(Mi)2 Update November 2017
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In This Issue:

Final Registration Announcement: Enhancing Mathematics Instruction for Students With Learning Difficulties

This is the final week to register for Enhancing Mathematics.
  • Are you a grades 4 through Algebra 1 general or special education math teacher who teaches students with learning disabilities or students who struggle with math?
  • Would, or does, collaborating between general and special education math educators improve your ability to address the needs of learners who struggle?
  • Could you use a framework for planning that assists you in aligning math content with appropriate strategies for your students with disabilities?
  • Are you seeking additional strategies known to be effective in helping students with disabilities learn mathematics?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, we welcome you to register. We encourage you to attend in teams of at least two people from the same building, ideally with both general and special education math educators. 

Participants will learn a framework for planning lessons that address the needs of students with disabilities, examine ways to strengthen collaboration between general and special education math educators, and look at specific strategies that address conceptual understanding, proper use of math language, and creation of equitable assessments.

Download the flyer for a full course description.

Visit the (Mi)2 website for more information and to register.  View testimonials from past participants about the impact of the training.

If you are interested in becoming a facilitator of this course, check out the Facilitator Application.

When: November 14 and 15, December 4, December 5 (Facilitators-in-training only)
Where: Okemos, MI
SCECHs: 17 available for 3-day course, 23 available for Facilitator Training


Foundations of Math

Did you know that a second Foundations of Math course was developed specifically for those who teach students with significant disabilities? The first statewide Michigan offering of Foundations of Math: Teaching Students with Significant Disabilities concludes this month. Dr. Chris Cain worked with a group of 32 Michigan educators from center-based programs and self-contained classrooms to teach the Components and Number Sense and Prototype for Lesson Construction. This included particular research and examples related to students with significant disabilities and students with complex communication needs.

Enhancing Mathematics Instruction for Students With Disabilities: Implementation Story

Michael CorridorMichael Corridor
Middle school general education teacher
Royal Oak Schools
Last year, when teaching equations, my 8th grade students had difficulty graphing in the coordinate plane. This year I wanted to explore this concept more with 6th and 7th grade students so I could deepen their understanding and prepare them for 8th grade when they will graph and write linear equations.
Enhancing Mathematics provided an approach I could use to meet my goal of helping students graph on the coordinate plane, which included applying the Math Accessibility Framework and collaborating with special education colleagues.
While talking with colleagues, and discussing ways to connect these math concepts to the real world, I learned about a YouTube video that explains how middle school math is used to animate characters at Pixar. From here an opportunity arose to consider ways to build understanding, break away from the confines of the classroom, and explore this concept differently. I sought support from Jill Hill, Teaching and Learning Specialist, and Lindsey Parker, Special Education Teacher. With their help, I learned how to use Bloxels to teach students how to design video game characters and explore how design relates to math. The lesson led to a deeper understanding of integers and graphing in the coordinate plane for my 6th and 7th grade students with disabilities. In addition, it provided a real-life context for students to begin to understand congruence related to character design across the x and y axis.
During the lesson, students design a character by drawing points on the coordinate plane and connecting them. Next, students record the ordered pairs that they used to make the character. Finally, students use Bloxels materials to place small cubes in a tray to layout their character. The character is then photographed and uploaded to a video game where that character becomes the student’s avatar in a maze game.
Maze Game Avater Maze Game ChecklistMaze Game
This project requires students to work through the concrete-representational-abstract sequence and requires multiple steps to complete. I anticipated learning barriers and planned strategies for a continuum of learners by creating a system for students to organize their work.
To help students manage tasks and the organization of this project, I created a checklist to help students focus on each part of their character’s body. This allowed them to record the ordered pairs that made up the head, torso, arms, and legs separately.  Breaking the project into smaller sections had additional benefits. It provided an opportunity for teacher feedback at the completion of each section, allowed students to keep track of each task by using a simple checklist and helped me to ensure understanding through mathematical discourse. I also identified common student challenges like the idea of beginning and ending the design with the same ordered pair.
Students were not making the connection that each part of the completed body had to have the same starting and stopping point. By asking students questions and going back over the ordered pairs, students were able to see how the ordered pairs could be connected to create shapes. Finding out about students’ strengths and difficulties using questions is a key accessibility principle.
*For another video game based idea, see how to use the Ms. Pac Man game board to teach students a lesson about transformations.

Delta Math

The winter screening cycle begins today and continues through February 28, 2018 to measure the impact of fall tier 2 interventions and identify students for upcoming tier 2 interventions. Sample reports can be viewed on the Delta Math support website and data protocols are available to guide your Tier 2 Professional Learning Communities.

If you would like to learn more about Delta Math professional learning opportunities, please contact Mike Klavon at

Alt+Shift Update

Comprehensive Literacy Instruction for Students with Significant Disabilities and Complex Communication Needs
Date: March 6-8, 2018
Location: Detroit Metro Airport Marriott, 30559 Flynn Dr, Romulus, MI 48174 
Time: 8:30 - 4:00
Cost: $75 Michigan residents, $225 out-of-state
Registration and information is available on the Alt+Shift website event page.
This three-day introductory intensive course focuses on conventional literacy instruction for students with moderate to significant disabilities. Drs. Karen Erickson and David Koppenhaver will guide participants in learning how to provide daily comprehensive literacy instruction that includes word study, self-directed reading, reading comprehension, and writing. Course participants will examine student work samples, videos of classroom instruction, methods of instruction, and theoretical frameworks supporting universal literacy. The course is open to any and all interested educators and related services personnel concerned with supporting communication and literacy in these students.

Making Systems of Equations Come to Life

In the blog post “Running VS Walking Headstart #MPM1D #MFM2P #3ActMath”, high school teacher Laura Wheeler describes how she used real-life context to take her students through a 3-stage math lesson on systems of equations. She did so by asking her students how much of a head start they would need to cross the finish line at the same time as their school track star who completed a 1500 meter race in 4 minutes and 7 seconds. Using the framework of a 3-Act Task, Ms. Wheeler was able to engage all of her students in a meaningful lesson that taught a concept and provided practice with procedures by taking it all the way to the outdoor school track to test their mathematical models. 

While you may not have an outdoor track or a local track star, this lesson serves as a great example of how we might approach creating math problems that allow multiple access points through quantity, magnitude, context, and curiosity.


Upcoming (Mi)2 Professional Learning Opportunities

Upcoming Regional Foundations of Math Dates

Ishpeming, Day 5 (November 10)

Math Around Michigan

Michigan Council for Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM) Book Club
The 18th MCTM online book club has begun. The club is studying The Formative 5: Everyday Assessment Techniques for Every Math Classroom by Skip Fennell, Beth Kobett, and Jonathan Wray. There is no cost to join the book club other than the cost of the book. The study began the week of October 8 and continues for six weeks. Each week the group reads and discusses one of the chapters. Questions are added to a Google doc and emailed at the beginning of the week so members have the week to read, reflect, and respond if they would like. To join, or ask questions, email Kevin Dykema.
EMATHS Online Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry Courses
You are invited to enroll in EMATHS online professional development for secondary math teachers. Modelled on the 8-week face-to-face EMATHS training, these are 12-week courses where participants will engage in a variety of activities as they explore Algebra I, Algebra II, and/or Geometry. For more information, download the flyer, email Sandra Geldhof, or go to the EMATHS registration page. The course runs January 9 through April 3, 2018. Registration is open through December 5, 2017.
Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science
The Michigan Mathematics and Science Centers Network will be hosting AP Computer Science Principles (grades 10-12) and Computer Science Discoveries (grades 7-9) professional development this summer at no charge. The curriculum resources for these classes are also provided at no cost. Schools admitted into this program must commit to having a year-long AP Computer Science course or at least one semester of a Computer Science course in order for their teacher to be accepted into the program. Applications are projected to open in January 2018. If you are interested in this nationally-renowned program, now is the time to get approval to run the courses next year so you are able to apply when the applications become available in January. Teachers are asked to attend a one-week professional learning series in the summer and four follow-up professional learning sessions during the school year. Watch for more information to come. For specific questions, contact Kathy Surd.
Michigan's New Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) Teacher Network
The STEM Teacher Network is a community-driven Professional Learning Community that connects STEM instructors across Michigan. Members can interact through the online community or join in on monthly live, online meetings. Each meeting will focus on a specific topic (such as free resources, class routines, or fundraising) and will feature a panel of fellow STEM teachers who are knowledgeable about that particular topic. 
The first online meeting was held in October.  Live sessions will continue on the second Tuesday of each month. 
Sign up here to receive the latest updates including an invitation to join the online community.

Responsive Math Institute
The Washtenaw Intermediate School District (ISD) in collaboration with Eastern Michigan University is proud to present the Responsive Mathematics Institute. The Responsive Mathematics Institute is an opportunity for educators to examine mathematics instruction from an equity perspective. Participants will explore the following questions:
  • How does identity influence one’s perception of math? 
  • What are strength-based instructional models that can be implemented in the mathematics classroom?
  • How can cultural modeling be embedded within the mathematics classroom?
  • How have I imposed my biases on students?
  • What privileges do I have because of my identity?
  • How can we, as educators, develop a reflective practice?
The institute takes place on various dates throughout the fall and spring. For more information, visit the Responsive Math Institute website.

Detroit Area Council of Teachers of Mathematics (DACTM)/Metropolitan Detroit Science Teachers Association (MDSTA) Annual Conference
Make plans to join Detroit area math and science teachers for a day of learning and professional development. The 2017 DACTM/MDSTA annual conference returns to Cousino High School for a full day of sessions, workshops, and exhibitors. K-12 math and science educators will learn from fellow educators on topics including math instruction, science instruction, curriculum, technology integration, and STEM.
November 11, 2017
Cousino High School (30333 Hoover Rd., Warren, MI, 48093)
$40-$80 based on membership status and special pricing for pre-service teachers
$8 lunch
Online registration, pricing, and session descriptions are available on the DACTM website.

Save the Date: Math in Action Conference
Math in Action will take place Saturday, February 24, 2018 at Mackinac Hall on Grand Valley State University’s Allendale campus. Math In Action presents lively and informative discussions on current issues in mathematics education. It also provides an opportunity for practicing Pre-K to 12 teachers, prospective teachers, curriculum directors, and college and university faculty to share idea, concerns, and resources.  For more information, download the Math in Action Save the Date flyer.

(Mi)2 Partner Organizations


Detroit Area Council of Teachers of Mathematics (DACTM)

Detroit Area Council of Teachers of Mathematics logo
The Detroit Area Council of Teachers of Mathematics (DACTM) proactively supports Michigan math educators’ continued professional growth.

Michigan Council for Exceptional Children (MCEC)

logo for Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics
The Michigan Council for Exceptional Children (MCEC) is part of a national community of educators who are the voice and vision of special and gifted education.

Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM)

logo for Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics
The Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM) is the professional organization for Michigan mathematics educators at any grade level, pre-K through college.


Michigan Math and Science Center Network (MMSCN)

Michigan Math and Science Center Network logo
The Michigan Mathematics and Science Centers Network (MMSCN) collaborates with partners across the state to improve math and science teaching.

Alt+Shift, encompassing Michigan's Integrated Mathematics Initiative, is an Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Grant Funded Initiative out of the Michigan Department of Education, Office of Special Education.
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