APS Math Newsletter

October 2015

In this edition...

Sharing Learning from September 18th

Sharing Learning from CCTM

CCTM Regional Workshop

Webinar Series on Mathematical Modeling

Feedback Wanted: Digital Resources for Students

Sharing Learning from September 18th

Standards of Math Practice as a Vehicle to Promoting Engagement and Rigor

In this session, our guest speakers Grace Kelemanik and Amy Lucenta shared a framework for thinking about how the standards of math practice are used by students as they engage in a problem solving task. Look at the visual below and then ask someone who attended this session to learn more.

Big image

From a teacher who attended:


The biggest thing I was able to take away from this session was the contemplate then calculate piece. I notice a lot of kids struggling with the math because they do not understand what they are even being asked to do. Many kids will immediately jump into trying to solve the problem. I think it is important for kids to take a couple seconds (even if it’s less than a minute) just to look at the problem and think about the things that stand out to them. Then talk about what they see right away before even trying to do any math. Giving them time after they all understand what is being asked of them to calculate or work through the problem mathematically then is the next step. We have to teach kids to read for understanding before trying to solve especially in a math classroom because sometimes the answer they always beg us for is staring them directly in the face.

Contemplate Then Calculate

Kerrie Schultz (Math TP at Gateway HS) and Rachel Tschudy (Math teacher at Mrachek MS) put together an excellent PD session on using the Contemplate then Calculate instructional strategy. This strategy, the work of Grace Kelemanik and Amy Lucenta out of Boston develops critical thinking, observational skills, and efficient problem solving strategies in our mathematics students through a carefully defined routine for approaching problems and looking for shortcuts. Kerrie and Rachel offered attendees the chance to participate in three CtC routines, including one taught by a teacher trying it for the first time. Teachers attending the session greatly appreciated the opportunity to see a variety of experience levels implementing the routine and the additional planning time offered to design their own CtC session. If you attended this session and are interested in sharing implementation experiences with other participants, contact Gretchen Hazelwood (gjhazelwood@aps.k12.co.us) who is looking into creating a virtual learning community (VLC) for this strategy. If you were unable to attend the session on September 18th, Kerrie and Rachel would be happy to share the information with you and provide support as you implement this new strategy.

Sharing Learning from CCTM

Phil Daro and Unfinished Learning

One of the guest speakers at the Colorado Council of Teachers of Mathematics Conference was Phil Daro (one of the main authors of the common core). One of the take-aways from his session was the idea of unfinished learning. In other, high-achieving contries, math teachers accept the fact that students come to their classrooms with unfinished learning. In the US, we ten to identify gaps our students' learning and rush to fix them in a procedural way, devoid of context. If instead, we viewed these "gaps" as normal and expected unfinished learning, we could plan in more powerful ways. For example, Phil talked about asking teachers in Singapore why they teach long division. The answer? Because it provides an excellent opportunity to complete the unfinished learning around subtraction. Imagine the power of seeing each of our units as an opportunity to work on unfinished learning at the same time as addressing grade level standards. We do not need to step outside of grade level standards and reteach previous content, instead teach the grade level content in a way that allows students to work on their unfinished learning. This also changes the way we view our students. Instead of seeing students with deficits (gaps) that need to be diagnosed and fixed, we can see our students as thinkers who are in the process of learning and need experiences in our classrooms to support them in completing their unfinished learning.

CCTM Regional Workshops: Fractions, Ratio, Rate of Change, Oh My!

Join your regional colleagues for a morning of learning on October 24th.


In this workshop, you will:

• Deepen your understanding of the effective mathematics teaching practices;

• Understand the vertical progression of major standards, both within and across years in the functions conceptual category;

• Discuss how a study of the progressions documents can support our own mathematics

instruction practice;

• Explore the role of tasks in supporting student learning within the fractions, ratio and

proportional reasoning, and functions domains/conceptual categories.


$15 for CCTM members

$45 for non-members (includes a membership)


Link for Registration

Upcoming webinar series on Mathematical Modeling:

Mathematical Modeling:
Putting the Practice into Play
Resources for Math Coordinators & Educators

One of the most important standards for Mathematical Practice is MP.4: Model with Mathematics. It may also be one of the more difficult practice standards to understand and implement.
In this series of one-hour webinars, you will learn the what, why, and how of mathematical modeling in the secondary classroom. Get your most challenging questions answered by experts and educators and learn practical strategies for integrating modeling in your instruction. Register for one or all of the webinars!

October 15th

Matematical Modeling 101

October 28th

Connecting Conceptual Understanding & Procedural Fluency with Mathematical Modeling

November 3rd

Assessing Mathematical Modeling Activities

Link to Registration

Digital Resources for Students

We are gathering information about digital resources that are in use across the district. At this time we are only interested in those that you have students using. They can be free or something that your school has paid for. Our goal is to put together a summary of resources along with how it is best used to accelerate student learning that we can then share across the district. Please enter information about any digital resource that you have used with students along with how well it met your mathematical goals into the google form.