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

Meet 2015 Anne Ford Scholarship Winner Savanna Trevino-Casias

Foundations of Math

The fall 2017 Foundations of Math and Foundations of Math: Teaching Students with Significant Disabilities state-level trainings concluded in November. Eighty four people met for five days in St. Johns to increase their own mathematical knowledge and shift their instructional practices to improve outcomes for students with disabilities.

Participants said that the training stretched their thinking, gave them a better understanding of the math concepts they teach, and made them excited to learn more about how to present more concepts.

Thank you, 2017 Foundations of Math participants, for your dedication and commitment to helping students with disabilities learn math!

Enhancing Mathematics Instruction for Students With Learning Difficulties

The new revised material and training is underway. We completed the first two days of the training on November 14 and 15 with 27 participants (both general and special educators) representing grades 4-12, and primarily the 6th through 8th grade level. Nine of the participants attended to become certified trainers and will complete their training on December 5. New regional trainings will begin this spring and next fall.

Participants are finding value in the various course activities, as well as the Math Accessibility Framework and accessibility strategies. Here’s what they have to say:
  • I like the opportunity to talk and think through math goals and the strengths and weaknesses of students with others.
  • The Math Accessibility Framework was the most useful tool we received today.
  • Great to think in two tracks: math goals and student strengths/weaknesses.
  • The new video was a great example of teacher questioning techniques.
  • The Looking at Student Work activity helps me think about how I want to look at students work. Also, it was helpful to hear others interpretations.
  • Strategies for graphing and charting, like showing constant and what is changing through color, was most helpful.

The participants have one more day of training on December 4. We will then deepen understanding of language goals, demands, and challenges in learning math. We will also explore strategies for making the language of mathematics more accessible to students with disabilities and their struggling learners.

Delta Math: Implementation Story

Educator: Shannon Flippin, Elementary Principal
District: Bush Elementary, Essexville-Hampton Public Schools
(Mi)2 Cohort: Delta Math RtI Program

Bush Elementary School in Essexville, Michigan is a young five, kindergarten, and first grade building. As the building principal, I was concerned with our math intervention model.  We had one teacher trying to deliver interventions in three buildings who was spread very thin. She was working with very hard-to-accommodate and different systems in each building, and there was no guarantee that the interventions she was providing were research based. Unfortunately, we could not provide any evidence that the program was effective. We knew we needed a new model.
After some investigation, we decided to create an intervention model that included intervention aides at our building. The aides were here five days a week, working with small groups of students 30 minutes per day. We were concerned about pulling students out of their core instruction in math or any other subject, so we added a second math time each day based on the Daily 5 literacy model called “Daily 3 Math.” During this second math time, the aide could pull out students in need of tier 2 interventions without any effect upon core instruction. At the same time, the teacher could work with specific groups of students in class on challenging number sense activities or to provide tier 2 interventions in the classroom for those who do not receive additional support with the math aide.
We had an idea, but we were looking for a research-based model to guide our instruction. We decided to give Delta Math a try after learning about it at the Bay-Arenac Intermediate School District professional development day. We began in February of 2016 to get our feet wet and inform our model for the following school year. At the beginning of 2016-2017, with a little bit of experience, we started. While our kindergarten worked on number sense activities in the beginning, our first grade screened on the first grade readiness standards that are based on high priority kindergarten end-of-year benchmarks. Flexible intervention groups were identified from the Intervention Group Report and then remediated on each 1st grade readiness standard. In December, the first graders were screened up using the 2nd grade readiness standards, and we restructured our intervention groups accordingly. We provided additional support for all of the readiness standards and repeated the process throughout the third marking period. We then screened our 1st grade students at the end of the third marking period to inform Verellen Elementary--our 2nd ,3rd, and 4th grade building-- which 2nd graders might need tier 2 intervention at the beginning of the school year. 
This year (2017-2018), after sending students who had been through our multi-tiered system of supports for a year and a half to Verellen, something interesting happened. When the students arrived and were assessed with STAR Math (an online adaptive assessment program), there was a significant drop in the number of students needing math intervention. Verellen went from 22 students needing intervention the previous year to only 6. In fact, in one of the four 2nd grade classes, no students were below benchmark. In response to this data, Verellen was able to reallocate their intervention aide time and reflect on their own model of intervention. It leaves us in a great spot where we can encourage parental add-ons to an already successful model. This fall we are able to build upon our current system of supports using Delta Math resources. We will also introduce Bedtime Math and Math-In-The-Mail to our families in order to take advantage of at-home opportunities. We can’t wait to see the results in the future!

Alt+Shift Update

Accessible Materials Made Right (AMMR) is a three-day training (non-consecutive) for teams responsible for providing training to their intermediate school districts and local school districts on creating accessible digital materials for publicly facing websites.  

Alt+Shift is now accepting online team applications for teams wishing to attend this training in Berrien Springs. The applications deadline is December 15, 2017.

When: 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on January 11, February 2, and February 15
Where: Berrien Regional Educational Services Agency, Berrien Springs
Cost: There is no cost for this training. Registration is contingent upon Alt+Shift acceptance of the online team application.

Teams interested in applying should first visit the AMMR event webpage and review the AMMR Information Guide to learn more about the training.

Please send questions to

Nine Strategies for Motivating Students in Mathematics

Research tells us that intrinsic motivation, and the belief that the effort that we put into a task will yield a result that was worth the effort, is the number one predictor of growth in mathematics (Murayama 2013). In this Edutopia blog post, Alfred Posamentier lists nine ways to motivate students in mathematics that are rooted in intrinsic motivation and making mathematics meaningful.

Upcoming (Mi)2 Professional Learning Opportunities

Math Around Michigan

Michigan Formative Assessment Academy 2017-2018
The Michigan Math and Science Center Network (MMSCN) is offering a series of virtual meetings that focus on math and science formative assessment strategies.  Each month (September through May), a different speaker will present a new topic related to the use of formative assessment in math and science. For more information on the topics, and how to join the meetings, download the Michigan Formative Assessment Academy flyer.

Call for Proposals: Conversation Among Colleagues Conference
The 2018 Michigan Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (MI-AMTE) Conversation Among Colleagues Conference continues its commitment to utilize the full range of experts available in K-16 education within the state of Michigan to share ideas and have discussions about improving mathematics teacher education. This year’s conference theme is The Teacher Development Continuum: Preservice through Early Career.
Proposals for talks related to the theme are welcome. Submit your proposal by January 10, 2018. Speakers will be notified regarding their acceptance around January 17, 2018.
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 engage in a variety of activities as they explore Algebra I, Algebra II, and/or Geometry. For more information, download the EMATHS 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.
Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST)
Nominations are open online ( for the 2018 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.
Do you know, or are you, an exemplary math or science teacher in kindergarten through sixth grade? Please consider nominating him or her for the PAEMST Awards. The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is the highest recognition a K-12 teacher can receive for outstanding science or mathematics teaching in the United States.
Why apply? Recipients of the award receive the following:
  • A certificate signed by the President of the United States.
  • A paid trip for two to Washington, D.C., to attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities.
  • A $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation.
In addition to recognizing outstanding teaching in mathematics or science, the program provides teachers with an opportunity to build lasting partnerships with colleagues across the nation. 
Teachers may nominate themselves or someone else may nominate them for this award (e.g., principals, teachers, parents, or other members of the general public). To apply, teachers must first be nominated for the award. 
Please email questions to Betty Crowder, the Michigan State Coordinator.
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 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 provides an opportunity for educators to examine mathematics instruction from an equity perspective and takes place on various dates throughout the fall and spring. 
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?
For more information, visit the Responsive Math Institute 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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