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
The book is about what we as a community know and
how students develop their abilities to make sense
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
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":
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