Come see us at NCEA and NCTM

Spring educators’ conference season is upon us and we are thrilled by several opportunities to speak at upcoming events.  The descriptions below are from conference programs.

NCEA 2018 Convention & Expo (April 3 – 5 at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati, OH) is the largest private-education association gathering in the nation!

Strip Models, Tape Diagrams, Bar Models, Oh My!
Presenters: Cassy Turner and Beth Curran
Date: Tuesday, April 3, 2018
Time: 1:30 PM – 2:45 PM
Room: 251

Improving students’ problem-solving abilities is a major focus of mathematics education. Model drawing is a powerful tool that students can use to attack complex problems. In this hands-on, minds ­on session, presenters will investigate methods of teaching and assessing tape diagrams for those persnickety word problems, and explore interactive model drawing technology. Walk away with strategies for guiding student learning that you can use tomorrow!

Using Mental Math Strategies to Deepen Number Sense
Presenters: Beth Curran and Cassy Turner
Date: Thursday, April 5, 2018
Time: 11:15 AM – 12:30 PM
Room: 251

Number sense = mental math. Participants will actively explore mental math strategies used throughout the elementary grades. Engaging in mental math activities allows students to develop a relational understanding of numbers and their magnitude. Students begin to see numbers as being made up of parts and develop an understanding of how numbers can be composed and decomposed for mental calculations. Discourse around mental math allows students to expand their toolbox of strategies for solving problems and to evaluate strategies and answers for efficiency and reasonableness.

NCTM Annual Meeting and Exposition 2018 (April 25 – 28 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.) is the premier math education event of the year!

Do Not Invert and Multiply! Building the Bridge to Algebra Through Fractions Tasks
Date:  Friday, April 27, 2018
Time:  1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Room:  159 AB

Join Cassy Turner, Beth Curran, and Allison Coates as they work through hands-on tasks for fractions. We’ll investigate how the progression of fractions problems helps students build mastery of algebraic concepts such as naming unknown quantities, writing expressions, and laying the foundation for solving for x.

Using Anchor Tasks to Engage Learners: Deepening Understanding through Exploration and Discourse
Date:  Saturday, April 28, 2018
Time:  8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Room:  146 B

Participants will engage in active math lessons and learn how to use learning objectives to create anchor tasks that spark student interest and allow students of all levels to build on prior knowledge, explore concepts with concrete materials and engage in productive discourse to deepen conceptual understanding with a focus on problem-solving. Cassy Turner and Beth Curran will lead this interactive workshop

Beginning Bar Model Boot Camp: Getting Started with Model Drawing
Date:  Saturday, April 28, 2018
Time:  9:45 AM – 11:00 AM
Room: 144 ABC

Improving students’ problem-solving abilities is a major objective of Common Core and state standards, and model drawing is a powerful tool that students can use to attack complex problems. Join Cassy Turner and Beth Curran to investigate methods of teaching and assessing tape diagrams for those persnickety word problems, and explore interactive model drawing technology.

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Previewing 2017 NCTM Conference Singapore Math Sessions

The NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics) Annual Meeting & Exposition program 2017 is now online and it’s time for my annual review of Singapore Mathematics sessions.

I’ve included sessions on Tape Diagrams and Strip Models because there are no sessions this year citing Singapore Math® strategies. This is because the Common Core progression documents cite many of Singapore’s visual models. My hope is that many of the visual strategies are modeled throughout the conference –  because good math is just good math!

See you in San Antonio!

Email us if you’d like a tour at NCTM through materials or to just talk all things math: Cassy (at) MathChampions.com or Beth (at) MathChampions.com

Thursday, April 6:

11:00 AM – 9:00 AM

#128 Supporting Students as They Work with Bar Models

Lead Speaker: Sue McMillen
Bar models (also called strip or tape diagrams) are a powerful visual tool for representing and solving math problems. But they can be challenging for students. Come to this hands-on session to explore a variety of strategies for scaffolding students as they learn to effectively work with bar models. Familiarity with bar models is assumed.

 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

#261 Visual Models to Solve Routine Word and Non-Routine Algebraic Problems: Lessons from Singapore

Lead Speaker: Andy Clark
Many students struggle with word problems, whether in elementary grades with a variety of whole number and fraction operations or the middle grades with ratio, proportion, and algebraic problems. This session will demonstrate how visual models help students see mathematical relationships and solve even the most complex problems and applications.

Friday, April 7

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

#420 Using Tape Diagrams to Solve Ratio/Proportion Problems

Lead Speaker: Connie Laughlin

See how tape diagrams can be used to foster algebraic thinking. We will examine and illustrate how tape diagrams can be used to develop and support proportional and algebraic reasoning. Tape diagram solutions will be compared to traditional solutions to illuminate the usefulness of this tool.

12:30 AM – 1:30 PM

#476.1 Motivating Students through High-Level Problem Solving Using Models in a Collaborative Setting

Lead Speaker: Kelly Barten, Singapore Math, Inc.

Sarah Schaefer will explain how to use models and other strategies to solve challenging word problems from the original Singapore Math® program: Primary Mathematics. Workshop participants will learn how to increase student achievement while persevering and making connections between mathematical content and NCTM’s Mathematics Teaching Practices.

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

#529.2  Hands-On Operations: Using Manipulatives for Understanding of ALL Four Operations

Lead Speaker: Kelly Barten, Singapore Math, Inc.

I’m delighted to joining Kelly to present this hands-on session at the invitation. I hope you can make it to this one.

Join Cassy Turner and use place-value manipulatives to understand and practice addition, subtraction, multi-digit multiplication, & long division algorithms for whole numbers. Learn how to help all learners master the move from concrete to the representation to the ultimate abstract algorithm with a deep understanding of regrouping and place value.

3:30PM – 4:30 PM

#565 MMMMM (Making Math More Meaningful with Models) in Pre-K–2

Lead Speaker: Duane Habecker

Too often we push our students directly to abstract algorithms without first giving students the prerequisite experience with models such as empty number lines, number bonds, arrow method, area model, etc. Teachers will learn how to use these models to make math meaningful for their students.

 

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Visit us at Upcoming Math Conferences

Beth and Cassy are attending and presenting at the following educational conferences this spring. Please email if you’d like to schedule a time to chat!

Cassy will be attending:

2017 ASCD Annual Conference & Exhibit Show
March 25–26, 2017 | Anaheim, California

Beth and Cassy will be presenting:

2017 NCSM (National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics) Annual Conference
April 2-5, 2017 | San Antonio, Texas
Using Anchor Tasks to Ignite Learners: Coaching Teachers to Facilitate an Inquiry-Based Learning Model
Wednesday, April 5
Session Time: 5 2:15 – 3:15


Cassy will be presenting:

2017 NCTM Annual Conference and Exposition
April 5-8, 2017 | San Antonio, Texas
Hands-On Operations: Using Manipulatives for Understanding
Friday, April 7
Session Time: 2:00pm – 3:00 pm

Beth and Cassy will be presenting:

2017 NCEA Convention & Expo
St. Louis, MO
April 18-20, 2017 | St. Louis, Missouri
Using Anchor Tasks to Ignite Learners: Facilitating Inquiry-Based Math Lessons
Thursday, April 20, 2017
Session Time: 9:30 AM – 10:45 AM

Cassy will be presenting:

SDE’s National Conference on Teaching Math
July 10-14, 2017 | Las Vegas, Nevada
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
9:15 – 10:30 Understanding ALL Operations: A Hands-On Manipulative Tool Kit
11:00 – 12:15 The Best iPad® Apps for Singapore Math!
1:45 – 3:00 Filling in Knowledge Gaps
3:30 – 4:45 Strip Models, Tape Diagrams, Bar Models…Oh My!

 

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Previewing NCTM 2016 Conference Singapore Math Sessions

The NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics) Annual Meeting & Exposition program 2016 is now online and it’s time for my annual review of Singapore Mathematics sessions.

I’ve included sessions on Tape Diagrams and Strip Models because there are no sessions this year citing Singapore Math® strategies and only one using Number Bonds. This is because the Common Core progression documents cite many of Singapore’s visual models. My hope is that many of the visual strategies are modeled throughout the conference.  The number of overall choices addressing Singapore strategies is down from the number offered last year.

As usual, most of the sessions overlap.  Below are my thoughts on which session to choose, if you have a conflict.

See you in San Francisco! Email me if you’d like a tour at NCTM through materials or to just talk all things math: Cassy (at) SingaporeMathSource.com


Thursday, April 14: 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM – Four sessions conflict

#23 MMMMM (Making Math More Meaningful with Models) in Pre-K–2

Lead Speaker: Duane Habecker
Too often we push our students directly to abstract algorithms without first giving students the prerequisite experience with models such as empty number lines, number bonds, arrow method, area model, etc. Teachers will learn how to use these models to make math meaningful for their students.

#26 Problem Structures for Tape Diagrams

Lead Speaker: Nirmala Nutakki
Tape diagrams can model relationships in a wide variety of problems involving the arithmetic operations, fractions, ratios, and percent. We will examine the problem structures most amenable to tape diagram solution and illustrate how tape diagrams can be used to develop and support proportional and algebraic reasoning.

#34 The Front Lines of Modeling: Bar/Tape Models from Real Classrooms

Lead Speaker: Dr. Kevin Mahoney
Tried your hand at bar modeling? Examine common errors, misunderstandings, and dispositions in actual student work. Leave with a deeper understanding of how children use (and misuse) models

#34.3 Exhibitor Workshop – Bar Modeling with Math Buddies, the Singapore Math® Online Resource

Lead Speaker: Marshall Cavendish (Probably Chris Coyne)
Discover how students learn and use the Singapore Math® bar model in kindergarten–grade 5. The foundations set in kindergarten with number sense and number bonds develop into meaningful links in the problem-solving process. Math Buddies, a K–5 digital resource will take your students through the Singapore Math® bar model approach to problem solving.

Recommendations:
Not familiar with Nirmala Nutakki, so can’t comment. Math Buddies is a great digital resource for Singapore Math, and it will also be modeled at their booth. I’m intrigued by the MMMMM, but will probably be in Kevin Mahoney’s session – he wrote his doctoral dissertation on bar modeling in the classroom!


Friday, April 15: 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM

#332 Tape Diagrams . . . NOT Just for Early Elementary Grades

Lead Speaker: Jodelle S. W. Magner
Co-Speaker: Sue McMillen

Participants will examine the use of tape diagrams throughout CCSSM and solve questions from first grade through algebra. Participants will leave with knowledge of where tape diagrams apply in many types of mathematics. Some tape diagram solutions will be compared to traditional solutions to illuminate the usefulness of this tool.

Recommendations:

I’m sure these presenters are wonderful, but I’ll be attending session #323 Insights and Practical Suggestions for Making Coaching for More Effective with Steve Leinwand. If you are a math coach, this one is mandatory.


Friday, April 15: 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

#464 Using Tape Diagrams to Foster Algebraic Thinking and Problem Solving

Lead Speaker: Bill Jackson
Co-Speaker: Makoto Yoshida

See how tape diagrams can be used to foster algebraic thinking to help young children solve addition and subtraction problems involving unknowns in all positions. Video footage of a lesson study cycle on teaching through problem solving and students sharing and discussing multiple solution methods will be shared.


Saturday, April 16: 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

#589 Math Talk: Teaching Concepts and Skills through Stories and Illustrations

Lead Speaker: Char Forsten

A young child’s understanding of the world is enlightened and expanded through stories and illustrations, so it makes sense to use these resources when learning mathematics. Participants will learn how to use “math talk” as a powerful way to provide consolidation and purposeful practice of essential skills and concepts.

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On the Topic of Math Sprints and Anxiety

Reflecting on my time at the two national math educator’s meetings, one interesting dichotomy appeared over timed fact tests. On the one side was Jo Boaler stating that timed tests are the root of math anxiety. Pushback came from others, most notably Greg Tang and Scott Baldridge pointing out that kids are timed in real life. They are put under pressure in real life. Students should learn from these experiences, not freak out over them.

It’s a powerful discussion: How do we get kids from fluency (I can use strategies to solve 7 x 8) to automaticity (I just know 7 x 8)? Do we need to get them to automaticity? Do timed tests create math anxiety? Is there spelling test anxiety? Should the key anxiety word be “test”, not “math”?

This conversation appeared recently on twitter after someone posted the “How to Give a Math Sprint” pdf from this site:


Yep, I’d be worried if kids who couldn’t make connections were timed, too.

I’m a proponent of Math Sprints; thoughtfully structured timed tests designed to practice one skill. Sprints are not your typical timed test. Students compete against themselves to improve the number of problems completed in one minute. Then the sprints are thrown away, not recorded in a grade book. They are practice. Period. And just one way to practice math facts.

Do Sprints harm students or cause math anxiety?

Not when administered correctly. I work with a school for students with ADHD and learning disabilities. Initially, teachers there said things like, “I can’t time my kids, they are slow processors”. It turns out that students at this school LOVE sprints. They can always improve by at least one problem on the second sprint. With all the content flying at them, practicing facts is one thing they can do and feel successful with.

Allison Coates runs the non-profit Math Walk Institute that works with schools and students to build a bridge to Algebra.

In every school we’ve ever worked, nearly all students enjoy sprints. They don’t see them as tests if the teacher doesn’t present them as tests. They see them as another fun game they can play against themselves (or against the teacher). Practice makes permanent their knowledge, and students love knowing they have knowledge. Knowledge is power.

Are Sprints from Singapore?

Nope. Sprints were created by Dr. Yoram Sagher as a fluency program to work with any curriculum. I’ve considered them a way to compensate for differences between Singapore and the U.S. In Singapore, parents drill fact fluency while schools teach the conceptual understanding. It’s not unusual for a first grader in Singapore to know all their math facts. It’s the school’s job to then get the understanding of multiplication into such a student. Contrast that with the U.S., where it is less likely that parents practice math facts at home with their child. Few American programs include a fluency component, often farming it out to the web or an iPad app.

Scott Baldridge has a great blog post on sprints: Fluency without Equivocation. I suggest you read it now.

My favorite Sprint books are Differentiated Math Sprints as they offer two difficulty levels with the same answers.

Eureka Math Sprints are aligned to Eureka Math (referenced in Scott Baldridge’s post above).

Wondering about the emphasis on math facts? Read: Why Mental Arithmetic Counts: Brain Activation during Single Digit Arithmetic Predicts High School Math Scores

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