Slice of the Pi

April Edition

Sometimes we can only find our true direction

when we let the wind of change carry us.

mimi novic

Springing Ahead

With report cards and conferences done, and more hours of sunshine in our afternoons, I hope everyone has a little spring in their step! Thank you for including me in your thought circles as you navigated new assessments, made considerations for report cards, and shared out progress with families. It is such a pleasure to learn alongside you!

One of my favorite writing assignments in the classroom was creating our own "Important Thing" book in the style of Margaret Wise Brown. I thought you might enjoy creating your own related to a current math topic. Here is a sample I set up for fractions that could easily be adapted to any topic. You could also create a new page each time you finished a unit to solidify understanding and create a running "portfolio" of math for the year. Having to articulate the MOST important attributes about a rhombus, base ten system, fact family, numerator, algorithm, etc. is going to demonstrate a higher Depth of Knowledge than recall and basic reasoning- and it's fun!

Many of you have expressed interest in using a Three Act Task in your classroom as a formative assessment. I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of these lessons and the rich dialogue around student work. If you want to have me in, just reach out! If you want to try it on your own, here are my favorite resources:

Based on how many of you loved the Valentine themed math activities in February- here are more the MLC created for spring! There is something for everyone below- and each of the following activities includes the Share Your Work feature. You can send students a link to access the activity right through Classroom or the chat in Meet- you can even send over Remind to share with families as a hw or conversation starter!

Same & Different Geoboard Flowers


Let’s Get Hopping!




Jillian’s Bugs




Frog Races




Which Butterfly Frame Doesn’t Belong?



Growing, Growing, Growing!







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Poetry and Math- A Beautiful Intersection

April is Poetry Month and Mathematics and Statistics Awareness month! Don't see how the two connect? This article from the Smithsonian explores how poetry and math are more alike than different.

Mathematics and poetry, Growney says, are both “formats that can convey multiple meanings.” In mathematics, a single object or idea might take different forms. A quadratic equation, for example, can be understood in terms of its algebraic expression, perhaps y=x2+3x-7, or in terms of its graph, a parabola. Henri Poincaré, a French polymath who laid the foundations of two different fields of mathematics in the early 1900s, described mathematics as the art of giving the same name to different things. Likewise, poets create layers of meaning by utilizing words and images that have multiple interpretations and associations. Both mathematicians and poets strive for economy and precision, selecting exactly the words they need to convey their meaning.

If you or your students like having fun with language and math, write a math limerick and send it to - your poem may be selected to be included on the MoMath webpage in honor of National Limerick Day!

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At a party when you were eight years old,

you spoke up to solve a hard math puzzle.

Fearless, you set yourself apart.

I followed you and saw you choose

between mathematics and other romance.

For women only, this exclusive standard.

I heard fathers say, "Dance with Emmy--

just once, early in the evening. Old Max

is my friend; his daughter likes to dance."

If a woman's dance is mathematics,

she dances alone.

My Dance Is Mathematics

by JoAnne Growney

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Accountable Talk

To promote deep learning, students need opportunities for mathematical talk. Research suggests we promote explanations that are mathematical arguments and include justifications as well as using errors as opportunities to reconsider problems from a different point of view. From conversations with you, and time with students in our classrooms, I believe a focus on accountable talk could take our math workplaces, forums, and partner investigations from good to great. Below are some sentence starters you may find useful. If this is an area you are interested in exploring together - let's connect!
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Dear Family,

Use Remind to share out an opportunity from the Connecticut River Museum. They are offering a free virtual program for girls (10+) interested in studying the academic areas of STEAM. It will be once monthly after school for a four-month period- STEAMgirls participants meet and speak with accomplished young women, learning first-hand about the career successes women are experiencing in all areas of STEAM; providing young girls with knowledge that may ignite their passion for the future.

How can I help my child with math at home? Ever heard that question? Here is an article to share with families about the best math questions to ask a child. It could make a nice follow up from conferences!

Miss a previous issue?

March 20-21: Slice of the Pi

February 20-21: Slice of the Pi

January 20-21: Slice of the Pi

December 20-21: Slice of the Pi

November 20-21: Slice of the Pi

October 20-21: Slice of the Pi

September 20-21: Slice of the Pi

Questions? Comments? Curiosities?

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