Category Archives: Mathematics

Math Educators Unite to Create Conceptual Change

In a world that is full of instantaneous responses via “commenting” on Facebook, “retweeting” on Twitter and “liking on Instagram, how might we as educators take time to slow down and measure the impact we are having on students?   How might we cross over district lines to collaborate and innovate? In what ways might we interrupt our thinking to meet the needs of all learners?

Michigan Math Educators (#MichME) is a professional learning network with over 250 educators from across eight different counties who continue to investigate, learn, and grapple with those questions. We focus this year’s learning on the impact that our identity, values, beliefs, capabilities, behaviors, and skills, have on our students’ identities, values, beliefs, capabilities, behaviors and skills. Continue reading Math Educators Unite to Create Conceptual Change

Top Educational Gift Ideas (Updated for 2018)

It is the gift giving season! What gifts can you give a child to ignite learning? 

I have found with my children that the right toys inspire learning. So together, with other Kent ISD consultants and parents, I have populated a list of educational gifts that we have seen engage our children and students.

I have categorized the ideas, but many of these really could fit into more than one category. I encourage you to read through each list. Please share with other educators and parents! Continue reading Top Educational Gift Ideas (Updated for 2018)

Blended Coaching:   A Full Cup of Coaching with a Pinch of Technology

Written by: Andrew J. Smith, Math Consultant at Kent ISD

“Great teachers are much like jazz musicians, both deliberately setting the stage and then improvising. Great teachers have plans yet to respond to student learning and needs in real time…great teachers need to know the tools of their craft.” – Hattie, Fisher & Frey, Visible Learning for Mathematics, p. 17-18

Acknowledging the power and effect that individual teachers possess, but also recognizing our capacity as a regional service agency to support individual teachers was on the minds of Kent ISD’s Math Team, as they began strategically planning for the 2017-2018 school year.  They believe in both the power of professional learning and providing districts with the resources and opportunities to implement professional learning.  As a regional support, the Kent ISD Math team wanted to be able to stay connected and provide support to classrooms and individual teachers.   Continue reading Blended Coaching:   A Full Cup of Coaching with a Pinch of Technology

Finding the Right Fit

Parents, Students Tout Benefits of Accelerated Math Pilot

Written by Janice Holst,  School News Network

How do you turn a would-be class clown into a productive student? How do you motivate a fifth-grader who just doesn’t fit in or refuses to keep up with classroom assignments?

Some area parents have turned to ATYP Junior — a Kent ISD pilot program that offers accelerated math for elementary students.

“Nolan’s experience thus far with ATYP has been nothing but positive,” said Mickey Larson, father of the Sparta fifth-grader. “The recognition that comes along with being part of such a select group has finally helped make him proud and appreciative of his intelligence. His newfound self-confidence leads him to see himself not merely as the ‘class clown’ – as he’s done in years past – but rather as the smart, witty kid that he is.” Continue reading Finding the Right Fit

Top Educational Gift Ideas

It is the gift giving season! What gifts can you give a child to ignite learning? 

I have found with my children that the right toys inspire learning. So together, with other Kent ISD consultants and parents, I have populated a list of educational gifts that we have seen engage our children and students.

I have categorized the ideas, but many of these really could fit into more than one category. I encourage you to read through each list. Continue reading Top Educational Gift Ideas

AP Computer Science Principles Opportunity for Michigan High School Teachers

Kent ISD EdTech Blog

The Michigan Mathematics and Science Center Network (MMSCN), through a grant with Code.org, is pleased to announce a professional learning opportunity to support AP Computer Science Principles.

The grant will provide local schools with the following:

  • Resources for teaching AP CSP in the fall of 2017
  • A Sample AP CSP Course Audit
  • Professional Learning for 60 teachers throughout Michigan at no cost (Stipends for teachers are not included.)
  • A curriculum from Code.org for the AP CSP Course

Schools interested in taking advantage of this opportunity will be expected to have an AP CSP course on their school schedule for Fall, 2017.

Schools wanting more information on how to take advantage of this opportunity can visit our Michigan website at www.micoding.weebly.com. At this site, teachers who plan to apply should sign up to receive an application. Applications will be available in January.

When teachers apply in January, they will…

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Using Arts to Improve Student Learning in Reading, Math, and Science

Imagine 2nd grade students marching, swinging, and twirling to show how movement adds fun and effect to theatre performance!

Imagine 5th graders creating stories that emerge from symbols discovered on images of ancient urns – showing understanding of visual arts!

Imagine high school students getting attention for their vocal talent when performances are recorded and assessed by both teachers and students as evidence for quality!

“When early elementary teachers integrate music and theater, student learning improves in reading, math, and science as they become better critical thinkers and problem solvers.” Edutopia, “Rainstorms and Symphonies: Performing Arts Bring Abstract Concepts to Life.” Mary Grescok, Lisette Steinwald, 10/5/2016.

The New Mexico School for Arts teaches its high school students to take risks, make mistakes and learn from critical feedback to learn and grow.  This school has outperformed the state in reading, math, and science every year since 2013. Continue reading Using Arts to Improve Student Learning in Reading, Math, and Science

Opportunity for Curriculum Networking and Resources

There are nearly 15,000 English Learners in Kent County schools.  Nationally, 1 in 4 students is an English Learner.

How are you supporting English Learners (EL) at your school in Math, Science, Social Studies, and Language Arts?

EL Coaching Network (ELCN)

Last year participants from 20 districts came together to learn, discuss, and devise action plans to increase the achievement of their EL students. The 2016/2017 EL Coaching Network will focus on support for ELs in the K-12 content areas. EL teachers, EL staff, and content teachers are welcome to join.

Did you know that Kent ISD has other Curriculum focused networks?

Not only can your district participate in our EL Coaching Network, the Teaching and Learning department at Kent ISD has created the opportunity for all Kent County districts to network and obtain resources related to each specific content area. Continue reading Opportunity for Curriculum Networking and Resources

Calculus: The Musical Coming to Grand Rapids!

A few years ago, Rusty Anderson, former AP Calculus teacher, took his class to experience Calculus: The Musical LIVE.   The show took his students through the history (Leibniz and Newton’s Contributions) and important concepts of Calculus in an interactive musical. This unique journey helped the students to interact with the content.

“During the school year, I incorporated the Calculus: The Musical Songs in the classroom when specific Calculus concepts were being mastered.  As they learned new concepts, the students truly looked forward to the songs that accompanied them.  Seeing the show live really brought the content and timeline of the subject to life for my students.” Rusty explains.

Continue reading Calculus: The Musical Coming to Grand Rapids!

What to do with a map?

“Reading and understanding a map has become an increasingly technical and necessary skill,” said Ebiri Nkugba, a STEM consultant at Kent ISD. As a flight instructor at a local college, Mr. Nkugba works with aviation students to analyze highly detailed FAA maps of airspace and developing weather phenomena. “Sometimes they really struggle with understanding orientation and spatial relationships,” Mr. Nkugba said.

Unmanned Vehicle Technology is an emerging industry that requires Continue reading What to do with a map?