Monday, December 15, 2014

NCSM Coaching Corner

Welcome to the NCSM Coaching Corner, the "go-to" destination for mathematics specialists, coaches, and leaders!

The purpose of the Coaching Corner is to support specialists, coaches, and leaders of coaching programs as they progress through the stages of leadership growth outlined in The PRIME Leadership Framework: Principles and Indicators for Mathematics Education Leaders and the new It's TIME: Themes and Imperatives in Mathematics Education.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Winter 2-14-2015 NCSM Newsletter

This season's newsletter features infomation about the spring conference in Boston (Mary Fitzgerald, Lara White, and Tracy Watterson will be presenting this year), as well as articles about It's TimePrinciples to Actions, Standards of Mathematical Practice, and SBAC Rubrics Aligned to Desired Evidnce.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Upcoming NCSM Webinar: Featuring Formative Assessment

National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics

 Upcoming NCSM Webinar: Featuring Formative Assessment

Thursday, November 6, 2014 3:00-4:00PM EST
Description: NCSM has created a new resource for leaders - supervisors, coaches, lead teachers, faculty teaching mathematics methods courses - that provides PowerPoint slides and leader notes on strategies for formative assessment. Appropriate for pre-service students as well as K-16 teachers, the JUMP START series includes discussion points and activities for each strategy related to mathematics classrooms. Join the webinar for a tour through the resource and discussions about formative assessment with the educators who created JUMP START.

Presented by: Ana Floyd, Wendy Rich

Sponsored by: Carnegie Learning, Inc.

Registration Link:

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Advice for Math Teachers Gearing Up for Rigorous Standards

From the Marshall Memo 558 (courtesy of NCSM)

        “Many of us chose mathematics teaching because it was always so neat and clean,” says math consultant Steven Leinwand in this Mathematics Teacher article. “Almost always, we arrived at only one numerical answer by using one right procedure that could be easily graded either right or wrong… But, oh, how things have changed!” He offers the following postulates for math teachers adjusting to ambitious new standards:
            • We are being asked to teach in distinctly different ways from how we were taught. Parents tend to parent the way they were parented, and teachers tend to teach as they were taught. “We build on what is familiar because the familiar ‘feels right,’” says Leinwand. But the new expectations are unfamiliar territory for many teachers. “We need to increase opportunities for collegial classroom visits,” he advises, “and we need to increase our reliance on videotapes of what the distinctly different forms of pedagogy look like.”
            • The traditional curriculum was designed to meet societal needs that no longer exist. New math standards were developed because “society’s needs and expectations for schools have shifted radically,” says Leinwand. “Schools cannot remain perpetuators of the bell curve, where only some were expected to survive and even fewer to truly thrive; education must be a springboard from which all must attain higher levels.”
            • It is unreasonable to ask a professional to change much more than 10 percent a year, but it is unprofessional to change by much less than 10 percent a year. Changing one-tenth of one’s practice is about the right amount to ask of ourselves, says Leinwand – “large enough to represent real and significant change but small enough to be manageable.” This might be revamping one curriculum unit a year, changing questioning techniques, or introducing math journals. “Even the most radical proponent of reform should be satisfied with a change of this magnitude in our mathematics classes,” he contends, “and our most cautious and tradition-bound colleagues should be able to retain a real sense of control over such a rate of change.”
            • If you don’t feel inadequate, you’re probably not doing the job. Just think what math teachers are being asked to do, says Leinwand:
-    Use manipulatives and pictures much more frequently.
-    Get students regularly working in groups.
-    Work with heterogeneous groups.
-    Focus on problems, communication, applications, and interdisciplinary work.
-    Put more emphasis on statistics, geometry, and discrete mathematics.
-    Use assessments that are more authentic and complex.
“Feeling overwhelmed by this torrent of change is neither a weakness nor a lack of professionalism,” he says. “It is an entirely rational response… We must select a few areas of focus and balance the fear and worries we understandably have in some areas with the pride and accomplishment and success we find in other areas. We must accept the inevitability of a sense of inadequacy and use it to stimulate the ongoing growth and learning that characterize the true professional.”
            [Note that this article was published before the Common Core, referencing the NCTM standards, but the ideas are still relevant today.  K.M.]

“Four Teacher-Friendly Postulates for Thriving in a Sea of Change” by Steven Leinwand in Mathematics Teacher, May 2007 (Vol. 100, #9, p. 582-583),

Friday, October 24, 2014

Minutes of the October 16, 2014, Membership Meeting

Happy Anniversary to the Vermont Math Leadership Council!

We have just marked the end of our first year together.
I would like to:
1) Congratulations to our with new Board Members: Mary Fitzgerald (President), Julie Conrad (President-Elect), Patty Kelly (Treasurer), and Member-At-Large Elaine Watson, Mary Calder, Sue Abrams, and Sandi Stanhope,
2) Welcome to our two new members: Fran Huntoon and Mary Perkins,
3) Share the energy from the meeting to those unable to attend.

Please take a few minutes to read through the meeting's Minutes, and consider how you might join in networking, collaborating, and sharing with others in math leadership.

Thank you for a wonderful first year,

Request a copy of the Minutes, Attendance and Ballot, and Treasurer's Report at

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Membership Meeting October 16, 2014

Who Are We as Math Leaders?
    Vermont Math Leadership Council (VMLC) Membership Meeting
Thursday, October 16th
Windjammer Restaurant in South Burlington

Join us for appetizers at 5:00pm, elections of the Council’s new Board Members (President Elect, Treasurer, and Members-at-Large*), followed by work on defining our roles (continued from our August meeting), and time for networking.
*Nominations are still being accepted.
Contact: Elaine Watson,, Elections Committee Chair

Returning and New Members are welcome!** We welcome guests at our meeting for a fee of $20, which may be applied toward membership should you choose to join the Council. Only members may vote. **membership forms are available.
Contact: Julie Conrad,, Membership Committee Chair

Contacts: Linda Horn and Patty Kelly, Meeting Coordinators.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The VCTM Fall Conference "Teaching Mathematics Today" at St. Michael's College in Colchester

The VCTM Fall Conference "Teaching Mathematics Today" at St. Michael's College in Colchester is fast approaching- attached (below) is the full program- and then you can register here.  The conference is designed for all teachers, K-12 with many opportunities for discussions and explorations on a wide range of topics, with a focus on Common Core and SBAC, as well as newer teaching techniques and ideas from proficiency based learning to STEM.  

This is a great opportunity to connect with the greater Vermont math community and share in our resources!