translated into three-dimensional models, and vice versa. Beginning with rich experiences in building structures, students move from creating their own concrete models to building structures from a variety of visual representations, including isometric drawings and orthographic and mat views. Check out this month’s issue of Student Explorations in Mathematics, one of NCTM’s resources for grades 5–10 students, teachers, and teacher educators.
Focus on Mathematical Modeling
Modeling can engage students in writing, using multiple representations, making conjectures, and more. Share your experiences and observations of students' success with modeling in your classroom for the Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School 2015 Focus Issue. Share what works for you. Learn more.
Integrated Approach to Teaching Math
Schools in some states have adopted an integrated math model, which blends math topics, such as algebra, geometry, and statistics, into one course. A renewed interest in the model comes on the heels of research showing it improved student achievement. Even so, some question the use of an integrated program. eSchool News
In-Depth Preview of Baltimore and Las Vegas Regional Meetings
Bonnie Ennis and Dave Brancamp discuss details about the scheduled programs and all the projected happenings at the Baltimore and Las Vegas Regional Conferences taking place later this month. Planning to visit us? Listen to the interview. Education Talk Radio
Connected Educator Month
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) convened the first Connected Educator Month in August 2012. Last year more than 170 education organizations, companies, and communities were involved in more than 450 events and activities. Seeking to build on this success, ED has announced a second Connected Educator Month to be held this month. This year’s event will have a special emphasis on helping districts promote and integrate online social learning in their formal professional development. Get connected!
Celebrate National Metric Week
Break out your rulers. It’s time to celebrate National Metric Week. This fall, the week of October 6–12 (the 10th month of the year and the week containing the 10th day) has been set aside to celebrate the metric system. Americans will have an opportunity to focus on the importance and convenience of the measurement system based on 10s. Ideas for lessons.
Common Core State Standards Support
Do your students’ parents have questions about the Common Core State Standards? The Council of the Great City Schools has produced “parent roadmaps” that provide guidance about what children will be learning and how families can offer support. Learn more.
The Governing Board Wants You
The National Assessment Governing Board, established by Congress to set policy for the Nation’s Report Card—also known as the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)— is seeking qualified and passionate individuals to serve four-year terms and help lead groundbreaking initiatives involving NAEP, including efforts to increase parent engagement, improve academic preparedness, and provide innovations in assessment. The following positions will be open in 2014: chief state school officer, eighth-grade teacher, fourth-grade teacher, secondary school principal, and general public member. The term for each of the five positions is October 1, 2014, to September 30, 2018. Learn more.
Although the issues that have brought the federal government to the point of shutdown are not about education, the result will certainly affect federal education programs and the employees who manage them. Read more in the Capitol Report.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Chamber Foundation, and Institute for a Competitive Workforce recently cosponsored a full-day event highlighting the importance of connecting education policy and the workforce. Read more in the Legislative Update.
MET Legacy Series: Edward J. Brennan
NCTM’s Mathematics Education Trust (MET) relies on contributions from Council members and other individuals, Affiliates, and corporations. Gifts to the Edward J. Brennan fund help support Prospective Middle School Teacher Course Work Scholarships, which provide financial assistance to a full-time college or university junior who is pursuing a career goal of becoming a certified teacher of middle school mathematics. Read more and learn about the most recent recipient.
Explore Your NCTM Membership at the Regional Conferences
Attending one of NCTM’s Regional Conferences and Expositions this fall? Don’t forget to stop by the Member Showcase in the Exhibit Hall. There you can learn more about your membership benefits and receive a freebie. And, if you choose to renew your membership on-site, you’ll even receive a free T-shirt. See you in Baltimore, Las Vegas, and Louisville!
Insights into Mathematical Thought
Have you checked out Insights into Mathematical Thought: Excursions with Distributivity? This recent NCTM publication discusses implications of applying the distributive principle as a way to encourage students to relate mathematics to the real world, to seek connections beyond science and mathematics, and to include literature and language as ways of expanding their mathematical thinking. A truly innovative approach to an important concept, this book provides readers with a new perspective on mathematical thought. Learn more.
Save $80 in Louisville: Deadline October 4
The early-bird registration deadline for the third of NCTM’s 2013 Regional Conferences and Expositions is Friday, October 4. Taking place in Louisville, Kentucky, November 6–8, the meeting will give you access to more than 200 sessions, opportunities to be inspired by leaders in mathematics, and let you network with like-minded professionals and explore hot topics in mathematics. Register today!
Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship
Apply now for the 2014–15 Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship, available to K–12 STEM educators with demonstrated excellence in teaching and leadership. Selected teachers spend 11 months in Washington, D.C., sharing their expertise with STEM program directors or policymakers. Fellows receive a monthly stipend and an allowance for professional travel and relocation. Applications are due December 4. Learn more.
STaR Program for Early Career Mathematics Educators
Service, Teaching, and Research (STaR) are the focal points of the STaR program, which consists of a summer institute, electronic networking, and a regroup session. The fifth cohort of STaR fellows will meet for a summer institute in Park City, Utah, June 21–25, 2014. New faculty members with a doctorate in mathematics education in their first or second year of a tenure-track appointment as a mathematics educator at a U.S. institution of higher education may apply. Learn more about the STaR program and apply by December 1.
Online Mathematics Competition
The Brock University Caribou Mathematics Competition is an online contest for students in grades 3–12. The competition will take place on six days during the school year. On each of these days, a separate contest will be offered for students in grades 3/4, 5/6, 7/8, 9/10, and 11/12. Contest results are available on the evening of each contest day, and winning students are recognized. Points earned throughout the year are added up for the Caribou Cup, and top scoring students receive prizes. The first contest will be held October 16. More info
School STEM Competition to Win Technology
Samsung Solve for Tomorrow is a video contest for public middle and high schools that awards more than $2 million in technology to winning schools. From now until October 31, teachers in all disciplines representing grades 6–12 can apply. Entrants must answer a few simple questions about their school and STEM education. One school per state will win a technology kit to produce a video addressing the challenge “Show how STEM can be applied to help improve your local community.” National winners will receive $140,000 in technology and prizes, along with a trip to Washington, D.C. More info