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February 2017 Edition

The Official Newsletter of the Association of Teachers of Mathematics in Massachusetts, an affiliate of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

Learn about Taking Risks in the New Frontier
Submitted by Sandy Ollerhead

Join us at the ATMIM Spring Conference on March 24th at Worcester State UniversityRegistration is open, and a complete list of sessions are available on our conference website.  

Top 5 reasons to attend the Spring Conference:

  1. Connect and share ideas with like-minded educators from around the state
  2. Collect evidence toward your educator evaluator goals
  3. Join our first “Tweetup” immediately following the conference (see our twitter page for details or click here)
  4. Collect free activities that you can bring back to your classroom immediately to keep your students engaged
  5. Recharge, come away with new ideas, and be inspired!

    Don’t miss out – sign up now!

    Next-generation MCAS Recap and Resources
    Submitted by Katie Aspell

    Introductory slide from Next generation MCAS presentation

    The ATMIM Winter Conference took place at Hopedale Junior – Senior High School on Thursday evening, January 12th. Focusing on the Next-generation MCAS, the keynote speakers, Jass Stewart and Simone Johnson, both from DESE, engaged the audience of 60 mathematics educators of grades K – 12. Jass and Simone discussed why the state was rethinking the current MCAS and how the changes would be rolled out. Jass Stewart, Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff and Senior Strategist, began with a brief history of the current MCAS and where Massachusetts stand nationally and internationally. Through the history of MCAS, Jass explained the thought process of DESE in designing the Next-gen MCAS and laid out the timeline of the department and how it will impact classroom teachers. Next, Simone Johnson, Administrator for Mathematics Test Development, dove into more specific details. Simone walked us through the design of the test in types of questions, timing, scoring, and resources available to educators. At the end of the keynote, Simone and Jass answered questions from the audience that helped clarify testing accommodations and additional resources for students and teachers. Continue reading...

    Featured Resource: Graham Fletcher’s 3-Act Lessons
    Submitted by Alison Mello

    Perhaps you’ve heard of Dan Meyer and his 3-Act Lessons for grades 6-12 that are designed to instill wonder, curiosity, and get students thinking? What’s that? You feel left out because you teach elementary school? Luckily Dan has a friend named Graham Fletcher, and he’s here for you! Graham has taken Dan’s passion for engaging students in authentic tasks and applied it to elementary school concepts, including kindergarten! When you visit, you will discover tasks that feature brief video clips designed to get students thinking, wondering, and asking questions. All tasks are aligned to the standards and organized by grade level. The contexts are fun and interesting to students and promote collaboration, discourse, and opportunities for students to easily engage in the Standards for Math Practice. They also cleverly illustrate how math is applied in the real world around us.

    One of my favorites is Continue reading...

    Ready for a Mathy Valentine's Day?
    Submitted by Cole Gailus

    Are you looking for an activity for Valentine’s Day? Then click here for a list of assorted Valentine related math lessons!

    Member News

    ATMIM member Mike Flynn recently published a math book for elementary teachers called Beyond Answers: Exploring Mathematical Practices with Young Children.

    Cover of Beyond Answers by Mike FlynnFrom the Stenhouse Publisher's website:

    "The Standards for Mathematical Practice are written in clear, concise language. Even so, to interpret them and visualize what they mean for your teaching practice isn’t always easy. In this practical, easy-to-read book, Mike Flynn provides teachers with a clear and deep sense of these standards and shares ideas on how best to implement them in K–2 classrooms."

    Mike is currently the director of the Mathematics Leadership Programs at Mount Holyoke College and previously taught second grade at the William E. Norris Elementary School in Southampton, MA. At the ATMIM Spring Conference in March, Mike will be presenting “Harnessing the Power of Structure on the Path to Procedural Fluency.” 

    Congratulations, Mike!

    Share your news! Has something exciting happened recently in your professional life? Are you planning an event or leading a PD session at your school? Have you published an article? Are you trying something new in your classroom? Let us know so we can share your news with the Massachusetts math educator community!

    Call for Blogs!

    Math Murmurs is looking to start a new monthly column featuring a blog post by one of our members. If you have a blog and would like to participate, then please let us know at

    Reminder: Nominate your favorite math educator today!

    Nominations for the Hall of Fame Educator Award are due on February 24th.
    Nominations for the Father B. Educator Award are due on February 27th.

    ATMIM Student Scholarships - Nominations due March 10th! 
    Submitted by Sheri Flecca

    In the spring of 2017, the Association of Teachers of Mathematics in Massachusetts will award a monetary award of $500 and certificate of recognition to several members of the graduating class from Massachusetts schools.  A committee consisting of board members and other teachers of mathematics independently review all applications; the committee takes into account multiple aspects to determine the award recipients.  

    Did you know? Continue reading...

    An Exciting Opportunity from PCMI 
    Submitted by Cole Gailus

    PCMI (Park City Math Institute) is offering free professional development for middle and high school math teachers. This weekend-long workshop is a great opportunity to reflect on your teaching and to stretch your mathematical muscles in a collaborative environment. If you are interested, make sure to apply soon as spots often fill up fast!

    Check out the flyer for more information:

    NCTM Update 
    Submitted by Susan Weiss

    NCTM is a source of great information to enhance your teaching. Here are four sources that I have checked out. I am sure you will find some refreshing ideas that you can use to begin your week.

    Teaching and Learning Math with the Common Core

    NCTM and The Hunt Institute have produced a series of videos to enhance understanding of the mathematics that students need to succeed in college, life, and career. Beginning in the primary grades, the videos address the importance of developing a solid foundation for algebra, as well as laying the groundwork for calculus and other postsecondary mathematics coursework. The series also covers the Standards for Mathematical Practice elaborated in the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and examines why developing conceptual understanding requires a different approach to teaching and learning. These videos also provide a rich foundation to have discussions with the parents of your students about mathematical practices!

    Continue reading...

    Problem of the Month - Euclid and the Baker
    Submitted By John Bookston

    In a land far, far away there lived a child named Euclid who loved to solve puzzles. One day Euclid was in a bakery and overheard the baker say that she needed exactly two cups of water for a recipe but only had a 3-cup measure and a 5-cup measure. Euclid took out a pad of paper and drew two cups, labeling the smaller one "3" and the larger one "5".

    Euclid discovered that by filling up the "5" and pouring from it into the "3" until it was full, that exactly two cups of water would be left in the '''5".  The baker thanked Euclid and gave Euclid a cookie.

    During the following week, similar challenges were brought to Euclid. Can you help Euclid solve these?

    Continue to the rest of the problem...

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