Math Bits - December 2023

Minnesota Council of Teachers of Mathematics



Annual Spring Conference 2024 

Seeing Our Mathematical Future

Join us for the MCTM Annual Spring Conference, April 12 and 13 at the DECC in Duluth.  Dr. Pamela Seda's Friday keynote, Creating Positive Mathematical Experiences with the ICUCARE Equity Framework, will focus  from an equity framework to implement practical strategies that create more equitable outcomes for all students.

Saturday's keynote, Increasing Opportunities for Students in Mathematics, features Kevin Dykema, current NCTM President.

Spring Conference Registration   

Share your learning with your mathematics colleagues.  We are seeking Speaker Proposals.

 Not sure of how to write a session description?  Read these tips for helpful hints for writing a session description.

Proposals due December 15.


MCTM Foundation Updates 

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

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

2024 Ross Taylor Leadership Symposium 

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.

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

Symposium 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, leaders will learn practical strategies and tools to monitor and support the effective implementation of an equitable mathematics program.

Date:  April 11, 2024 from 9:00 am-3:30 pm

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.

Chapter 3 - Knowing your students well 

Article by Sandra Ketterling, MCTM VP of High School


Join MN Math Leaders Group! 

Invitation to join a virtual MN Math Leaders PLC Are you a teacher leader, mathematics coach, specialist, or curriculum lead?  Are you interested in a virtual PLC for math leaders?  Join with your colleagues to discuss curriculum, instruction, standards implementation or topics generated by members of the MN math community.  Bonus, it's free!  Our goal is to have at least 1 math leader identified in every single MN school district. 

One opportunity of the group is the monthly Virtual PLC math leader groups.  There are two options each month, one session from 12:30 - 2:30 (next session is December 14) and a second session from 4:00 - 6:00 (next session is December 12).  Each session is led by a MN Math Leader and includes monthly MDE math updates.

Join today by signing up here.           




Mark your calendars! 

Free Math Professional Development on MLK Day 2024

Date/Time:  Monday, January 15, 2024 from 9:00. - 11:45 a.m.

Cost:  Free.  CEUs provided

Location:  Hybrid (In-person at Mounds View High School or Virtual via ZOOM)


Title: Mathematical Rigor, Depth of Knowledge (DOK) and the MN Math Standards 

Leaders:  MDE Math Team (Sara Van Der Werf, Angela Hochstetter, and Mike Huberty) 

Description:  Did you know Minnesota’s MCA items are aligned to DOK levels 1, 2 and 3?  Did you know the Minnesota Math Standards include a definition of Mathematical Rigor that has a relationship to the DOK levels?  Understanding DOK levels is a useful lens to view instructional decisions and materials to assure all students engage in the full depth and breadth and complexity of every benchmark leading to grade level understanding.  This will be a fun, interactive session giving practical ideas to increasing mathematical rigor in K-12 math classrooms. 

NOTE:  This presentation is designed for an in-person experience and most likely you will get the most out of this setting.  We will work to make both in-person and virtual settings valuable.  If you attend virtually, you will be asked to participate fully in discussions and activities (cameras on, etc)

Nominate a K-6 Teacher for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching (PAEMST) Award

The PAEMST is the ‘Oscar’s of Math and Science Teaching’!  

Please nominate TODAY K-6 educators doing great things in mathematics and/or science.  There is an application process nominees need to complete once nominated by the end of January that includes a video and written responses, so please nominate and encourage K-6 educators to complete the process.  

The state of Minnesota can name up to 3 finalists for the PAEMST each year in both science and math.  Math finalists will be honored at the state math conference in Duluth in April as well as STEM Day at the MN State Fair.  The national PAEMST organization will select one finalist in both science and math to be named each state’s PAEMST awardee with a trip to DC and $10,000.  You can find more information on the program and links to nominate teachers HERE.

If you have questions about the math PAEMST program in Minnesota, please contact MDE Mathematics Specialist Sara VanDerWerf at 

We have your reading list for winter break! 

Join us for one or more of our four 2024 Book Club Opportunities!


The Minnesota Math Leaders Group is happy to announce the 2024 Math Book Club Series.  This year our group is hosting book clubs open to all math educators and leaders in Minnesota.  These groups will meet virtually and are FREE to join.  MN Math Leaders from around the state will lead these groups.  Join one or more group!

Step 1:  Get a book & Start reading!

Step 2:  Book Club Selection and Information GoogleForm

  1. Choosing to See by Pam Seda and Kyndall Brown (also available in audio book format)

Led by MCTM Regional Directors

Dates/Time: 1st Thursdays January-March, 2024 from 7:30-8:30 p.m.  

  • January 4th 

  • February 1st

  • March 7th

  1. Building Thinking Classrooms (Peter Liljedahl)  (also available in audio book format)

Led by Jessica Strom 


Led by Laura Wagenman & Amy Nolte

Dates/Time:  Third Thursday’s from 7:00-8:30 p.m.

  • January 18, 2024

  • February 15 

  • March 21

  1. 6 Tools for Collaborative Mathematics Coaching by Nicora Placa 

Led by Megan Schmidt

Dates/Time:  TBD January-March

  • This book is great if you are a district or school math coach or leader.  

Building Thinking

Classrooms Together

How do you do homework in a Building Thinking Classroom?

Building Thinking Classrooms Together  Response by Jessica Strom.

Job Opportunity:  SciMathMN Executive Director Position (part-time)

SciMathMN, the host of the Minnesota STEM Teacher Center website among other programming, is seeking a part time executive director.  Cover letter and resume is due by December 29, 2023.  

Here are details about the position and application


Learn more about the ICUCARE framework from Dr. Pamela Seda’s book, Choosing to See.

ICU Framework  I see you.  Helping students develop their mathematical identity.

Article by Laura Wagenman, VP of Elementary and Spring Conference Chair

Read below for strategies for note-taking in math class

Making the Most of Notes - Taking notes in mathematics classes

Article by Alexis Wolf, Region 4 Director


MCTM Markdowns Taken at the

MCTM On-line Store


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

 Introducing MDE’s 2024 Math Team Office Hour on Zoom

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

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, January 16, 2024 from 4–5 p.m. and ongoing the third Tuesday of each month. (1/16, 2/20, 3/19, 4/16, 5/21)

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

More Info & Contact:MDE Math Team Office Hours and Links Page

Renew your Membership!

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

Renew here

Stay Connected!

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