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### Summing Up: December 3, 2013

December 3, 2013

Algebra: Not If but When
One of the questions I am asked frequently by teachers, parents, and reporters is, “When should students take algebra?” Let’s assume that we’re talking about a college preparatory algebra 1 course. The content and instruction must be designed to develop both conceptual and procedural understanding. For students to be considered successful in first-year algebra, the expectation must be that reasoning and making sense will be priorities of both teaching and learning. Read more.

Algebra Resources from Illuminations
NCTM’s Illuminations website has several algebra-themed resources. Learn how to represent and solve algebra problems using the Algebra Tiles applet. In the Polynomial Puzzler lesson, students use puzzlers to factor polynomials and multiply monomials and binomials. Or perhaps you will find these PanBalance lessons useful!

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 in the 2015 Focus Issue of Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School. Let us know what works for you. The deadline is soon approaching—the due date is January 6! Learn more.

Statistics Education Web
Looking for exciting, peer-reviewed, lessons on probability and statistics that also align with the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics? The ASA/NCTM Joint Committee on Curriculum in Probability and Statistics presents an online resource for K–12 lessons and activities that engage students in critical thinking and statistical reasoning. These peer-reviewed teaching materials focus on statistical concepts aligned with NCTM and CCSSM Standards.

Between the Wholes: Promoting Fraction and Decimal Understanding
What are your approaches to facilitating students’ understanding of fractions and decimals? What classroom activities and ideas do you use to help students make sense of fractions and decimals as numbers, benchmarks, measures, quotients, or operators? The Teaching Children Mathematics Editorial Panel invites you to share your ideas on developing number sense related to fractions and decimals in students in K–grade 6. We are especially interested in manuscripts describing ideas that have been shaped by research and classroom implementation. Learn more.

Free ASA/ NCTM Statistics Education Publication
Statistics Teacher Network (STN) is a free newsletter published by the American Statistical Association and NCTM Joint Committee on Curriculum in Statistics and Probability for Grades K–12. Read the latest news in statistics education or submit articles and announcements.

Creating Classroom Communities
NCTM guides mathematics teachers toward equitable teaching by emphasizing the importance of developing classroom communities. The editorial panel of Mathematics Teacher (MT) invites teachers, teacher educators, and education researchers to share their experiences in building classroom communities. We encourage submissions that will help MT readers learn new ways to capitalize on the strengths that cultural, racial, and linguistic diversity bring to our classrooms and schools. Learn more.

PISA Results

According to new results of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), the United States was outperformed in mathematics by a statistically significant margin by 29 nations and other jurisdictions, up from 23 three years ago. The international assessment measures 15-year-old students’ reading, mathematics, and science literacy. For the first time, the report also includes separately reported results for public school students in three American states: Connecticut, Florida, and Massachusetts. More info

Recommendations for Successful Implementation of NGSS

The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) makes a series of recommendations for science education stakeholders in its recent position statement to ensure the successful implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and transform K–12 STEM education. The statement expresses NSTA’s strong endorsement for NGSS and calls on states to adopt the new standards. It also outlines the steps needed to ensure that all students have the skills and knowledge required for college and STEM careers and to be well-informed citizens. Read more.

Beginning Algebra: Teaching Key Concepts

How can all students learn the key concepts of beginning algebra? Through the study of algebra, students learn to think abstractly, apply various representations, communicate mathematically, and develop the habits of mind that they need to use mathematics and become lifelong learners. Read more about this in the special 2013 Focus Issue of Mathematics Teacher. Check out the free preview article or order your own copy.

Essential Understanding Series Books on Algebra

Teachers and administrators appreciate NCTM's Essential Understanding Series because each volume in this series focuses on the big ideas of a specific subject and breaks each challenging topic down into the fundamental concepts that are critical for teachers to understand. Developing Essential Understanding of Expressions, Equations, and Functions for Teaching Mathematics in Grades 6–8 is one of three books that focuses on algebra. The books in this series examine the big ideas and related essential understandings, and allow teachers to focus on the ideas they need to understand thoroughly to teach confidently. Learn more.

Register Early and Save \$\$\$ on Common Core Institutes
Hurry—just two weeks remain to register and save \$40 for the 2014 NCTM Interactive Institute Winter Professional Development Series—Cutting to the “Common Core.” Join NCTM in Orlando, February 14–15, for this series of two-day institutes for teachers of elementary, middle, and high school grades, and walk away with the tools and resources to successfully align your teaching with the Common Core State Standards. Register by December 13 and save \$40!

The NCTM 4 Weeks of Gift Giving have begun! This week, we are offering 30 percent off all NCTM publications and gear to all current NCTM members using code HD13A. Make sure to check each Monday morning throughout the month of December to see what special members-only offer is available for that week. More info

As Washington and the country start to look to the holiday season and the break that it provides to Congress, substantial work lies between lawmakers and flights home for holiday cheer. Most notably, education advocates are watching carefully as Congress struggles to avoid another federal government shutdown and works to develop a federal budget that addresses the devastating cuts required by sequestration. Capitol Report

“Carve turkeys, not education.” That was the slogan on buttons clipped to plush toy turkeys delivered to congressional offices by small groups of education advocates. The Committee for Education Funding led the campaign in the hope of persuading lawmakers looking for strategies to address the sequester to save education programs from further cuts. Legislative Update

Moody’s Mega Math Challenge
More students than ever are eligible to compete for a share of \$125,000 in scholarship prizes to be awarded in the 2014 Moody’s Mega Math Challenge, a prestigious applied math competition for high school students. Internet-based and free of registration and participation fees, the challenge requires participants to consider and analyze a relevant issue, using mathematical modeling to come up with a practical solution. Registration is open until February 28. Learn more.

Stanford Hollyhock Fellowship for High School Teachers

The Stanford Hollyhock Fellowship is a competitive fellowship program designed to support talented early-career high school teachers by providing them with world-class opportunities to develop leadership skills and expertise in teaching their content area. The fellowship includes a two-year program of professional development; a stipend for participation; all travel, room, and board; continuing education credits; and a certificate of teacher leadership. Apply by January 15. More info