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Summing Up: August 4, 2014

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Summer Interactive Institutes  
2014-NCTM-Institute-200x137NCTM held this summer’s first two Interactive Institutes last month in San Diego. “Algebra Readiness for Every Student for Grades 6–8” offered activities and instructional techniques to provide students with opportunities to develop strong algebraic reasoning skills. “Connecting Number and Operations in the Classroom for Pre-K–Grade 5” gave attendees the skills in number and operations to help their students develop number sense. Peruse the Facebook photo album and Twitter coverage. And be sure to follow the hashtag #NCTMINST on Twitter to see what’s happening at the Chicago Institute taking place right now!

Procedural Fluency in Mathematics 
“To develop procedural fluency, students need experience in integrating concepts and procedures and building on familiar procedures as they create their own informal strategies and procedures,” states a new position statement on procedural fluency from NCTM. “Students need opportunities to justify both informal strategies and commonly used procedures mathematically, to support and justify their choices of appropriate procedures, and to strengthen their understanding and skill through distributed practice.” Procedural Fluency in Mathematics 

The Counterfeit Bill Problem  
“I am often asked what the best way is to start the school year” writes Angela T. Barlow in the latest Teaching Children Mathematics blog post. “My answer is always, ‘With a problem, of course!’ Not just any problem will do, though, as I want a problem that will spark discussion by eliciting a variety of solutions and/or solution strategies.” Math Tasks to Talk About 

Calculation Nation  
Illuminations is here to help prevent summer learning loss. Challenge others. Challenge yourself! Take a look at 12 selected games to have fun while learning math! Calculation Nation 


Core Truths  
A little more than four years ago, NCTM President Diane Briars was sitting with a small group of mathematics educators in the Peachtree Ridge High School auditorium in Suwanee, Georgia, for the release of the Common Core State Standards. Fast-forward four years, and where are we? Briars details this in her July President’s Message, “Core Truths.” See how some are tweeting about her message.


Why Do Americans Stink at Math? 
“Training teachers in a new way of thinking will take time, and American parents will need to be patient,” writes Elizabeth Green in a New York Times article about the Common Core. New York Times Magazine 

Math Concepts + Teamwork = Big Gains 
Teachers build students’ understanding of math concepts as well as their skills in a Seattle elementary school. Their approach to training teachers might work in many schools. NCTM President Diane Briars weighs in on the discussion. The Seattle Times 

Math Under Common Core Has Even Parents Stumbling 
“I taught math very much like the Common Core for many years,” said Linda M. Gojak, past president of NCTM. “When parents would question it, my response was ‘Just hang in there with me,’ and at the end of the year they would come and say this was the best year their kids had in math.” New York Times 

Dividers_SU_Other News 

What Works in Math?
There’s no single answer to that broad question. Instead, what works varies by grade, subject, and even delivery model. Resources from the What Works Clearinghouse provide educators with a better understanding of what works in different contexts. Check out the new webpage from the What Works Clearinghouse.


Recipients of the Summer Cycle MET Grants and Scholarships 
With the philanthropy, dedication, and support of donors and partners, NCTM’s Mathematics Education Trust has for nearly 38 years been putting money directly into the hands of educators who want to improve themselves and the teaching of mathematics. Congratulations to the recipients of the summer cycle of MET grants!

Grant Opportunities
It’s almost back-to-school-time, which means now is the perfect time to reflect on and set your professional development goals for the coming year. MET can help you reach your professional goals. Funding ranges from $1,200 to $24,000 and can be used for conferences, workshops, and seminars; research and in-service training; or professional development activities. The deadline for the winter cycle of grants is November 7. Apply for a MET grant, scholarship, or award.


Mathematics for Equity  
In Mathematics for Equity: A Framework for Successful Practice, copublished with Teachers College Press, nationally renowned scholars join classroom teachers to share equity-oriented approaches that have been successful with urban high school mathematics students. Compiling for the first time major research findings and practitioner experiences from Railside High School, the volume describes the evolution of a fundamentally different conception of learners and teaching. The chapters bring together research and reflection on teacher collaboration and professional communities, student outcomes and mathematics classroom culture, reform curricula and pedagogy, and ongoing teacher development.


Great Math at Your Doorstep—NCTM Regional Conferences  
Join us in Indianapolis, Richmond, or Houston for NCTM’s 2014 Regional Conferences & Expositions, our signature fall math education events. More than 200 presentations will offer the latest on the Common Core, NCTM’s Process Standards, the Guiding Principles and Mathematics Teaching Practices detailed in NCTM's new Principles to Actions, assessment, differentiated instruction, 21st-century learning in the math classroom, and more. Register now and save up to $80! 


2014–15 Member Referral Kickoff
Through the NCTM Member Referral Program, for every new member that joins from your referral, you will earn rewards and gifts, including gift certificates, free membership, and more! Our new program began July 1 and will run through June 30, 2015. Make sure to pass along the referral—it’s easy to participate. Enjoy the rest of your summer, and we look forward to working with you during the next school year!


Capitol Report  
In recent weeks, Congress has been busy preparing for the August recess. That means figuring out what policies might be the subject of productive debate or determining what the House and Senate must do before heading home and hitting the campaign trail. In the “must do” category is spending.

Legislative Update
The Center for American Progress (CAP) hosted a panel discussion, “A Roadmap for a Successful Transition to Common Core in States and Districts.” Participating governors agreed that creation of the Common Core was driven by states on a bipartisan basis to address the needs of American students. All panelists also agreed that the standards are strong but will work only if teacher training and testing are improved. 


Buick Achiever Scholarship Program 
As the U.S. looks to close the workforce gap in all the areas of STEM and attract young, diverse students to pursue degrees in those areas, the Buick Achievers Scholarship Program has announced new scholarships totaling up to $2.5 million to 100 recipients pursuing careers in the areas of STEM, information technology, and other fields related to the automotive industry.


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