(Mi)2 Update August 2019
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In this Issue:

Making Math More Accessible: All Turn It Spinner

Do you like to play games with your students to reinforce learned math skills?  Alt+Shift’s Lending Library has a spinner that can be used in place of a board spinner or dice to make it possible for a student who requires a switch to participate! The All Turn It Spinner is available for loan and can be used with many math games you may want to try in your classroom. Email our librarian, Ashley at to find out more information and how to try this tool!

all turn it spinner

Michigan Math and Science Leadership Network (MMSLN)

Michigan’s Math and Science Leadership Network has published their professional learning opportunities for the 2019-2020 school year, with an emphasis on equity. In this MMSLN 2019-20 Calendar, find event dates, goals for the events, times, and links to the registration pages. They have also created a membership information and incentives reference sheet for those interested in joining. If you would like to become a member, visit their membership page. For frequent updates, sign up for the MMSLN newsletter. 

Foundations of Math

This National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) reference sheet, Effective Mathematics Teaching Practices, is a great guide for planning math lessons. The practices align with Foundations of Math strategies and Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practices meant to build a dynamic classroom environment. This guide reminds teachers of their role in fostering problem solvers at any age. Print a copy and keep it as a reference to help guide your lesson planning and decision making this school year!

Enhancing Mathematics Instruction for Students with Learning Difficulties: Implementation Story

Teresa Colucci
High School Math Teacher

In what ways have you implemented Enhancing Mathematics in your job?
On a big picture scale, I have thought more about the demands of the math tasks and about the specific challenges that my target student brings to class. Specific strategies that I have used:

  • Multiplication charts (in the past), but I narrowed down the chart to include only the facts that the student doesn't know.
  • A template (flowchart) for a complicated process.
  • Quick checks of concepts to focus instruction.
  • Have students explain their reasoning or their problem solving process to other students.
  • A new way of checking for understanding.

Describe one implementation challenge and how you overcame it, or are working to overcome it.
The process of factoring quadratic expressions includes a lot of decision making, so I decided to create a template with the students. The process of creating the flowchart did not go well, and students left feeling more confused about both flowcharts and factoring! This was due to my inexperience in introducing flowcharts and also because I had not created one myself beforehand! I worked after class, using what we had created as a start, and had the students use it with me during subsequent classes. I told them that they would be able to use it on tests, and interest in using it increased.
Describe one implementation success or highlight.
When the class went over the factoring test, I had a different student talk us through the flow chart, reading and answering each question and doing the specified process/step for each box. As we did this, I realized that in our earlier work using the chart, I had been leading the students. They had followed along but had not really been answering the questions themselves in that time. Going over the test in this way had a number of benefits. The students really started to understand how the flow chart could be helpful. The lead student had to figure out how to answer each question and justify his or her responses. The other students got to hear the student's answers and reasoning. It highlighted that some students are still struggling with parts of the process. My target student did not want to lead the class through one of the problems. He hadn’t done much on the test, but after seeing other students do it was able to work through his problem just fine. This student has begun contributing more in class as the year has progressed and has had successes.
Another student, who is very resistant to using new strategies, recently asked if the students would be allowed to use the factoring flow chart on the pre-Algebra final exam. She found value in this new strategy!
What is your next step for implementing Enhancing Math?
This summer, I plan to spend more time understanding the task demands of the content that I teach and get to know strategies that I can implement to enhance instruction in the future. In particular, I may create templates, flow charts, vocabulary visuals, graphic organizers, and other tools I may need going forward.

Delta Math

Three different forms of additional Guided Practice are now available for each readiness standard to help students strengthen and maintain conceptual understanding using visual representations of mathematical ideas. These free resources are intended to be used as distributed, or spaced, practice between readiness screenings. They can also extend a targeted intervention with students who came close to meeting the learning goal on their Growth Chart three times.
Each practice resource is designed to last 5 to 15 minutes and begins with the teacher/interventionist leading a “We Do Together” problem. The middle of the session provides time for students to reflect and ask questions about the learning target. The session ends with students taking turns leading to solve “You Do Together” problems.
The Delta Math Additional Guided Practice resources are aligned to the Tier 2 Readiness (zip file) and Tier 3 Standards (zip file). 
If you have questions about the Delta Math RtI Program, please contact Mike Klavon at

Alt+Shift Update: Accessible Materials Made Right

It’s time to put to bed the myth that online accessibility doesn’t matter because it only impacts a few people.
One common misconception is that making a website accessible doesn’t make sense because it only impacts a tiny population of people who are not part of the community of people who use their website.
Did you know there are more people online in the United States who are deaf or hard of hearing than the population of Spain? Or that there are more internet users in the United States who are blind or low vision than the population of Canada? This data is from the World Bank (WDI, 2008) and (NHI Survey, 2008).
The level of engagement with the AMMR courses on EduPaths (closing in on 500 unique participants) is a good indicator that a growing number of people understand the need for accessible content on websites.
If you would like to learn more about how you can create accessible online materials for your website, take one of the free online AMMR courses at EduPaths.

Educator’s Resource

In this perspective-expanding and enjoyable TED talk, Dan Finkel invites us to approach learning and teaching math with courage, curiosity, and a sense of play. He wants everyone to have fun with math and has devoted much of his life to understanding and teaching the motivation, history, aesthetics, and deep structure of mathematics. As we prepare for the beginning of the new school year, he offers a great message for all those who teach, learn, and love math!

Upcoming Alt+Shift Events

2-Day Introduction to Pragmatic Organization Dynamic DIsplay (PODD)
August 7-8, 2019
Clinton County Regional Educational Service Agency (RESA)
St. Johns, MI 

Emergent Literacy Instruction for Students with Significant Disabilities and Complex Communication Needs
October 1-2, 2019
Clinton County RESA
St. Johns, MI

Math Around Michigan

Illustrative Math Training
North Muskegon Public Schools is hosting a two-day Illustrative Math kick-off training for teachers looking to implement a curriculum based on Illustrative Math at the middle and high school levels. Email Jonathan Allen at to register. 
When: August 13 and 14, 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Where: North Muskegon Public Schools, 1600 Mills Avenue, North Muskegon
Cost: $200 per participant, includes lunch each day

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 that promote 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 now open for August 16 and December 18 in Oakland County. Registration is 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 for those out of county

Computer Science Fundamentals (K-5th) **NO REGISTRATION COST**
Computer Science (CS) Fundamentals is a single day comprehensive professional learning opportunity to help educators implement computer science lessons and activities with elementary students. Course includes curriculum materials, lunch, online resources, and online management tutorials. State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECHs) for all workshops will be available pending approval.
All elementary educators are encouraged to attend. The lessons in CS Fundamentals are presented with the understanding that many teachers may not have previous computer science training. The resources provided will support educators in implementing the lessons and encourages educators to learn along with their students.
There are several locations across the state with varying dates for this one day workshop. Find locations on the MI-CODING K-5 webpage. For more information on the course, check out the Computer Science Fundamentals flyer.

Math In Action: Save the Date and Call for Presenters
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.
Download and share the Math in Action event flyer.
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.
Call for Presenters: We welcome presentation proposals from everyone engaged in improving mathematics teaching and learning. Past presenters have ranged from early-career, first-time speakers, to nationally recognized experts. What do you have to share with our community?
Learn more and submit your proposal at the Math in Action event page. Proposal deadline is October 1, 2019.

Responsive Mathematics Institute: Save the Dates
The Washtenaw Intermediate School District 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 a reflective practice and responsive instruction. Dates for the upcoming 2019-2020 school year include:
November 13, 2019
February 19, 2020
March 12, 2020
May 6, 2020


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(Mi)2 Partner Organizations


Detroit Area Council of Teachers of Mathematics (DACTM)

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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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