The Mathematical

November 2018

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Prodigy is available to all 1st - 8th grade students. It is a game-based program that has students answer math problems as they navigate the Prodigy world. All 1st-8th grade math teachers now have accounts. You can create a class and give your students the Prodigy-generated code to join or import them using Google Classroom. Here is a quick guide to get you started in Prodigy.


There is a Prodigy webinar at 3:00 on November 1st. Sign up is in the Google Classroom. If you missed it or are unable to attend, a link to the recorded session will be posted in your Google Classroom under Online Resources.


*Although Prodigy is only 1st - 8th, they are in the development stages of a beta program called MathBrix. Hopefully this will be available soon.

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Enrichment Ideas

Real-Life Application Activities: Deepening a student's knowledge of the standards can sometimes be a challenging task. One way to accomplish this is to have students apply their new knowledge in a real-life situation. This helps them make personal connections to what they are learning in addition to helping them develop a deeper understanding.



*This will be posted in Google Classroom in a new Topic section called "Enrichment." If you try it with your students, please post a reply and share how it went with your students.


One site that can be useful in finding ideas is on Mindset Learning (www.mindsets.com). They offer 150 free memberships each month with unlimited use of the free Challenges. Below are 3 challenges for 6-8 grade related to upcoming standards in November.

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Word Problem Mindsets

Students often struggle with word problems. In fact, many of them skip them altogether as soon as they see them. As teachers, we need to change the word problem mindset of our students. Instead of automatically assuming they are more difficult, we need to reteach our students so they think it is just how we get the information for the problem.


Here are a few ways to accomplish this:


Instead of saying these math problems are "word problems," introduce them as "math stories." Children of all ages love stories! Let's change our mindset as well and change our thought process.


Introduce "math stories" at the beginning of the lesson and make them an integral part of teaching the math. Students will still be doing the actual computation regardless of whether the problems are set up and ready to go or the numbers are pulled from a situation.


Change your mindset. Students only think these problems are harder because we either tell them they are or lead them to believe they are based on our actions. The difficulty of the actual math hasn't changed at all. These types of problems are the connection our students need to relate what they are learning to real life.

Request a session for Making Sense of Word Problems

Would you like more information or training on implementing word problems in your classroom? We can do grade level or the entire math staff with examples that you can implement right away. Simply send an email or complete the "Request a Visit" form below to schedule!

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The Importance of Student Struggle

There is a fine balance between letting our students struggle versus letting them completely fail. Productive struggle enhances learning and allows students to gain ownership in their learning. It also provides an opportunity for exploration and deeper understanding of how concepts work and not simply trying to rely on remembering tips and tricks. Encourage students to take risks and that it's okay to get it wrong - as long as they learn from that mistake.
The Importance of Struggle
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Assessing Students for Success

Assessing (both formally and informally) is such a critical part of the learning process taking place in our classrooms. It helps teachers determine student proficiency and guides instruction. It can also be powerful to the students by boosting confidence when they do well and encourage self-reflection, especially if they see the rationale behind their mistakes.


We, as teachers, also need to remember that assessing students doesn't always have to mean paper-and-pencil quizzes and tests. We all know those students who seem to do well in class discussions but then bomb a more formal assessment. "For students who experience success, the consequence is that they believe in their abilities and continue to challenge themselves to achieve more. For students who don't measure up, the consequence is that they learn not to trust their own work and fall into a cycle of self-doubt (Gallagher, 2018).


Using creative, project-based assessments is a way to break the cycle and allow students to use their creativity to demonstrate understanding while applying those newly learned skills. Let's give our students another way to show their mastery and give them back the feeling of success!


Read more about formative assessments in the math classroom.

Read more about creative assessments.

Books on Formative Assessments

  • The Formative 5: Everyday Assessment Techniques for Every Math Classroom by Francis Fennell, Beth McCord Kobett, and Jon Wray
  • Embedded Formative Assessment (Strategies for Classroom Formative Assessment that Drives Student Engagement and Learning) by Dylan William
  • Classroom Assessment for Student Learning: Doing It Right - Using It Well by Jan Chappuis, Rick Stiggins, Steve Chappuis, and Judith Arter
  • #FormativeTech: Meaningful, Sustainable, and Scalable Formative Assessment with Technology by Monica Burns
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Coweta Community Foundation Classroom Grant Application


The Coweta Community Foundation is accepting applications for this year’s Educational Classroom Grants for local Coweta County Educators. The foundation is awarding competitive grants of $750 by grade level – two each in elementary, middle and high school. To see examples of last year’s grant awards, visit https://www.cowetafoundation.org/partner-grant/list. To learn more about the grants visit https://www.cowetafoundation.org/partner-grant/request, or call the Foundation at 770-253-1833.


Grant applications are being accepted through Friday, November 16th. Grant applications and submissions will only be accepted online. To apply, go to the grant link at https://www.grantinterface.com/Home/Logon?urlkey=ccfound and create an account.

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You simply paste the link to a YouTube video and use the generated link to view the video with students. It removes all the ads and comments allowing for a safe way to utilize educational videos in the classroom. This site is free and does not require any registration to use.
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Middle School Collaboration Meetings

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Professional Learning

Mastering Fraction Division: Using Visual Models to Promote Deep Learning

Nov 13, 2018 - Free Webinar from edWeb.net, 4:00 - 5:00

Deep learning, as described in John Hattie’s Visible Learning™ research, focuses on recognizing relationships among ideas. When students are engaged in deep learning in the mathematics classroom, they are actively seeking to understand the underlying structure of mathematics. This type of thinking is associated with the mathematical practices and process standards found in contemporary state and national standards documents. How do we help students think like this?

Register here.


Middle School Math Collaboration

Nov 28, 2018 - Evans Middle School, 4:00 - 5:00

The monthly meeting will include student enrichment and GCA follow-up. Please bring a charged chromebook to the session.


CK12 Textbooks: Instructional Technology Training

Nov 29, 2018 - Werz, PLC, 4:00 - 5:00

Want to learn more about CK12 textbooks? This training is open to all county teachers wanting to learn more. Please bring your chromebook. Register here.

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Request a Visit

As you continue to reach towards achieving your goals, please utilize me as a resource. I would love to spend time with teachers and admin during your planning or instructional periods. If interested in a meeting, a class visit, or modeling, please complete this form to request a time. You can also send me an email anytime!
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Resources

Boaler, J. (2018). The Importance of Struggle. Retrieved from https://www.youcubed.org/resources/the-importance-of-struggle/?utm_source=Youcubed+Updates&utm_campaign=56dbb78272-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_10_02_02_23&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_230e567c40-56dbb78272-162842413


Gallagher, K., (Sep 25, 2018). "Why Student Creation is the Hardest/Best Form of Assessment." Tech & Learning, vol. 39, Number 4. Retrieved from https://www.techlearning.com/tl-advisor-blog/why-student-creation-is-the-hardest-best-form-of-assessment


Webb, D. (2018). What is Formative Assessment? Retrieved from https://ed.wootmath.com/formative-assessment/what-is-formative-assessment

Comments, Questions, or Concerns?

Please contact Michelle Clarke, Math Content Specialist, with any comments, questions or concerns.