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(Mi)2 Update: October 2015
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In This Newsletter:

Two Years Later... | Foundations of Math | Enhancing Mathematics Instruction for Students With Learning Difficulties | Delta Math | Math and Language | Math Around Michigan | (Mi)2 Resources | Upcoming (Mi)2 Dates | (Mi)2 Partners | Subscription Details
Two Years Later...

In the October 2014 (Mi)2 Update, I reflected on my first year with the initiative. As I conclude my second year, I want to pick up where I left off and focus on one of the biggest lessons I have learned since then.

People want to collaborate. (Mi)2 works to bring special and general educators together to benefit from each other’s expertise, and to provide a comprehensive, high quality math education to all students. When I was a special education teacher in a center-based program with no general education colleagues, I often thought that perhaps people were happy to work in their own silos: special education in special education silos, and general education in general education silos.

I am happy to report that I was wrong. This past year, I have had the pleasure of experiencing the power of true collaboration and sharing of expertise as I worked on projects and committees with a variety of partners.
  1. In-state collaboration has resulted in, among other outcomes, the first annual Making Mathematics Meaningful through Collaboration conference (with Michigan Council for Exceptional Children and Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics); emerging work on classroom norms that support thinking classrooms (with Detroit Area Council of Teachers of Mathematics); and committee work on professional learning and SAT testing supports (with Michigan Mathematics Consultants and Coordinators and Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators).

  2. Inter-state partnerships have resulted in Foundations of Math (North Carolina Department of Public Education); and emerging work on implementation supports (Loyola University in Chicago).

  3. Work with teachers brought approximately 260 general and special education math educators together for 15 offerings of Enhancing Mathematics Instruction for Students with Learning Difficulties, approximately 200 general and special education math educators for four cohorts of Foundations of Math, as well as mixed audiences for the collaborative conference and the Accessible Learning Environments Summer Institute.
As I said, (Mi)2 works to bring general and special educators together to improve mathematics outcomes for all students, but what I learned most about this in my second year with the initiative is that we really do not have to work that hard to do that.

“If you build it, they will come” was the call to action in the movie Field of Dreams. This year, I am overwhelmed by how ready and happy educators have been to collaborate. All I had to do was provide and accept opportunities for collaboration. Thank you all for an inspiring second year. I’m looking forward to year three.

Kate Fanelli, Math Accessibility Specialist, (Mi)2

Foundations of Math

Foundations of Math introduces a way of thinking, planning, understanding, and talking about mathematics that presents math in a coherent, consistent manner. Participants leave with strategies for lesson planning, problem solving, and assessing using foundational understanding of the mathematics they teach.

Research tells us that implementation of new practices will not happen, and cannot be sustained, without additional supports such as coaching, professional learning communities, and strong administrative support. As we conclude our third and fourth cohorts of state-level training, (Mi)2 is actively looking for ways to support sustained implementation of new practices at the district level.

If you know of a district interested in exploring what it would take to transfer the knowledge and pedagogy learned in this course into daily classroom practice, contact Kate Fanelli for more information on being part of our initial usability testing for implementation supports.

(Mi)2 is particularly interested in sites prepared to work collaboratively on the development and evaluation of implementation plans.

Enhancing Mathematics Instruction for Students With Learning Difficulties

Over the spring and summer, (Mi)2 conducted interviews with facilitators of this course. When asked about needs this course addressed, responses included:
  • Increased inclusion in buildings and districts created an increased need for collaboration.

  • Data regarding the lowest achieving students, students with special needs, and/or mathematics in general showed a need to improve or change instruction.

  • Collaboration between math departments and special education departments was needed to model collaboration for, and bring quality professional learning to, teachers.
For information on bringing this course to your area and meeting needs such as these, contact Kate Fanelli.

Delta Math

Two implementation support opportunities will be provided free of charge at Kalamazoo Regional Education Service Agency (RESA) on October 12, 2015.

Delta Math School Improvement Support
8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Who: Building administrators, team leaders, math coaches, and/or others involved in the school improvement process
Why: To explore and discuss the Delta Math school improvement guides and sample school improvement goals and student learning objectives (SLO)

Delta Math Tier 2 Intervention Support (Grades 1 through 6)
1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Who: Elementary math coaches, interventionists, and/or teachers
Why: To explore and discuss evidence-based recommendations for Tier 2 math interventions
Topics include: Delta Math standard-based intervention cycle, components of Delta Math Tier 2 intervention lessons, and an introduction to visual representations of multi-digit whole number operations

If you have any questions about the Delta Math RtI program, or would like to attend one of these support opportunities, please contact Mike Klavon.

Math and Language

Using clear, correct language in mathematics lessons is critical to building understanding and avoiding misconceptions. Concepcion Molina, author of The Problem with Math is English and featured in a YouTube video, learned math as an English language learner and talks in this video and his book about the importance of being clear on what is being talked about (e.g., always use units) and being explicit when using words and symbols with multiple meanings (e.g., degree of an angle, degree of a polynomial), as well as what can happen when teachers fail to be clear and explicit.

He looks at mathematics in terms of what we teach and how we communicate it and demonstrates how communication can either break down or build understanding.

Although the title of his book may suggest it is written primarily for teachers of students who are English language learners, it is not. The book uses examples, anecdotes, and personal experience to illustrate how teachers can use language to develop deeper understanding of mathematics.

Math Around Michigan

Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics Book Club
Join the Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics in their free (other than the cost of the book) fall online book club. We will be studying Teaching Numeracy: 9 Critical Habits to Ignite Mathematical Thinking by Margie Pearse and K.M. Walton. It is available from

The study group will begin the week of October 4 and will last ten weeks. Each week (with the exception of Thanksgiving week) we’ll read and discuss one of the nine critical habits. Questions will be emailed at the beginning of the week and you’ll have the week to read, reflect, and respond if you’d like.

If you have questions or would like to join the email-based book club, please contact Kevin Dykema.

Oakland Schools Announces New Dates for the Secondary Math Leadership Forum
The Secondary Math Leadership Forum, beginning in October and continuing throughout the school year, provides an opportunity for districts in Oakland County (and districts outside of Oakland County, if seats are available) to work collaboratively and analyze how well three middle school and three high school math textbooks align with the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. High school level series being explored include College Preparatory Mathematics (CPM), Big Ideas, and Core Plus. Middle school level series include CPM, Connected Math Project 3 (CMP3), and Big Ideas.

For more information and registration, please contact Lyn Weber or reference the Secondary Math Leadership Forum flyer.

Math in Your Feet
The Grand Valley State University Regional Math and Science Center presents Math in Your Feet, a one-day professional learning opportunity for teachers of grades 2-6, on October 14, 2015, on the Allendale campus of Grand Valley State University. This exciting workshop shows teachers how to teach math through percussive dance and is led by Malke Rosenfeld, a specialist in interdisciplinary arts programming.

Teaching Mathematics Content Courses (TeMaCC) Fall 2015 Conference
This conference aims to facilitate conversations about mathematics content courses for future teachers in a variety of breakout sessions during the conference and beyond. Conference themes are “Embracing Challenge in Learning Mathematics” and “Reasoning and Proof in Mathematics Content Courses for Pre-Service Teachers.” The 2015 TeMaCC conference will take place in Ann Arbor on Saturday, October 24. For more information, visit the Teaching Mathematics Content Courses conference website.

Bay-Arenac Intermediate School District (ISD) Offerings 2015-2016
Bay-Arenac ISD will offer a variety of math professional learning opportunities throughout the upcoming school year. Topics include:
  • Enhancing Mathematics Instruction for Students With Learning Difficulties

  • Delta Math training

  • Three-Act Math Instructional Model

  • Integrated Math Practices (grades 6-8 and 9-12)

  • Number Sense Series

  • Michigan M-STEP and Prep

  • SAT Preparation and Support

  • Enhancing Mathematics follow-up for previous participants
Visit the Bay-Arenac ISD website for more information, registration, and pricing.

Kalamazoo Regional Educational Services Agency (RESA) Offerings 2015-2016
Kalamazoo RESA will offer a range of multi-day professional learning opportunities this year. To view math offerings, visit the Kalamazoo RESA website and select “Mathematics” from the dropdown menu.

2015-2016 titles include:
  • Strengthen Early Mathematics Instruction (preschool)

  • Addition and Subtraction Learning Progressions to Fluency for K–2

  • Multiplication and Division Learning Progressions to Fluency for Grades 3–6

  • Eureka Math – study of selected modules for K–8

  • Number Sense Routines for Middle Grades Fact Fluency (Grades 6–8)

  • Persevering While Problem Solving (secondary)
Wayne Regional Educational Services Agency (RESA) Offerings 2015-2016
Wayne RESA’s math offerings are described on the Wayne RESA website.

Offerings for the upcoming year address a variety of topics and encompass ongoing projects, including Project PRIME and Title 1: Project Making Mathematics Matter.

Oakland Schools Mathematics Offerings 2015-2016
Oakland Schools has posted its full list of mathematics offerings for the 2015-2016 school year. Offerings where a green “out of district” fee is listed are open to anyone.

(Mi)2 Resources

  1. Website:

  2. (Mi)2 Update, a monthly e-newsletter: Subscribe

  3. Technical Assistance: Contact (Mi)2

  4. Follow us on Twitter @MI2_Math and Facebook

Upcoming (Mi)2 Dates

October 9, 2015 – Preview/Overview: Foundations of Math
Fall Educators Conference

October 12, 2015 – Support Sessions: Delta Math School Improvement Support and Tier 2 Intervention Implementation
Kalamazoo RESA

October 15, 2015 – Breakout Session: Strengthening Mathematics Instruction and Understanding for Students With Disabilities
Grand Rapids

October 19-20, 2015 – Foundations of Math
Days 4 and 5
Traverse City

October 22-23, 2015 – Foundations of Math
Days 4 and 5

November 7, 2015 – Breakout Session: Strengthening Mathematics Instruction and Understanding for Students With Disabilities
Detroit Area Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Conference

December 2, 2015 – Breakout Session: Addressing Learner Variability in the Mathematics Classroom
Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principals Association Conference

(Mi)2 Partners

Michigan Math and Science Center Network (MMSCN)

The Michigan Mathematics and Science Centers Network (MMSCN) collaborates with partners across the state to improve math and science teaching.

Detroit Area Council of Teachers of Mathematics (DACTM)

The Detroit Area Council of Teachers of Mathematics (DACTM) proactively supports Michigan math educators’ continued professional growth.

Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM)

The Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM) is the professional organization for Michigan mathematics educators at any grade level, pre-K through college.

Michigan Council for Exceptional Children (MCEC)

The Michigan Council for Exceptional Children (MCEC) is part of a national community of educators who are the voice and vision of special and gifted education.

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Accessible Learning Environments, encompassing Michigan’s Integrated Mathematics Initiative, is a Mandated Activities Project (MAP), funded under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) through the Michigan Department of Education, Office of Special Education.

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