We make a commitment to read and learn every summer. This year, in addition to books and a stream of TED talks, Voices of Diversity, we offer the opportunity to read children’s literature and design learning intentions around character and values.

Below is the Summer Learning flyer announcing the choices for this summer.

We will continue to use the Visible Thinking Routine Sentence-Phrase-Word to notice and note important, thought-provoking ideas. This routine aims to illuminate what the reader finds important and worthwhile.

Sentence-Phrase-Word helps learners to engage with and make meaning from text with a particular focus on capturing the essence of the text or “what speaks to you.” It fosters enhanced discussion while drawing attention to the power of language. (Ritchhart, 207 pag.)

However, the power and promise of this routine lies in the discussion of why a particular word, a single phrase, and a sentence stood out for each individual in the group as the catalyst for rich discussion . It is in these discussions that learners must justify their choices and explain what it was that spoke to them in each of their choices. (Ritchhart, 208 pag.)

Continuing to work on our goal, *We can design and implement a differentiated action plan across our divisions school to meet all learners where they are*, we make our thinking visible on ways to level up.

When we share what resonates with us, we offer others our perspective. What if we engage in conversation to learn and share from multiple points of view?

Ritchhart, Ron, Mark Church, and Karin Morrison. Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2011. Print

Filed under: #LL2LU, Connecting Ideas, Learning, Questions, Reading, TED talk Tagged: #LL2LU, Karin Morrison, Making Thinking Visible, Mark Church, Ron Ritchhart, summer learning, Summer Reading, TED talk, VTR, VTR-SPW ]]>

Here are my notes from Session 7, *Building and Sustaining the Culture of Problem Solving in our Classroom*, with Fawn Nguyen

I am struck by Fawn’s initial purpose. Building and sustaining a culture of problem solving in our classrooms demands vision with plans and commitment with continual growth through feedback.

How to we make use of structure in our planning to narrow our resources to build and sustain coherence and connectedness? Wen we plan, are we intentionally connecting to standards and intentionally stepping away from them to promote problem solving, visual learning, and deepening understanding?

What tasks do we select? How much time do we spend? And, most importantly, how do we show faith in our learners to promote productive, creative struggle?

Notes from previous sessions:

- Session 1: Mike Flynn
- Session 2: Zak Champagne
- Session 3: Dan Meyer
- Session 4: Andrew Stadel
- Session 5: Kristin Gray
- Session 6: Graham Fletcher

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Filed under: Ask Don't Tell, Connecting Ideas, Creativity, Learning, Sketch Notes Tagged: #MtHolyokeMath, @FawnPNguyen, Fawn Nguyen ]]>

We ask students to show their work so that a reader understands without having to ask them questions. What details should we add so that our thinking is visible to others?

To show (and to assess) comprehension, we are looking for mathematical flexibility.

**Learning goals:**

- I can use ratio and rate reasoning to solve real-world and mathematical problems.
- I can show my work so that a reader can understanding without having to ask questions.

**Activity:**

- Jim and Jesse’s Money – Illustrative Math

**Learning progressions:**

Level 4:

I can demonstrate mathematical flexibility with ratio and rate reasoning to show what I know more than one way using tables, equations, double number lines, etc..

**Level 3:**

**I can use ratio and rate reasoning to solve real-world and mathematical problems.**

Level 2:

I can make tables of equivalent ratios relating quantities with whole-number measurements, and I can use tables to compare ratios.

Level 1:

I can use guess and check to solve real-world and mathematical problems.

**Anticipated solutions:**

- Jim and Jesse’s Money – Illustrative Math

**Using Appropriate Tools Strategically**:

I wonder if any of our learners would think to use a spreadsheet. How might technology help with algebraic reasoning? What is we teach students to create tables based on formulas?

How might we experiment with enough tools to display confidence when explaining my reasoning, choices, and solutions?

Choice of an appropriate tool is learner based. How will we know how different tools help unless we experiment too?

Filed under: #LL2LU, Connecting Ideas, Learning, Questions Tagged: #ShowYourWork, @IllustrateMath, Illustrative Mathematics, Jim and Jesse's Money, make sense of problems and persevere, use appropriate tools strategically ]]>

I’m attending the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics 2017 conference in San Antonio. Here are my notes from Wednesday along with the session descriptions from the presenters.

**Conferring with Young Mathematicians at Work: **

**The Process of Teacher Change**

**Cathy Fosnot**

*If children are to engage in problem solving with tenacity and confidence, good questioning on the part of teachers during conferrals is critical. Questioning must engender learner excitement and ownership of ideas, while simultaneously be challenging enough to support further development. Video of conferrals in action will be used for analysis, and a Landscape of Learning on the process of teacher change is shared as a lens for coaching.*

**Leading to Support Procedural Fluency for All Students**

**Jennifer Bay-Williams**

*Principles to Actions describes effective teaching practices that best support student learning. In this session we will focus on one of those teaching practices: “build procedural fluency from conceptual understanding.” Ensuring that every child develops procedural fluency requires understanding what fluency means, knowing research related to developing procedural fluency and conceptual understanding, and being able to translate these ideas into effective classroom practices. That is the focus of this session! We will take a look at research, connections to K–12 classroom practice, and implications for us as coaches and teacher leaders.*

**How to Think Brilliantly and Creatively in Mathematics: Some Guiding Thoughts for Teachers, Coaches, Students—Everyone!**

**James Tanton**

**Deep Practice: **

**Building Conceptual Understanding in the Middle Grades**

**Jill Gough, Jennifer Wilson**

**How might we attend to comprehension, accuracy, flexibility, and then efficiency? What if we leverage technology to enhance our learners’ visual literacy and make connections between words, pictures, and numbers? We will look at new ways of using technology to help learners visualize, think about, connect and discuss mathematics. Let’s explore how we might help young learners productively struggle instead of thrashing around blindly.**

When Steve Leinwand asked if I was going to sketch our talk, I jokingly said that I needed someone to do it for me. We are honored to have this gift from Sharon Benson. You can see additional details on my previous post.

Filed under: Conferences, Connecting Ideas, Creativity, Learning, Reflection, Sketch Notes Tagged: Cathy Fosnot, James Tanton, Jennifer Bay-Williams, Jennifer Wilson, Sharon Benson ]]>

*2017 NCSM Annual Conference*

**Deep Practice: Building Conceptual Understanding**

** in the Middle Grades**

Jill Gough, Jennifer Wilson

How might we attend to comprehension, accuracy, flexibility, and then efficiency? What if we leverage technology to enhance our learners’ visual literacy and make connections between words, pictures, and numbers? We will look at new ways of using technology to help learners visualize, think about, connect and discuss mathematics. Let’s explore how we might help young learners productively struggle instead of thrashing around blindly.

Deep practice is built on a paradox: struggling in certain targeted ways — operating at the edges of your ability, where you make mistakes —makes you smarter. Or to put it a slightly different way, experiences where you’re forced to slow down, make errors, and correct them —as you would if you were walking up an ice-covered hill, slipping and stumbling as you go— end up making you swift and graceful without your realizing it. (Coyle, 18 pag.)

The second reason deep practice is a strange concept is that it takes events that we normally strive to avoid —namely, mistakes— and turns them into skills. (Coyle, 20 pag.)

This termproductive strugglecaptures both elements we’re after: we want students challengedandlearning. As long as learners are engaged in productive struggle, even if they are headed toward a dead end, we need to bite our tongues and let students figure it out. Otherwise, we rob them of their well-deserved, satisfying, wonderful feelings of accomplishment when they make sense of problems and persevere. (Zager, 128 pag.)

Coyle, Daniel. The Talent Code: Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How. (p. 18-20). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Zager, Tracy. Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You’d Had: Ideas and Strategies from Vibrant Classrooms. Portland, ME.: Stenhouse Publishers, 2017. (pp. 128-129) Print.

Filed under: #LL2LU, Conferences, Connecting Ideas, Professional Development Plans, Questions, Reading Tagged: #NCSM17, Becoming Math, Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You'd Had, Daniel Coyle, NCSM, The Talent Code, Tracy Zager ]]>

**Tracking, Equity, and the Many Paradoxes of Algebra II**

**Jason Zimba**

**What is Algebra II good for? For whom is it good? Phil Daro raised these and other questions for the Carnegie-Institute for Advanced Study Commission. Fast forward to now, and the debate about ‘what mathematics and why’ has found its way into the pages of the popular press. Is there anything district leaders can learn from this conversation? How might a district leader who prizes equity think about the question of tracking in school mathematics?**

**Routines for Reasoning:
Ensuring All Students **

*Instructional routines embody research-based best practices for struggling learners, especially when they focus on the Standards for Mathematical Practice and include ‘baked in’ supports*

* for special populations. Participants will explore a universally designed instructional routine, Connecting Representations, and learn how to leverage it to develop teachers’ capacity to ensure development of ALL students’ mathematical practices.*

**Letting Go: Cultivating Agency and Authority Through Number Talks in the Secondary Mathematics Classroom**

**Cathy Humphreys**

**Winning the Game in Mathematics Leadership**

**Matt Owens**

**Mathematics leadership is multifaceted in nature as we strive to intentionally impact students and educators in classrooms nationwide. Leadership pathways can be different from leader to leader, but ultimately curriculum/ content, instruction, activism, and assessment (CIAA) are all areas of evaluation for “PRIME” leaders in mathematics education. Discover the top seven practical strategies for overcoming the struggles that may arise in your role as a mathematics leader within your school/university, district, state, and national professional learning communities, while building the capacity of teachers’ leadership among mathematics educators in these respective communities.**

**Approaching Ten Tough Mathematical Ideas **

**for High School Students**

**Salmon Usiskin**

**The main purpose of this talk is to provide insights into mathematical content that many mathematics teachers may not have seen. By covering a broad range of content, from aspects of manipulative algebra through proof in geometry and in general, discussing language, applications, and representations, my remarks are designed for leaders to help in decisions they make in the professional development of their teachers.**

Filed under: Conferences, Connecting Ideas, Reflection, Sketch Notes Tagged: Amy Lucenta, Cathy Humphreys, Grace Kelemanik, Jason Zimba, Matt Owens ]]>

I’m attending the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics 2017 conference in San Antonio. Here are my notes from Monday along with the session descriptions from the presenters.

**Knocking Down Barriers with Technology**

**Eli Luberoff**

**Gut Instincts: Developing ALL Students’ Mathematical Intuitions**

**Tracy Zager**

**We’ve long misunderstood mathematical intuition, assuming** **it’s innate rather than developed through high-quality** **learning experiences. As a result, students who haven’t yet had opportunities to foster their intuitions are often denied access** **to meaningful mathematics. Through analysis of powerful classroom teaching and learning, we’ll explore three instructional strategies you can use to empower ALL students to grasp mathematics intuitively.**

**Problem Strings to Change Teaching Practice**

**Pam Harris**

**A problem string is a purposefully designed sequence of related problems that helps students mentally construct mathematical relationships and nudges them toward a major, efficient strategy, model, or big idea. We show how problem strings can be leveraged for changing teachers’ practice. Because it puts students’ ideas at the center, teachers are forced to listen deeply to kids and structure mathematics conversations around their thinking.**

**Rethinking Expressions and Equations: **

**Implications for Teacher Leaders**

**Michelle Rinehart**

**How are one- and two-variable expressions, one- and two- variable equations, and the standard form of a line connected** **in a powerful way? How might this progression support student learning of these “tough-to-teach/tough-to-learn” ideas? Explore the underlying theme that uni es these seemingly disparate topics using a technology-leveraged approach. Consider research and the role of teacher leaders in developing real understanding of these topics.**

**Talk Less and Listen More**

**Zachary Champagne**

**It’s a simple, and very complex, idea that great teachers**

* do and do well. Genuinely listening to students can yield incredible opportunities for teachers to not only know and connect with their students, but also increase the quality of teaching and learning that happens in the classroom. Join us as we explore the power of listening to students and using that information to inform our instruction. We’ll also explore strategies to help provide the supportive conditions and frameworks to help leaders support teachers in doing this work. We’ll do this through examining video clips of students sharing their mathematical ideas and consider what listening affords and what questions could be asked to further their mathematical thinking.*

Filed under: Conferences, Connecting Ideas, Reflection, Sketch Notes Tagged: #NCSM17, Eli Luberoff, Michelle Rinehart, NCSM, NCSM 2017, Pam Harris, Tracy Zager, Zachary Champagne ]]>

2017 NCSM Annual Conference

Jennifer Wilson

*How can leaders effectively lead mathematics education in the era of the digital age? *

There are many ways to contribute in our community and the global community, but we have to be willing to offer our voices. How might we take advantage of instructional tools to purposefully ensure that all students and teachers have voice: voice to share what we know and what we don’t know yet; voice to wonder what if and why; voice to lead and to question.

Filed under: Conferences, Connecting Ideas, Presentations, Professional Development Plans Tagged: Jennifer Wilson, NCSM, NCSM 2017 ]]>

How might we gain time without adding minutes to our schedule?

What if we mathematize our read-aloud books to use them in math as well as reading and writing workshop? Could it be that we gain minutes of reading if we use children’s literature to offer context for the mathematics we are learning? Could we add minutes of math if we pause and ask mathematical questions during our literacy block?

Becky Holden and I planned the following professional learning session to build common understanding and language as we expand our knowledge of teaching numeracy through literature. Every Kindergarten, 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, and 3rd Grade math teacher participated in 3.5-hours of professional learning over the course of two days.

Have you read How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? by Margaret McNamara, G. Brian Karas?

**Learning Targets**:

Mathematical Practice:

- I can make sense of tasks and persevere in solving them.

**2nd Grade**

- I can work with equal groups of objects to gain foundations for multiplication.
- I can skip-count by 2s, 5, 10s, and 100s within 1000 to strengthen my understanding of place value.

3rd Grade

- I can represent and solve problems involving multiplication and division.
- I can use place value understanding and properties of operations to perform multi-digit arithmetic.

**Learning Progressions**:

Here’s what it looked like:

Click to view slideshow.Here’s some of what the teacher-learners said:

I learned to look at books with a new critical eye for both literacy and mathematical lessons. I learned that I can read the same book more than once to delve deeper into different skills. This is what we are learning in Workshop as well. Using a mentor text for different skills is such a great way to integrate learning.

I learned how to better integrate math with other subjects as well as push pass the on answer and look for more than one way to answer the question as well as show in more than one way how I got that answer and to take that to the classroom for my students.

I learned how to integrate literacy practice and math practice at once. In addition, I also learned how to deepen learning and ask higher thinking questions, as well as how to let students answer their own questions and have productive struggle.

I learned that there are many different ways to notice mathematical concepts throughout books. It took a second read through for me to see the richness in the math concepts that could be taught.

I learned that there are many children’s literature that writes about multiple mathematical skills and in a very interesting way!

How might we notice and note opportunities to pause, wonder, and question? What is to be gained by blending learning?

Filed under: #LL2LU, Ask Don't Tell, Connecting Ideas, Creativity, Learning, Learning Progressions, Math-Science Connections, Professional Development Feedback, Professional Development Plans, Questions, Reading Tagged: G. Brian Karas, How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?, Margaret McNamara, multiplication ]]>

**Effective teaching not only acknowledges the importance of both conceptual understanding and procedural fluency but also ensures that the learning of procedures is developed over time, on a strong foundation of understanding and the use of student-generated strategies in solving problems.** (Leinwand, 46 pag.)

**Low floor, high ceiling tasks allow all students to access ideas and take them to very high levels. Fortunately, [they] are also the most engaging and interesting math tasks, with value beyond the fact that they work for students of different prior achievement levels. **(Boaler, 115 pag.)

**Deep learning focuses on recognizing relationships among ideas. During deep learning, students engage more actively and deliberately with information in order to discover and understand the underlying mathematical structure.** (Hattie, 136 pag.)

**Deep practice is built on a paradox: struggling in certain targeted ways — operating at the edges of your ability, where you make mistakes — ****makes you smarter. **(Coyle, 18 pag.)

**Or to put it a slightly different way, experiences where you’re forced to slow down, make errors, and correct them —as you would if you were walking up an ice-covered hill, slipping and stumbling as you go— end up making you swift and graceful without your realizing it. **(Coyle, 18 pag.)

**The second reason deep practice is a strange concept is that it takes events that we normally strive to avoid —namely, mistakes— and turns them into skills. **(Coyle, 20 pag.)

**We need to give students the opportunity to develop their own rich and deep understanding of our number system. With that understanding, they will be able to develop and use a wide array of strategies in ways that make sense for the problem at hand. **(Flynn, 8 pag.)

**…help students slow down and really think about problems rather than jumping right into solving them. In making this a routine approach to solving problems, she provided students with a lot of practice and helped them develop a habit of mind for reading and solving problems. **(Flynn, 8 pag.)

**This term ***productive struggle*** captures both elements we’re after: we want students challenged ***and*** learning. As long as learners are engaged in productive struggle, even if they are headed toward a dead end, we need to bite our tongues and let students figure it out. Otherwise, we rob them of their well-deserved, satisfying, wonderful feelings of accomplishment when they make sense of problems and persevere. **(Zager, 128-129 ppg.)

Encourage students to keep struggling when they encounter a challenging task. Change the practice of how our students learn mathematics.

Let’s not rob learners of their well-deserved, satisfying, wonderful feelings of accomplishment when they make sense of problems and persevere.

Boaler, Jo. Mathematical Mindsets: Unleashing Students’ Potential through Creative Math, Inspiring Messages and Innovative Teaching (p. 115). Wiley. Kindle Edition.

Coyle, Daniel. The Talent Code: Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How. (p. 20). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Flynn, Michael, and Deborah Schifter. Beyond Answers: Exploring Mathematical Practices with Young Children. Portland, ME: Stenhouse, 2017. (p. 8) Print.

Hattie, John A. (Allan); Fisher, Douglas B.; Frey, Nancy, Visible Learning for Mathematics, Grades K-12: What Works Best to Optimize Student Learning (Corwin Mathematics Series) (p. 136). SAGE Publications. Kindle Edition.

Leinwand, Steve. *Principles to Actions: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All*. Reston, VA.: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 2014. (p. 46) Print.

Zager, Tracy. Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You’d Had: Ideas and Strategies from Vibrant Classrooms. Portland, ME.: Stenhouse Publishers, 2017. (pp. 128-129) Print.

Filed under: Connecting Ideas, Questions, Reading, Reflection Tagged: Becoming Math, Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You'd Had, Beyond Answers, Beyond Answers: Exploring Mathematical Practices with Young Children, Daniel Coyle, Doug Fisher, Jo Boaler, John Hattie, Mathematical Mindsets, Mike Flynn, Nancy Frey, Principles to Actions, Steve Leinwand, The Talent Code, Tracy Zager, Visible Learning for Mathematics ]]>