Saturday, February 6, 2016

VCTM February 2016 eNews

February 2016

Comments....we'd love to see them!  This edition of the VCTM eNewsletter contains some articles that should inspire some thoughts or comments.  We would like to hear what other schools and districts are doing with regard to these topics.  How are things going for you?  Let us know your observations or opinions!  The comment bar is at the bottom of the post.

Inside this edition:

  • Presidents' Message
  • Last Chance....Proposals for ATMNE Fall Conference
  • 2016 NCTM Annual Meeting & Exposition in San Francisco: Building a Bridge to Student Success
  • Heterogeneously Grouped Mathematics Classes at Montpelier High School-  Sue Abrams, PLC Leader
  • The Intersection of Philosophies:  Middle School Common Core Math and Heterogeneous Grouping
  • Rookie of the Year
  • Resource:  EXPII 
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Presidents' Message

Happy 2016!  As educators, we are so fortunate to have multiple opportunities to start fresh—new school year, new semester, new calendar year! It’s time to try something new, but be cautious not to overdo it. Some great advice regarding how much to consider changing in your professional life comes from Steve Leinwand in his 1994 article from NCTM’s Mathematics Teacher (http://steveleinwand.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/FourPostulatesforChange.pdf). Leinwand’s suggestion? 10% per year.

VCTM’s volunteer WebMaster Sean Sullivan is hard at work developing a new and improved website. We are so excited, and will encourage you to visit as soon as it is up and running. If there is information you would like to be able to find on the VCTM website that will help us to better serve teachers and learners of mathematics in Vermont, feel free to email Sean at ssullivan@ssdvt.org. We welcome your ideas.

Are you lucky enough to get to attend the 2016 NCTM Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Francisco April 13-16? Remember that the Early-Bird Registration deadline is March 4. Closer to home this spring is the New Hampshire Teachers of Mathematics (NHTM) Annual Spring Conference on March 18 at Keene State College, followed by the Association of Teachers of Mathematics in Massachusetts (ATMIM) 2016 Spring Conference on Saturday March 19 in Marlboro, MA. And the Rhode Island Mathematics Teacher Association (RIMTA) will be hosting Dan Meyer for dinner on May 5 in Warwick, RI at their spring meeting! If you’d rather participate in some summer professional development, consider the the first New3 Math Conference organized by AMTNYS (New York), AMTNJ (New Jersey) and ATMNE (New England) taking place this summer at Iona College June 27-29.  The conference will feature an exciting program drawing on outstanding mathematics educators from the northeast.  Narrow Grade Band Workshops are being scheduled for PreK-K, 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, and high school during each session time.  Featured Speakers include Steve Leinwand, Jenny Tsankova, Eric Milou, Mary Behr Altieri and Jim Rubillo.  In addition to being affordable in a community atmosphere and not necessitating sub plans, a STEM Camp for participants’ children grades 1-8 is being planned as well as some exciting extra-curricular activities in New York City.  We hope you have the chance to visit one of our neighboring NCTM affiliates to enjoy some math professional development between now and VCTM’s October 2016 conference.

Happy New Year,
Christine Latulippe (Norwich University) and Kate McCann (U-32 High School)
VCTM co-Presidents
vctmpresident@gmail.com

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ATMNE Fall Conference Proposals

Present Your ideas at the 2016 ATMNE Conference

The 2016 ATMNE conference will be held October 20 and 21, 2016 in Manchester, NH, with a theme of “Vote with Math! Developing Informed Citizens through Mathematics”.  ATMNESpeakerProposals are due February 8, 2016. Whether by yourself, or with a colleague or two, please consider sharing your ideas with math educators throughout New England at this fabulous regional conference.


Remember that when you join VCTM, you automatically become a member of the Association of Teachers of Mathematics in New England (ATMNE).  ATMNE members receive two annual newsletters, the New England Mathematics Journal (NEMJ), invitations to regional conferences and more. All ATMNE publications have gone GREEN so make sure you keep your email up to date.

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2016 NCTM Annual Meeting & Exposition in San Francisco: Building a Bridge to Student Success


Registration is well underway for the 2016 NCTM Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Francisco, California April 13-16! More than 9,000 math educators from across the country attend this event every year to engage in professional development workshops that provide teachers with a wealth of new ideas and learning opportunities. Collaborate with fellow math educators, learn about movements in mathematics education and come back home re-energized with new tools to teach your students.

Along with many other Vermont mathematics educators, I attended the NCTM Annual Meeting in 2015 and can’t imagine not attending every year into the future. The workshops I attended and people I met transformed the work that I do and provided me with quality resources to share with the teachers I work with.


Register now at: http://www.nctm.org/Conferences-and-Professional-Development/Annual-Meeting-and-Exposition/ and come meet Jo Boaler, Dan Meyer and many more! The website link also has a downloadable resource to help you gain financial support from your school district. 
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Heterogeneously Grouped Mathematics Classes at Montpelier High School-  Sue Abrams, PLC Leader

A few high schools in Vermont do not track their mathematics classes into separate classrooms. Montpelier High School is one of them.  This is the third year that Montpelier High School has discontinued running separate classes for Geometry Honors and regular Geometry. While we still offer an honors level geometry, we teach both levels within the same classroom. The same is true for Algebra II and Algebra II Honors. Even our chemistry teacher has chosen to follow suit and offers the choice to her students.

Here is how we do this. First, we put all students into the honors level class unless they have specifically said they do not want to take the honors level. Then we give them the first quarter to decide which level they want to take for the rest of the year. Instruction is the same for both levels, but what differs are the homework assignments, the assessments, some of the projects, problem solving tasks, and the problems students choose to do when there are problem solving “stations” within the classroom.

The result? Surprisingly, the majority of students have chosen to remain in the honors level of our classes rather than switch to the regular level. Because there are no “lower” level classes anymore, there are no longer classes where a significant portion of the class is not hard-working. Often times, in our tracked regular geometry and algebra II classes of the past, many students in those levels were placed there more because of a work ethic than true difficulty in learning mathematics.
So why do they stay at the honors level? We can only guess. One reason could be that once they realize they can do honors level work, they don’t shy away from it. Another might be a source of pride. Since they are in the same class as their peers of both levels, maybe it’s cool to choose the honors classes.

Teachers are very careful not to distinguish who is in which level. They never say anything aloud about it nor do they do things like have one color for honors and a different one for regular. When we hand out tests, we are careful not to let students know who is getting which level assessment.

There have been some distinct advantages, but a few disadvantages with our heterogeneously grouped classes. The good news is that we have not slowed down the pace, more students are choosing honors geometry, and more are continuing into upper level math. Although we don’t know whether this is just a coincidence, MHS juniors last year (our first group under this system) had nearly the highest SBAC scores in Vermont, with 67% proficient.

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The Intersection of Philosophies:  Middle School Common Core Math and Heterogeneous Grouping

There is now much discussion about not teaching a full Algebra I curriculum in the Middle Schools to allow all students to progress through the Common Core Standards in a traditional fashion, rather than allowing a smaller percentage of students progress through a compression of grades 6-8 in grades 6 and 7, with grade 8 having Algebra I taught.  While teaching all students heterogeneously in Middle Schools in all subjects is the curricular ideal, is this the mathematical ideal for all students? From a high school perspective, this creates a situation, for some students, to 'double-up' in math in high school to be able to take calculus before entering college.  

We'd like to know your thoughts or comments on how your district is handling this issue so that others can know how your district has worked with this issue. 
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Rookie of the Year Nominations


Do you have a rising star in your school or district in the field of mathematics who deserves recognition?  VCTM Rookie of the year is going to be presented to three outstanding and well-deserving rising stars in math education within Vermont one in each of the grade levels (Elementary (K-5), Middle (6-8) and High School.)  Awardees will be given a cash prize and plaque, a year's membership to VCTM, and be expected to share their experiences with the VT math community in its eNewsletter and be invited to present the following year at the VCTM fall conference.  To qualify, the nominees must be in the first three calendar years of their teaching (either part or full-time), and be nominated by a VCTM member.  The nomination form has room for your nomination letter to be cut/pasted, or if you prefer, it can be emailed in as well (details are in the nomination form).  Nominations are open until June 1, 2016.
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Resource:  EXPII 


Michelle Newstadt is the Director of Education with a new Educational Technology startup, Expii.com. It is a free, interactive website where students, teachers, tutors, and enthusiasts are encouraged to add their voices and learning approaches to the canon of lessons and explanations that are hosted on the site. Currently, they are reaching out to educators and education thought leaders regarding a new feature on our site, Expii Solve.

Expii Solve is a free weekly set of five thought-provoking, interactive, and challenging math problems composed by Po-Shen Loh, a math professor at Carnegie Mellon University and coach of the US International Math Olympiad team. These problems vary in difficulty, beginning with the most accessible to the almost impossible. It is intended to show an interesting side of math, with often a surprising answer.   If you like what you see, you can join the site and  contribute and comment to others on their ideas, plans and problems.



Thursday, December 3, 2015

December 2015

The Fall has seemingly flown by, and the VCTM Board has been busy at work looking at ways to connect the math community statewide.  The first new initiative is the Rookie of the Year honorees, and other opportunities will be rolling out this spring, including a new and improved VCTM website- so stay tuned!

Inside this edition:
  • Presidents' Message
  • Rookie of the Year
  • Presidential Award Winners
  • Two Great T^3 Opportunities
  • NCTM and ATMNE Conference News!
  • Technology in Math Education Survey
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Presidents' Message

Greetings from Washington County!

Your VCTM Board of Directors held a retreat in Randolph, VT in November, getting lots of business taken care of and organizing ourselves for a great future. We are so fortunate to have dedicated Board Members volunteering their time to help build a math educators community throughout the state of Vermont—THANK YOU! If you have interest in serving on the VCTM Board in any capacity big or small, please let us know. Many hands make light work.

October’s 2015 Annual VCTM Conference was a huge success, and we were excited to see many of you there, sharing time and resources with colleagues and drinking in copious amounts of delicious mathematics! If you would like to help out with the 2016 VCTM Conference please email the Conference Chair, Patty Kelly at pkelly@ssdvt.org —it’s never too early to begin planning a great event! You can also reach out to us (vctmpresident@gmail.com) or your Zone Representative whenever you have ideas and input about how VCTM can better serve teachers and learners of mathematics in Vermont.

Thinking of conferences, and great opportunities for Professional Development, have you ever considered sharing YOUR ideas with colleagues? The 2016 ATMNE conference will be held October 20 and 21, 2016 in Manchester, NH, with a theme of “Vote with Math! Developing Informed Citizens through Mathematics”.  ATMNE SpeakerProposals are due February 8, 2016 
Remember that when you join VCTM, you automatically become a member of the Association of Teachers of Mathematics in New England (ATMNE).  ATMNE members receive two annual newsletters, the New England Mathematics Journal (NEMJ), invitations to regional conferences and more. All ATMNE publications have gone GREEN so make sure you keep your email up to date.

Happy Holidays to you and yours.  Please be in touch,
Christine Latulippe (Norwich University) and Kate McCann (U-32 High School)
VCTM co-Presidents
vctmpresident@gmail.com

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Rookie of the Year

Do you have a rising star in your school or district in the field of mathematics who deserves recognition?  VCTM Rookie of the year is going to be presented to three outstanding and well-deserving rising stars in math education within Vermont one in each of the grade levels (Elementary (K-5), Middle (6-8) and High School.)  Awardees will be given a cash prize and plaque, a year's membership to VCTM, and be expected to share their experiences with the VT math community in its eNewsletter and be invited to present the following year at the VCTM fall conference.  To qualify, the nominees must be in the first three calendar years of their teaching (either part or full-time), and be nominated by a VCTM member.  The nomination form has room for your nomination letter to be cut/pasted, or if you prefer, it can be emailed in as well (details are in the nomination form).  Nominations are open until June 1, 2016.

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Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching

Congratulations go out to Sue Abrams from Montpelier (math) and Stewart Williamson from Peoples Academy (science) as the 2013 PAEMST awardees from Vermont.  After an agonizing nearly two-year wait, both were named winners in July and attended festivities in the nation's capital, including a visit to the White House and meeting President Obama!  Oh yeah, they each also received a $10,000 prize as well!  

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Two Great T^3 Opportunities from Jean McKenny 

As a T^3 National Instructor I have the opportunity to apply to host T^3 Training in Vermont.  If you are interested in being a host school for either a TI-84 + CE or a TI-Nspire CX training this summer contact me immediately as I have a very short time frame (early December) for requesting summer 1, 2, or 3 day workshops for Vermont.  These workshop descriptions are available at education.ti.com.  Host schools get handhelds (calculators) for each participating teacher as well as software for computer labs in the host school.  Contact me asap if you might be interested.

This year the T^3 International Conference will take place February 26-28, 2016 in Orlando, FL. This is a wonderful conference for mathematics and science educators.  More information about the conference can be found at education.ti.com.  Because I am a T^3 National Instructor, this year for the first time, I am able to give teachers attending a registration discount.  The regular on-site price is $195.  The early bird price is $165. If you contact me for a registration code I can obtain a $100 price for you.  Just e-mail me at jmckenny@together.net if you are planning on attending, and I will give you the code.  T^3 International is a wonderful conference and if you have never attended this special might be just what you were waiting for.

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NCTM and ATMNE Conference News!

VCTM held their annual conference on October 15, 2015. Thank you to Shawn Towle, NCTM Affiliate Services Committee Chair and Eastern 1 Representative, for attending and presenting with VCTM's NCTM representative Patty Kelly about NCTM's Principles to Actions toolkit.  NCTM Past president, MikeShaughnessy delivered the keynote and it was, of course, excellent. 

As well, just before Halloween, the ATMNE (New England) conference took place in Portland, ME hosted by ATOMIM and ATMNE.  That conference had nearly 600 attendees who got to experience wonderful presentations from other math teachers from throughout New England and there were packed rooms for sessions and keynotes led by Diane Briars, Don Balka, Greg Tang and Dan Meyer. Next years' ATMNE conference will be hosted by NHTM (New Hampshire) and will be held in Manchester, NH on October 20-21, 2016.  Keynotes planned include Peg Smith, Tom Reardon and NCTM President-elect Matt Larsen.  

Registration is also now open for the NCTM Annual Meeting & Exposition in San Francisco, CA. Come join us for an amazing NCTM experience April 13-16, 2016!


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Technology in Math Education Survey

The following request is from Caroline Caswell from Rhode Island College

Being a mathematician and an educator for more than twenty-five years, I have an interest in how teachers are using technology both for the planning of mathematics instruction and delivery. To what end are teachers equipped to implement technology effectively? Do they have the physical tools and skill set necessary to be successful? As an assistant professor at Rhode Island College, I am asking you to participate in a research study about the technology practices of mathematics teachers. To answer these some of these questions, I have created a survey to assess mathematics teachers (elementary and secondary) technology practices. I have included a link to the survey.  Before completing the survey, you may have some questions. The following questions and answers are provided for your as you consider whether you would like to participate in the study. 

What do I have to do to participate? The tools you need to participate are: thirty minutes of time, a computer with internet access, and the link above. By taking the survey, you are agreeing to participate. 
How will my responses be protected? All results will be compiled as group data only. There is no identifiable information collected, meaning the survey does not request your name or your school’s. How will I benefit from completing the survey? Although there are no tangible benefits from participating, you will add to the body of knowledge of math teacher practices. Your voice will be heard. What are the potential drawbacks to participating in the survey? The only thing you risk is time. It will take you about 15-20 minutes to complete. If you have any questions regarding the survey or it’s promulgation, please feel free to contact me, 401-829-1168.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

VCTM Fall Conference: Call for Proposals

Call for Proposals

Volunteer to present at the Fall VCTM conference on Friday, October 16 at Vermont Technical College in Randolph and share your ideas with colleagues from across the state in a 60-minute session. Sessions traditionally involve a speaker or speakers relating ideas to an audience, and often include handouts and audience participation. Presentations might also take the form of a panel discussion where multiple teachers share ideas and experiences on a particular topic; VCTM welcomes groups of teachers to present their ideas together.

All presenters are encouraged to share and utilize manipulatives, curricula, and effective pedagogical strategies during their presentations. However, conference presentations are not intended to be commercials or promotions of particular products by individuals who may benefit financially from sale of the products.

The deadline for proposals is July 15, 2015. Speakers will be notified by August 15, 2015. Please complete the form linked here.

Multiple submissions are allowed, but priority will be given to including a wide variety of presenters. 

Questions?  Contact Kate McCann at kmccann@u32.org.

Friday, May 15, 2015

May 2015

Busy Busy Busy!  We are all racing to the finish line of the school year, but here are some things that you might want to consider and make note of:  

  • Presidents' Report
  • VCTM 2015 Fall Conference: Save the Date!  
  • Call for Proposals
  • Math Morsels Round 3
  • NCTM Boston
  • Math Educators's Night at Fenway Park
  • Looking Down the Road…(I-89):  New Hampshire Teachers of Mathematics are starting to plan for the ATMNE 2016 Fall Conference
  • Common Core Statistics for Secondary Educators
  • Free Mathematics Teacher Magazines
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Presidents' Report

Hello, and Happy Spring!  

Please read this newsletter for information about our VCTM 2015 Fall Conference (October 16th—mark your calendars!) and our presence at the NCTM Annual Meeting in Boston last month.

VCTM is collaborating with the Vermont Agency of Education to support their “Math Morsels” series of workshops. Through our Liaison with the Vermont Agency of Education, Lara White, VCTM is providing financial support throughout the 2014-2015 school year. These events are geared toward teachers of grades 6-12, and typically take place from 4 to 6pm with ½ hour of socializing and snacking followed by a workshop.  The first round of Math Morsels took place in November/December 2014, with a topic of Proficiency Based Learning. The second round of Math Morsels took place in January/February 2015, with a topic of SBAC summative assessment. Keep your eyes and ears open (or contact Lara White at lara.white@state.vt.us) for the final round of Math Morsels will be hosted in May/June 2015, around the topic of assessment in a proficiency-based system.

It was wonderful to have the NCTM Annual Meeting and Expo in the northeast this spring.  NCTM provided 60 complimentary registrations to ATMIM (Association of Teachers of Mathematics in Massachusetts); ATMIM then voted to share those equally across the ATMNE affiliates.  VCTM gladly gave away free registrations to Sally Conway (Vergennes Union Elementary School), Marlene Allen (Springfield High School), Jennifer Ericson (Riverside Middle School), and VCTM board members: Jean McKenny, Harvie Porter, Sue Abrams, David Rome, Mary Calder, Patty Kelly, Sean Sullivan.

Most exciting is that we have been adding to our VCTM Board of Directors this winter/spring and are still welcoming more members to join us. If you would like to take on a leadership role and share in our work with math teachers around Vermont, please reach out to us. Responsibilities large and small are available, especially related to conference planning!

Best wishes from your VCTM Co-Presidents,
Christine Latulippe and Kate McCann

clatulip@norwich.edu, kmccann@u32.org
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VCTM 2015 Fall Conference: Save the Date!

VCTM invites you to our Annual Mathematics Conference, “Growing Math Minds”, which will be held on Friday, October 16 at Vermont Technical College in Randolph.  We will welcome Dr. Michael Shaughnessy, NCTM Past President 2010-2012, as our keynote speaker. 

“Growing Math Minds” will have presentations focused on instructional strategies to promote the Common Core Mathematical Practices; Growth mindset: mathematical discourse in the mathematics classroom; and Proficiency Based Learning for career and college readiness.
What are YOU doing in your classroom today? Feel the energy that comes with organizing your thoughts for others, getting feedback from colleagues, and taking your professional development beyond the walls of your school.

Join us for a day of conversation, presentations, idea sharing, and resource gathering. Network with mathematics educators from across the state and learn about what’s working well in other teachers’ classrooms.
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Call for Proposals

Volunteer to present at the VCTM conference, and share your ideas with colleagues from across the state in a 60-minute session. Sessions traditionally involve a speaker or speakers relating ideas to an audience, and often include handouts and audience participation. Presentations might also take the form of a panel discussion where multiple teachers share ideas and experiences on a particular topic; VCTM welcomes groups of teachers to present their ideas together.
All presenters are encouraged to share and utilize manipulatives, curricula, and effective pedagogical strategies during their presentations. However, conference presentations are not intended to be commercials or promotions of particular products by individuals who may benefit financially from sale of the products.
The deadline for proposals is July 15, 2015. Speakers will be notified by August 15, 2015. Please complete the form linked here:
Multiple submissions are allowed, but priority will be given to including a wide variety of presenters.
Email Kate McCann at kmccann@u32.org with questions.

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Math Morsels Round 3

We want to develop discussion networks for math educators in grades 6-12, regionally and state-wide.   Share what you are doing; hear what is happening near you.
May/June Regional Meetings: Sharing Assessment Strategies, Grading, Reporting and Retakes (link to registration) Join us for a conversation about assessment in a proficiency-based system.  Educators will share ideas about assessments and discuss important issues around grading and reporting.  How do you know when a student is proficient? What is the retake philosophy? How are you reporting proficiency to students and parents? (Check out our seven regional venues and a virtual option as well!)

Find the place and date that work best for you.
            May 20, South Burlington High School, 4-6 p.m.
May 21, North Country Career Center (Newport), 4-6 p.m.
May 28, Montpelier High School, 4-6 p.m.
June 4, Rutland Intermediate School, 4-6 p.m.

Would you rather join a virtual conversation? I will arrange a GoTo Meeting option.
(Please place a checkmark on the virtual option within the registration form.)

Lara White, M.Ed.;  Secondary Mathematics Program and School Effectiveness Coordinator
Vermont Agency of Education  (802) 479-1364 – lara.white@state.vt.us

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NCTM Boston

I had the pleasure of representing the Vermont Council of Teachers of Mathematics at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Meeting & Exposition in Boston, MA from April 15-18, 2015 . During this conference time I attended the Eastern Caucus Meeting, the Delegate Assembly, and many conference workshops.

During the Eastern Caucus Meeting we discussed several issues that NCTM is currently navigating. These issues included affiliate (for example, VCTM) membership, creating diverse affiliate and NCTM leadership, computer science and/or coding courses replacing high school math courses, and high stakes testing across the country. We brainstormed what our affiliates are doing to support these issues within our areas. We also shared work that is going on in our affiliates and new ways that we are bringing conferences and new learning to our geographic areas.

The conference itself was an amazing experience! Having the opportunity to be among  many math educators and national leaders such as Jo Boaler, Dan Meyer, and Diana Briars provided me with numerous opportunities for rich discussions and professional development. One of the  conference themes that was overarching many sessions was using the resource, Principles to Actions (published by NCTM in 2014), within schools and districts as a professional development tool to inform instructional practices and drive the shifts in our teaching of mathematics. This resource is available at nctm.org in either book or e-book formats.

Another overarching theme of the workshops that I attended was the importance of making use of teaching strategies that foster the student mathematical practices of the CCSSM. This included providing students with open-ended tasks that can be differentiated and that support deep mathematical discourse. The student-centered practices of engaging in a mathematical task and then expressing reasoning to others provides for a higher level of thinking and embeds a student’s understanding into long-term memory. These tasks are also often hands-on, use manipulatives, and provide students with an engaging classroom experience.

I’m looking forward to using the tools and resources that I gained from the conference and thank VCTM for supporting our learning as math professionals in Vermont.

Patty Kelly
VCTM Board of Directors
K-5 Math Coach, Springfield School District, Springfield, VT



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Math Educators's Night at Fenway Park 

New England Finalists for the 2014 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching  were honored with certificates and small gifts from ATMIM and ATMNE 
on Friday April 17, 2015.  Vermont was represented by Laura Botte Fretz (Edmunds Middle School, Burlington) and Tom Young (Waitsfield Elementary School) represented Vemont. Also honored were the 2014 Father Stanley J. Bezsuzka Award Winner from ATMIM (Lisa Mikus from Newton Public Schools) and from ATMNE Dr. Anne Collins from Lesley University.  The night at Fenway coincided with the NCTM Conference that drew over 500 attendees to the game (...in which the Red Sox won 3-2 over the Orioles)


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Looking Down the Road…(I-89):  New Hampshire Teachers of Mathematics are Planning the ATMNE 2016 Fall Conference

NHTM is beginning to plan and prepare for the conference and are looking for some willing folks to assist on their committees.  They are looking for an individual who is willing to work on the program committee who would serve by identifying potential speakers from Vermont and then to be available to review speaker proposals.  If you are interested in assisting, please send your name, grade level(s) and email address to Harvie Porter at hporter@mail.ruhs.k12.vt.us, your ATMNE Representative from VCTM. 

If you would like to get involved in a different committee (Exhibits; Hospitality and Special Events; NCTM Bookstore; Registration and Membership; Session and Workshop Support; Signs and Printing; and Student Hosts), let Harvie know as well and he will pass along the information. 

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Common Core Statistics for Secondary Educators

Stacey Anthony of Essex HS is offering a 3-credit UVM course this summer designed for secondary math teachers desiring a thorough review of all standards included in the Probability and Statistics conceptual category of CCSS.  The course will take place June 22-26, with pre- and post-class readings and discussions.  For more information, contact: santhony@uvm.edu.

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Free Mathematics Teacher Magazines

Former Hartland Elementary teacher (and VCTM Board Member) Mary-Anne Johnson Boyce has about twenty years’ worth of Mathematics teacher and Middle School Math Teacher magazines that she would like for someone to adopt them, as well as some math books as well.  If you are interested in them, drop her a line at doublesignprop@yahoo.com 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

February/March 2015

In this issue:
  • Co-Presidents’ Message and Invitation 
  • How to win one of four FREE registrations to the NCTM National Conference in Boston in April 
  • Math Morsels are making us SBAC our lips! Informal after school meetings around the state to help us understand the SBAC that is soon to be given
  • Presidential Award Finalists 
  • Graduate Study on Effective Programs for Mathematically Talented Youth
  • CCSS Training on the TI-84C Dates in June---and get a free calculator by attending
  • The Talent Search of the Vermont State Mathematics Coalition continues
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Co-Presidents’ Message and Invitation

Hello, and Happy New Year!  Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to become more involved, volunteer, take on a leadership role, or strengthen your ties to the community of mathematics teachers in Vermont? If any of these are on your list, the VCTM Board is the perfect opportunity for you to follow through on those resolutions!  All VCTM members are eligible to serve on the VCTM Board of Directors. We currently have openings for the following positions:
    • NCTM Representative
    • Zone 4 Rep (see attached map)
    • Zone 5 Rep (see attached map)
    • Zone 6 Rep (see attached map)
    • Elementary Rep for Conference Program Committee
    • Middle School Rep for Conference Program Committee
    • Webmaster
Our next meeting is Tuesday, March 24th, 5:00-7:30pm in Montpelier. Would you like to join us? Dinner is provided and mileage is reimbursed—this is a great way to find out more about what the Board does.

In general, the Vermont Council of Teachers of Mathematics (VCTM) is trying to offer more as an organization.  We are looking for active and enthusiastic Board members to help share in the decision making, planning, and execution of that goal. We welcome you to attend the March 24th meeting to better inform you about what we do and how you can help make a difference in shaping the future of Vermont mathematics education.  

Please reply to Christine Latulippe (clatulip@norwich.edu) or Kate McCann (kmccann@u32.org) for more information if you are interested in attending the meeting and joining the board.

Happy 2015!
Christine Latulippe and Kate McCann
VCTM Co-Presidents 
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How to win one of four FREE registrations to the NCTM National Conference in Boston in April

Are you a VCTM member? Would you like to attend the NCTM Annual Meeting and Exposition in Boston this April and save $365?


VCTM will be giving away 4 free registrations for the NCTM annual meeting in a raffle for interested VCTM members. If anyone wants to join VCTM (or renew a lapsed membership) in time to enter the drawing, you need to do so by PayPal at www.vermontmath.org so that you will have your receipt immediately as proof of being a member. Your $15 VCTM membership could save you over $300 in registration fees if you are a lucky winner!  For more membeship information, contact Harvie Porter.

To enter, simply complete this brief online form this special NCTM registration giveaway. All entries must be received by 5:00pm EST on Monday 2/2/15. Winners will be notified by Friday 2/6/15.

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Math Morsels are making us SBAC our lips! 

Informal after school meetings around the state to help us understand and clarify the SBAC

This conversation will begin by looking at the SBAC summative assessment and what teachers and students should know about the new testing format.  We will also explore other resources offered by SBAC, such as the Digital Library of formative assessment practices and professional learning resources for educators. This conversation will emphasize SBAC as one part of a balanced assessment system that provides data for teachers to assess proficiency in mathematics.  Based on feedback from our first meetings, a portion of each Math Morsel event will be reserved for strategy and resource sharing.

Find the place and date that work best for you.

January 28, Rutland High School, 4-6 p.m.
February 3, Montpelier High School, 4-6 p.m.
February 4, North Country Career Center (Newport), 4:30-6:30 p.m.
February 5, Northwest Technical Center (St. Albans), 4-6 p.m.
February 10, Brattleboro Area Middle School, 4-6 p.m.
February 11, Burlington High School, 4-6 p.m.

Please RSVP here.

Refreshments provided by Vermont Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Please bring a friend.
Questions? Contact Lara White at lara.white@state.vt.us or (802)479-1364

Lara White, M.Ed.
Secondary Mathematics Program and School Effectiveness Coordinator
Vermont Agency of Education, 219 North Main Street, Barre, VT 05641

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Presidential Award Finalists 

Incredible as it might seem, the 2013 Presidential Award in Math and Science Teaching (PAEMST) awards for 2013 have not yet been named (yes, this IS 2015), but the organization has named its K-8 finalists for 2014.  So while 2013 finalists Susan Abrams (Montpelier HS), Erin Danner (Woodstock HS), David Rome (Burlington HS), and Julie Martin (Mt. Abraham/CVU) eagerly await word from Washington, 2014 finalists have begun their wait as well.  Congratulations to Laura Botte Fretz (Edmunds Middle School, Burlington), Linda Gilbert (Dothan Brook School,White River Junction), and Thomas Young (Waitsfield Elementary School, Waitsfield). You can read more about the PAEMST luncheon that took place this fall in Montpelier, and find out more about PAEMST as they are now taking 2015 nominations.  The winners (one from math, one from science) each get a trip to DC for Recognition Week, a trip to the White House, and a $10,000 award.
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Graduate Study on Effective Programs for Mathematically Talented Youth

The following letter came to us recently:  
Hello- My name is Michael Poli. I am a doctoral student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) and am currently conducting my dissertation's study on effective programs for mathematically talented youth. I am in need of mathematics instructors to participate in the study and would greatly appreciate the Detroit Area Council of Teachers of Mathematics being a valued contributor. Completion of a brief ten-minute survey is all that is asked of a participating teacher. I truly believe that through collaboration such as yours this study has the potential to greatly benefit our Nation's mathematics students, and optimistically anticipate your participation. At your request, I will be happy to provide my IRB and any additional information you may require. You can also contact me at my IUP email address: zbzq@iup.edu or find more information about me in my electronic portfolio (created as a graduation requirement) at www.drmichaelpoli.com.


Sincerest Thanks,
Mike Poli
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CCSS Training on the TI-84C Dates in June---and get a free calculator by attending

Implementing Common Core State Standards for Mathematics with the TI-84 Plus Family
Designed to give middle grades and high school educators strategies to excite and engage students using the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for Mathematics, this workshop models rich tasks using in-depth discussions about task analysis, questioning strategies and essential TI-84 Plus technology skills to enhance student learning.


The dates to save are June 18 and 19, 2015 at North Country Union High School in Newport, VT. Each participating teacher will get the TI-84 plus C (C is for color) and the emulator software for this handheld.  Contact info is jmckenny@together.net for interested teachers.  


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The Talent Search of the Vermont State Mathematics Coalition continues

The third test is now posted on the web site www.vtmathcoalition.org and all talented math students are invited to participate.  

The Vermont State Mathematics Coalition has sponsored a statewide "Mathematics Talent Search Program" every year since 1993. The Talent Search is conducted in the following manner. Four times during the school year early October, mid November, early January, mid February) eight challenging math problems are posted on this website. Topics covered on the tests are from arithmetic, Geometry, algebra, and pre-calculus. Copies of the test are given to interested students at each of the schools. The students have four weeks to solve the eight problems and then each student submits his/her solutions to the director of the program for grading. If students are only able to solve one or two problems, they are still encouraged to submit their solutions. During the following two week period the tests are scored, statistics are gathered, results are returned to the students, and solutions and top scorers are posted on this website. At the end of the year the top students in the state are given prizes and are honored at a Coalition dinner along with their parents. High school students are also invited to attend a week-long Governor's Institute in Mathematical Sciences at the University of Vermont.



Sunday, May 11, 2014

May must be Latin for 'Hectic'


May 2014 Update

In this issue:  

  • Fall VCTM Conference Date Set
  • Common Core Statistics Course Offering
  • Failing Schools, Again?  Really?
  • 2048 Update

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Mark Your Calendar- the VCTM Fall Conference Date is set;  The Vermont Council of Teachers of Mathematics (VCTM) invites you to our Annual Conference, “Teaching Mathematics Today” to be held on Friday, October 17 at St. Michael’s College in Colchester.

Join us for a day of conversation, presentations, idea sharing, and resource gathering. Network with mathematics educators from across the state and learn about what’s working well in other teachers’ classrooms. If you have ideas to share related to the topics of teaching and assessing the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics; SBAC; Project-based instruction; and Heterogeneous grouping K-12, please keep an eye out for our forthcoming call for presentation proposals. Registration will open in late summer. We hope to see you in October!

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Common Core Stats Course Offering


Common Core Statistics for Secondary Education Teachers (61074  EDCI 200 Z1); Meeting Dates & Times: June 23-27 (8 AM - 4 PM)


The latest research on purposes for including probability and statistics in a mathematics curriculum will be reviewed and discussed.  Methods for employing best practices with respect to teaching probability and statistics will be presented throughout this course.  Participants will explore problems that require them to formulate questions, gather, display, summarize, examine and interpret data.  We will model data and use probability models and random processes to discover patterns and deviations from patterns.

Participants will investigate how students’ learning of statistics and probability is different than mathematics.  Teachers in this course will be given various instructional resources, including lesson plans and activities, technology resources, web applets, data sets and appropriate investigative assignments. At the conclusion of the course, teachers will be familiar with the Common Core probability and statistics standards for high school students and develop an appropriate investigation with a scoring guideline to use for assessment.

UVM Summer University registration can be found using this link.  Or contact Stacey Anthony from Essex HS (santhony@ccsuvt.org) if you would like any additional information.

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The sky is allegedly falling.  Again.  *Sigh*   
Newsflash:  Recent NAEP data reveals that schools are not improving in math.  Again.  Really?  Are teachers really failing?  Or are students failing? Is everyone failing, or is this a measure that is not in sync with the changes that we have and are making in today's schools?  

What's your opinion about what needs to be measured?  Creativity?  Problem solving?  Basic skills?  Our ability to solve pure math problems against the rest of the world?   What is it that will really show the public that we are doing our jobs well?   [And, if we are really failing, then why are most of the new cutting edge computer companies here in the US?] 


We'd love for you to comment on this!!

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2048 Update:  In the last month, 2048 went completely viral and it became cool to tell someone that you reached the 4096 or 8192 level.  Believe it or not, I have a student who reached the 2^17 level- scoring an incredible 2.85 million points!!  Personally, I'm a bit more pedestrian at about 59,000 points- how about you?

In case you are wondering, 2048 is a free app that is way too addictive, but lots of fun.