BTSD Internal Math News

The 12-22-15 Issue

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BTSD Internal Math News

Generic News:

Have you been features as the BTSD Mathematician Spotlight? Have you been featured as the contest winner? Do you read this and occasionally find a tidbit of information that you are able to use? if so, consider using this as a resource for your "My Learning Plan."


Common Planning is being conducted detailing what's available on the Internal Math Site. We are specifically focusing on the new link "Differentiate by RIT" link that provides a direct link to Khan Academy lessons based on RIT score per Domain.

FWS: 3rd & 4th grades are slowly increasing rigor on their chapter tests. 5th grade continues to use version 3 of the My Math chapter tests as the basis for their own chapter tests. Version 3 is the most rigorous.

BTMS: No new news to report.

BTHS: Nothing to report for this issue. Two big projects are in the works. Stay tuned!


- Got news? Shoot me an email to be included in the next issue.

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The Common Core State Standards provide clear and consistent learning goals to help prepare students for college, career, and life. The standards clearly demonstrate what students are expected to learn at each grade level, so that every parent and teacher can understand and support their learning.

This is a reminder that no textbook will cover the standards perfectly. We as educators must use our professional judgement to supplement, reword, reorganize and often engage our students outside the realm of what the textbook has to offer.

New for this issue: The Mathematical Practices are an important part of the Common Core and help drive the rigor behind the concepts. If you are looking for some classroom posters, click here.

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PARCC testing will follow the Common Core Standards. The format in which the questions are asked or expected to be answered is what could be uncharted territory for our students.

Booking the computer lab, utilizing classroom computers & encouraging computer use at home might help ease these upcoming challenges. Click here for the actual PARCC-Example-by-Strand spreadsheet. Click here for changes for this school year. The information begins on slide 23.

New for this issue: The scores are out! More detailed information will be coming soon throughout the buildings.

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STEM education is an interdisciplinary approach to learning where rigorous academic concepts are coupled with real-world lessons as students apply science, technology, engineering and mathematics in contexts that make connections between school, community, work, and the global enterprise enabling the development of STEM literacy and with it the ability to compete in the new economy. (Tsupros, 2009)

Here is a link to our STEM resource center.

New for this issue: How about some "STEM" toys just in time for the holidays? Maybe you are looking for an idea to refer to a parent. Or, are you looking for something that would work well with a creative lesson in your classroom?

Check out this spreadsheet that lists the toy, what it is, the link & the approximate cost.

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BTSD Mathematician Spotlight

This issue's BTSD Mathematician is Diana Pearl.

Diana created two engaging integer activities involving plastic sheet protector sleeves, a deck of cards & dry erase materials. Her activity was a big hit as she shared it with her grade level colleagues. It is great when students are playing & they don't realize they are learning too! Curious to learn more about this creative activity? Email her for more details.
Additionally, Diana has created signs that she puts over her calculator caddy that say "Use your brains today". It is a fun approach to saying "no calculators" on the days that don't warrant them.

Do you have an activity worth sharing?

For this site & other good math websites, don't forget to visit the "Great Links" section under the "External Resources" category on the BTSD Internal Math Training website.

Kudos to Diana Pearl & a special kudos for being a REPEAT "BTSD Mathematician."

Previous Mathematician Spotlight Leaders

October 2014: Peg Perry

November 2014: Andrea Keck

December 2014: Kiel O'Donnell

January 2015: Diana Pearl

February 2015: Theresa Deyo

March 2015: Margo Asay

April 2015: Marjorie Nisnick & Joann Maybury

September 2015: Mike Winsett

October 2015: Donna Gablein & Megan Iannuzzi

November 2015: Adam Fincke

December 2015: Diana Pearl

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Tips & Resources

Every year we all have at least a couple of students that say "I am bad at math." MAP testing has given us a teachable moment to respond with. We can see how they perform on the CCSS domains We can also see their strengths when comparing these domain numbers. So, we can now respond with domain specific responses. In other words, we can teach the students that being bad at statistics doesn't mean you are bad at geometry. We can also paint a positive outlook that they only have one domain that they need to strengthen.

** Don't forget to visit the BTSD Internal Math site for other "Tips & Resources".
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App of the Month

This section of the newsletter will offer at least one new App that you can try or pass onto your students and parents.

This month's App: Let's Do Math

Let's Do Math! is a fun game to practice your addition and subtraction skills. See how far you can get! Build your high score by chaining together perfect answers.

Here is a visual:

Do you know of a good math app? Shoot me an email with the title and details!

Previous Apps:

Twelve a Dozen

Bedtime Math

NJ Core

Math Fight

Splash Math Worksheets (Grades 1 - 5)

Disney Imagicademy

Pixel Press Floors



Let's Do Math!

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Math Question for this Issue

Are you actually reading this newsletter? The first 10 people who respond correctly will have their name put in a hat and one name will be drawn to win a prize!

Here is the question for this Newsletter:

What is the next number in this pattern?

2, 5, 14, 41, 122, 365, ...

Last issue's question:

How many millimeters are in a meter?

Answer: 1000

October's 2014 winner: Leigha Quinn (She received 6 two-sided mini white boards to use in her classroom.)

November's 2014 winner: Kathleen Papa (She received a set of over-sized post-it notes to use in her classroom.)

December's 2014 winner: Tom Foreman (He received 6 two-sided mini white boards to use in his classroom.)

January's 2015 winner: Robin Umberhauer (Her entire class helped!) (She received a set of over-sized post-it notes to use in her classroom.)

February's 2015 winner: Hope Hayes (She received a set "Wipe Clean Worksheet Covers" to use in her classroom.)

March's 2015 winner: Kiel O'donnell (He received a set of over-sized post-it notes to use in his classroom.)

September's 2015 winner: Beth Iannuzzi (She received a set of "Wipe Clean Worksheet Covers" to use in her classroom.)

October's 2015 winner: Tom Foreman (He is our first 2-time winner! He received a Desktop Organizer picture below.)

November's 2015 winner: Joyce Schoolik (She received a Desktop Organizer)

A special thanks to all that answered!

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Just for Fun

A new section! Take a break and enjoy something fun about math.
April Fools Video Prank in Math Class
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You can find the archived newsletter here.