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Habits of Mind
A new blog dedicated to mathematical habits of mind debuted
Wednesday — and it promises to feature provocative posts that
explore ways of thinking about the practice and application of
The second post to the Mathematical Practice Institute (MPI)
blog "Habits of Mind" comes from Al Cuoco, Distinguished
Scholar at Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC). A 25-year
veteran of public school teaching and co-director of the
development of the course for secondary teachers in the
Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) program at the Park City
Mathematics Institute (PCMI), Cuoco discusses current
controversies surrounding the Common Core State Standards
This blog's focus continues a theme that Cuoco and others at
EDC set forth in a white paper entitled "Habits of Mind: An
Organizing Principle for Mathematics Curriculum." Before
elaborating on geometric habits of mind and the algebraic ways
of thinking that complement them, it envisions students as
In addition to this white paper and other resources, MPI offers
events and services such as webinars, curriculum support,
professional development, and technical assistance:
Want to share your own thinking about mathematical habits of
mind? MPI accepts blog post ideas through this form:
PoW taking place: math problem-solving moment of the week
"Once I figured out a strategy, the problem was a lot easier.
People should consider not doing it, as my first way took a
long time. There is actually another way to do this! It is
actually pretty simple...."
- Pete, highlighted in the Pre-Algebra's Latest Solution
Grants for New Math Teachers' Circles
Thanks to a generous donation from Math for America (MfA), the
American Institute of Mathematics (AIM) recently announced
seed grants of up to $2,000 for new Math Teachers'
MTCs put middle school math teachers in regular contact with
mathematicians to work collaboratively on mathematical problem
solving in the context of rich problems. Nearly three dozen
states already have an MTC, and eight cities plan to roll out
new circles soon. For a calendar of sessions run by these
member circles, as well as AIM's schedule of "How to Run a Math
Teachers' Circle" workshops, visit
AIM encourages creative use of their seed grant funding, with
preference going to applications received by Friday,
31 January, that articulate a plan to hold a workshop for
teachers this summer.
Now taking place: math education conversation of the day
"If you could pick 5 of the people you follow who have really
made you 'math smile,' who would they be?"
- Jason, tweeted to @maxmathforum
Winter Fermi Math League
Do your students like to measure, estimate, and play around
with technology? Then introduce them to the Fermi Off-the-Wall
This Internet-based math competition welcomes students in
grades 1-9 from around the world who seek enrichment, small
group work, and creative, technology-rich experiences.
A Fermi question is posed with limited information given.
How many water balloons would it take to fill
How many cockroaches will fill the trunk of a VW Beetle?
How much fabric would it take to make a camo-suit for
How many eggs would fit in the Trojan Horse's body?
Fermi questions require that students ask many more questions;
emphasize process rather than "the" answer; demand
communication and writing; and utilize estimation, rounding
numbers and guesses.
Register now; the six-week Winter '14 season begins Tuesday,