(Mi)^2 Update August 2017
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In This Issue:

Making Mathematics Meaningful Through Collaboration

Registration is now open for the 3rd annual Making Mathematics Meaningful Through Collaboration (MMMC) conference, offered jointly by the Michigan Council for Exceptional Children, Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and Michigan’s Integrated Mathematics Initiative. This one-day event will feature Dr. Juli Dixon of the University of Central Florida doing an opening session and keynote address on “Redefining Success: Supporting All Students to Reach Their Full Potential,” followed by breakout sessions from math and special education leaders in Michigan on topics designed to help both general and special education teachers improve math learning for students with disabilities, including instructional strategies, collaborative structures, and student engagement.

Where: Lansing Community College
When: October 23, 2017
Time: 8:30 am to 3:00 pm
*SCECHs available at no cost

A limited number of scholarships covering the cost of registration are available to successful applicants. Applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis, so apply soon. For more information, download the MMMC Scholarship Information flyer.

For registration and information, download the MMMC Conference flyer, or register online.

Foundations of Math

This month, Michigan’s Integrated Mathematics Initiative will provide half-day Leadership Training for Foundations of Math in Sault Ste. Marie and Grand Ledge. This half-day event provides answers to three questions for administrators, coaches, course instructors, and teacher leaders: 
  • What did/will my teachers learn in Foundations of Math?
  • Why is that important for students?
  • What specific steps do I need to take to make sure the training translates to practice?

After one full year of implementation study, one of the many lessons we have learned is that administrative involvement and support, throughout the implementation process, is critical to ongoing efforts, and success, of bringing Foundations of Math pedagogy to students. Leadership Training is an important component of helping leadership to provide that involvement and support.

Enhancing Mathematics Instruction for Students With Disabilities: Implementation Story

Julia Alder, Troy Public Schools
Sharon Rivera, Birmingham Public Schools
Jim Randall, Michigan’s Integrated Mathematics Initiative
As part of their three Enhancing Mathematics course offerings between 2015 and 2017, the Birmingham-based facilitator team of Julia, Sharon, and Jim asked participants to share how they were implementing new practices to improve accessibility in their mathematics classrooms. A variety of implementation stories were shared and are summarized here as both ideas for classroom teachers to use when addressing accessibility and course facilitators to consider as they support implementation of new practices.
Providing Relatable Context for Mathematics
One teacher used problems that were either generated by students, or related to something that students could easily reference in their everyday experience or expected future. Providing relatable contexts can also be achieved through cross-curricular lessons with math problems based on shared vocabulary or concepts such as population growth.
Designing Problems That Students are Motivated to Solve
Motivating the student is an important starting point for mathematical problem solving. Some teachers focused on motivating students through challenging problems, and the self-gratification that comes from solving challenging problems. Teachers did this by creating problems with easy numbers and then scaffolding into more complex and challenging problems. Teachers also used visual aids, strategically and purposefully, as well as story contexts with pictures, to help students make sense of the problems. 
Maximizing Opportunities for Teacher Collaboration
Other participants focused on strategies for collaboration between general and special education colleagues. These participants engaged in a more defined partnership where, for example, the special education teacher might pre-teach a math lesson in a small support setting. This included spending more time on student discussion, having students explain their thinking, and giving students additional opportunities to notice multiple aspects of the task. Both teachers would make sure they used common vocabulary and approaches to the math so that both teachers were building conceptual understanding, making connections to other math, and using correct math vocabulary.
Creating Consistency in a Department Using the Math Accessibility Framework
A team of teachers from a private school obtained the use of grant money to set up a series of meetings with their colleagues to explore the accessibility framework as a format to write common lesson plans that would meet the needs of all students. In their setting, there were no special education teachers and it was up to all of these teachers to meet the needs of all students. The commitment to establish a more comprehensive lesson plan format came from the teachers and with administration support.
Thinking About Assessment
One of the math consultants from a local district went back into the classroom to teach. She wanted to focus on outcomes and wanted to meet the needs of as many students as she possibly could. She took the district goals for her grade and created a rubric (four levels) for each of the units she was expected to teach in the following year. She knew that learning takes place in stages and that she needed to honor the students’ success for obtaining each level. She also knew that she needed to determine the level of understanding for each of her students because knowing their level would help her to better instruct them to the next level. She shared her plan with the course facilitators. She knew these principles were consistent with the values taught in the course and, by using them, she could meet the needs of all students in a more comprehensive and detailed manner.
Reflections on Implementation From the Facilitators
We are transitioning to a revised course offering starting after the re-certification training on November 13 and 14 and December 4 and 5, 2017. The new training will involve facilitator follow-up with course participants. One of the options we will explore is video recording (not mandated) as a way for participants to formatively assess their instructional practice. A main idea of the course is that a teacher needs to adjust instruction each day. Our experience with past participants indicated that some teachers found video recording or audio recording math exchanges to be a powerful activity that was very helpful as part of the reflective process. We look forward to continuing the work of enhancing mathematics instruction for students with learning difficulties.

For more information, and to register, for the upcoming Enhancing Mathematics course (as a participant) or recertification (as a facilitator), visit the (Mi)^2 Enhancing Math webpage.

Delta Math

Reports that include every student in Michigan screened with the Delta Math screener in the fall (2016), and every student screened-up in the spring (2017), show positive results. A greater percentage of students are more ready to learn moving into the next school year compared to the percentage that were ready to learn coming into this school year. 
For example, 28.9 percent of all 1st grade students screened this fall on the 1st grade readiness screener performed at benchmark on all six of the 1st grade readiness standards. And, 53.4 percent of all 1st grade students screened-up this spring on the 2nd grade readiness screener performed at benchmark on all five of the 2nd grade readiness standards. Growth data for each grade level during the 2016-2017 school year is now available.

If you would like to learn more about Delta Math data trends and/or tier 2 intervention resources, please contact Mike Klavon at

Four Responses to "I Don't Know"

How do you respond to a student who says “I don’t know?” In the CorwinConnect article, “Four Responses to ‘I Don’t Know”, author Connie Hamilton reminds readers that how a teacher responds to this statement will determine who ends up doing the majority of thinking. Hamilton explains why students say they don’t know and provides suggestions on how to respond in a way that address those underlying reasons. Many strategies teachers can use to respond to “I don’t know” have less to do with providing information or reteaching, which the statement “I don’t know” seems to warrant on a literal basis. They have more to do with helping students get “unstuck” or helping students consider what they do know, which may go farther to address the true underlying reasons for saying “I don’t know.”

Upcoming (Mi)2 Professional Learning Opportunities

Upcoming Regional Foundations of Math Dates

Ishpeming, August 15, 16, and 31, October 13, November 10

Charlevoix-Emmett ISD, August 16, 17, and 30,
Days 4 and 5 to be determined

Math Around Michigan

Macomb Intermediate School District (ISD) Summer Professional Learning Opportunities
Macomb ISD has a variety of offerings for all grade levels from June to August. Topics include proportional relationships, number talks, fractions/decimals/percents, Math Recovery, and the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics’ Principles to Action.  For a list of offerings, including dates, registration, and cost, check out the Mathematics Summer Workshops flyer.

Kalamzoo Regional Educational Services Agencay (RESA) Professional Learning Opportunities
Kalamazoo RESA has announced its 2017-2018 Professional Learning Opportunities, including:
  • Differentiated, High-impact CORE Math Instruction (grades 2-5) 2 days: 1/26/18 and 2/19/18
  • Differentiated, High-impact Math Work Stations (grade K-5) 2 days: 9/25/17 and 12/6/17
  • I’m “Nspired” Now What? Using TI-Nspires in the Math Classroom  (grades 7-12) 5 days: 8/24/17, 8/25/17, 10/6/17, 11/28/17, 2/1/18
  • Integration: Making the Math & Science Connection (grades 3-5) 1 day: 3/1/18
  • Planning & Supporting Productive Math Talk (grades 3-8) 2 days: 10/13/17 and 12/5/17
  • Strengthening Preschool Mathematics Instruction (Early Childhood) 1 day: 4/26/18
  • Student Engagement in Mathematics (grades 3-8) 2 days: 1/30/18 and 3/6/18
  • Teaching with Eureka Math for the First Time (grades K-5) 2 days: 10/3/17 and 11/9/17
  • Paraprofessional Power: Making the Most of Your Role as a Para-Educator (grades K-12) 2 days: 9/13 and 14, 2017
 More information and registration, visit the Kalamazoo RESA course offerings page

Oakland Schools Summer Professional Learning
Oakland Schools offers a variety of quality professional learning opportunities. Scroll through the Summer 2017 Mathematics Professional Learning Opportunities flyer for more information on a variety of offerings including opportunities for elementary, middle, and high school teachers in June, July, and August.

Detroit Area Council of Teachers of Mathematics (DACTM) Scholarships and Grants
Every year, DACTM awards six grants of up to $500 to members for ideas they may have for their classrooms or for professional development. This year the Detroit Chapter of the American Statistical Association has an additional $1,000 that could be for one $1,000 grant or a number of smaller grants for statistics-related projects. Applications are due September 30, and awards will be made at the November conference.  
DACTM also awards up to two $1,000 scholarships for math teachers-in-training.
For more information and application forms, visit the DACTM website. Questions?  Email Bob and Kathy Peterson.
Wayne and Washtenaw Counties Math Teachers’ Circle (WWCMTC)
The Wayne County Math Teachers' Circle (WCMTC) began in August 2015 as a project of the University of Michigan Department of Mathematics, with support from the Wayne RESA Math and Science Center and the Detroit Area Council of Teachers of Mathematics (DACTM). For two years, the WCMTC welcomed teachers from any county or intermediate school district, but focused their outreach on Wayne County teachers. All meetings were held at Wayne RESA. Beginning with the 2017-2018 program, the WCMTC invites Washtenaw County teachers to join us as well. Meetings are held on Saturdays at the Washtenaw County Learning Resource Center (4135 Washtenaw Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48108) for geographic convenience. 
For information, including sign up information, a brief description of Math Teachers’ Circles, and WWCMTC schedules, visit the WWCMTC webpage

Save the Date: Detroit Area Council of Teachers of Mathematics (DACTM) and Metro Detroit Science Teachers Association Joint Annual Conference
The joint conference will be held in Warren at Cousino High School on Saturday, November 11, 2017. Keep an eye on the DACTM website for details as they become available.

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 of current issues in mathematics education while providing an opportunity to 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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