Lessons That Count

February 2021 - EUPISD Monthly Math Instruction Newsletter

Doing mathematics should always mean finding patterns and crafting beautiful and meaningful explanations.

Paul Lockhart

Motivation Series - Part 2: Meaninfulness

This is the second installment of the five part series based on Ilana Seidel Horn's book, "Motivated". This month the focus is on the meaningfulness of learning.

In her book, Horn says that typical math lessons align more to the structure of schooling than they align to developing meaningful understanding. Responding to the demands of curriculum coverage and crowded classrooms, most classrooms are structured for high-volume work production instead of meaningful learning.

Meaningfulness: When students connect their own curiosity and experience to ideas, thereby developing an interest in and appreciation for mathematical content.

Meaningfulness comes about when students develop an appreciation for mathematical ideas. Rich learning happens when students draw on prior knowledge and experiences to make sense of ideas and explore problems, invoke their own strategies, get to ask their own "what if" questions. In short, meaningful learning happens when students' activity connects to their own curiosity.

Below are three strategies to bring about more meaningful learning for students in mathematics.

COVID Response Resources for Math Instruction

Below is a list of resources to assist teachers with planning around the impact the COVID pandemic has had on our students:


High School

Math Recovery / AVMR Resources

Groundhog Day's Think-Notice-Wonder

Groundhog Day is coming up on February 2nd! This is the day when Punxsutawney Phil emerges from his hole in a time-honored tradition that determines whether or not we will have a longer winter or an early spring. If Phil sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter. But, if Phil doesn’t see his shadow, then spring will come six weeks early!

It's probably not a surprise that Phil’s prediction skills are pretty poor (according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, he is only correct 40% of the time).

To help you celebrate Groundhog Day in your classroom and incorporate some groundhog-themed math discussions into your upcoming lesson plans, here si a super fun Groundhog Day Results Think-Notice-Wonder (TNW) writing activity for Grades 1-8 (featuring the results for every Groundhog Day since 2000).

Engaging in think-notice-wonder writing activities at the start of a math class is a great way to ignite student thinking, spark creativity, and build anticipation.

Learn more at www.mashupmath.com/blog/tnw

Julie Bazinau, EUPISD Math Curriculum Consultant

If you would like assistance with anything mentioned in this month's letter or any other math instruction need, contact me. I am happy to set up a meeting.