January 2020, Volume 17

Math Makes Sense of the World

How do you use mathematics to make decisions in your life? I'm thinking about what is for dinner tonight. Does the recipe have enough servings to feed everyone or will I need to modify it? When should I start cooking so dinner will start at 6:00? These questions have a mathematical context. There are things to count, measure, and calculate and the answers to these questions have real significance in my life. Our students need opportunities to observe mathematical problems in their world, determine the information needed to solve the problem, develop models of the situation, and revise their thinking for accuracy. No problem worth solving is simple. Think about a problem you've had in real life. Did you have a plethora of information and had to filter some out? Did you have insufficient information and had to find what you needed? Or did you know all the given information in advance? No problem worth solving is like that. Let's explore how to make problems worth solving.
Rich Learning with Dan Finkel | Part 3: Productive Struggle

Problem of the Month

Secondary Problem of the Month

All the ice cream you can eat for only 10 cents? Wow, that's a great deal! Or is it?

The history of the Dairy Queen franchise began with this ad in Illinois in 1938. I know that 10 cents was worth more in the past but was it worth enough for the company to make a profit even then? How much would that all-you-can-eat ice cream special cost today?

In this problem, students need to identify the information they need in order to answer the question, determine the correct tool for finding the inflation rate between two years and use the inflation rate to find the current value of 10 cents in 1938. Explore yummymath.com for more!

Elementary Problem of the Month

In elementary school, students start to think about how numbers and processes can describe the world around them. An important step in being able to work with increasingly sophisticated problems is being able to decide which operations apply to a specific context and why. Use problems like this Illustrative Mathematics task to help students analyze different contexts and which operation is appropriate. In this task, students are analyzing the problem and explaining before they find an answer. This process helps students think more carefully about different contexts that can be represented by a specific operation.
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The Indiana Process Standards for Math

The process standards are at the heart of effective teaching. They are what grounds good instruction. This month, we focus on practice two.

1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.

2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.

3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.

4. Model with mathematics.

5. Use appropriate tools strategically.

6. Attend to precision.

7. Look for and make use of structure.

8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

Model WITH Mathematics, Not Model THE Mathematics!

One major intent of math process standard #4 is ensuring learners see that mathematics is not just a collection of skills whose only use is to demonstrate that one has them ("Model With Mathematics," 2016, para. 2). It is not about using manipulatives or showing students how to do mathematics, both common misconceptions. Modeling with mathematics is about:

  1. Applying the math they know to solve problems they experience in the world around them.
  2. Making assumptions and approximations to simplify the complicated.
  3. Identifying important quantities.
  4. Analyzing relationships mathematically and draw conclusions.
  5. Interpreting their results in the context of a situation.
  6. Reflecting on whether their results make sense, possibly improving the model if not.

A great visual below shows non-examples and an example of modeling with mathematics in practice. Click here to dig deeper into this process standard!

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A Textbook is Helping You in All the Wrong Ways

Dan Meyer at TEDxNYED

Resources to Support Mathematical Modeling

Opportunities for the Field

Field Trip Opportunity

The Indiana State Museum is giving the opportunity for visitors to learn about the opioid crisis and be a part of the solutions through their exhibit: "FIX: Heartbreak and Hope Inside Our Opioid Crisis". The exhibit opens February 1, 2020 through February 7, 2021. The exhibit works to reduce the stigma surround opioid use disorder and build empathy through art, personal stories, and trustworthy information about the science behind the disorder. The FIX exhibit is connected to many Indiana Academic Standards and connects across classroom content areas. Click here for more information.

Spring Analytical Algebra II Learning and Collaboration

Join Robin Conti from IDOE for a full day of PD surrounding the new Analytical Algebra II course. Participants will:

  • Participate in model lessons
  • Discuss resources/strategies
  • Develop activities collaboratively
  • Continue to build out community

Click on one of the dates below for registration and details!

February 3 - Jasper, IN

February 11 - Warsaw, IN

February 12 - Indianapolis, IN

New Experiences for Instructors of Dual Enrollment (NExIDE) Scholarship Program

The purpose of the NExIDE Scholarship program is to provide financial support and incentives to eligible Indiana public high school mathematics teachers who teach or plan to teach dual credit mathematics. Based on expectations from the Higher Learning Commission, college faculty are required to have completed a master’s degree in their discipline or to have completed a master’s degree in another field with 18 hours of graduate credit in their discipline. This requirement includes dual credit teachers who teach college classes in the high school setting.

Click here for more information and access to the application!

Indiana's Second Annual Educating the Whole Child Summit

Registration can be found here. Please note that if you are having one person register a group of people for your district, they will have to submit separate registrations by leaving and re-entering registration.

Highlights from just a few of the keynote speakers:

Dr. Isaiah Pickens:

Dr. Adam Saenz

Click here for the Handle with Care presentation

Blocks of rooms have been secured at the Marriott East for $129/night. For your planning purposes, please know each day will begin with breakfast/registration beginning at 7:30 a.m. Day one, February 19, will begin with a speaker at 9:00 a.m. and Day two, February 20, will begin at 8:30 a.m. Both days will end at 4:00 p.m.

Questions should be directed to Christy Gauss at jcgauss@indiana.edu.

Call for K-12 Science Teachers

The Indiana Department of Education is continuing Phase II of the Science Framework. In cooperation with the Hoosier Association of Science Teacher, Inc., we will focus on the Engineering Process Standards. We need your help! If you are a K-12 science teacher interested in sharing your expertise, please complete the registration form linked here by January 31, 2020. You can earn up to 6 PGPs for participation. We plan to meet in three separate workgroups at the Indiana State Museum: K-5 on February 25, 2020; 6-8 on March 2, 2020, and 9-12 on March 3, 2020. For questions, please contact Dr. Christy Hilton.

Save the Date

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Upcoming Chats:

January 22, 2020 - Is Math Big, Hairy, and Scary? Debunking Mathematical Myths

January 29, 2020 - Integrating STEM Education Into Your Classroom

February 5, 2020 - Digital Learning Month

February 12, 2020 - Writing Revolution Book Study Discussion

Follow #INedchat to be a part of the discussion!

Twitter 101

News From Indiana's Commission for Higher Education

The Indiana Commission for Higher Education is searching for volunteers to interview prospective recipients of the Next Generation Hoosier Educator Scholarship. This scholarship provides 200 applicants a $7,500 scholarship (renewable up to 4 times for up to $30,000) toward their education to become a Hoosier teacher. The interview day details are as follows:

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Ivy Tech Community College – Illinois Fall Creek Center

2535 North Capitol Ave

Indianapolis, IN 46204

From: 8:30 AM-3:30 PM ET

**Breakfast and lunch will be provided**

**7 PGP points will be awarded to all volunteers**

If you would like to participate please sign-up HERE and feel free to contact me with any questions.

We hope you will consider joining us for a fun day of interacting with Indiana’s future educators!

News From Assessmet

The Office of Student Assessment has released a consolidated list of which standards in grades 6, 7, and 8 will be assessed during the non-calculator section of the ILEARN assessment. This designation is based on a determination by educators that calculator usage on items written to these standards would inhibit the ability to assess the focal aspect of the mathematical construct.


Beginning with the Winter 2019 Retest, the ISTEP+ assessment will be delivered in the same online system that is used for ILEARN and I AM. For online test sessions that allow calculator use, students may use the online Desmos graphing calculator or a handheld calculator. For paper test sessions that allow calculator use, students may use a handheld calculator.

TAs must oversee the use of the handheld calculator to ensure use only during appropriate test segments. Misuse of a calculator may result in a test invalidation for an assessment needed by a student to fulfill graduation requirements. Handheld calculators must meet the functionality requirements, as outlined in the full Calculator Policy:


Math Educator Spotlight

Amanda Cadden - Diocese of Evansville

Nominated by: Hallie Scheu

"Amanda is making a lasting impact on her students through very engaging lessons. Her lessons and instruction bring real-life examples and promises for her students. Amanda has created innovative projects that not only teach math but problem-solving and leadership skills."

Amanda has been teaching for 9 years at Saint Wendel Catholic School. Working at a small school has given Amanda many opportunities. She currently teaches 6th-8th grade Math/Algebra, 6th grade English Language Arts, Religion, Fitness, and Technology. Amanda did not love math in middle school and was always reading or writing with a book or pen in hand. She taught herself songs, poems, and mnemonics to help her remember math processes. As a teacher, Amanda uses those experiences to create opportunities for her students that bring math to life! Amanda attributes her love of teaching mathematics to her amazing "Math for Middle School Education" professor, Carrie Anderson, and mentor, Erin Stallings who both shaped the way she teaches. Amanda is known in her school for her innovative and engaging lessons that often include singing and dancing! She is currently working on transforming her classroom into a restaurant to practice percents while including primary students to join to practice adding and subtracting decimals, holding a probability carnival to practice figuring out the probability of winning and losing, and fraction Olympics. Amanda aspires to teach an education course at a local college one day but is currently enjoying spending time with her 3 little boys at home and teaching middle school each and every day.

Mathematics Educator Spotlight Nomination

We are looking for rock star math educators who are innovative and inspiring; educators who lead, learn, and collaborate with humility and passion. If you know someone (or are that someone) click the button and nominate them (or yourself)!

Your IDOE Mathematics Team