Math Bits - February 2024

Minnesota Council of Teachers of Mathematics


The Annual Spring Conference will be held April 12 and 13 at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center (DECC). 

 Spring Conference Registration

Do you need Financial Support to attend the Conference and Symposium?

Check out this February 2024 Foundation Update for information about scholarships and grants to support your attendance at this year's Symposium and Spring Conference. Applications due February 20th

Renew your MCTM Membership  Is it time to renew or start a new sustaining membership for $25?  Sustaining memberships go toward supporting the Annual Spring Conference, promotes networking and professional learning opportunities.

Disrupting the Pattern of Failure in Mathematics:  2024 Ross Taylor Leadership Symposium

Space is limited.  Sign-up today

  • Is your site/district worried about failure in mathematics?

  • Are you looking for practical ways to provide instruction and interventions through a lens of equity in your school/district?

  • Do you need space for your math leadership team to build a plan?

MCTM and MN Math Leaders are excited to learn with Dr. Pamela Seda, author of Choosing to See, A Framework for Equity in Math.  The Ross Taylor Leadership Symposium is designed for district and school math leaders, including teacher leaders and ideal for math leadership teams.   

Title: Disrupting the Pattern of Failure in Mathematics using the ICUCARE Equity Framework

Description:  A focus on equity-centered instruction is needed now more than ever. Many teachers have a desire to change their practice, but don’t know how. Equity-minded teachers are often frustrated by the lack of support or barriers erected by systems created to sort kids rather than educate all of them at high levels. In this session, I will give leaders practical strategies and tools to monitor and support the effective implementation of an equitable mathematics program.  

Date:  April 11, 2024 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Location:  DECC, Duluth, Minnesota

A copy of the book Choosing to See will be included in the registration fee of $205. 2024 Symposium Registration

  And, remember, if 4 or more members of your district/team register, additional registrations are $160 and include one free administrator for every four registrations.

A funding request to attend the Symposium

2024 Elections for MCTM Board


Four offices on the Board of Directors of MCTM will be filled in the 2024 election.  The members of the Executive Committee have nominated candidates for each office and the MCTM Board of Directors approved the slate of candidates.

The following are up for election:  President Elect, Vice President of Elementary,   Region 2 Director, Region 5 Director, and Region 8 Director.

Members will receive an elections email on February 5. To vote you need to sign into your MCTM account to ensure you get the right ballot.

All ballots are due on February 19. 



How can a health lesson on making healthy choices for meals utilize the ICUCARE Framework for equitable math instruction? ICUCARE in 5th Grade by Laura Wagenman, VP for Elementary

Using a component of the ICUCARE framework:  How can you include others as experts? by Alexis Wolf, Region 4 Director

Building Thinking Classrooms Reflections

A typical teacher will answer between 200 and 400 questions in a day, all of which fall into one of three categories:

  1. proximity questions — the questions students ask because you happen to be close by

  2. stop-thinking questions — the questions students ask so they can reduce their effort, the most common of which is, “Is this right?” 

  3. keep-thinking questions — the questions students ask so they can keep working, keep trying, and keep thinking.

The research showed that 90% of the questions that students ask are either proximity questions or stop-thinking questions and that answering these is antithetical to building a culture of thinking and a culture of learning. To build a thinking classroom, we need to answer only keep-thinking questions.

Building a Thinking Classroom Together: February 2024

Can we talk about some side effects?

  • finding math all over the school
  • theft - a student took a whiteboard home to study
  • ignoring me (the teacher) as they are interacting  with each other
  • talking to nearly every student every day
Read the full article above for more observations.

What are you noticing?

You can still sign up for the Building Thinking Classrooms book club.  Information in the above link.

Jessica Strom, Win-e-Mac Schools


MDE Math Sense-Making Series: Culture & the MCA

With the addition of the mathematical practices (MP) in the future 2022 math standards MDE started a webinar series around sense-making (MP1) that educators may find helpful.  The above article has a google document as well as a folder of resources.

MDE Math Team:  Angela Hochstetter, Michael Huberty, Sara VanDerWerf, Chris Jones

American Indian Education e-Learning Course - CEUs available

The first eLearning course from the Office of American Indian Education on Key Concepts and Terms for Indigenous-oriented education is now available.

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) worked with the Tribal Sovereignty Institute at the University of Minnesota Duluth on developing the course, which covers the fundamental contexts and concepts in seven learning modules. The goal of the eLearning course is to better equip K–12 educators, staff and administrators to serve Native learners and families. The course will allow participants to cultivate knowledge about Native people and nations that they can use when teaching and engaging with Tribal governments.

Educators who complete the course can earn one continuing education unit (CEU) credit. The course is endorsed by the Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB) to count toward the cultural competency license renewal condition. Self-register for the course on Canvas at Enroll inMDE Key Concepts and Terms or sign up through an existingCanvas account with the join code YBTYR9.

MDE Math Team Office Hours on ZOOM 

February 20th from 4-5 pm

Do you have a Math Question for MDE’s Math Team?

The MDE Math Team would love to answer your questions on mathematics in Minnesota. 

Stop into our ZOOM room Third Tuesdays each month from 4:00-5:00 p.m. and ask us a question. 

What: An opportunity to meet together with MDE’s Math Team in the Academic Standards, Instruction, and Assessment Division

Why: Share your feedback, ask questions, and connect with MDE’s Math Team and math teachers across the state.

Who:  The Office Hours are open to anyone in Minnesota with a math question or comment.

When: The next office hours is Tuesday, February 20, 2024 from 4–5 p.m. and ongoing the third Tuesday of each month. (2/20, 3/19, 4/16, 5/21)

Where:We will meet via ZOOM.  Links to join each month are found HERE


Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) is compiling information to support the Personal Finance Workgroup in the development of statewide guidance for Personal Finance courses. MDE invites educators who have currently or previously taught personal finance content to complete the preworking group teacher survey. Administrators who are supervising the delivery of personal finance are encouraged to complete the preworking group administrative survey. Personal Finance surveys will close on February 26, 2024. See additional details in Personal Finance Working Group Assumptions.


Build Math Minds: Virtual Math Summit - Feb. 24 & 25 

Register for this free elementary opportunity to learn from Dawn Dibley, Juli Dixon, and Julio Pengagos starting on February 24th. 

Details and registration

Invitation to join a virtual MN Math Leaders PLC 

Are you a mathematics coach, specialist, or curriculum lead?  Are you interested in a virtual PLC for math leaders?  Join with your colleagues to discuss curriculum, instruction, or topics generated by members.  The next meetings are Thursday, Jan. 11 from 12:30 - 2:30 OR Tuesday, Feb. 13 4:00 - 6:00  Please forward this to interested colleagues.  If you would like to join this PLC group, sign up HERE

Math On-A-Stick is seeking Visiting Mathematicians

Each year at Math On-A-Stick, twelve visiting mathematicians and mathematical artists bring their creativity and enthusiasm to the Minnesota State Fair—a different person each day!

Learn more here!

Save the dates - Math Summer PD

June 17-21 and August 5-9, 2024

MCTM MN Math Leaders will be hosting a variety of in-person and hybrid math professional development opportunities in mathematics Summer 2024 across the state of Minnesota.  Details on the content of the offerings and opportunities to sign-up will be available early March 2024.  For now, SAVE THE ABOVE DATES, for MCTM’s two Summer Math Institutes.  

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