Elementary Math Update

"May the 4th Be With you"

A Testing Season Soltuion

I recently shared on Twitter that this is my least favorite of all the "seasons". As we approach testing please be mindful of burn out. Everyone feels the pressure of EOY tests and summer relief cannot come fast enough. Let's stay the course. Teaching well all year is the best preparation for testing. I can only imagine the mindset of a teacher who teaches her heart out for 8 months only to attempt to reteach it all in 4 weeks. This is a math "problem" I know we all wish we could "solve". Speaking of solutions, Susan Copeland at Washam has been working hard to support teachers and students in a manageable way and it looks like it is paying off.

Maverick Burrell: JV Washam Elementary

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"Memory Joggers"

Susan started writing specific spiraling tasks for teachers and students when they noticed that students were struggling with content that they had not visited in a while. After reviewing data, Susan and her teachers tried giving students 4 short tasks each week.

Teachers use them whenever they choose in the instructional day. Maverick was so inspired that he decided to help Susan out with the creation of these tasks! What I really love about this story is how Maverick's math ideas were engaged so much so that he sought to engage his classmates!

Way to go Maverick! Take that, testing season!

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Don't you just love this question? What do you notice? What do you wonder? What connection are you making? I immediately thought of the story of The Dog and His Bone!

Tweeter of the Month

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Christopher Danielson @triangleman

Here's another great person to follow on Twitter! I was first introduced to Christopher through Shadow Con 2015. His Twitter posts always challenge me and I love how he thinks about student thinking. As a compulsive "over thinker" I have a special appreciation for his blog title as well. Check him out!
Christopher Danielson, "Listen to Your Students"

Let's Listen to Our Students!

Planning for Next Year

The images above represent my plans and ideas for next year. Right now they are plentiful and messy. In about a month I hope they will at least be sorted. By August I hope to have them all ready to go for my teachers. As I prepare I have a few ideas for the summer that I wanted to share:

  1. Math Meet-ups Meet-ups are all the rage these days. Maybe a few interested minds could plan to meet at a local eatery and do some brainstorming and planning. Count me in!
  2. Master Schedule Are you the scheduler at your school? Do you need help or ideas? Respond to one of my mass messages on the list serve and title it "looking for master schedule ideas". 100 brains are better than 1 right?
  3. Intervention How did it go this year? What plans do you have to improve your processes? How do you structure it? Inquiring minds want to know...I want to know! If you want to know too, let me know. I may be able to organize a gathering for people who have common needs, to collaborate.
  4. Summer Reading I am IN LOVE with the Developing Essential Understanding Series by NCTM and have plans to engage my teachers over the summer in preparation for the new year. Let me know if you are interested in knowing more about why and how I am thinking about doing this.

Ed Camp QC: See you there!

EdCamp 101
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For the past two years NCTM has hosted a fabulous event to highlight the passions of educators in the field during a "teacher-led mini-conference" within the annual conference. I have been inspired by the talks that were given at Shadow Con and have found so many tools for educators. The title above is linked to the website for Shadow Con and all the videos for the 2015 and 2016 conferences are present.


I had the pleasure of speaking at Shadow Con 2016 this year. Speaking was great but the conversations that have taken place afterwards have been amazing! People everywhere are thinking about how to make teachers, peers, students, PEOPLE feel better about themselves as math learners.

I shared with some of you that even as the "district math specialist" (insert dramatic voiceover) I experience great anxiety when publicly thinking about math. Often times one of you will say "ask Kaneka, she's the specialist surely she will know". The truth is that no one person knows all the time. The key is being open and willing to think about things.

  • In your sites are you viewed as the resident expert, all knowing, omnipotent math genius?
  • What can you do to share your influence?
  • Can you empower others in their ability?

This has been our goal as CMS math specialists. The video to the talk is above this article. A movement is taking place across the "twitosphere" around empowering and inviting others. Let's get it started in CMS!!!

Let us Know How We Can Continue to Help Serve

Kaneka: k.turner@cms.k12.nc.us ......................Gabr'l : gabrlc.stackhouse@cms.k12.nc.us

980.343.2792 ........................................................980.343.2789

@kanekaturner (Twitter Handle) .......................@gabrlstackhouse (Twitter Handle)