The Mathematical

January 2020

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Identifying the Different DOK Levels

Teachers often struggle with identifying what depth-of-knowledge (DOK) level a question is. This can be challenging to determine although it is critical that teachers expose students to the various levels. This will help students gain a deeper understanding of the concepts they are required to learn. Use this DOK guide to help distinguish between the levels. The guide was adapted from Shop TALK.


  • DOK 1: Recall and Reproduction
  • DOK 2: Basic Reasoning, Skill/Concept
  • DOK 3: Strategic Thinking, Complex Reasoning
  • DOK 4: Extended Thinking/Reasoning

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"Doing a Project" vs. Project Based Learning

When is it better to do a project versus project-based learning with your students? Is there a difference? A project is typically something created by the student that represents something related to what they learned after completing a unit. So it is kind of like the dessert after the main course (lesson).
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In Project Based Learning, the project itself is used to teach rigorous academic content and success skills. Students work to answer an important question—such as “How can we impact hunger in our community?” By exploring the question over a couple weeks or longer, students become immersed in it, pursuing answers from various angles. This is more like the main course as students learn the concept or unit.


For more information, use this link to read more and take a short quiz to see if you can tell the difference.

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The Challenge of Fractions

Students continually struggle with the concept of fractions. This includes the basic understanding of fractions, concrete representations and models, and basic operations involving fractions. Students often lack number sense and tend to use whole number properties to interpret fractions. To help with this, students should be taught the conceptual meaning of fractions. I've put together a small website that houses three modules that include activities, downloadable graphics, and short assessments along with a resource page. You are welcome to use this with your students to introduce fractions or use with students who continue to struggle with them. Link to website.
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Upcoming Professional Learning

K-2 Collaborative PL Session

Jan 21, 2020 - Werz - SD2, 3:15 - 4:15

All K-2 math teachers are welcome to join this collaboration session. We will be diving into the iReady diagnostics information and looking at teacher data. Please bring a charged chromebook to the session. Meeting will start promptly at 3:15.


3-5 Collaborative PL Session

Jan 23, 2020 - Werz - PLC, 3:15 - 4:15

All 3-5 math teachers are welcome to join this collaboration session. We will be diving into the iReady diagnostics information and looking at teacher data. Please bring a charged chromebook to the session. Meeting will start promptly at 3:15.


Middle School Collaborative PL Session

Jan 29, 2020 - Werz - PLC, 4:00 - 5:00

All 6-8 math teachers are welcome to join this collaboration session. We will be discussing math strategies and other information. Please bring a charged chromebook to the session. Meeting will start promptly at 4:00.


High School Collaborative PL Session

Feb 4, 2020 - Werz - SD2, 4:00 - 5:00

All high school math teachers are welcome to join this collaboration session. We will be discussing math strategies and other information. Please bring a charged chromebook to the session. Meeting will start promptly at 4:00.


M Squared PL Session

Feb 6, 2020 - Werz - SD2, 3:00 - 4:00 (K-5) and 4:00 - 5:00 (6-12)

This is for 1st year or new to Coweta County math teachers. We will be discussing pacing guides, Milestones, and other information. Please bring a charged chromebook to the session.

Upcoming Webinars

Supporting Students Who Struggle with Math

Jan 30, 2020 - Webinar, 5:00

In this webinar, participants will hear focus on understanding and supporting children who struggle with mathematics. The struggles that children encounter may be the result of cognitive learning challenges, background and experience, or previous instruction. Examine and determine strategies to use for your students who struggle with mathematics.

Register here. Cost: free


Problem-Solving: Developing Disposition, Competence, and Confidence

Feb 6, 2020 - Webinar, 5:00

Both task selection and lesson facilitation promote a positive disposition in all students toward mathematics, competence in doing mathematics, and feelings of confidence in their ability to do mathematics. In this webinar, participants experience firsthand an example of a task that is rigorous yet accessible to all students.

Register here. Cost: free


Empowered Problem Solving

Feb 10 - Mar 21, 2020 - Webinar

We'll begin by exploring why problem-solving is so important. Then we'll discuss how it would work in your classroom. From there we'll focus more on implementation including how to prepare to teach a lesson and what to do if it doesn't go as planned. We'll then address how to use problem-solving to build students' procedural skills and conceptual understanding. Finally, we'll wrap up the workshop by talking about how to merge these ideas with what you're already doing. See flyer for more information.

Register here. Registration opens Jan 24, 2020. Cost: $297


Making Sense of Math: Reasoning and Discourse

Feb 13, 2020 - Webinar, 5:00

Mathematically proficient students make sense of problems, reason abstractly and quantitatively, and are able to explain and justify mathematical ideas and arguments with precise mathematical language. During this webinar, participants will focus on strategies to engage students in mathematical reasoning and discussions to communicate their reasoning.

Register here. Cost: free

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Request a Visit

As you continue to reach towards achieving your goals, please utilize me as a resource. I would love to spend time with teachers and admin during your planning or instructional periods. If interested in a meeting, a class visit, or modeling, please complete this form to request a time. You can also send me an email anytime!
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Comments, Questions, or Concerns?

Please contact Michelle Clarke, Math Content Specialist, with any comments, questions or concerns.