14 November, 2014
Volume 19 No. 46
 
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In This Issue

Gearing up to Teach the Common Core State Standards

Math Circles for Teachers: Article

Math Circles for Elementary School Students: Book

 


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Gearing up to Teach the Common Core State Standards

http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/projects/project.asp?projectID=331

What are states and districts doing to help teachers prepare to teach the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM)?

What challenges and needs do educators face as they prepare to implement the CCSSM?

Yesterday, the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) began unpacking these questions when it released a study of interviews and surveys of almost 200 rural educators.

Freely download "Gearing up to Teach the CCSSM in rural Northeast Region schools" as a PDF:

http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/regions/northeast/
pdf/REL_2015031.pdf

Prepared by IES for the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Northeast & Islands administered by Education Development Center (EDC), this study also details CCSSM's most demanding content areas and important instructional challenges, as felt across 48 rural districts in Maine, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont.


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

"The most common method of solving the problem was to split the group into smaller parts. You can see examples of this from John Z. of Great Neck Elementary School, Sophia N. of Bandelier Elementary, Atticus C. of Wallingford Elementary School, and Connor D. of Hanover Street School. Sophia and Connor both included pictures that show the groups very clearly. John's solution is notable because he wrote an equation to calculate the number of people. Margit B. of Oyster River Middle School used a variation of this method, making it easy to then multiply.... We had pre-service mentors from Northwest Missouri State University and West Virginia University providing feedback to students for this problem. It was exciting to see that many of you revised your work after hearing from a mentor!"
- Annie, commenting on the FunPoW's Latest Solution
http://mathforum.org/pows/solution.htm?publication=4495


Math Circles for Teachers: Article

http://www.ams.org/notices/201411/rnoti-p1335.pdf

The latest issue of the Notices of the American Mathematical Society (AMS) contains an article about math teachers' circles (MTCs). These gatherings convene mathematicians and math teachers around rich problems. According to the article, MTCs "leverage mathematicians' disciplinary knowledge and skill" while encouraging teachers "to develop as mathematicians by engaging them in the process of doing mathematics, and create an ongoing professional K-20 mathematics community."

This freely downloadable PDF includes the section "An MTC Session: Dividing Squares," which serves up the kind of problem that typifies those used in MTCs:

  • easy to state
  • requiring minimal background knowledge
  • open ended
  • leading to rich and interesting investigations

"Math Teachers' Circles: Partnerships between Mathematicians and Teachers" references a Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences (CBMS) document that claims that "a substantial benefit of [MTCs] is that they address the isolation of both teachers and practicing mathematicians." In the eight months since MTCs last appeared in these pages, their numbers have grown to more than eighty nationwide. Find your nearest MTC, as well as upcoming workshops, by visiting the American Institute of Mathematics' alphabetical listing by state:

http://www.mathteacherscircle.org/member-circles/


Now taking place: math education conversation of the day

"Una solución si no más elegante si más sencilla: ..."
- Jon, posted to the Snark discussion
http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=9640939


Math Circles for Elementary School Students: Book

http://www.ams.org/bookstore-getitem/item=mcl-13

As recapped by the Notices article above, MTCs evolved out of math circles for students. The AMS has just released a new book on those problem-solving groups, as well — and it's chock full of illustrated challenges and hands-on activities.

Co-published with the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI), Math Circles for Elementary School Students consists of 28 sets of problems for young readers to work through independently or to discuss with adults. All come with answers; the first fifteen also include remarks addressed to teachers and parents. Among other features, each of those "At the Lesson" sections for adults describes how past math circle participants have reacted to the problem sets.

Math Circles for Elementary School Students was written by Natasha Rozhkovskaya, a professor of mathematics at Kansas State University. Freely download a preview to sample the lessons "Knights and a dragon," on symmetry, and "How old are you?"

http://www.ams.org/bookstore/pspdf/mcl-13-prev.pdf

 

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