eNews Newsletter
April 2016
National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics
Leadership Resources
Professional Learning Opportunities at NCSM in 2016-17! Mathematics Leadership in a Time of Change: Building Leaders at all Levels

NCSM is striving to provide year-long professional learning opportunities that follow the theme of Mathematics Leadership in a Time of Change: Building Leaders at all Levels utilizing It's Time and PRIME resources. Please join us for one or more events!

Summer Leadership Academy
What: Summer Leadership Academy
Where: Adlai Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, IL
When: July 18-20, 2016

Fall Seminars
What: Phoenix Fall Seminar
Where: Phoenix, AZ
When: October 25, 2016

What: St. Louis Fall Seminar
Where:  St. Louis, MO
When: November 16, 2016

Winter Leadership Academy (NEW)
What:  Winter Leadership Academy
Where: Atlanta, GA
When: December 2-4, 2016

The Summer Academy is about the Curriculum Leadership Principle; the Fall Seminars will expand on Curriculum Leadership; and, the NEW Winter Academy will take on the Teaching and Learning Leadership Principle. Threaded throughout all professional learning opportunities will be shifting mindsets and beliefs about teaching and learning mathematics.

What's Happening in Mathematics Education
The deadline to submit a proposal to present at the Association of Math Teacher Educators' (AMTE) next Annual Conference is May 15, 2016. Information about the submission process can be found on the AMTE website. The conference will be held February 9-11, 2017, in Orlando.

What's New at NCSM

Explore NCSM's latest professional learning tool.  Our first NCSM app is a blended-learning resource, designed to move PL experiences flexibly & powerfully into today's digital landscape. It allows leaders to consider district readiness in key areas of technology and to learn about & share related information to raise the bar on the use of digital resources in the mathematics classroom.  The first module, Selecting Hardware for Learning, contains 4 powerful briefs, video, and more.  Go to www.ncsmplc.org to create a free account by opening any of the resources and get started learning today!!

NCSM presented certificates of appreciation to six new affiliates at the business meeting during the April 2016 Annual Conference in Oakland. They are:

-Boston Area Mathematics Specialists
-Florida Association of Mathematics Supervisors
-Maryland Council of Supervisors of Mathematics
-Missouri Council of Supervisors of Mathematics
-New Jersey Association of Mathematics Supervisors and Leaders
-North Dakota Council of Teachers of Mathematics

Welcome to the April 2016

The NCSM eNews is published monthly. Our goal is to provide the NCSM community with current happenings for both the NCSM organization and mathematics education. Please let us know if you have suggestions for future editions. It was great to see many of you at our Annual Conference in Oakland!

Babette M. Benken, eNews Editor 
Message from the NCSM President, John Staley 

Celebration, Connection, Reflection
April 11th, 2016, just over a week ago today, math education leaders from around the world gathered in Oakland, California for our 48th Annual Conference. As I reflect back on the week and look ahead, I am excited about the future. Math Ed leaders shared, reconnected, and celebrated the work that we as a collective community had engaged in during the past year. There were definite signs that the leadership pipeline is growing as more leaders at all ages and stages were engaged in the conversation. 
As you complete your own reflections (for those who weren't able to join us, visit the conference website for copies of presentation materials at the end of the month), take time to set at least one goal for the next year, share it with someone, and then go act on it to ensure that it happens. My one goal is to continue building leaders at all levels, especially emerging teacher leaders, and bring at least one new leader to the conference next year. Just imagine, what if each of us brought one new leader.... 
See you in May for all coming to the NCSM UN-conference in Maryland.

Highlights from the 48th NCSM Annual Conference!

SundayGreat effort by volunteers to get our bags ready and handle registration. Thanks to everyone who made that happen!

MondayKeith Devlin provided a great start to the conference by challenging us to think about how math understanding is developing in the 21st century.

TuesdayChristine Willig shared the power of leading from the middle. Michelle Rinehart touched us with how important it is to foster our classroom teacher leaders.

WednesdayZachary Champagne inspired participants with funny and poignant insights into mathematical development starting at kindergarten. Wednesday's lunch-time warm up for the afternoon's Ignite session was provided by Tim Hudson. A highlight for many, the 2016 Ross Taylor/Glenn Gilbert Award winner, Professor Uri Treisman, thanked those that taught and inspired him.

With a mix of new and returning speakers, we had full audiences for many presenters including Jo Boaler, Deborah Ball, Dan Meyer, Greg Tang, and Marilyn Burns. Thank you to all who presented; your efforts will support and inspire leaders across the country. Thank you also to the 100+ volunteers that helped make the 48th Annual Conference a huge success.

See you next year in San Antonio, Texas!
2017 Horizontal Logo
Nominations for 2017 NCSM Positions

Make a difference in NCSM and mathematics education.
Make your online nominations on the NCSM website
NCSM Board nominations remain open until midnight May 15.
Consider running for an open Board position or nominating someone for a position.
The four important open 2017 Board positions are:
 Second Vice President-serves as the 2017 NCSM Annual Conference Volunteer Management & Recruitment Chair, and
serves as the 2018 NCSM Annual Conference Program Chair, Boston, Massachusetts.
 3 Regional Directors-they work with and serve in the following regions:
  • Regional Director, Central 2 (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin)
  • Regional Director, Eastern 2 (Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia)
  • Regional Director, Western 2 (California, Far West: American Samoa, Federated States (Guam, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Northern Mariana Island, Palau Islands), Hawaii, Military AP: AFO/APO, Oregon, Washington).
Please ask your nominee if he or she is willing to run for office. 
Visit the NCSM website to learn more or contact me, NCSM Nominations Chair, should you need more information or have questions.
Thank you for your nomination!!!
Steve Viktora
NCSM Nominations Chair

Coaching Tips: Coming into Focus

A focused math lesson is stronger and more effective than an unfocused one. It might discuss the Common Core, prescribed curriculum, mathematical objectives and even standardized testing, but always within the context of a focused lesson. A key goal of the math Common Core Standards, as stated on the corestandards.org website, is to "become substantially more focused and coherent in order to improve mathematics achievement." In fact, focus is identified as the first instructional shift as we transition to Common Core instruction

But what does focus in a math lesson look like and why is it important? A focused math lesson has a single key objective. It is clearly stated in the beginning of the lesson and is referred to throughout. The focus might be the county objective, or it might even be a sample PARCC problem. A focused lesson is one in which any observer can walk in and immediately see what the objective is and every student knows the purpose of each lesson.

In my own school, our curriculum unit prescribed a lesson on scientific notation, followed by several lessons on the laws of exponents, followed by lessons on performing calculations on scientific notation. Wanting to bring the lesson into focus, we critically examined our objectives. Why were students learning these topics? What was the purpose? What did we want them to focus on? Ultimately, we decided the focus of the unit was about large and small numbers and each lesson was focused on a different aspect.

Now, instead of teaching the laws of exponents separate from the rules for calculating with scientific notation, we combine them such that a lesson on multiplying large numbers includes laws of exponents, but with the express purpose of using them to multiply large numbers written in scientific notation.  Suddenly, a math lesson is not a random collection of disconnected algorithms needing to be memorized, but a coherent march towards a focused goal.

Gary Einhorn
Team Leader, Forest Oak Middle School, Gaithersburg, MD

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