(Mi)2 Update June 2019
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In this Issue:

Make Math Accessible: Desmos

The mission at Desmos is to help every student learn math and love learning math. With that in mind, they have assembled a collection of unique and engaging digital activities.  Desmos is working hard to make their platforms accessible to all learners and producing some pretty cool things for students to utilize. The calculator can plot a variety of different equations, from lines to parabolas and more. It can take a set of data and create a graph. It supports functions and inequalities; it can graph exponents and logs, trig functions, precalculus and calculus problems, and even statistics and probability. Best of all, it’s free. All you need is a web browser. Head over to the Desmos site and see what your students can utilize!

SAVE THE DATE - Mathematics: Reaching All Learners Together (MRALT) Conference

Mathematics: Reaching All Learners Together (MRALT) is a one-day conference that brings math educators (including general and special education teachers, interventionists, coaches, administrators, consultants and support staff) together for a day of learning and sharing. The event is sponsored by Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Michigan Council for Exceptional Children, and Alt+Shift. 
Date: October 28, 2019
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Location: Lansing Community College West Campus
MRALT Conference registration link

Foundations of Math

Recently we have had several inquiries about the five-day Foundations of Math and Foundations of Math: Teaching Students with Significant Disabilities training we offer at the state level. Please note we will not be offering these trainings this fall.  Alt+Shift is restructuring both courses to better support implementation within intermediate school districts (ISDs) where Alt+Shift and ISD Implementation Teams are partnering to provide training and implementation support. 
We appreciate your interest and look forward to working and training with you in the future. If you have other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the Math Accessibility Specialist, Briana Bancroft (

Enhancing Mathematics Instruction for Students With Learning Difficulties

Alt+Shift finished another state-level training cohort for Enhancing Math in March.  Educators from across the state came to learn about strategies and techniques that help make math more accessible for students with individualized education programs (IEPs). 
Participant feedback included:

  • Sessions were engaging and effective. Many opportunities to discuss strategies and techniques that we can utilize in our classroom.
  • There were accomodations discussed and used today that I would not have thought of or used. I really enjoyed interacting with fellow participants.
  • Lots of useful information. I will definitely be reviewing it over time to digest it all.
  • Great reminder of how much of a barrier language can be in math! 

We saw many teams of teachers coming together to learn, plan, and collaborate for the benefit of their students, including an ISD team going through as level 2 participants.  Now we have even more knowledge and experience connected to our Enhancing Math listserv. Please continue to utilize that email group as another way to collaborate with teachers around the state. The listserv email address is:

Delta Math: Implementation Story

Lisa Gravedoni

Lisa Gravedoni is the new interventionist at Birchview Elementary. She came into the position at the beginning of the second year of Delta Math implementation and has focused on understanding the program, screeners, and intervention lessons. We asked her to tell us about getting started in her new position and utilizing the Delta Math Program. This is part II of Lisa’s story, part I of Lisa’s story was featured in a previous newsletter.

Alt+Shift: Describe one implementation challenge you have experienced.
Lisa: The biggest challenge I’ve faced is getting buy in from all teachers. Trying to explain how developing skills using the CRA (Concrete-Representational-Abstract) model truly does support the best and most efficient learning. I’ve seen it first hand, and I want all teachers to embrace this pedagogy so that all students can have the opportunity to feel empowered and confident in their knowledge of numbers.
Trying to prove this method works to some teachers has been a struggle. I try to show student work samples as an example and hope that the students show a new found confidence in class after we have worked on the skills, but change is hard for some. It has to be a mindset shift before it will show up in their practice.  I just keep working hard with the students and hope what we are all doing will benefit the child.
AS: Describe an implementation success you’ve had.
Lisa: One child I worked with was extremely frustrated with basic division and really getting down on herself because she couldn't understand it. She knew you could draw circles to figure it out but didn't know why or how. We spent one day using manipulatives and she was able to perform at 100 percent proficiency. The next day we went in to drawing, and again she had 100 percent. She was elated! We then started having the conversation and making connections between multiplication and division. She continued to excel, her language and answers matured, and she was no longer upset with herself or the content. It was amazing to be a part of that journey with her.
AS: What are your next steps with implementing Delta Math?
Lisa: Trying to find more ways to utilize the data from the screener to strengthen the instruction and the students' understanding. We want to take a hard look at where the deficits are recurring and come up with a plan to address those areas sooner and in more detail. I work with a great group of teachers who have a lot of knowledge to share. We have been given more time to collaborate and these are the things we are trying to tackle as a team. We are always looking to better ourselves which in turn will better our students, and that is what it is all about!

Alt+Shift Update: Emergent Literacy

A state-wide Emergent Literacy Instruction for Students with Significant Disabilities and Complex Communication Needs has been scheduled for next fall. Registration is open for in-state attendees.
Date: October 1 and 2, 2019
Location: Clinton County Regional Educational Service Agency, St. Johns, MI
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Presenters: Marlene Cummings and Megan Zell
Cost: $30 in-state, $150 out-of-state (registration opens July 1st for out-of-state)

Educator’s Resource

At the end of the school year teachers are often asked “What can we do at home over the summer?” Greg Tang has a Summer Math Challenge for students to take part in that includes using games on his site and a game board for the kids to work through.  When the game board has been completed, the teachers or parents can fill out a certificate of completion for the child. All online games have different difficulty levels you can work through, and there are printable games as well. Visit his Summer Math Challenge site to see what it is all about and see if it is something your families can benefit from.

Upcoming Alt+Shift Events

Alt+Shift Implementation Team Summer Retreat
June 18-20, 2019
Traverse City, MI
*This event is open by invitation to our current implementation teams.

Teaching Movements for Communication
July 15-19, 2019
Wesley School in Muskegon
*Alt+Shift has 25 seats and there was an application process for those seats

Enhancing Mathematics Instruction for Students With Learning Difficulties Overview
MCTM Pre-conference workshop
July 30, 2019
Grand Rapids, MI

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

Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM) Annual Conference
The 70th Annual MCTM Institute and Conference will return to the Eberhard Center at the downtown campus of Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, MI July 30 - August 1, 2019. The Institutes begin on Tuesday, July 30, 2019, with the two-day conference following on Wednesday and Thursday, July 31 - August 1, 2019.
Check out the schedule of the Institute sessions. You can also look at the institute conference sessions to see what is offered and start marking sessions you are interested in. Lodging information and discounted pricing is available to conference goers as well.

Grand Rapids Elementary Mathematics Laboratory (GREML)
The GREML, being held from June 10 - 14, 2019,  is structured to make it possible for educators, policymakers, and education advocates to engage directly in the close study of teaching practice. Participants in the GREML will have the chance to observe an elementary mathematics class taught by Deborah Loewenberg Ball, an experienced elementary school teacher and faculty member at the University of Michigan. The unique laboratory setting provides participants with opportunities to delve into the complexity of teaching as well as develop specific professional skills. For more information, please visit Grand Rapids Elementary Mathematics Laboratory eventbrite page.

Differentiating in Mathematics Classrooms: A Connected Math Project (CMP) Workshop
This workshop is designed around sharing ideas and experiences to help us learn from each other. The workshop leaders will guide you through what it’s like to teach, experience, and learn in a CMP classroom. We encourage those who work with special populations to attend in teams. Discussions will focus on how you can use the curriculum materials to attend to individual learning, strategies, multiple entry points, mathematical practices, differentiation, and best practices. For more information, please visit the Differentiating in Mathematics Classroom Workshop page.

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.

Michigan TeacherCon 2019
Provided by an Official Regional Partner
NO REGISTRATION COST - Application required
AP Computer Science Principles and Computer Science Discoveries
This is comprehensive professional learning for middle and high school teachers to provide an introductory level course for AP Computer Science Principles and Computer Science Discoveries. Teachers will be part of a state-wide cohort of educators and will be provided course information, pedagogy, teaching strategies, and online management tutorials. Participants are expected to teach the course in the 2019-2020 school year. SCECHs for all workshops will be available pending approval.
Summer Dates & Locations
Option #1 - Statewide TeacherCon
July 28 - Aug 2, 2019 at the JW Marriott in Grand Rapids, MI
Includes: Hotel room, breakfast, lunch, and materials
Option #2 - Commuter Workshop
July 8-12, 2019 at Macomb ISD in Clinton Township
Includes: Lunch and materials
For more information, please visit the MI-CODING website or see the Computer Science Principles and Discovery flyer for details. 

Building Thinking Classrooms for Co-Teaching
August 16 and December 18 in Oakland County (open to out of county participants).
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.

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.

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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)

Michigan Math and Science Center Network logo
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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