Happy Holidays from the Board of the Utah Council of Teachers of Mathematics! As our holiday gift to you, all this week we will be uploading video from presentations given at the UCTM conference held in November of this year. We felt that the conference was a great success and wish to extend a hearty 'thank you' to all those who presented, attended, or participated in any way. As our thank you to you, we are happy to be able to share videos from our conference, beginning with the Keynote Address of Matt Larsen, current NCTM president.
Salutations 4th-6th Grade Teachers! BUT DON’T STOP READING THIS APPLIES TO ALL TEACHERS of mathematics!
I am so excited the start of the school year! I can’t believe it is already October. My name is Amy Kinder and I represent 4th-6th grade teachers throughout the state of Utah. It fills with me great joy that as a teacher each and every year, we get a new chance to refine and enhance our instruction. At the end and beginning of each year, we get a chance to reflect on our experiences and then learn from our reflections. Take a moment and REFLECT on your instruction.
Self is a very powerful tool to improving and refining education.
INSPIRING MATH RESEARCH
GROWTH MINDSET: Don’t say “YOU’RE SMART!” to students EVER AGAIN.
Yes, I said it. Now, if you disagree, PREPARE YOURSELF to be amazed.
Take a moment to hear about it yourself by Carol Deck herself.
In summary: The stunning result is that praising children for being SMART or
intelligent HINDERS them! Instead, we should praise them for their effort and hard
work, but NOT for being good/smart/great/intelligent.
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So drop us a line and give us some feedback and/or your thoughts by commenting on this blog post or emailing me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading!
November 4-5, the dates of the annual conference of the Utah Council of Teachers of Mathematics, is quickly approaching. This year the conference will be held at West High School in Salt Lake City. Have you registered yet? Want a preview of what you'll find at the conference? Good news! This year our entire schedule can be found online at https://utahcouncilofteachersofmath2016.sched.org/. There will be over fifty different sessions at the 2016 UCTM Conference. You can even use this online schedule tool to create a schedule of which sessions you plan to attend.
Need some help getting started? Hearing about math talks and wondering if that can help your students gain number sense? Check out this session or this session about math talks. Want some new problem solving opportunities that engage students and enrich learning? Check out this session for an engaging statistics task, this session for a collection of interesting tasks for grades 9 -11, this session to learn more about some free online tasks from Desmos that will get your students talking, this session about how to beautifully integrate the instruction of mathematical standards and art through the construction of tessellations, or this session in which you will discover resources for matching tasks with your curriculum and embedding them into your lessons, Come learn about The Links Between Self-Confidence and Math Performance; the Myths of Mnemonics (and a better way to teach Order of Operations);Invisible Mathematics; Building Conceptional Understanding of Fractions (including Fractions with Polynomials); and so much more. Honestly, this is just the tip of the iceberg of some of the great sessions that will be taking place.
While you're building your schedule, don't forget to include the Ignite Session. Ignite is a series of talks where speakers have five minutes to talk on a subject about which they feel passionately, accompanied by 20 slides, for 15 seconds each, automatically advancing (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignite_(event)). Want a sample of what that looks like? Here's my Ignite Talk from the 2015 conference:
Giving that talk was one of the scariest things I've ever done. But what an adrenaline rush when it was over! Here's one of my favorite Ignite Talks from the 2014 Conference:
You can find video all of the talks from the 2014 UCTM Ignite Session here and all of the talks from the 2015 UCTM Ignite Session here. We are so excited to see what kinds of new things we will learn and be inspired by in our Ignite session this year. On the Online Schedule, you will find a list of this year's presenters as well as the titles of and brief summaries of their talks.
Don't forget to include in your conference schedule our Keynote Speaker, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics President - Matt Larsen. Matt's background is in mathematics education, but he has also been an administrator and was most recently the K-12 Curriculum Specialist in Lincoln, Nebraska. His keynote address will focus on the important topic of equity.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of the wonderful things that will be happening at the UCTM Conference this year. Talk to your department head, district supervisor or principal about getting funding to attend. I have found that if I talk to enough people, I can usually find someone to pay my attendance fee because they appreciate that I am being proactive in my professional learning by attending well-planned professional conferences such as this one. Start that process now so that you don't miss out. We've put a lot of work into creating a conference that we feel you will find a valuable investment of your time. But the conference won't be successful unless you come. We want you there. Please join us for this event and help us to make the 2016 UCTM Conference the best one yet.
Author: Lauren Burton
Ahhhh, summer! The weather is beautiful. The smell of BBQ is in the air. Family and friends are starting to look familiar again. The time when teachers press reset button for the school year. Hats off. This is your time .
For those of you who need something to read by the pool (kiddie or hotel), I found this article by Matt Larson (NCTM president) wherein he highlights the purpose and development of the Common Core State Standards and the five paradigm shifts that should occur to improve the system of math education. While we did not officially adopt the CCSSM, the principles he talks about are the same and, as he quoted the authors of CCSSM, "the standards are not just promises to our children, but promises we intend to keep."
We have all worked very hard to implement similar changes in our Utah State Core and recognize the benefit from the data gleaned from SAGE. Once you finish perusing the article, consider reaching out to your legislator and inviting them to your class to see how great this approach to the Utah Math Core can be.
To contact a senator: http://senate.utah.gov/contact/index.html.
To contact a representative: http://le.utah.gov/house2/representatives.jsp
As you may remember, Matt Larson is scheduled to be our keynote speaker at UCTM this November. Registration is now automated and quick at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/utah-council-of-teachers-of-mathematics-conference-2016-registration-19496882701.
Have a great summer and don't forget the sunscreen!
With the Utah Primary Elections quickly approaching this Tuesday, June 28, 2016, the Utah Council of Teachers of Mathematics would like to remind and encourage you to get out and vote next Tuesday! If your county is vote by mail, you should have already received your ballot and can cast your vote any time before Tuesday. In local politics especially, every vote matters. You can go to vote.utah.gov to track your ballot and see your specific voter information, including a sample ballot. Many areas in Utah will be voting for State School Board members during this primary election. We strongly encourage you to spend some time learning about these candidates before casting your vote next Tuesday. One good place to find accurate and unbiased information about State School Board candidates is OurLocalLeaders.com. There is also a closed Facebook Group called Candidates for Utah School Board which contains helpful information about the candidates. Please spend some time researching your candidates and then be sure to cast your vote in the Utah primary election next Tuesday, June 28.
Utah Council of Teachers of Mathematics
Resolution in Support of Utah Core Standards
WHEREAS, the Utah Core Standards define what students should know and be able to do at the end of each grade level and advance equity of outcomes for Utah students by setting a bar for student performance, defining the floor but not the ceiling of student learning; and
WHEREAS, the Utah Core Standards are informed by standards in top performing countries, early childhood through secondary education leaders, higher education faculty, national content experts, leaders from business and the military, and public feedback; and
WHEREAS, the Council of Chief State School Officers (a non-partisan organization of state commissioners of education) and the National Governor’s Association (a bi-partisan organization of state governors) came together to start the Common Core State Standards Initiative to develop voluntary standards in mathematics and English language arts that states could use to ensure all students graduated from high school college- and career-ready; and
WHEREAS, the Utah State Board of Education adopted the Common Core State Standards in mathematics and English language arts on August 6, 2010 and the Common Core State Standards were woven into the Utah Core Standards while also including components unique to Utah, such as the integrated pathway; and
WHEREAS, the Utah State Board of Education re-approved the Utah Secondary Mathematics Standards on January 7, 2016 and the Utah Elementary Mathematics Standards on April 14, 2016 following the revision processes that included extensive parent and community input, public review, and regional public input meetings, as instructed by Board policy; and
WHEREAS, the SAGE Summative testing provides meaningful data to inform improvements in instruction, targeted intervention and measures of student growth; and
WHEREAS, SAGE is a locally controlled testing system with a strong question bank that has been filled with questions authored and selected by Utah educators in order to assess the level of understanding of every tested student in comparison to the uniquely Utah Core Standards.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Utah Council of Teachers of Mathematics strongly supports the newly revised Utah Core Mathematics Standards and the appropriate use of SAGE testing in Utah Schools.
Utah Council of Teachers of Mathematics
Joleigh Honey, President
Karen Feld, President-Elect
Allen Jacobson, Vice-President
Cynthia Price, Exec. Secretary
Lisa Jasumback, Treasurer
The Utah Council of Teachers of Mathematics wishes to congratulate Utah educator and former UCTM Board Member, Nathan Auck for being selected as a 2016-2017 Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow. Thirteen accomplished K-12 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teachers from across the United States have been named 2016-2017 Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellows. The fellows will spend 11 months serving in a federal agency or U.S. Congressional office in Washington, D.C., engaged in the national STEM education arena.
The Albert Einstein Distinguished Education Fellowship (AEF) Program provides a unique opportunity for accomplished K-12 STEM educators to apply their extensive classroom knowledge and experience to their host offices to inform federal STEM education efforts.
The 2016-17 Einstein Fellows are as follows:
Author: Lauren Burton
What is UCTM?
The representatives of the Utah Council of Teachers of Mathematics (UCTM) work to bring understanding and best teaching practices to all mathematics teachers in the state of Utah. This means that UCTM works for you. UCTM provides a voice to the Utah State Office of Education (USOE), the state legislature, the public, and to you to inform and educate about mathematics in practice.
The Bigger Picture
Until recently elected as the middle school representative, I didn’t understand the scope of UCTM. The conferences presented by UCTM have included some of the best training and information forums I have attended, and I thought that was pretty great. I also thought that was about it. When wanting to help with that production each year, I found that the opportunities to serve extended to more than just a single event.
The blog provides a forum of ideas and tips. The journal informs and instructs. Internet updates allow better communication among teachers. The representatives of UCTM represent Utah and all Utah mathematics teachers locally and nationally as we strive to help students. The representatives also help establish policy by speaking for you.
What this means for you.
Each of the grade bands (K-3, 4-6, Middle School, High School, Higher Ed) has a representative at UCTM. As mentioned, I now have the privilege of representing the middle school teachers. In order to do that, I need to hear your concerns and comments. What’s going well at your school? What struggles do you have? How can I help? I know some of you, but as I know more of you, I can better represent your needs to this committee. I also know that each grade band representative feels the same.
We become more effective as an organization when we better understand what you need and want to make your jobs easier and you more effective as a teacher. Let us know what you are thinking. You can contact UCTM or its representatives through the website or can contact me at email@example.com. We’d love to hear from you.
How can you help?
Seriously consider presenting at UCTM. We need your expertise and value your insight into lessons, interactions, and methods that help students learn. Not only will you support and network with your fellow teachers across the state, but will also receive free admission for the rest of the conference. If you would like to bounce ideas or have help in developing a strand, I would love to discuss this with you.
Middle School in May
I don’t know about all middle school teachers, but MAN! The end of year can be tough. The only people more excited for summer break than students are teachers! Often, students are restless. (So are we.) They are tired of testing. (So are we.) They need a break. (So do we.) But as we approach the end, we can reflect on what we—with the students have accomplished. We are proud of how much our students have grown, matured, and learned over the past year. We will miss the student that makes us smile. We know that we helped a student learn math and “really get it” for the first time. We will worry about the student who struggled academically, personally, socially.
People are often amazed that we CHOOSE to teach middle school math. My response has always been that, yes, it can be tough, but when I go to work, I laugh every day. Let’s finish strong and enjoy the journey!
My name is Nathan Auck and I am the High School Representative on the UCTM Board. It has been a privilege to serve the math educators of the state of Utah. During my time as a board member, I have been really impressed by the commitment, dedication and educational insight shown by my fellow board members. It has been an honor to get to work with colleagues of such a high caliber. As a board, we are constantly looking for improved ways to serve you, the mathematical education community of Utah.
Starting this spring, we have decided to start providing quarterly updates geared towards the elementary, middle and secondary audiences to provide an update on all the ongoings in mathematical education across the state, as well as highlighting some especially useful resources available on the internet. We hope to turn the UCTM blog into a source of consistently updated information pertaining to Utah’s mathematical educational community.
So drop us a line and give us some feedback and/or your thoughts by commenting on this blog post or emailing me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading!
Author: MaryAnn Moore
Math nerd that I am, I've been spending my Sunday evening catching up on reading my favorite math blogs that I subscribe to in Feedly. I read a LOT of math blogs, but lately two of them are really standing out to me and I wanted to take a moment to share.
If you subscribe to only one math education blog, MathEd.net should be the one! Written by Raymond Johnson, a Mathematics Content Specialist at the Colorado Department of Education, MathEd.Net is a weekly round-up of all of the most-tweeted-about blog posts and articles from the online math education community. Johnson's weekly posts also include research notes, math ed in the news, and updates about other happenings in the Math Education world. It is hands-down, the best blog post I read on any given week. Go subscribe to it right now!
Mathematical Progressions by Graham Fletchy:
I love reading about elementary mathematics because I know so little about it. Graham Fletchy has one of the very best elementary education blogs. Recently Graham has been creating videos explaining the progressions of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division across the elementary grades. As a middle school math teacher, I found these to be both informative and exciting. I have been posting them to my Facebook feed for the benefit of my friends who are very confused about the mathematics being taught to their elementary-school-aged children.