March 5, 2014
Raising Teachers’ Voices
One of the highlights of my work as president has been meeting teachers of mathematics in kindergarten through college from all around the country. It is immediately obvious that they care deeply about their students. It is also obvious that in this era of high-stakes tests, teachers are worried about how decisions made by elected officials will affect their ability to do what is best for students and their own futures. Read more.
2014 Lifetime Achievement Recipients
NCTM's Mathematics Education Trust (MET) has selected Miriam Leiva and Christian Hirsch as recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014. The award honors NCTM members who have exhibited a lifetime of achievement in mathematics education at the national level. Leiva and Hirsch will be recognized during the Presentation of the 2014 NCTM Lifetime Achievement Awards at the 2014 NCTM Annual Meeting and Exposition in New Orleans.
Pi Day: Activities and Resources
Every year math enthusiasts everywhere honor pi, a celebrity among mathematical constants, on March 14 (3/14), also known as Pi Day. Extreme enthusiasts have a special celebration at 1:59 (3.14159; aka Pi Minute). We’ve put together a list of articles, lessons, websites, and other fun items to help you celebrate!
Moving Elementary Schools to Common Core Math
NCTM President Linda Gojak will discuss strategies that districts can use to help teachers understand and implement the Common Core math standards at the elementary level in an upcoming Education Week webinar on March 12 from 3 to 4 p.m. ET. Gojak and Elham Kazemi, professor of mathematics education at the University of Washington, will also discuss effective communication and instruction techniques, integrating key conceptual changes, and useful sources of professional development. Register today!
Light the Fire
“Teaching is exhausting work, and on the wrong day it can quickly become exasperating,” said Sarah Schuhl in the first blog post of Joy and Inspiration in the Mathematics Classroom, NCTM’s new blog for its high school journal, Mathematics Teacher. Classes are crowded, supplies are short, and the expectations of administrators and parents alike are soaring. What is a well-trained and well-intentioned mathematics teacher to do?
Teacher Characteristics and Student Mathematical Dispositions
Although providing teachers with more mathematics or math education courses may improve their mathematical and pedagogical knowledge, it will not necessarily influence their beliefs and awareness, according to a study in the March 2014 issue of the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education. Learn more.
March Is “Music in Our Schools” Month!
Get ready to celebrate math and music in your classroom with the grades 9–12 lesson plan Seeing Music. In this Illuminations lesson, students will calculate terms of a geometric sequence to determine frequencies of the chromatic scale. They will then compare sine waves to see and hear the trigonometry behind tonal and dissonant note combinations.
Creating Classroom Communities
How can we foster a sense of belonging in our classrooms? NCTM guides mathematics teachers toward equitable teaching by emphasizing the importance of developing classroom communities. Mathematics Teacher wants you to share your experience in building classroom communities. We encourage submissions that will help readers learn new ways to capitalize on the strengths that cultural, racial, and linguistic diversity bring to our classrooms and schools. Submissions are due May 1! Learn more.
Putting Math Standards into Motion
Giving math teachers the training and classroom tools to effectively implement the Common Core is the biggest challenge that school districts face when it comes to improving achievement. That’s why making teachers comfortable with the new standards will be a driving force in many of the sessions at this spring’s NCTM Annual Meeting. District Administration
Math Ed News
What is being discussed in the news about math education? Check out NCTM’s Math Ed News scrolling newsfeed and read various news articles and blogs about NCTM, math education, and STEM in the news media.
Webinar for Developers and Researchers
Did you miss the latest webinar from What Works Clearinghouse, “Demystifying the What Works Clearinghouse: A Webinar for Developers and Researchers?” You can watch it anytime! Receive details on key features of the WWC review process, including methods of identifying research studies and evaluating them against WWC standards. WWC also promises valuable information on why it’s important to have standards for research, ways to submit questions and studies for review, responses to frequently asked questions, and resources designed specifically for researchers and developers.
Financial Literacy and Economic Education Conference
The Council for Economic Education’s 53rd Annual Financial Literacy and Economic Education Conference will be held October 8–11 at the Renaissance Dallas Hotel in Dallas, Texas. The conference offers a diverse selection of professional development workshops on economic and financial literacy, including sessions on pedagogy and resources, curriculum strategy for schools and school districts, teaching strategies, assessment and research, new programs, and best practices. See what K–12 educators say about the conference—more info.
New Orleans Math: How Many Beignets Can You Buy for $80?
Mardi Gras draws millions to New Orleans every year to celebrate. As the 2014 Mardi Gras festivities are behind us, anticipation for the NCTM Annual Meeting and Exposition is just beginning. We look forward to seeing you in New Orleans April 9−12 for a professional development experience that is full of growth and networking opportunities. Register today for the NCTM Annual Meeting & Exposition and save up to $80—use the savings to explore New Orleans and learn about some of the unique New Orleans pleasures that $80 can buy!
Learn Key Strategies for Teaching Algebra
Algebra is a key to college readiness, better employment, and overall success for students. But many students lack the fundamental knowledge and skills to succeed in algebra. Join us in San Diego, July 7–9, for NCTM’s Interactive Institute for Grades 6–8, Algebra Readiness for Every Student. Get the right tools to build a strong math foundation for your students. Register early and save $40!
Implementing CCSSM through Problem Solving
The 38 problems and tasks for students in Implementing the CCSSM through Problem Solving, Grades 3–5 are organized into the major areas of the Common Core for grades 3–5: Operations and algebraic thinking, number and operations in base ten, fractions, measurements and data, and geometry. For each task, teachers will find a rich, engaging problem or set of problems to use as a lesson starting point, with accompanying discussions that tie the tasks to specific Common Core domains and clusters. Follow-up sections highlight the CCSS Standards for Mathematical Practice that students will engage in as they work on these problems.
White House number crunchers are very busy these days, with the FY 2015 budget request about to be released. This year, the Obama administration’s proposal on how to fund all the federal agencies and programs will be delivered in two installments. First, on March 4, the “big picture” is expected—the outlines of broad priorities and new initiatives at the agencies. Then, on March 11, the mathematicians will get really excited when all the so-called justifications will be released. Capitol Report
Discovery Education hosted an all-day event, “Future@Now: Roadmap to the Digital Transition,” that discussed district-level digital transitions that prepare students for citizenship, college, and careers. S. Dallas Dance, superintendent of Baltimore County Public Schools, gave opening remarks on how his system—one of the largest school districts in the nation with more than 108,000 students—has made the transition to digital learning. Legislative Update
The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation is seeking volunteers for its governance committee, accreditation council, site visitors, and program reviewers. Check out the volunteer position descriptions. Interested? Complete the volunteer application; the deadline is March 14.
Division and Multiplication of Whole Numbers
A new online course, Division and Multiplication of Whole Numbers: Bridging to Fraction Understanding, introduces a learning-trajectory approach to students’ multiplicative reasoning. This new Massive Open Online Course for Educators (MOOC-Ed) from North Carolina State University explores the development of a stronger conceptual basis for multiplicative reasoning, so that, eventually, students see multiplication and division of fractions as an extension of multiplication and division of whole numbers—instead of a new and mystifying monster of its own. The course will run from March 17 to May 11. More info
2014 Invent It Challenge
The Spark!Lab Invent It Challenge is a free competition open to students, ages 5−18, around the world. This year students across the globe are addressing the same challenge: Create an invention that solves a real-world problem. Designed to inspire and support students, the challenge empowers them to recognize the inventor within and requires them to follow key steps in the Smithsonian's Lemelson Center invention process. The process reinforces a range of 21st-century skills, including the use of digital technologies, and also meets several Common Core, STEM, and other learning standards. Learn more.