(Mi)^2 Update March 2019
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In this Issue:

Make Math Accessible: Online Tools and Supports

Many accessible math tools don’t have to come from our lending library because they are free online! Here is one that can help make math accessible for students who struggle with fine motor movements when trying to draw and use number lines.

Drawing number lines can cause a lot of frustration for students who struggle with fine motor issues. Zoomable Number Line provides the number line for the student but still requires the student to track the desired location and value. It allows for movement across both the positive and negative sides, as well as zooming in and out to see smaller and larger decimal values. It offers beyond ten decimal places, though they do get hard to read due to overlapping digits. Another great option is to use the flash version which allows the user to go full screen for use with a projector or smartboard so the whole class can see the work. Check out this online tool to see if it could assist one of your students!

Partner Highlight: **Save the Date**  Michigan Council for Teachers of Mathematics 70th Annual Institute and Conference

The 70th Annual Michigan Council for Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM) Institute and Conference will be returning to the Eberhard Center at the downtown campus of Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, MI from July 30-August 1, 2019.
The Institute begins on Tuesday, July 30 with the two day conference following on Wednesday and Thursday, July 31-August 1. MCTM has negotiated rates for accommodations at the Holiday Inn Grand Rapids Downtown and The Courtyard by Marriott- Downtown Grand Rapids.
For more information on the 2019 conference fees, please visit the MCTM website.

Foundations of Math

Throughout the year, we highlight success stories from teachers who have gone through the course in this monthly newsletter. If you are a teacher who has changed the way you plan, deliver, or assess lessons due to the strategies and learning offered in this course, other Foundations of Math (FoM) participants want to hear from you!  Knowing how this course is affecting teachers and students around the state, and building a network for teachers to utilize when looking for ideas that meet the needs of all students, will sustain the changes in practice that happen after FoM training. We know educators are making meaningful changes to instruction. Please share stories of teachers and students and learning so we can continue to collaborate and grow!
If you have a success story to feature as one of our implementation stories, please email Briana.bancroft@altshift.education. We look forward to hearing your stories!

Enhancing Math for Students With Learning Difficulties

Feedback from participants this year reaffirms the benefits of participating in the Enhanced Mathematics Instruction for Students with Learning Difficulties training. Particularly, the value in being able to meet and share ideas with like-minded teachers across the state. Special and general education math teachers need to be able to collaboratively plan for meeting the needs of struggling math students, as well as share resources and strategies across district lines and building levels.
Feedback also tells us that discussions about math content need to go deeper and use strategies to make relationships between numbers more concrete and meaningful. One misconception, for both teachers and students, that is addressed in the course is the meaning of the equal sign. Participants read an article, engage in discussion, and explore strategies that clarify the meaning of the equal sign and help students to better understand equations. Another content example is the use of algebra tiles which teachers are introduced to in the course, and participants say help students understand a very abstract concept.

Delta Math: Implementation Story

Lisa Gravedoni is the new interventionist at Birchview Elementary. She came into the position at the beginning of the second year of Delta Math implementation and has focused on understanding the program, screeners, and intervention lessons. We asked her to tell us about getting started in her new position and utilizing the Delta Math Program. This is part I of Lisa’s story, part II will be featured in a future newsletter.

Alt+Shift: How did you start to use and implement Delta Math?
Lisa: After 20 years of teaching in a classroom, I have come full circle and returned to where I started my career - in the Title I classroom. What I have come to appreciate through working with students using Delta Math is that math is a beautiful language, and I am blessed to be able to teach it!  We are utilizing the Delta Math program by using the intervention lessons with the students receiving Title I services. We also use the screener data to drive supplemental instruction during our “Power Hour” enrichment time. Each grade level, K-3, has a half hour during the day that is devoted to building number sense to try to close the gaps that are showing up. 
I have found the well designed, sequential lessons so easy to follow and implement with my students. It also helped that I went through the Foundation of Math training to understand the importance of language and the use of the CRA (Concrete-Representational-Abstract) model when developing students’ understanding of the concepts.
AS: What impact has Delta Math had on you and those you work with?
Lisa: It has helped us create more of a math community with a direction. It's given us common language and common focus which is a benefit for students and staff. It has benefitted students by offering them a very deep and solid base for their continuing math education. We are using the data to identify gaps in student learning and we plan to work on deficits during power hour time. 
It has been amazing to see some of the strategies that students are utilizing and being successful with. I come from the “memorize the facts and algorithm” generation of math with the teaching being “here’s how you do it.” That’s what I knew, so that’s how I taught. I feel like I have short-changed so many students the opportunity to really get to know the value of numbers and math in general. Now I see the importance of building that foundation for students and empowering them to no longer be held hostage by the numbers on the page. It has made a huge impact on me and my students!

Alt+Shift Update: Assistive Technology (AT) Journey - Web Edition

The AT Journey Symposium kicked off last fall with three intermediate school districts, Carolyn O’Hearn (our Alt+Shift AT/Augmentative and Alternative Communication Specialist) and Mike Marotta (an Assistive Technology Professional out of New Jersey). These teams will be working on establishing systems to support a collaborative approach to AT services, including consideration of AT for all students with individualized education programs, data collection, leveraging expertise throughout the system, and sharing knowledge of tools and devices that meet the needs of students.
For any teams interested in participating in the journey virtually, the first stop of the AT Journey: Web Edition is on the Alt+Shift website! Find it under: Resources, Assistive Technology, AT Journey: Web Edition.

Numberless Word Problems

Have you ever said or thought any of the following?

  • “They just add all the numbers! It doesn’t matter what the problem says.”
  • “They don’t stop to think! They just start computing as soon as they’re done reading the problem.”
  • “They don’t even realize this is exactly the same type of situation as the problem we did yesterday!”

If so, then you should check out Brian Bushart’s collection of blog posts on numberless word problems. The ideas can be used from elementary to algebra and are designed to provide scaffolding that allows students the opportunity to develop a better understanding of the underlying structure of word problems. This blog post is a collection of resources to help you learn about numberless word problems and help you start using them in your classroom. He also offers a bank of downloadable slides that can help develop conversations around these problems and scaffold students’ thinking and building of structures.

Upcoming Alt+Shift Events

Enhancing Mathematics Instruction for Students with Learning Difficulties - rescheduled dates - registration closed
**New location**
Best Western in Okemos
March 4-6, 2019 (March 4 is the make-up for Day 1)
Registration: 8 a.m.
Training: 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Michigan Council for Exceptional Children Annual Conference
March 6-8, 2019
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Alt+Shift breakout sessions include:

  • Assisting the Team with Assistive Technology by Carolyn O’Hearn and Ashley Rust
  • Building CapAACity - Implementation of School-Wide AAC by Carolyn O’Hearn
  • Don’t Get Stuck in the Math Mud, Use Concrete by Briana Bancroft
  • From Research to Practice: Teaching Mathematics to Students with Significant Disabilities by Briana Bancroft and Kate Fanelli
  • Shared Reading for Students with Significant Disabilities by Megan Zell
  • Writing for Students with Significant Disabilities by Megan Zell

Assistive Technology Leadership Meeting
April 12, 2019
St. Johns, MI
Alt+Shift Implementation Team Summer Retreat
June 18-20
Traverse City, MI
*This event is open by invitation to our current implementation teams.  More information to come.

Math Around Michigan

Computer Science Fundamentals (K-5th) **NO REGISTRATION COST**
Computer Science (CS) Fundamentals is a single day comprehensive professional learning opportunity to help educators implement computer science lessons and activities with elementary students. Course includes curriculum materials, lunch, online resources, and online management tutorials. SCECHs for all workshops will be available pending approval.
All elementary educators are encouraged to attend. The lessons in CS Fundamentals are presented with the understanding that many teachers may not have previous computer science training. The resources provided will support educators in implementing the lessons and encourages educators to learn along with their students.
There are several locations across the state with varying dates for this one day workshop. Find locations on the MI-CODING K-5 webpage.  For more information on the course, check out the Computer Science Fundamentals flyer.

Michigan TeacherCon 2019
Provided by an official Code.org Regional Partner
NO REGISTRATION COST - Application required
AP Computer Science Principles & Computer Science Discoveries
Comprehensive professional learning for middle and high school teachers to provide an introductory level course for AP Computer Science Principles and Computer Science Discoveries. Teachers will be part of a state-wide cohort of educators and will be provided course information, pedagogy, teaching strategies, and online management tutorials. Participants are expected to teach the course in the 2019-2020 school year. SCECHs for all workshops will be available pending approval.
Summer Dates & Locations
Option #1 - Statewide TeacherCon
July 28- August 2, 2019 at the JW Marriott in Grand Rapids, MI.
Includes: Hotel room, breakfast, lunch, and materials
Option #2 - Commuter Workshop
July 8-July 12, 2019 at Macomb ISD in Clinton Twp.
Includes: Lunch & Materials
For more information, please visit the MI-CODING website or see the Computer Science Principles and Discovery flyer for details.

Building Thinking Classrooms for Co-teaching
August 16 and December 18 in Oakland County (open to out of county participants)
Building Thinking Classrooms (BTC) is the result of over ten years of research by Dr. Peter Liljedahl. Join us to experience high leverage practices that promote problem solving, questioning, and thinking along with accessible routines and grouping protocols that will increase opportunities for diverse learners. A local middle school teacher will share her implementation story. Secondary general and special education math teachers are welcome and encouraged to attend with building or district colleagues.  Ongoing access to free resources via miPLACE will be provided.

(Mi)^2 Resources

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(Mi)^2 Partner Organizations


Detroit Area Council of Teachers of Mathematics (DACTM)

Detroit Area Council of Teachers of Mathematics logo
The Detroit Area Council of Teachers of Mathematics (DACTM) proactively supports Michigan math educators’ continued professional growth.

Michigan Council for Exceptional Children (MCEC)

logo for Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics
The Michigan Council for Exceptional Children (MCEC) is part of a national community of educators who are the voice and vision of special and gifted education.

Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM)

logo for Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics
The Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM) is the professional organization for Michigan mathematics educators at any grade level, pre-K through college.


Michigan Math and Science Center Network (MMSCN)

Michigan Math and Science Center Network logo
The Michigan Mathematics and Science Centers Network (MMSCN) collaborates with partners across the state to improve math and science teaching.

Alt+Shift, encompassing Michigan's Integrated Mathematics Initiative, is an Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Grant Funded Initiative out of the Michigan Department of Education, Office of Special Education.
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