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|

the Math Pact Virtual Book Study Week 4

On December 5th from 4:00–5:00 pm CST we will be discussing Chapters 7–8 from the Math Pact: Achieving Instructional Coherence Within and Across Grades by Karen S. Karp, Barbara J. Dougherty, and Sarah B. Bush. Here is a link to the pacing guide and discussion prompts. 

Visit https://mcmi.uic.edu/virtual-book-studies/ for more information.

#mcmi_pd #MTBoS #iteachmath  #NCTMresource

2022-11-28T09:30:30-06:00 November 28th, 2022|Blog|

Non-Curricular Tasks

Coach: Annie Forest

Location: District 70

Grade Band: 6–8

Get Kids Thinking!

What are your favorite tasks to get students thinking and working collaboratively? Here, students are working together on “Building Shapes” from youcubed.org.

Students work together to make shapes with string.
Students work together to make shapes with string.
2022-11-28T08:45:16-06:00 November 28th, 2022|Blog|

the Math Pact Virtual Book Study Week 3

On November 28th from 4:00–5:00 pm CST we will be discussing Chapters 5–6 from the Math Pact: Achieving Instructional Coherence Within and Across Grades by Karen S. Karp, Barbara J. Dougherty, and Sarah B. Bush. Here is a link to the pacing guide and discussion prompts. 

Visit https://mcmi.uic.edu/virtual-book-studies/ for more information.

#mcmi_pd #MTBoS #iteachmath  #NCTMresource

2022-11-28T09:28:33-06:00 November 25th, 2022|Blog|

1” = Thousands of Miles

Coach: Joanne Baker

1” = Thousands of Miles

I wonder how many thousands of miles? Do I consider the whole art piece? or only the part that has fabric/paper? What do you wonder?

An art installation in the Rotunda of the New Mexico State Capital in Santa Fe, NM. 
Artist Mimi Calise Peterson
2022-11-14T09:45:25-06:00 November 14th, 2022|Blog|

the Math Pact Virtual Book Study Week 2

On November 14th from 4:00–5:00 pm CST we will be discussing the Preface and Chapters 3–4 from the Math Pact: Achieving Instructional Coherence Within and Across Grades by Karen S. Karp, Barbara J. Dougherty, and Sarah B. Bush. Here is a link to the pacing guide and discussion prompts. 

Visit https://mcmi.uic.edu/virtual-book-studies/ for more information.

#mcmi_pd #MTBoS #iteachmath  #NCTMresource

2022-11-28T09:28:01-06:00 November 13th, 2022|Blog|

the Math Pact Virtual Book Study Week 1

On November 7th from 4:00–5:00 pm CST we will be discussing the Preface and Chapters 1–2 from the Math Pact: Achieving Instructional Coherence Within and Across Grades by Karen S. Karp, Barbara J. Dougherty, and Sarah B. Bush. Here is a link to the pacing guide and discussion prompts. 

Visit https://mcmi.uic.edu/virtual-book-studies/ for more information.

#mcmi_pd #MTBoS #iteachmath  #NCTMresource

2022-11-01T09:51:06-05:00 November 1st, 2022|Blog|

October Themed Math

Caption: Jack-o-lantern graphing activity
Looking for some Halloween fun for your math classes this week? Here are some spook-tacular ideas to get you started!

1. This pumpkin carving Desmos activity is pretty fun!
2. These Estimation 180 prompts are great. Just pop them up and ask students to estimate. Make it even more interesting by asking for the highest and lowest they would go… the smaller the range, the more confident they are. Or here it is in Desmos.
3. Show a graph or image from here and ask, “What do you notice? What do you wonder?”
4. Scary Sierpinski Skull Time from Vi Hart (video not for our littlest mathematicians)
5. Jack-o-Lantern Combinations
6. Some CGI Halloween-themed problems from MCMI Coach, Margie Pligge
2022-10-24T10:26:11-05:00 October 24th, 2022|Blog|

Congratulations Joanne Baker on STEM Award!

Congratulations to MCMI Coach Joanne Baker on receiving the Philip Wagreich STEM Education Award from the Learning Sciences Research Institute at University of Illinois at Chicago. This award recognizes an individual’s contributions to the improvement of STEM education through scholarship and service. 

Joanne’s exceptional ability to establish and nurture positive relationships with both administrators and teachers has enabled her to affect changes in their practice and structures. For almost three decades, Joanne has been a catalyst for change in mathematics education.

Joanne started out as a classroom teacher when she herself was barely older than her students. Joanne began at UIC as a Program Associate in the All Learn Mathematics Project supporting Chicago Public School teachers who were working to change their instruction through the implementation of the Maneuvers with Mathematics materials developed at UIC. It was clear in her initial work piloting the materials in her own classrooms that she had an exceptional ability to establish and nurture positive relationships with both administrators and teachers, so that she was welcomed into the schools and classrooms and able to affect changes in their practice.

Joanne co-directed the All Learn Mathematics Project as the project expanded to work with teachers using Connected Mathematics and other elementary resources. Building on these experiences, Joanne directed the Cluster 4 Middle Grade Mathematics Project, a collaboration with Chicago Public schools focused on improving instruction at the middle grades. She served as a coach and co-director for the Middle Grade Mathematics Alternative Certification Program, which was designed to meet the need for highly-qualified teachers in the Chicago Public Schools. Not only did she facilitate courses in this program, but she mentored teachers who were transitioning from fields outside of education and beginning careers teaching mathematics.

Joanne coordinated the implementation of university course offerings for the Suburban Cook County Mathematics Initiative, serving as a liaison between the Office of Continuing Education, the Department of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science, the Initiative, and the teachers participating in the courses. Her personal contacts with the key stakeholders were essential in teacher recruitment efforts and resulted in more than 60 middle grade mathematics endorsements for teachers in west and south Cook County.

As a key member of the MCMI project team, Joanne engages in ongoing problem solving when issues and dilemmas arise and uses her expertise to support other members of the team. She continues to design and provide professional development at the district and school levels, and works with teachers in grade level teams and on an ongoing basis in their classrooms. 

We are so honored to have Joanne on our team and thrilled to see her work recognized with the Philip Wagreich STEM Education Award. Congratulations, Joanne!

2022-10-17T10:02:11-05:00 October 17th, 2022|Blog|

Four 4’s

Coach: Jenesis Byrne

District: West 40

Grade band: 6–8

Four 4’s—How many different ways can you make each number using four 4’s?

2022-10-03T10:42:14-05:00 October 3rd, 2022|Blog|