(Mi)2 Update December 2019
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In this Issue:

Making Math More Accessible

Language and discussion is such an important piece of learning that happens in a math classroom. Do you have a student who is deaf or hard of hearing? Alt+Shift’s lending library has a tool that could help. The Chattervox, a personal voice amplification system, is a small "Public Address System." Visit our lending library page to read more about it and watch a video to see if you would be interested in trying it to support a student in your classroom.


Michigan Council for Exceptional Children (MCEC)

The MCEC is currently accepting nominations for their annual awards and scholarships.  The awards listed below are a few given out each year. If you know a deserving individual or group, consider filling out a nomination form. All honorees are celebrated at the Michigan CEC conference in Grand Rapids in March. To learn about all the awards and scholarships given out, and to find the nomination forms, visit the MCEC Awards and Scholarship page. The deadline for all award nominations is December 20, 2019.
  • The Yes I Can! awards honor students with disabilities who excel. These awards celebrate the achievements of children and youth with disabilities; encourage these individuals to seek their highest potential; and increase public awareness of the abilities, aspirations, and personal qualities of those with disabilities.
  • The Dr. William C. Morse Teacher of the Year award recognizes a teacher or related service provider who currently provides direct services to students with exceptionalities.
  • The Exceptional Parent(s) award is given by the Michigan Council for Exceptional Children to honor parents of students with exceptionalities.

Foundations of Math

The Components of Number Sense were designed to support teachers in improving math instruction. This model represents discussions and connections that should be made within each lesson. The outside wedges represent the “Big Ideas” throughout all levels and all are connected through the use of language. 
For a better understanding, view the “What are the Components of Number Sense” video that discusses the development and ideas behind using it in your planning and instruction.
Components of number sense diagram. Elements of the diagram are included in the list below
When planning for instruction, examine the lesson and look for connections to several Components of Number Sense which include:
  • Quantity & Magnitude
  • Numeration
  • Equality
  • Base Ten
  • Form of a Number
  • Proportional Reasoning
  • Algebraic and Geometric Thinking
By uncovering these ideas in your planning, you will be better prepared to make the connections for the students during the lesson or have questions ready to press your students to uncover it themselves. By presenting lessons in this way, students can begin to see mathematics as not only being connected throughout the year but throughout their career as learners.

Enhancing Mathematics for Students with Learning Difficulties

Ingham Intermediate School District (ISD) and Eaton Regional Educational Service Agency (RESA) have teamed up to put on a regional training this fall. They will complete their first Enhancing Math training this month. With this new cohort comes new members included in the listserv ( As a reminder, if you have questions there are many people in the group who can offer ideas and experience. If you have resources or ideas to share from planning and instruction happening in your classroom, building, or among your team, let this be your showcase. Our goal is to connect educators for the purpose of improving student outcomes!

Delta Math: Implementation Story

Cara Hart
Teacher Consultant/Instructional Coach
Bay-Arenac ISD

Last year I was placed to be the teacher consultant in the Bangor Township School District to implement and support struggling students in the area of math. The district wanted me to pilot Delta Math with a small group of students receiving special education services. The students had a 48-minute intervention block during which I was able to pull students in small groups and run the Delta Math program with them.

My goal was to pre-assess and implement Delta Math in the areas they needed. The screener process for this is quick and simple and can be done all electronically. The best part about utilizing the online assessments is all the results are reported immediately. I used the fall, winter, and spring readiness to identify each student’s needs and to keep track of their progress.

I would start out with a whole group lesson for each readiness standard and would release students after they met the learning goal of a readiness standard three times. The students who needed more intensive interventions would continue to see me until they were able to master that skill. The students really like the progress monitoring and they were able to graph their progress on the growth chart and see how well they were doing. 

The next steps we are taking this year to expand the Delta Math program to more students. To do this, we have included the math teachers and special education teachers to teach the program. This has been an intensive process working on assessing and placing students accordingly due to the fact that we have been trying to work this process through after scheduling has been done and students were in other classes. Overall, once the program is up and running, I think it will be a great success and support for everyone!

Alt+Shift Update

Aided language input or the practice of modeling augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) when speaking to those who are learning or are using AAC, is a critical intervention strategy. To use this strategy to develop math vocabulary (and the math concepts that go with those words), model words in a variety of contexts throughout the day even beyond the math lesson. Many math vocabulary words are used in everyday life such as less, more, same, different, some, and all. Even words like equal, greater than,and less than can be applied in a variety of situations. As you model AAC in your classrooms, the gym, on the playground, the bus, or at home ensure that the AAC user "sees" your point. We can model all day, but if they aren't looking, they aren't able to fully benefit from the model. 

Educator’s Resource

Yummy Math is a resource providing teachers with engaging, real world math problems that are current, relatable, and interesting. The founders of the site believe when math is explored in contexts that are familiar and of interest to students, students are more engaged to do math, reason, think critically, question, and communicate. The activities are written to correspond with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Process Standards and the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for Mathematical Practice.

Upcoming Alt+Shift Events

Conventional Literacy Instruction for Students with Significant Disabilities and Complex Communication Needs
February 17-18, 2019
Clinton County RESA
St. Johns, MI

Math Around Michigan

Building Thinking Classrooms for Co-Teaching
Building Thinking Classrooms (BTC) is the result of more than ten years of research by Dr. Peter Liljedahl. Join us to experience high leverage practices promoting problem solving, questioning, and thinking along with accessible routines and grouping protocols that will increase opportunities for diverse learners. A local middle school teacher will share her implementation story. Secondary general and special education math teachers are welcome and encouraged to attend with building or district colleagues.  Ongoing access to free resources via miPLACE will be provided.
Registration is open for December 18 in Oakland County (open to out of county participants). 
Time(s): 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Location: Oakland Schools, 2111 Pontiac Lake Rd., Waterford 48328
Cost: $15 Oakland County/$90 out of county
Responsive Mathematics Institute
The Washtenaw ISD is gearing up for another year of opportunity for educators to examine mathematics instruction from an equity perspective. The institute will focus on applying culturally relevant pedagogy by developing reflective practice and responsive instruction. Dates for the upcoming 2019-2020 school year include:
February 19, 2020 Registration
March 12, 2020 Registration
May 6, 2020 Registration
Math In Action Conference
Math in Action will be held on Grand Valley State University’s Allendale Campus on Saturday, February 22, 2020 from 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
What is Math in Action? Our conference presents lively and informative discussions of current issues in mathematics education while providing an opportunity for practicing pre-k to 12 teachers, prospective teachers, curriculum directors, and college and university faculty to share ideas, concerns, and resources. We include a keynote and six hour-long sessions with multiple interactive presentations in each session.
2020 Keynote Speaker: Ilana Horn, professor of Mathematics Education at Vanderbilt University and author of Motivated: Supporting Students to Share Mathematical Ideas.

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(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 Leadership Network (MMSLN)

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The Michigan Mathematics and Science Leadership Network (MMSLN) 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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