Math Minutes

Elementary Grades- Second Edition


Happy New Year! The Math Department hopes you were able to rest and relax over the holiday break. Just like you, we are excited about what the fresh start in January holds for our students, especially in the area of mathematics. Math Minutes will provide you with strategies to support teaching and learning in your classroom. We hope you find this resource valuable.
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Teaching Tips

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Problem-Solving Strategies

Classworks: Applied Mathematics

Classworks: Applied Mathematics is the new resource providing teachers with problem-solving activities for the K-8 classroom. Each activity is differentiated, with a Progress, Meeting, and Expanding level - all addressing the same standard with varying levels of difficulty.

Need help with accessing the questions or assigning them to your students? Check out these documents:

Overview of Classworks: Applied Mathematics and Questions

How to Assign Classworks: Applied Mathematics to your Students

Open Middle

Do you need challenging math problems that are worth your students solving? Well look no further! Open Middle problems call for a higher depth of knowledge compared to other problems that only assess procedural and conceptual understanding. The questions support our AKS and also provide the opportunity for students to discuss their mathematical thinking.

Click here to check out Open Middle.

Illustrative Mathematics

Are you looking for tasks that promote problem solving and rigor? Illustrative Mathematics is a free resource that contains a variety of tasks by standard. One nice feature of this website is that it has an Illustrative Mathematics "Commentary" that highlights the purpose of the task, various approaches that students may take in solving the task, and when to consider using the task within each unit.

Click here to explore standards by grade level.

Formative Assessment Approaches

Each month, the Math Department has highlighted a formative assessment strategy on the MOCC. These strategies come from Page Keeley and Cherly Rose Tobey's book, "Mathematics Formative Assessment: 75 Practical Strategies for Linking Assessment, Instruction, and Learning."

To support teachers, we have developed templates for some of the strategies provided within the book. Teachers can easily download the template, edit (if needed) and print!

Click here to view the templates for various formative assessment strategies!

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Professional Learning

When you send your students off to work in small groups and discuss their mathematical thinking, are you getting the deep conversations you were hoping for? Are the students just providing solutions, but no deep context to those solutions? In order for our students to hold conversations in math that are beyond the surface level, we need to be sure we are providing effective strategies which foster this communication. Check out this article from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) on Creating Math Talk Communities.
With the Science and Engineering Fair just around the corner, we are sure students are in the midst of collecting and analyzing data. Although, we need to take a step back and make sure our students are collecting data that is viable and provides accurate information. Check out this article on Engaging Students in Survey Design and Data Collection.
Some strategies help our students in math, but some can cause confusion as they progress through math classes. Check out these 12 Math Rules That Expire in Middle School.

Don't Forget!

  • Each month the MOCC will add a new formative assessment strategy and eCLASS Technology Tool of the Month- be sure to check it out each month!
  • As mentioned on the MOCC, the common assessments have been taken down and we look forward to uploading new assessments in February. Thanks for your patience as we continue to revamp the MOCC to provide the best resources to you.

Questions or Comments?

Contact Jessica Douglas at