This Week in Math Ed: February 24, 2017

Math Ed Said

February 17: Amy Harmon wrote in the New York Times, "Equations and Inequalities: Math, Race and Fellowship," which later had the title, "Beyond 'Hidden Figures': Nurturing New Black and Latino Math Whizzes." Regardless of the title, the story is a great look at kids participating in a summer math camp in New York City, and the issues surrounding the underrepresentation of Black and Latino students in gifted and math programs.

Shared by: Dan Anderson, Theresa Walker, Elizabeth Statmore, Edmund Harriss, Kate Nowak, John Golden, Egan J Chernoff, Francis Su, Michael Pershan, Sue Jones, Christopher Danielson, Tyrone Martinez Black, Rosa Serratore, Tracy Johnston Zager, Jennifer Lawler, Malke Rosenfeld, Robert Berry, Justin Lanier, Geoff Krall, Gary Davis, Steven Strogatz

February 18: Didn't read it yesterday? Here's a second chance: "Equations and Inequalities: Math, Race and Fellowship."

Shared by: Brian R. Lawler, Amanda Jansen, Andrew Gael, Bridget Dunbar, TODOS, CMC - CA Math Council, Erika Bullock, Sheri Eastman, US World Class Math, Bridget Dunbar, Jen Silverman, Steven Strogatz, Alex Jaffurs

February 19: The big story today wasn't math, and wasn't politics, but instead was Susan Fowler's blog post, "Reflecting on one very, very strange year at Uber."

Shared by: CMC - CA MathCouncil, Spencer Bagley, Jacqueline, Anna Blinstein, Karen King, Gregory Taylor, Keith Devlin

February 20: The latest blog post from NCTM President Matt Larson is about "The Elusive Search for Balance. For more than 200 years in the U.S., the math ed pendulum has swung back and forth between procedures and understanding. The necessary difficulty, says Larson, is letting the pendulum come to rest somewhere in between.

Shared by: NCTM, Fawn Nguyen, Robert Berry, stefanie buckner, Ilona Vashchyshyn, Beth Brandenburg, Henri Picciotto

February 21: Dan Meyer explained "Why We're Suspicious of Immediate Feedback." It's a design principle at Desmos, where the key isn't immediate feedback, but feedback after a delay that provides for some productive contemplation.

Shared by: Jason Merrill, Ryan R. Ruff, Levi Patrick, Kris Karbon, Ed Campos Jr., Kevin Lawrence, Dan Meyer

February 22: Shannon Najmabadi writes at the The Chronicle of Higher Education, "Meet the Math Professor Who's Fighting Gerrymandering With Geometry." This is about the person behind the Geometry of Redistricing program at Tufts mentioned a few weeks back.

Shared by: Federico Chialvo, Carrie Muir, Theresa Walker, Glenn Waddell, Jr., Eric Milou, Evelyn Lamb, Vanessa Cerrahoglu, Steven Strogatz, Joshua Bowman, Ralph Pantozzi, Samuel Otten, Heather Johnson, Karen King

February 23: Jennifer Vadnais took the Marbleslides activity in Desmos and turned it into Mini Golf Marbleslides. Holes-in-one, only, please!

Shared by: Sara VanDerWerf, Brian Errey, George Carganilla, Ed Campos Jr., Norma Gordon, Audrey McLaren, Stephanie Ling, Ms. J. Brown, Jennifer Dao, Nerissa Gerodias,

Math Ed in Colorado

It's a huge list of updates!

CCTM Deadlines

Nominations for CCTM's 2017 Mathematics Teaching and Leadership Awards must be submitted by Sunday, March 5. Before teachers and leaders can be eligible to win these awards, they must be nominated. Once nominated, teachers and leaders will need to submit additional information to help the CCTM awards committee choose the winners to be recognized at next fall's CCTM conference. See the CCTM website for more information about the teacher award and the leadership award and to access the nomination forms.

PAEMST Nominations

Now that I have you in the nominating mood, why not nominate the very best math, science, or computer science you know for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching? Nominations are open until April 1 and applications must be completed by May 1. I strongly suggest getting a head start on the nominations and applications, as we have webinars and mentoring to help nominees through the application process. (I literally got notified of a new nominee as I wrote this -- let your nomination be the next one!)

CML Meeting

The next meeting of the Colorado Math Leaders will be the afternoon of Friday, March 10. This will be an important meeting because we will be voting to accept our new constitution and bylaws, which are necessary to become an affiliate of NCSM. We'll also be talking about officer elections for CML in addition to the usual professional learning and CDE updates. Watch the CML mailing list for more details.

Math Teachers' Circle Summer Workshop

The March 1 early application deadline has passed, but you can still apply for the 2017 Summer Math Teachers' Circle Workshop in Durango, to be held June 12-16 until May 15, 2017.

SLD Webinars

CDE's Exceptional Student Services Unit is offering a series of five one-hour webinars addressing the needs of struggling learners with specific learning disabilities. The webinars will be on the first Monday of each month:
  • February 6: Focusing on the Nonstrategic Math Learner
  • March 6: Learning Whole Number Operations
  • April 3: Let's Be Rational: Learning Integers, Fractions, Decimals
  • May 1: Mathese: The Language of Mathematics
  • June 5: Bridging the Arithmetic to Algebra Gap
Register for any or all of the webinars in this series at

Teaching Math to English Learners

CDE's Office of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education is offering Teaching Math to English Learners workshops later the spring. Two workshops have been announced so far in Lamar and Limon:
More information about these and other professional learning opportunities from the CLDE office can be found on the CLDE website.

Mathematical Mindsets Book Study

Cassie Harrelson of Aurora Public Schools is facilitating an online book study of Jo Boaler's Mathematical Mindsets beginning on March 27 and lasting through May 7. The book study comes with credit and you can register for it on the COpilot website.

Felicia Casto Wins the Milken Award

Math teacher, interventionist, and coach Felicia Casto of Mesa County Valley School District 51 won the prestigious Milken Educator Award. You can watch a news feature about Felicia at and more about her excellent work on her Milken Educator Award biography. Congrats, Felicia!

Math on the "Planes"

Karen Karp at Math on the "Planes"
I was happy last week to join in on the fun at Math on the "Planes", the annual math conference hosted by the Colorado Council for Learning Disabilities. This year the workshops were led by Dr. Karen Karp of Johns Hopkins University. Friday's portion of the conference focused on tiers of instruction and intervention for K-2 students, while on Saturday the focus was on students in grades 3-5. This really is a great conference I hope everyone keeps their eyes open for Math on the "Planes" 2018.

Apply to Serve on a Standards Review Committee

The application process for the standards review and revision committees is underway!

CDE is committed to conducting an open and transparent review and revision of the Colorado Academic Standards by engaging diverse stakeholders to serve as committee members in each standard area. CDE is seeking committee members for each of the 10 content areas, English language proficiency, personal financial literacy, and computer science to provide revision recommendations to the State Board of Education.

According to Colorado state law, the Colorado Academic Standards must be reviewed and revised on or before July 1, 2018 and every six years thereafter.

More information about the standards review and revision process and the committee application process can be found at

Go directly to the committee application at

CAS Online Feedback

CDE has developed an online standards review system to enable all Coloradoans to provide specific feedback on each and every expectation within all 10 content areas of the Colorado Academic Standards. This is your chance to provide feedback directly to the committees that will be making recommendations for revisions to the standards. This is a first-of-its-kind opportunity that will only be available until April 30, 2017.

Have your voice heard!

The review and revision process is required by Senate Bill 08-212, known as Colorado’s Achievement Plan for Kids (CAP4K). The law requires a review and revision of the Colorado Academic Standards on or before July 1, 2018 and every six years thereafter.

More information about the standards review and revision process and the online standards feedback system can be found at

Go directly to the online standards feedback system at

Inviting Public Comment on Colorado's ESSA State Plan Draft

In order to demonstrate that Colorado meets the requirements of ESSA and to access the funding allocated to the state, CDE must submit a plan to the United States Department of Education for approval. Fundamental to the requirements of the ESSA plan, is that the department engage in meaningful consultation with a broad range of education stakeholders in developing the plan and, once a draft of the plan has been completed, to make the plan available for public comment. The draft of this plan will be open for public comment for 30 days, beginning on Friday, February 10, 2017, and closing on Friday, March 10, 2017.

There are two ways to submit your comments on Colorado’s ESSA State Plan:
  1. Visit our online portal to access the survey or upload a document:, or
  2. Mail your comments to: Colorado Department of Education, Federal Programs Unit, 1560 Broadway, Suite 1100, Denver, CO 80202-5149.
We invite you to read the letter from Commissioner Anthes on Colorado’s ESSA State Plan Development and release of the state plan draft prior to submitting your comments:

This stage of Colorado’s ESSA plan development is important as it is your chance to react to the plan. The comments we receive from you will be compiled and incorporated into the plan as appropriate. Next, the plan will be reviewed with the Governor and ultimately presented to Colorado’s State Board of Education for approval to submit to the U.S. Department of Education in April.

CDE also intends to post a draft of the state plan in Spanish and encourages members of the public to contact us at with any questions or requests related to accessibility.