Slice of the Pi

February Edition

More often than not, at the end of the day (or a month, or a year), you realize that your initial idea was wrong, and you have to try something else. These are the moments of frustration and despair. You feel that you have wasted an enormous amount of time, with nothing to show for it. This is hard to stomach. But you can never give up. You go back to the drawing board, you analyze more data, you learn from your previous mistakes, you try to come up with a better idea. And every once in a while, suddenly, your idea starts to work. It's as if you had spent a fruitless day surfing, when you finally catch a wave: you try to hold on to it and ride it for as long as possible. At moments like this, you have to free your imagination and let the wave take you as far as it can. Even if the idea sounds totally crazy at first.
Edward Frenkel

Love and Math: The Heart of Hidden Reality

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For the love of math...

I'm currently part of a Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You Had by Tracy Zager book study and in the first chapter she asks us to reflect on our own experiences with math. Do you love math? Have you always? In Tracy's Shadow Con talk she shares that 63% of preservice teachers had negative associations with math and 1 in 3 working elementary teachers have math anxiety.


When you think of "math" what words and feelings come to mind? How would you describe your early experiences? Elementary? High school? College? Early career teaching? Today? If you would, click on this link, to quickly share your word(s). You can include thoughts or feelings from a lifetime of math! Your name and email won't be recorded- share one word, or several. I'll compile your responses and share them out next month.


One way we can help students (and ourselves!) to love math is to promote a growth mindset. Carol Dweck found about 40% of students have “fixed mindset” ideas. Studies have also shown growth mindset causes higher mathematics achievement. Looking to make that shift? You Cubed has a plethora of resources!

Famous Failures

Black Mathematician Month

Let's extend the celebration of Black History Month to our math class! Dr. Kristopher Childs has put together a collection of mathematicians and associated accomplishments. The current Reading Units of Study per the pacing guide: Learning About the World: Reading Nonfiction, Reading to Learn, Historical Fiction, and Analyzing Themes could all lend a nice intersection too!


Additional possible resources are Mathematically Gifted & Black as well The National Association of Mathematicians- a non-profit promoting excellence in the mathematical sciences and the mathematical development of all underrepresented minorities. Extra budget money? This is a great poster from the American Mathematical Society.



To be young, gifted and black,

Oh what a lovely precious dream

To be young, gifted and black,

Open your heart to what I mean.


Nina Simone & Weldon Irvine

Dear Family,

I'm currently putting together some resources for families to share out at the LMES 3-5 Family Math Night. I'm planning to include information on the models in Bridges, tips to promote growth mindset, the major content at each grade, fluency resources, homework help ideas, and why it's important for learners to explore and self create algorithms before moving on to the standard algorithm. Once they are collected I will add a folder to the Google curriculum drive. If there is anything else you "wish parents knew" shoot me an email!
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Counting Up, Counting Down, Skip Counting- You Can Count On Me!

Counting by 1s Forward
Counting by 1s Backwards
Counting by 10

IAB Reminder

This coming week is our final opportunity to give a common math IAB across the district.


Grade 3- Measurement and Data

Grade 4- Four Operations: Interpret, Represent, and Solve

Grade 5- Operations with Whole Numbers & Decimals


Please select TEST FOUR as the reason for the assessment. If you'd like to discuss the collection of data or explore any of the other IAB/SBAC/Curriculum resources- let me know!


SBAC Dates:


  • 5/12-5/14 Math 5

  • 5/19-5/21 Math 4

  • 5/26-5/28 Math 3

Miss a previous issue?

January Edition: Slice of the Pi

December Edition: Slice of the Pi

November Edition: Slice of the Pi

October Edition: Slice of the Pi

September Edition: Slice of the Pi

Questions? Comments? Curiosities?

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