Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April 2014

April Update:

Vermont Council of Teachers of Math eNewsletter....   so much is going on in the world of math education, and if you are like me, it all seems a little overwhelming at times.  There are various course and workshop offerings in this posting and being offered by the state.  I encourage you to take the time and go to one or more of them.   The more we know and understand about the changes, the easier they will be in the long run.  

As always, if you have any comments or suggestions, please do not hesitate to send it along to me .  - David Rome, VCTM eNewsletter Editor

In this issue:
  • VCTM Looking to Meet your Needs At a Fall 2014 Conference
  • Interview article:  Looking at math more globally
  • Middle School Free Space!
  • How To Learn Math:  For Parents and Teachers
  • 2048:  The Latest Game Craze 'Crushes' the Competition

VCTM Looking to Meet your Needs At a Fall 2014 Conference.    The VCTM conference committee is looking for your input as to what you would like to hear about at the upcoming fall conference- would you take just one or two minutes and fill out this brief questionnaire?  


Interview article:  Looking at math more globally.  This interview with math professor Steven Strogatz recently appeared in Math Horizons.  It speaks to the needs of the common core quite nicely.  A good read, for sure. 


Middle School Free Space!   A free seminar is available for either May 5, May 15, or May 29th in the comfort of your home from 6:30 to 7:30 EST.  

Engineering (the 'E' in STEM) is a new way to get students engaged in designing their own hands-on projects, and in this webinar you will learn how to make it easier for teachers to do this using everyday materials to keep down that cost. 
Log in from home or from school on your own computer and join this chat-friendly presentation about a satellite engineering hands-on activity (math based and fun for all ages, focused on grades 6-8).  All you need is internet!  The presentation will also focus on best teaching practices aligned with current standards, and provide many NASA resources for hands-on activities for educators K-12.  You receive a certificate for attending plus 1.5 pd hours sent directly to your registered email address.


How To Learn Math:  For Parents and Teachers  Explore the new research ideas on mathematics learning and student mindsets that can transform students' experiences with math.  Whether you are a teacher preparing to implement the new Common Core State Standards, a parent wanting to give your children the best math start in life, and administrator wanting to know ways to encourage math teachers or another helper of math learners, this course will help you.  The sessions are all interactive and include various thinking tasks to promote active engagement- such as reflecting on videos, designing lessons, and discussing ideas with peers.  Taught by Jo Boaler, professor of mathematics education, Stanford University, you will learn useful ideas and practices that you can apply immediately, for example. 
The course will be self-paced, you can start and end the course at any time in the months it is open.

In the first run of the course many school districts in the US gave 16 professional development hours to the teachers who took the course - which means finishing the course and completing most of the assignments. Stanford University makes no representations that participation in the course, including participation leading to a record of completion, will be accepted by any school district or other entity as evidence of professional development. Participants are solely responsible for determining whether participation in the course, including obtaining a record of completion, will be accepted by a school district, or any other entity, as evidence of professional development coursework.  The course costs $125..  No other materials or textbooks need to be purchased.  Sign up or find more information at this site. 


2048:  The Latest Game Craze 'Crushes' the Competition  

If you are like me and have all kinds of time to spend on silly video games (this is sarcasm), you might want to check out the new free app on iPhones and iPads '2048'.  Why, you ask?  Is this not just another Angry Birds or Candy Crush?  Well, yes, from a time-waste perspective.....but this one is mathematical!  Invented recently (in one weekend!) by Gabriele Cirulli, a 19 year-old Italian student, it is sweeping the globe in popularity, so stay ahead of your students and boast your personal best  score!  It takes about 1 minute to learn, and one game to figure out ways to get better.  If you do have strategies for getting better scores, make comments below and we'll see who is the first to get to 2048!


  1. So far, I have gotten to 31000 points, 2048 plus another 1024 and change. Play it like tetris, only moving things down or l/r. Try to work with your largest tile in a corner.

  2. I agree. I have only gotten about 40000 points. I was disappointed that the game didn't stop at 2048, but I suppose that's part of the point of the game. I try to keep the biggest tile in the bottom row, but I haven't been able to keep it in the corner.