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Math TOSA News

for grades 7-12

September 2015

In This Issue


NSD Summer Institute: Supporting Reasoning and Problem Solving

What a great Summer Institute this year! Our math sessions this year focused on math teaching practices and on tasks that support reasoning and problem solving. Here's a math recap of the 2015 Secondary Summer Institute:

Teacher Showcase

On Monday, NSD teachers shared their strategies and classroom practice with each other at the Teacher Showcase. I'd like to thank NSD math teachers Ryan Adams, Tina Sowler, Kristen Peck, and Carol Tanner, I enjoyed learning from you! 

Math Teaching Practices to Support Common Core

On Wednesday morning, NSD math teachers explored the math teaching practices in NCTM's Principles to Actions. Then teachers looked more closely at math tasks that promote reasoning and problem solving and created implementation plans for using these tasks in their own classroom instruction. This was a very productive session and I hope to continue this conversation throughout the year! 

Beyond Relevance and Real World with Dan Meyer

NSD teachers spent Thursday working with math educator Dan Meyer. What a treat! Dan helped us work through the Volcano task and shared three strategies for student learning and engagement:

The Volcano task, debrief, and other resources from Dan's session can all be found at bothell15.mrmeyer.comDan has added a new entry to our workshop page called Follow Through. It offers you a forum for discussing successes and challenges implementing ideas from Dan's workshop. Start by choosing something simple to implement, like an Estimation 180 prompt, and then write about it briefly. Dan will be tuning in and will offer advice when possible.

For those who would like to learn more about Dan's tasks and strategies, here are some resources I recommend: 

Math Design Studio

On Friday, teachers had the opportunity to explore all the tasks and strategies presented this week and plan how to implement them into their classroom instruction. We looked at these lessons to get us started:
  • 25 Billion Apps: This Dan Meyer task is a great task for true mathematical modeling. It supports 8.F.4 (8th grade functions) as well as CCSS Math Practices 2 and 4. This task could also be appropriate for Algebra 1 students for teaching linear modeling and rates of change.
  • Growing Shapes: This lesson is adapted from the Squares Upon Squares task from Youcubed to support the Lesson 4.5 Exploration for Holt Course 3. This lesson is designed to get at student thinking, provide opportunities for student discourse, and build conceptual understanding prior to having students jump into calculations and procedures. 
  • Math Magic, a lesson focused on 7.EE.A. This was created for a 7th grade class for additional practice writing and simplifying algebraic expressions. 
Teachers spent the day developing and/or adapting tasks they can use with their students this year. It was a productive day and a great way to wrap up our week by putting our new learning into practice! 

Accessing Presentations and Documents

Follow these links to access presentations and documents from the 2015 Summer Institute: Several of you have asked for my Skittles slides or the Bumper Stickies protocol, which are all in the Math Sessions folder. If you use them please, let me know how it works for you and your students! 

NSD Summer Institute Make-up Sessions

Teachers who missed our required Summer Institute sessions should register for the makeup sessions in PD Place.

Thank you!

Thank you for making this year's Summer Institute such a success! I hope you enjoyed our Summer Institute sessions as much as I did. I look forward to working with all of you this year as we put these strategies into practice to help our students. 


- Patty Stephens

   NSD Secondary Math TOSA

Where Can I Find Tasks???

Many of you said you need help finding good tasks. There are several resources to help you locate good math tasks for your students:
  • Links to tasks and resources from the Summer Institute are available in the Math Resources page on the Secondary Math Toolbox.
  • Links to specific tasks that align to our curriculum have also been included in our district Scope & Sequences. Just click on the title of the task to open the resource in your web browser. 
  • If you are looking for a task for a particular topic or unit, please let me know. I'd be happy to locate a task or resource for you or help you plan a lesson using a new task. 

Dan Meyer Follow-Up Sessions

These sessions will build on the information presented by Dan Meyer at the 2015 NSD Summer Institute (Beyond Relevance & Real World: Stronger Strategies for Engaging Students in Common Core Mathematics) and focus on practical implementation in the classroom. We will learn more about using 3-Act math tasks and Dan's strategies for "starting a fight", turning the math dial up slowly, and "creating a headache." Dan Meyer may be joining us virtually via Skype for one or more sessions. 


  • October 1, 3:30 - 5:30 pm
  • November 5, 3:30 - 5:30 pm
  • December 3, 3:30 - 5:30 pm
  • February 2, 3:30 - 5:30 pm
  • March 8, 3:30 - 5:30 pm
  • April 7, 3:30 - 5:30 pm
Register for #6147 in PD Place to attend. Attendees will be paid and clock hours are available for participants who attend at least two sessions.

NSD Secondary Math Fellows

Northshore School District is excited to enter our second year of NSD Secondary Math Fellows! Secondary math teachers in the Northshore School District seeking professional learning and leadership opportunities in Common Core State Standards (CCSS) implementation are encouraged to participate.

Goals of 2015-2016 Math Fellows

Teachers will:
  • Build understanding of the math teaching practices presented in NCTM’s Principles To Actions 
  • Develop and implement lessons that incorporate math teaching practices 
  • Receive support from colleagues through collaborative planning and peer coaching
  • Become more reflective practitioners

The 2015-2016 Secondary Math Fellows Team

  • IHS: Kelsea Franklin, Heidi Hansen, Scott Henning, Monica Mayes, Deanna Perry
  • NN: Maureen Venables
  • CPJH: Cecelia Dever, Tina Sowler
  • KJH: Mary Haltiner, Carol Tanner
  • LJH: Jenn Mann
  • NJH: Kristen Peck
  • TJH: Karen Franks, Jen Morley
  • Moorlands: Deb Fullerton, Julia Smith (Kingsbury)
  • Shelton View: Laurie Walloch

Apply to become a 2015-2016 NSD Math Fellow

If you would like to join the 2015-2016 NSD Math Fellows, please complete this application including a brief description of why you would like to participate by Wednesday, September 9th

Three spaces are still available for the 2015-2016 school year. I hope you'll consider this opportunity!

Baseline Tasks

As part of our initial work, each Math Fellow will administer a baseline math task in at least one class period and collected data. The baseline tasks will allow us to see where kids are currently, and then we will administer them again in the spring to look for growth. Baseline tasks and scoring rubrics are available for all teachers on the Secondary Math Toolbox.  

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District Scope & Sequences

2015-2016 Scope & Sequences are available on the Secondary Math Toolbox. Throughout the year I will be adding links to resources and math tasks that teachers may find useful when designing their lessons. If you find a resource that may be helpful to teachers, please email me the link so I can add it to the Scope & Sequence! 

Links and Resources

Here's a look at some of the things I have been checking out lately: 

TOSA Support

As you plan this year, please contact me if there is work that I can help support. I would love to meet with you, your department, and/or your PLC to contribute to your work! These areas might include:
  • Math Teaching Practices in NCTM's Principles to Actions
  • implementing tasks that promote reasoning and problem solving
  • Implementing Dan Meyer tasks and/or strategies into your classroom instruction 
  • developing or using formative assessments
  • addressing Depth of Knowledge in classroom instruction
  • integrating technology in the classroom to support student learning
If you would like me to support your work with students, please don't hesitate to ask! 

Math TOSA Newsletter Archives

To sign up for our newsletter or view past issues, please visit the NSD MathTOSA Newsletter archive on the Secondary Math Toolbox. 
This newsletter comes to you by the NSD Secondary TOSA Team. 


Patty Stephens
7-12 Mathematics Instructional Specialist
Phone: ext. 7617
Copyright © 2015 Northshore School District, All rights reserved.

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