6-12 Mathematics Update

Week of January 20, 2015

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Important Updates

Standards for Mathematical Practice

This week, the focus is on SMP 5: Use appropriate tools strategically.

Please view the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Skocybk5zUg.

Coaching Tip

Provide Teachers with Ongoing Chances to Meet with Other Teachers to Be Learners of Mathematics and to Reflect on Their Instruction

When teachers do not understand mathematics, they tend to fall into the misunderstanding that their task is simply to cover objectives that will be tested. They believe that objectives have relatively equal importance, and that teaching happens best through simply telling the children procedures and having the children practice so they can remember. Instead, this kind of teaching leads children to fragile understandings that crumble under the weight of too many partially memorized, disconnected objectives.


  • Search out opportunities for teachers to learn mathematics. District-level workshops, where teachers can be released of classroom responsibilities for a day so they can learn mathematics and think about mathematics instruction, are best. College classes, study groups, and conferences through professional organizations such as the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics give teachers chances to learn mathematics and about mathematics instruction.

  • Search out or create chances for teachers to come together to discuss teaching issues. These can be workshops for teachers researching mathematics instruction, book study groups, or a pair of teachers discussing student work.

Courtesy of Math Solutions

Best Practices

Creating Assessments before Instruction

Successful teachers create their summative assessments before they begin teaching their lessons. Doing so will greatly enhance your teaching and raise your students’ achievement levels. Teachers who clearly articulate how students will demonstrate mastery upfront have a clearer sense of where their students need to end up. This enables them to both maintain focus on the unit goal and strategically prioritize their instructional plans to reach this goal. When teachers plan without an assessment in mind, they end up testing whatever they covered during the unit, whether or not this was sufficiently rigorous to meet their learning goals. This approach is more likely to result in insufficiently rigorous instruction that lowers the bar for student achievement. Planning for assessment first enables you to prioritize and demand high levels of rigor and mastery and reduces the likelihood of ultimately settling for less and/or eliminating important elements from your plan.

Courtesy of Teaching as Leadership

Task of the Week

MCC7.EE.3 Solve multi-step real-life and mathematical problems posed with positive and negative rational numbers in any form (whole numbers, fractions, and decimals), using tools strategically. Apply properties of operations as strategies to calculate with numbers in any form; convert between forms as appropriate; and assess the reasonableness of answers using mental computation and estimation strategies.

MCC7.EE.4a Solve word problems leading to equations of the form px +q = r and p(x + q) = r, where p, q, and r are specific rational numbers. Solve equations of these forms fluently. Compare an algebraic solution to an arithmetic solution, identifying the sequence of the operations used in each approach.

Lamar was shopping at a used book sale where all books were selling at the same price. He bought six science fiction books and eight art history books. He also decided to buy a poster of Einstein for $4.40. In total, Lamar spent $24.70. What was the price of a single book?

E-mail me to get the complete solution to the Task of the Week!

Performance Task Videos

To view the Coordinate Algebra Performance Task Video, see Course Number 156271 in MyPLC.

To view the Grade 7 Performance Task Video, see Course Number 156272 in MyPLC.

Upcoming Events

Increasing Mathematical Knowledge to Enhance Teaching (High School)

Saturday, Jan. 24th, 9am-1pm

801 Glenwood Avenue Southeast

Atlanta, GA

This course will engage teachers as mathematical thinkers by having them solve problems to deepen their understanding of mathematics.

The objective of this course is to build teachers’ mathematical knowledge and capacity in order to increase student achievement.

Please visit MyPLC to register.

High School (Part 1)

Course#: 156273

Section#: 63168

Governor's Honors Program (GHP) Workshop

Tuesday, Jan. 27th, 4:30-6pm

Campbell Building

This workshop is aimed to prepare students for the state's GHP interviews. Any math teacher with GHP experience is urged to participate.

Department Chair/Curriculum Contact Meeting

Wednesday, Jan. 28th, 4:30-6pm

929 Charles Allen Drive Northeast

Atlanta, GA

This meeting is designed to provide information to department chairs and curriculum contacts so that they may keep their school updated with news from the Department of Mathematics. The meeting will take place in the Interactive Lab across from the Media Center.

Please visit MyPLC to register.

High School (Part 1)

Course#: 156292

Section#: 63392