10 May, 2013
Volume 18 No. 19
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In This Issue

We're Having a Book!

Making Sense of School Mathematics Course

Money as You Learn


Online PD

Orientation Sessions

Problem Based Learning Courses

Graduate Credit:
Mathematics Teaching and Learning Certificate

Master's Degree


We're Having a Book!


Our focus on sense-making and communication is so important, we wrote a book about it!

Powerful Problem Solving gathers what we've learned about helping students become proficient problem solvers, focused through the lens of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for Mathematical Practices.

The book is about what we as a community know and believe about:

  • how students develop their abilities to make sense of mathematics
  • how students develop the habits of mind outlined in the Standards for Mathematical Practice
  • how the Practices contribute to students' learning to make sense of mathematics
  • how the Practices align with problem-solving strategies students and teachers already use

Authored by Max Ray — recently named to the Emerging Issues Committee of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) — the book includes specific activities teachers can use to support their students in engaging in the sense-making behaviors described in the Standards for Mathematical Practice.

Heinemann Publishing will release this fifth volume of ours, subtitled "Activities for Sense-Making with the Mathematical Practices," in the autumn of 2013.

It's already available for pre-order from Amazon.com. If you first click through their icon on the page below before purchasing Powerful Problem Solving (ISBN 0325050902), a little additional revenue will come our way from Amazon.com, at no extra cost to you.


PoW taking place: math problem-solving moment of the week

"The first thing I will do is choose the variables I will need in order to solve the problem. Instead of solving for the values for if all the students went on the trip, I'll solve straight to the students that did.... The way I did it was a little faster, because I solved it directly. At first I was kind of confused, because I don't really do problems like this, but now I feel that I can probably solve another one if I was given it."
- Vy, highlighted in the Algebra PoW's latest solution

Making Sense of School Mathematics Course


This course considers the two fundamental ideas that underlie the school mathematics curriculum: Numbers and Operations, and Relationships between Quantities. Participants will have the opportunity to practice talking about/presenting and listening for/viewing the big mathematical ideas within the typical problems they are or will be expected to teach, including

  • whole numbers
  • fractions
  • decimals
  • measurements
  • unit pricing
  • rates
  • ratios
  • similarity
  • scaling
  • conversions
  • probability

By the end of the course, teachers will have had a chance to make sense of the curriculum as a whole, seeing how it is all connected and how to share these cohesively connected ideas with their own students.

Running from June 25 to September 7, 2013, Making Sense of School Mathematics will involve approximately 30 hours of seat-work. It will take place online using Blackboard. The only technical requirements are a web browser and Internet access.

All individuals who successfully complete this pass/fail course will receive a certificate indicating that they have completed 30 hours of professional development. This is equivalent to 3 Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

Please register for this professional development opportunity before 5 pm ET on Friday, June 21, 2013, by calling Tracey Perzan: 215-895-1080 or 1-800-756-7823.

Now taking place: math education conversation of the day

"I spent almost my entire teaching career teaching Algebra and avoiding Geometry like the plague, because I didn't have the appreciation for its importance that I have now."
- sarovaganam, posted to the alt.math.undergrad discussion

Money as You Learn


The United States Department of Treasury has just launched a site for teachers that offers tools to integrate personal finance into the teaching of the CCSS in Mathematics.

View free lessons and activities by CCSS or by these "personal finance big ideas":

  • cost/benefit analysis
  • delayed gratification
  • inflation
  • opportunity cost
  • scarcity
  • setting goals
  • value of education
  • what is money

This initiative of the President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability joins another one that launched last year, called Money as You Grow. That companion site offers parents 20 age-appropriate financial activity prompts for their children:



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