MCMI Team Recommended Instructional Resources for Distance Learning

Are you overwhelmed by all the choices? The MCMI team has pulled together a list of free instructional resources that are focused on supporting students and families during distance learning. Some things we considered:

  • Open-ended and engaging
  • Longer, student-driven lessons
  • Interesting mathematics that focuses on core ideas
  • Opportunities for feedback and/or support through the resource, family or peer interaction.

Bridges: Home Learning Resources (K–5) 

An evolving collection of K–5 activities students can do independently or with the support of families or educators. Includes activity of the day, shorter and longer tasks, a collection of on-line games, and the virtual manipulatives from the Math Learning Center.

Connected Mathematics: CMP at Home (6–8)

An evolving set of resources for teachers and families to support students that are continuing their learning at home. You will find games, videos, and lessons that are easy to implement at home with families.

Counting Collections Routine (K–5)

This is an excellent routine to do at home. Count a collection of ______? Or How many ______ are there? This routine supports students’ development of quantity, number, magnitude, and measurement. Older students might develop ways to efficiently count large quantities (e.g., grains of rice in a bag) or show a quantity. What does _______ look like?

Desmos (3–12)

This is an evolving collection of digital activities and interactives that help students learn math and learn to love math. These activities can be done asynchronously or synchronously, can connect students to the reasoning of others, and provide an opportunity for feedback. Digital activities can be accessed via a phone as well as a computer.

Estimation 180 (K–12)

This is a collection of short videos that challenge students to reason about quantity and measurements. Different ages will access and engage in different ways but always stimulate highly engaging mathematics conversations.

Inside Mathematics: Problems of the Month (K–12)

This is a collection of leveled open-ended problem sets that could be used to engage students in some rich problem solving. Students start with level A and work through as many levels as they can. Ask students to share their solution to one of the levels.

Investigations: Math at Home (K–5)

An evolving collection of K–5 activities families can do at home and access to games that can be done on-line and off-line. Resources in English and Spanish.

Khan Academy (K–12)

Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom.

Math Trailblazers: Longer, Student-Driven Assignments (K–5)

The authors are in the process of curating a collection of longer, student-driven assignments and games that could be done independently or as a family. For example: How many steps does____walk in an hour? Which paper towel holds more water?

NCTM: Problems of the Week (3–12)

This collection of engaging and interesting open-ended problems is an awesome resource for those longer student-driven thought-provoking tasks. Students at different levels can solve the same problem in different ways.

Open Middle (K–12)

Open Middle problems have a “closed beginning” meaning that they all start with the same initial problem, a “closed end” meaning that they all end with the same answer, and an “open middle” meaning that there are multiple ways to approach and ultimately solve the problem.

Three Act Task (K–12)

There are several educators creating and organizing three-act tasks. Graham Fletcher has pulled together links to many of these K–12 educators. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page. Students get to know the problem through an image or video. After students determine and gather the information needed to mathematize the situation, students work to respond. The closure is a video of the situation or problem resolving, so students can check their response. Here is an NCTM article about Three-Act Tasks as well. One educator used a google form to deliver and collect student ideas.

YouCubed at Home Newsletter (K–12)

A weekly newsletter of YouCubed resources modified or highlighted to continue math exploration at home. There are some fun videos, games, and interesting open-ended tasks.

2020-04-13T14:16:51-05:00 April 13th, 2020|COVID-19 Distance Learning|

Set Game

Coach: Jennifer Leimberer

Grand band: 2–8

Looking for interesting ways to engage and challenge your students? Games are a great way to engage students to think strategically, flexibly, and develop language. Set in one of those fabulous games.

2021-04-19T08:53:08-05:00 April 19th, 2021|Blog|

MCMI Virtual Book Study

We invite you to join us for a Virtual Book Talk hosted by MCMI— May 12, 19, 26 and June 2, 9, and 16.

Dive into your copy of Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics by Peter Liljedahl, and join us for a series of guided online discussions. 

Participation is free and available to all teachers and administrators participating in MCMI or BSF-UIC for the 2020–2021 school year. 

There are three easy ways to engage: 

  1. Register on Eventbrite at We will meet via Zoom from 4pm–5pm CST on May 12, 19, 26 and June 2, 9, and 16th.
  2. Follow @MetroChicagoMathematicsInitiative on Facebook 
  3. Follow @uic_mcmi on Twitter

Questions? Contact your UIC coach or Jean Sutow-Goldrich ( 

2021-04-14T08:42:27-05:00 April 14th, 2021|Blog|

Chalk Talk

Coach: Jenesis Byrne

District: South Cook

Grade band: K–5

Teachers planning and experiencing Math Talks. Practicing moves, as both teacher and student.

2021-03-22T07:56:21-05:00 March 22nd, 2021|Blog|

MCMI 2021 Summer Institute Update

Planning is underway for our 2021 Virtual Summer Institute, and Professional Development Hours will be available for every session attended! Stay connected to learn more details about our featured speakers and session choices.

2021-03-17T09:20:58-05:00 March 17th, 2021|Blog|

Pi Day Ideas and Resources

Help your students celebrate Pi Day, 3/14, while engaging students in rich problem solving and explorations. Here is a list of some of our favorite resources and ideas for K–12 students. 

  • There are many fun and innovative ways to celebrate Pi Day in your classroom and beyond—you probably already use it as a jumping-off point for key mathematical lessons. If you’re in need of something to invigorate your tried-and-true Pi Day traditions, NCTM has you covered! Here is NCTM’s collection of K–12 ideas for Pi Day.
  • Here is an entire unit of problem solving with Circles. It’s a great way to engage students in multi-step problem solving and algebraic reasoning with lots of fun problems. 
2021-03-09T08:46:30-06:00 March 9th, 2021|Blog|

Save the Dates for the MCMI 2021 Summer Institute

The Metro Chicago Mathematics Initiative will be offering a 2021 Mathematics Summer Institute for teachers and administrators focused on Moving the Math Forward: Communicating and Connecting in Mathematics Classrooms.

WHO should attend: Teachers of mathematics and administrators of grades K–12

Teachers will work in grade-band groups on core issues of mathematics teaching.

Teachers may also select breakout sessions based on their interests, contexts, and prior experience. Teachers either new to or experienced with our work are encouraged to attend.

Administrators may attend a special workshop immediately following the featured speaker. Administrators interested in working with teacher groups are also welcome to do so.

WHEN/WHERE: The two-day institute will be offered virtually via Zoom on Tuesday, July 27, and Wednesday, July 28

MORE INFORMATION: For more detailed information, please contact Jean Sutow-Goldrich at or visit our website at Registration will be available in April. 

2021-03-08T10:26:01-06:00 March 8th, 2021|Blog|