Instructional model uses technology to personalize lessons | Teachers write Miss. district's common core curriculum over summer break | How to build successful STEM teacher teams
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July 3, 2013
NCTM SmartBrief
Mathematics Education in Today's News

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Students study the math behind bird calls
Students participating in a summer program hosted by the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis at the University of Tennessee are exploring innovative ways to use math in biology. This summer, the students are using math to develop a voice identification system that will help researchers identify individual bird calls and ultimately learn more about how birds respond to changes in their habitat. The Knoxville News-Sentinel (Tenn.) (free registration) (6/29)
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Reveal powerful learning with purposeful uses of technology.
From Curiosity to Deep Learning: Personal Digital Inquiry, Grades K-5 shows you how to integrate inquiry with a range of digital tools and resources that will create a dynamic classroom for both you and your students. Read today!
Instructional model uses technology to personalize lessons
Technology, when thoughtfully integrated, can do a lot to advance individualized lessons and improve teaching and learning, writes Joel Rose, a former fifth-grade teacher and co-founder of the Teach to One instructional model. Under the model, students receive personalized, digital schedules and access a "skills playlist," where they can check their progress and pick up where they left off. Using this process, Rose writes in this commentary, students' work plans are developed through analysis and students are working at their own skill levels. EdTech magazine online (7/1)
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Teachers write Miss. district's common core curriculum over summer break
Thirty teachers in the Natchez-Adams School District in Mississippi are spending a month this summer writing lessons and curriculum for English language arts, math, social studies and science to match the Common Core State Standards. "This is better than some company coming in and doing it because it gives us a chance to create something we know students and teachers need and can work with," fourth-grade teacher Naomi Walton said. The Natchez Democrat (Miss.) (6/30)
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How to build successful STEM teacher teams
Working as part of a professional-learning team leads to more effective teaching in science, technology, engineering and math, writes educator and teacher trainer Anne Jolly. In this blog post, Jolly highlights 10 hallmarks of STEM teacher teams, including building strong foundations, setting goals and outcomes and reviewing team effectiveness. MiddleWeb/STEM Imagineering blog (6/30)
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Policy & Legislation
Wash. district adopts automatic enrollment for advanced classes
Tacoma Public Schools in Washington state has adopted a policy -- effective the fall of 2014 -- under which students with strong academic performance automatically will be enrolled in high-level classes that will prepare them for college. Modeled after a program in another district, the policy is intended to increase student participation and diversity in more rigorous courses. The News Tribune (Tacoma, Wash.) (6/29)
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Other News
Keeping our eyes on the prize
"Mathematics is the biggest determinant in upward mobility," Uri Treisman said at the Iris M. Carl Equity Address, "Keeping Our Eyes on the Prize," at NCTM's 2013 Annual Meeting in Denver. "We need to rebuild our educational systems so they allow all children to advance." Tweets have called the address "powerful," "a must watch," "unbelievable," "NCTM's best talk yet," and more. Watch it now on NCTM's YouTube channel.
In your view, which of the following poses the greatest limitations on how you teach mathematics? 
VoteStudents with diverse academic abilities
VoteStudents with special needs
VoteStudents who are uninterested
VoteStudents who are disruptive
VoteLack of parental involvement
VoteLack of teaching resources
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Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson,
American writer
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