BTSD Internal Math News

The 11-19-15 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.


The "cover sheets" for the standards based grading initiative for grades K & 1 have been completed by Marjorie Nisnick. She continues to create the ones for 2nd grade as the new ones come out. All of the cover sheets for grade 1 have been posted. The rest will be posted soon.

FWS: MAP testing has begun.

BTMS: MAP testing has begun.

BTHS: Nothing to report for this issue. Projects are still in the works.


- 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: Please click on the video below. It is a great way to sum up or explain the Common Core to parents using one specific topic.

Common Core Math Explained
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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: Here is a great linked graphic for you to save and/or print out to help students understand the testing format.

Click here for the middle school version.

Click here for the elementary school version.

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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: Click here for 239 categorized STEM websites.

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BTSD Mathematician Spotlight

This issue's BTSD Mathematician is Adam Fincke.

Adam shared the following email with some fellow math teachers. Please take a moment to read his great supplemental find!

I just wanted to take a minute to share a resource I have with you. I don't know how familiar you are with Dan Meyer, if you are at all, but he is a math teacher that utilizes short math videos that he creates and calls Three Act Lessons.

The first "Act" is a short video in which he presents you with a situation and leaves the viewer to guess what the problem is. The second Act gives you any necessary details you need to solve the problem. The third act is another short video in which the solution to the problem is revealed to the viewer.

I have found in my student teaching that these lessons are a nice, alternative way to introduce, investigate, or reinforce topics. I have included the link to all of Dan's Three Act Lessons below. Another nice thing about these lessons is that Dan ties them to the common core standards, so you can scroll down and see if/when you can tie them into your lessons.

Dan Meyer's Three Act Lessons Spreadsheet

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 Adam Fincke

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

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Tips & Resources

Consider making and implimenting a Student of the Week system in your classroom.

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

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App of the Month

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

This month's App: Mathmateer

This is a great app that covers more than just the four basic operations. There is a free version of this app. See the video below.

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



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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:

How many millimeters are in a meter?

Last issue's question:

John's paycheck was $100. Now it is $150. What is the percent increase in his pay? Answer: 50%

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.)

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.
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You can find the archived newsletter here.