A Slice of Pi

Updates in the World of Secondary Mathematics

2016 MCTM Conference Details

Date: Saturday, October 22, 2016

Location: Northeast High School,

1121 Duvall Highway

Pasadena, MD 21122

Time : 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Registration Link: https://www.marylandmathematics.org/store/c1/Featured_Products.html

We are offering free one-year memberships for new teachers in Maryland. To access, visit https://www.marylandmathematics.org/new-teachers.html If they register by September 7th, they will also receive an e-mail with a coupon code for a $15 discount to the Annual Conference valid before the end of September.

NCTM Regional Conference Philadelphia

Money has been budgeted to pay the registration fees for some teachers to attend the NCTM conference in Philadelphia from October 31 - November 2. With the registration comes a full year membership to NCTM. My hope is that those who go learn one session each to present to CCPS teachers as a choice session on November 11.

If you're considering or have questions about this opportunity, contact Joe Sutton by October 1.

PARCC Practice Tests

Practice tests are updated to the new blueprints and available at


PARCC-style formative assessments by cluster, previously branded as PARCC Diagnostics are now available on the staff tab, under Previlearn.

Username: Your active credentials, e.g., suttonj

Password: calvert2017

Students will log in by using the Previlearn link in the students tab.

Username: Lunch number

Password: Birthdate 8 digits no symbols

Please resist changing passwords in the early going so that I can help you to troubleshoot while we start rolling this out. There are very helpful videos on the top right. You can realistically click and assign a test with no training within ten minutes.

PARCC Algebra Cut Scores

A proposed action from MSDE: students must meet the following scores in PARCC Algebra I, based on the year they first take the course:

2016 - 2017: a score of 725

2017 - 2018: a score of 733

2018 - 2019: a score of 741

2019 - 2020: a score of 750.

Public comment session opened on 09/02, and will remain open until 10/03. Up for discussion are whether to use this tiered model, moving the requirement from a 3 to a 4 and whether to have a requirement at all for 2016 - 2017. You should send comments to Danielle Susskind at danielle.susskind@maryland.gov

If you have thoughts, please comment, whether or not you teach the course! Include that you are a teacher of secondary math to give your response more weight.

What your Child Will Learn

Do you ever have parents ask to see what topics are in your course so that they can help their child? There's a link for that on the "For Parents" tab. Near the bottom of the page is a link that says What your Child Will Learn, which sometimes contains more parent-friendly language on the content of our courses. This will be updated from year to year.

Census Bureau Offers Free Toolbox for Statistics

As the academic year begins, we are excited to roll out a new U.S. Census Bureau program, “Statistics in Schools” aimed at making a real and positive difference in American education.

Statistics in Schools offers teachers and students a free toolbox brimming with comprehensive statistical information to enrich the K-12 academic experience.

STEAM Classroom Field Trip

Engaging, integrated hands-on problem solving: ENGINEERS TEACHING ALGEBRA brings an engineer into the classroom in support of STEAM. In 20 years ETA has visited 1800 schools in 38 states, see

website http://engineersteachingalgebra.com

video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhANNPEuVoY

Math is not a subject, it’s a necessary language

New Online Course from Jo Boaler

An opportunity to keep in mind moving forward: it's too late to join the June cohort, but it's likely that other opportunities will come. https://www.youcubed.org/category/mooc/

Jo Boaler’s online course, “How To Learn Math for Teachers” will be released on June 7, 2016! This is a newly recorded and updated version of the course, with new videos and research. The course has been hugely popular among teachers, taken by approximately 50,000 people.

At the end of the course:

  • 96% of participants said they were more excited about teaching math.

  • 95% of participants said they would change their teaching because of the course

The course includes:

  • New Brain and learning research

  • Teaching strategies for increasing students’ math motivation and achievement

  • Interviews with thought leaders such as Carol Dweck & Sebastian Thrun.

  • Several classroom teaching videos to watch and consider with master teachers such as Cathy Humphreys

  • Teaching strategies for increasing students’ number sense and understanding and for making algebra exciting and meaningful

  • Teaching strategies for reaching all students and for motivating de-motivated students

  • Research based good practice for assessment and grading

Algebra I Endorsement

FYI, MSDE is conducting a study to identify information required to offer an Algebra I Endorsement through a to-be-created Algebra I Praxis.

MSDE Positions

Not that I want anyone to leave, but here are a couple opportunities that were advertised to me by Angie de Guzman at MSDE:

Both of these positions are contractual which means once the 2 year grant is finished the positions may go away. However, my position was once contractual (based on RTTT) and now I have a permanent position. You never know what could happen with either one of these positions could be your foot in the door at MSDE. If you are not interested but know someone who may be, please share!

Data Collection Specialist #223759 - Supports data collection on the effectiveness of the instructional materials and curriculum being implemented throughout the state of Maryland. In collaboration with the MSDE Project Team, this contractual position will develop a data collection tool, collect data from all 24 LEAs, analyze the data and produce a comprehensive final report.

Professional Learning Specialist #223760 - Provides leadership and technical assistance for the professional learning communities of practice in the State Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) federal grant and assists in other state-wide professional learning initiatives.

For more information: http://archives.marylandpublicschools.org/MSDE/aboutmsde/jobs/doc/PA-EducationProgramSpecialistICombinedDataCollectionProfLearning.pdf