Now Is the Time to Modernize High School Math, New Report Reveals

A new report from the Charles A. Dana Center uncovers the ways in which the current mathematics structure is blocking students from postsecondary and career success.

The report, titled “Launch Years: A New Vision for the Transition from High School to Postsecondary Mathematics,” points to systemic barriers that impede students during the transition from high school mathematics into postsecondary education—and offers clear recommendations to remove those barriers.

“Through this report and the Launch Years work, we are collaborating closely with leaders from the K–12, higher education, and workforce communities, as well as equity advocates, to intentionally dismantle the structural, institutional, and systemic barriers that lead to inequitable mathematics experiences and access."

Download the report and read more.

You’re invited to MMSLN Math Chat (Apr 22, 2020)

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MMSLN Math Chat
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Wednesday, April 22, 2020 from 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM (EDT)

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Are you a math educator in Michigan? We invite you to join in the next MMSLN Math Chat. FREE. No charge and no membership required.

In these difficult times, connection with our colleagues is more important than ever. Come connect and engage virtually with mathematics leaders from across the state in an open, semi-structured conversation.

The MMSLN wants to provide connection opportunities that are supportive of our mathematics leaders. The network will offer a series of weekly connection opportunities on April 29 and May 6.

This week, we’ll connect to key take-aways from last week’s chat and then move on to discuss:

  • How can we provide for equitable experiences for all students (i.e., How can we do better than a packet for students without internet access?)
  • How might we support schools and teachers as they head back to school next year?

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keywords: mathematics, education, STEM, equity

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We hope you can make it!

Cheers,

Michigan Mathematics and Science Leadership Network

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You’re invited to MMSLN Science Chat (Apr 24, 2020)

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Friday, April 24, 2020 from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM (EDT)

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Happy Hour Conversation for Science Leaders – CSSS Resource documents

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Michigan Mathematics and Science Leadership Network

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You’re invited to MMSLN MiSciPln Meet-Up (Apr 30, 2020)

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Thursday, April 30, 2020 from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM (EDT)

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MiSciPLN is for any educator supporting the implementation of the Michigan Science Standards.

This meeting will be virtual. Running from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Amy Oliver from Allegan County will present her work leading elementary teachers in revising science and ELA implementation. Rich conversations will follow.

After a lunch/walk break

From 1-2, Linnea Gibson will present her Disciplinary Literacy work and engage in conversations about DLE documents.

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Michigan Mathematics and Science Leadership Network

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Deficit language: What is it and how can I respond to it?

Last week, math and science educators across Michigan gathered virtually to explore deficit language and practice responding to it (with the intent of reshaping deficit-based narratives we may have about our students, families, and other educators). What follows are just a few comments that our colleagues now feel better equipped to respond to when they hear them:

  • Our clientele…
  • My students can’t…
  • My students won’t…
  • These kids don’t care about science/math.
  • My low kids…

Curious to find out more? Check out what’s on the role-playing agenda for our next MAE-STEM Meet-up and gain access to all the useful resources.

MAE-STEM Meet-Up
Monday, May 4, 2020
9AM-Noon

Find out more and register now.

Shout out to one of our own! The NSTA “Daily Do” Science Sense-Making at home

A few weeks ago, we posted this article on The NSTA Daily Do. Since then, one of our colleagues just had her e-book added to the Daily Do collection. Join me in congratulating Laura Chambliss for her great work in the, Why does a part’s shape matter? Daily Do from NSTA!

Do you want to see this message optimized for your mobile device? Click here to view it in your browser.

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With another week of home and distance learning behind us, it’s time to take a reflective look back and a hopeful – perhaps even excited – look forward. We shared in last week’s blog post how crucial it is to give our students something to figure out if we want them to engage in science learning outside of the classroom. This week, let’s consider what it means to do science.

Each Daily Do presents a phenomenon and guidance for engaging students with practices for sensemaking. Read the full blog post to learn more and to access the free, daily resources available from NSTA.

This Week’s Dailys
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In this task, Why does population size change?, students engage in science and engineering practices and use the lens of cause and effect (crosscutting concept) to figure out there is a maximum number of buffalo an area can support based on the living and nonliving components of the ecosystem.

This task has been modified from its original design to be used by high school students, families, and teachers in distance and home learning. While students could complete this task independently, we encourage students to work virtually with peers or in the home with family members.

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This task, How do we know if something is alive?, uses children’s books and family reading time to invite students to share and build on their ideas about things that are alive and things that are not. Wonderings about living things and what they have in common leads students to engage in science and engineering practices to figure out that living things grow and move.

This task is modified from the elementary lesson “Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow?”, published in Even More Picture–Perfect Science Lessons: Using Children’s Books to Guide Inquiry, K-5. The Picture Perfect book series of was developed to help K-5 teachers integrate science and reading in an engaging, kid-friendly way. The strategies for reading aloud to support students’ sense-making in science can be used at multiple grade levels with any scientific concept.

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Today’s Daily Do presents two different – but related – science tasks centered around children’s books.

  • What Floats in a Moat? (K-2) Students float and sink everyday objects to figure out what makes some things float and other things sink.
  • Who Sank the Boat? (3-5) Through an engineering design challenge involving aluminum foil and pennies, students figure out how the shape of a boat and it’s ability to float are related.

Although designed for different grade levels, you may choose to do both tasks with your K-5 students (you can adjust the amount of scaffolding in both tasks). Make sure to check out the STEM careers at the end of this Daily Do: Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering!

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In this task, How do living things choose their home?, students and their families read the NSTA e-Book Home Is Where My Habitat Is and use the thinking tools of patterns and cause and effect (crosscutting concepts) to make sense of the science idea that animals live in habitats and changes in habitats affect the animals living there. Opportunities to make connections between local habitats and the habitats Kippy encounters inspire appreciation and stewardship of habitats around the world as well as close to home.
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Today’s task, Where do new infectious diseases come from?, creates an opportunity for students consider examples of infectious diseases they might know a lot about and compare them to diseases they want to know more about. Students engage in science and engineering practices – including the use of a simulation (mathematical model) – to figure out how “new” infectious disease-causing bacteria can come from bacteria that have been around for awhile.

This task has been modified from its original design it can be used by students, parents, and teachers in distance and home learning. While students could complete this task independently, we encourage students to work virtually with peers or in the home with family members.

NSTA Web Seminar
Join us on Wednesday, April 8, at 12:00 pm & 7:00 pm ET for a web seminar in the Transforming Science Learning series from NSTA.

Kids bring a wealth of ideas and experiences into the classroom. When we create opportunities for students to share ideas, we can develop a community of learners where every voice is valued and every voice helps build understanding of big ideas in science and engineering. Learn how.

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Wonder-Filled K-5 Science @ Home

We hosted two elementary science brainstorming sessions about plans for continuous learning. After synthesizing the ideas and several follow-up conversations, we think we have a realistic plan for teachers and districts to use between now and June. “We’re better together…”

The weekly plan includes three “wonder-filled” activities for K-5 students and families to engage with together that promote connection, wonder, play, and ‘figuring out’!

We prioritized the following ideas when developing the plan and activities:

  • Play! The activities are play-based and an opportunity for families to connect, wonder, and explore together (mostly outside!).
  • All! All children in grades K-5 explore together during the activities. We recognize that elementary age students (and older siblings) are helping each other learn while many parents work from home. There are not separate lessons for second graders compared to fifth graders. We’ve differentiated the sense-making questions for K-2 and 3-5 for the same exploration activity. Even middle school and high school kids could participate.
  • Variety! Each week there will be (1) Life Science Activity, (1) Earth and Space Activity, and (1) Physical Science Activity. Districts and teachers can decide how many activities or which activities they choose to have families engage with. All are standards based (MSS / NGSS), but not necessarily a part of any one elementary science curricular resource.
  • Accessibility and Ease of Use! There are a total of 7 Google Slides for each activity. Teachers can link directly to the activities if using digital tools like Google Classroom, a website, etc., or districts can print the slides “notes” style and make a modified science notebook for families and children that are receiving printed resources. If using the printed option, each activity (7 slides) will fit on one sheet of paper when printed double-sided. We drafted a parent/guardian letter as an introduction for families as well.

If you’d like to check them out, or share them with others, feel free!

Math at Home: Learning Resources

Schools may be closed, but math learning can continue! Through June, and longer if necessary, The Math Learning Center (MLC) is providing free resources for all students to use independently or with support from family members or educators.

This content does not require registration or login and is publicly available without charge. The materials may be shared through most devices, within a learning management system, or printed and distributed.

Math at Home | Resources | FAQs

Reimagining Math Education

Launch Years Initiative: Reimagining Math Education

Reimagine mathematics and update mathematics policies and practices so students can make a seamless transition in their “launch years”—from grade 11 through the first year of postsecondary education. The Launch Years initiative aims to mobilize a coordinated movement to develop new mathematics pathways that propel students smoothly from high school through postsecondary education and into the work world. Read the Factsheet and Executive Summary

No digital connection, what now?

No Computer, No Wi-Fi, and No Cell Coverage

EdTrust launched a new series of their ExtraOrdinary Districts podcast. In the first episode, No Computer, No Wi-Fi, & No Cell Coverage While America Is Supposed to be Learning, writer-in-residence Karin Chenoweth talks with John Daniel, superintendent of a district in rural OK. He talks about the challenges of online learning when many of his students and teachers don’t have access to computers, wi-fi, or even reliable cell phone service.