18 October, 2013
Volume 18 No. 42
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In This Issue

Principles to Action

A Critique of the Structure of U.S. Elementary School Mathematics

Financial Education Grant


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Orientation Sessions

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Mathematics Teaching and Learning Certificate

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Principles to Action


The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) has developed a call to action in school mathematics — and they want your feedback on it.

"Principles to Actions: An Urgent Agenda for School Mathematics" outlines and describes "the imperatives for an excellent mathematics education." It details seven teaching practices:

  • establish learning goals
  • implement challenging tasks
  • connect and use representations
  • pose purposeful questions
  • facilitate meaningful discourse
  • support productive struggle
  • elicit and use evidence

Written to apply to all teachers and students in any school setting or under any set of standards, "Principles to Actions" goes on to enumerate barriers, productive practices and policies, and recommendations for each of

  • learning
  • curriculum
  • tools and technology
  • assessment
  • professionalism

Download the public review draft:


Comment before Wednesday, 23 October by completing this nine-question survey:


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

"Reflection: A hint would be to use the Pythagorean theorem for the Extra, because otherwise you would have to use Heron's formula, which is insanely complicated."
- Jason, highlighted in the Geometry PoW's Latest Solution

A Critique of the Structure of U.S. Elementary School Mathematics


The author of Knowing and Teaching Elementary Mathematics has published a new article that points up a "blind spot for current U.S. elementary mathematics": the "strands" structure of school arithmetic, which trace back to the "New Math" movement of the 1960s.

Liping Ma's "A Critique of the Structure of U.S. Elementary School Mathematics" appears in the November issue of the Notices of the American Mathematical Society (AMS). Freely download the PDF at the link above, or click to it from the table of contents of this current issue of the Notices:


Other new articles in the world's most widely read periodical in the mathematical sciences also bear on math education, such as "Problem Solving: Moving from Routine to Nonroutine and Beyond," by Barry Garelick; and "What Do Secondary Preservice Mathematics Teachers Need to Know? Content Courses Connecting Secondary and Tertiary Mathematics," by Eileen Murray and Jon R. Star.

Now taking place: math education conversation of the day

"Whim giving 'pawtographs' during Max's book signing at NCTM Baltimore."
- The Math Forum @ Drexel, posted to our Facebook wall

Financial Education Grant


How can financial services companies improve the financial literacy of high school students in low-income areas? If you know the answer, tell Fidelity Investments: it wants to fund the best idea up to $100,000 to complete a pilot test.

The financial services company has the volunteers and financial expertise to help teens understand how to budget, save, and manage their money. Submit your essay of no longer than 2,000 words before the deadline of Thursday, 7 November:



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