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Summing Up: March 18, 2014

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March 18, 2014


TetrahedralSpring into Math with Tetrahedral Kites
Spring is right around the corner! Build, explore, and develop relationships between area and volume with Tetrahedral Kites. Each student constructs a tetrahedron and describes the linear, area, and volume measurements, using non-traditional units of measure. Be sure to e-mail Illuminations pictures of all your classroom fun!

ApplesApples and Remainders
“What is the purpose of constructing a viable mathematical argument or proof?” asks Rob Ely in the new blog, Blogarithm: Standards of Mathematical Practice. “Many people would say that the purpose is to convince another person or yourself that the position being taken is true, beyond a reasonable doubt. But I think that we have focused too much on conviction as the purpose of mathematical argumentation.

Moving Elementary Schools to Common Core Math
In a recent Education Week webinar, NCTM President Linda Gojak discussed strategies that districts can use to help teachers understand and implement the Common Core math standards at the elementary level. Gojak and Elham Kazemi, professor of mathematics education at the University of Washington, also discussed effective communication and instruction techniques, integrating key conceptual changes, and useful sources of professional development. Watch the archived webinar.

semOut of the Park! Exploring the Mean in Sports
Capitalize on student interest in sports with this classroom-ready investigation of mean. Means are often used to compare athletes’ performances in sports. Avid student fans may know statistics for their favorite team or players, but do they know how these stats are determined? This month’s Student Explorations in Mathematics activity explores the application of the mean in baseball and basketball.

STEWSTEW Lesson Plan Submissions

Most STatistics Education Web (STEW) lesson plan submissions were lost or never received as a result of an unfortunate and unexpected technological problem. If you previously submitted a lesson plan for the Competition for Best New STatistics Education Web (STEW) Lesson Plan, you should resubmit it at your earliest convenience. STEW would like to be certain that all qualified submissions are considered for the competition and apologizes in advance for any inconvenience.


Revised SAT Will Provide More Realistic View
Revisions to the SAT that will go into effect in spring 2016 will give educators a “more realistic view” of students’ math skills, according to NCTM President Linda Gojak. “Rather than address a lot of topics that cover a wide variety of things, it appears that what they’ve done is really look at the topics that prepare kids not only for college ... but also beyond college in mathematics that’s really important, no matter what they’re going to do,” Gojak said. U.S. News & World Report 


White House Maker Faire
The White House has announced the White House Maker Faire, which will showcase amazing projects, inventions, and products created by people across the country. It will highlight stories of the makers, some of whom are driving the next era of American innovation, as well as commitments by leading organizations to help more students and entrepreneurs get involved in making things. Be a part of the Maker Faire.


14908Two Key Subjects, Five Groundbreaking Practices

Now with one purchase you can receive both best-selling books—5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematics Discussions and 5 Practices for Orchestrating Task-Based Discussions in Science. Take advantage of the opportunity that these books offer and learn how to achieve high-demand learning objectives. With the release of the new book supporting discussions in science, NCTM is now offering science teachers the same proven strategies as math teachers for facilitating effective inquiry-based science classrooms using the proven five practices. Both books are now available as a bundle.


METJazzAttending the Annual Meeting in New Orleans?

Stop by the Mathematics Education Trust station located in the NCTM Member Showcase to find out how to apply for the many grants, awards, and scholarships that are available to NCTM members. MET funds can be used for materials, development of lessons, conferences, courses, professional development, in-service training, and action research. You can also attend Session 136 to gain helpful tips on how to apply and submit a winning MET application proposal.

Attend Session 544 honoring MET’s 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award recipients, Miriam A. Leiva and Christian R. Hirsch. The awards are bestowed on NCTM members who have exhibited a lifetime of achievement in mathematics education at the national level. The recipients will be introduced and will speak; other grant recipients in attendance will also be recognized.

Join Jazz Up! The NCTM MET Celebration to honor this year’s Lifetime Achievement Awardees and other MET award recipients. Enjoy New Orleans’ trademark beignets with coffee, to the accompaniment of live jazz music. Circulate and bid on the many varied gift cards and certificates for educational materials in our silent auction, and purchase MET’s new fundraising cookbook, Recipes You Can Count On. Register for this exciting ticketed event!


Workshops to Sharpen Your Skills
NCTM offers preconference workshops to sharpen your skills and enhance your assessment and interventions expertise in mathematics education. Join us Wednesday, April 9, for one of our in-depth workshops—designed for mathematics educators of grades 3–8—to help you master either formative assessment or multi-tiered systems of support. Register now and continue learning April 9–12 at the 2014 NCTM Annual Meeting & Exposition!

MemberShowcaseVisit the Member Showcase
Attending NCTM’s Annual Meeting in New Orleans next month? Learn more about NCTM membership benefits at the Member Showcase, located in the BuzzHub of the Exhibit Hall. You’ll find sample journals, take-home activities, professional development information, and online activities and resources. Don’t forget to check in using your registration badge—you’ll be entered into a drawing for an iPad Air!

Capitol ReportSpring hasn’t quite sprung in Washington. The city is still shaking off the remnants of one of the snowiest winters on record, and temperatures continue to warrant coats heavier than local residents would like. However, one hallmark of spring is in evidence—the flurry of activity on Capitol Hill that always marks the season.

The National League of Cities announced that 14 cities have entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Education intended to improve city schools through early learning, high-quality after school programs, and increased post-secondary opportunities. Did your city make the list?

“Getting Ready for the Assessment: Consortia Field Tests”

Beginning this month, millions of students across the country are participating in an unprecedented event: field tests of new assessments that measure student performance against the Common Core State Standards. These field tests will provide vital information about the quality that assessments will need to have before they are implemented in classrooms in more than 35 states next year. What can students, parents, and teachers expect from the field test? What do the consortia that are developing the assessments hope to learn from it? On March 20, the Alliance for Excellent Education will conduct a webinar, “Getting Ready for the Assessment: Consortia Field Tests,” to anwer these and other questions. Register and submit questions.