Slice of the Pi

November Edition

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.


A Time of Reflection & Gratitude

As we settle into this season of thanksgiving, let me thank you again for inviting me into your classrooms & conversations- sharing students, struggles, successes and stories from your lives in and out of school. Voltaire said, "Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well." Thank you for letting me share your excellence!

The dedication in Peter Liljedahl's book Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics:

"For every teacher who has the courage to change."

Opportunity Knocks

Over the next few weeks I will be assisting with MAP testing and getting the individual supply kits unpacked and distributed- they are scheduled to arrive the 10th & 11th - fingers crossed!

After that, I'm excited about a few collaboration opportunities coming up...

One is a mini-series co-offered by me and Dr. Birden focused around building our own math identities and expanding our understanding of who mathematicians are and how they impact the world. Students would begin by creating math autobiographies and then celebrate the brilliance of historically underrepresented mathematicians, such as Black and brown mathematicians. If this appeals to you please email me- we plan to begin late November or early December.

The second is an opportunity for 4 week coaching cycles around differentiating to meet the wide range of student needs in your classroom. We would tailor the structure to your needs using the data coming in from the first screeners, checkpoints, classroom observations, post assessments, Symphony, feedback from families at conferences, NWEA data, and any other student work samples you find valuable. I know many of you are creating SLOs around engagement and we know giving appropriately challenging work can move students along that continuum. Email me to sign up if this sounds like something that you want to work on together!

I share the amazing work I witness with the community on Twitter. If you want me to come and capture a wonderful moment in learning- just invite me!

Here are a few resources you may find useful:

  • CT Learning Hub has a variety of links and resources vetted by the CT Department of Education.
  • Here is a user friendly list of learning platforms that can support you as you work to engage with students in synchronous and asynchronous environments.
  • In several rooms I've noticed students exploring comparison symbols. Check out this awesome visual to explore with learners. What do you notice? Wonder ?


To maximize the instructional value of assessment, teachers need to move beyond a superficial 'right or wrong' analysis of tasks to focus on how students are thinking about the tasks. Efforts should be made to identify valuable student insights on which further progress can be based rather than to concentrate solely on errors or misconceptions. Assembling evidence from a variety of sources is more likely to yield an accurate picture of what each student knows and is able to do.


The unit one math assessments are completed and the data looks very comparable to our typical scores. What a wonderful testament to the dedication during emergency teaching in the spring, the high quality of current instruction, the support of our families, and the resiliency of our students!

We can use our math screeners to assess for readiness in the units moving forward. The Screener Implementation Guide has great ideas for tier 1 differentiation and activities to reengage individuals, small groups, and your class as needed.

I have worked with many teachers to assess virtual learners. If you would like modeling in this area, I'm happy to help. Also, there is an upcoming Corwin Webinar on assessing students in a remote setting that could be useful.

The upcoming MAP testing will give us more math data too! I look forward to digging in to the information with you once we are done.

Dear Family,

I shared this link via email so you would have it in time for conferences. If you didn't have a chance to look it over in time, it can be a nice follow up document for your families.

Here is another quick read from Smart Brief that shares how to curb parents' math anxiety and another article from Mathematics Teacher: Learning & Teaching PK-12 with tips for promoting mathematical talk at home.

Bridges has wonderful activities that are connected to our current content in the Math at Home section of the website. There are games, Which One Doesn't Belong, What Comes Next routines, Work Places, and many more! These could make for meaningful & engaging homework (sub plans, whole class activities, small group reinforcement, virtual learning opportunities etc.) Here are the links to Set 2- you can toggle through the sets as appropriate for your students' needs.


Grade One

Grade Two

Grade Three

Grade Four

If you'd like to explore these some more with a partner- reach out!

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October 20-21: Slice of the Pi

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June Edition:Slice of the Pi

May Edition: Slice of the Pi

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March Edition: Slice of the Pi

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December Edition: Slice of the Pi

November Edition: Slice of the Pi

October Edition: Slice of the Pi

September Edition: Slice of the Pi

Questions? Comments? Curiosities?

I'd love to hear what's on your mind!