Math Mavericks

Bradley Middle School Monthly Math Newsletter

September 2013

Welcome Back!

So what does it mean to be a Maverick? If you look up the term “Maverick”, you will find references to words such as independent, free thinker, unorthodox, unconventional, and pioneer. In the introduction to the Common Core State Standards, it says, “These Standards are not intended to be new names for old ways of doing business. They are a call to take the next step.”

What is your plan for the next step? One of the main motives for the new standards is social justice. If we want to reach all learners, we need pioneers that use unconventional methods to get good curriculum to each and every student. What unorthodox structures will you implement in your classroom to motivate students to be better thinkers and not just focus on the right answer?

I leave you with this quote from Phil Daro:

“If people just swap out the old standards and put the new CCSS in the old boxes…

–into old systems and procedures

–into the old relationships

–into old instructional materials formats

–into old assessment tools,

then nothing will change, and perhaps nothing will."

News You Can Use

Links to Important Math Resources

The new Middle School math specialist is Michael Pillsbury (

Stay connected to important district information by joining the MathListServe(s) for the courses you teach at

All CMP2 resources are accessible on the CMS instructional web at

Your login is the same as your email; click on math textbook; click on 2011 publishing; click on Connected Mathematics

NCDPI Middle School Resources

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction in partnership with Meredith College developed and delivered the first state-wide professional development on the new high school mathematics sequence: Math I, Math II, and Math III. Resources from that training can be found at

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction has also posted a Math I, II, and III Resources List and FAQ at

CMS Secondary Math Wiki:

Great math resources:

CMS Middle School Alliance Meeting Schedule

Math Alliance meetings were created as a resource for teachers across the district to share ideas. This year, the meetings will focus on performance tasks. Please consider attending any or all of the following:
September 26, 2013 - South Charlotte MS 4:30 - 6:15 p.m.
November 14, 2013 - Piedmont MS 4:30 - 6:15 p.m.
January 14, 2014 - Cochrane Academy 4:30 - 6:15 p.m.
February 18, 2014 - Randolph MS 8:30 - 11:30 a.m.
March 18, 2014 - Crestdale MS 4:30 - 6:15 p.m.

Math Contest Information

Math Olympiad -
  • 5 monthly contests given from November to March
  • Team has up to 35 students
  • Individual; 5 non-routine problems
  • $99 for online version; $119 for paper version (District supported)

Mathcounts -
  • Club in a Box
  • Team is $90; can also send up to 4 individuals @ $25 each
  • Problem of the Week usually related to current events
  • This is a local/state/national contest

NC Math Competition -

Next Local Competition is on October 5, 2013 at either the Huntersville or Lake Norman Mathnasium

20 highest scores in each grade level will receive an invitation to compete in the State Finals on Sunday, October 20, 2013 on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill

$20 registration fee per participant


Need to create an assessment? PowerSchool has an application called Schoolnet. It is located on the left hand side of your PowerSchool home page under applications. Once there, move your mouse over Assessment Admin and click on create. The assessment questions vary from multiple choice, true/false, matching, open response to gridded response.

Performance Tasks - Every Secondary Math teacher in CMS is being asked to use at least 7 instructional tasks, which include discovery, formative & performance-based tasks in their classrooms this school year. With each task, they will need to provide 3 student work samples and reflections. NOTE: These will be provided by the District.

Want more information on next-generation assessments? Check out the sample items at Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC)

Math App of the Month

Buzz Math Middle School. Free for students, premium version for teachers
This free iPad app offers thousands of Common core-aligned math problems that cover 6th, 7th, and 8th grade curriculum. Students can play with the app for free, and teachers can use it with an entire class. The app tracks students' mastery of problems and offers a reporting tool for teachers. The app is also enabled for SmartBoards. The Premium version for educators costs $100/class. School subscription pricing is also available.


Are you interested in finding out more about the RTI process? An online module is available at (you will want to use Mozilla Firefox).