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CoMath Update for May 12, 2020

On My Mind

Over the past several weeks, I've continued to hold office hours and to listen to the stories I'm hearing from teachers around the state. The thing that stands out to me is that while math teachers have settled into new routines and new tools, it's inescapable that this is hard. I think it's healthy for us to admit that and to share in the difficulty with others. All those little things we take for granted -- the subtle quizzical look on a students' face that tells you they're in a place of good struggle, the ability to peer over their shoulder to see how they are organizing their work, the ease of asking students to turn and talk -- all those things are harder now. We can try to leverage tools and technology to make up for some of the difference, and I bet you all are more proficient at this than you were a month ago. But it still takes a lot of planning and preparation, and just like learning math, it can take a while for all the newness to find its proper place. Sharing and supporting others feels as important as ever right now, and thankfully, Colorado continues to have a pretty lively math education community coming together to do just that, as you'll read below.

Office Hours

I continue to hold math office hours on Wednesdays and Fridays from 10:00 to 11:00, but I won't be available this Friday. In addition, CDE's Office of Standards and Instructional Support has an office hour on Thursdays from 3:00 to 4:00. This Thursday, I'll be coordinating those hours, so feel free to stop by! You can find up-to-date information about SIS office hours on the CDE website.

CML Meeting Tomorrow!

The Colorado Math Leaders are meeting tomorrow via Zoom from 10:00 to 2:00. Our last meeting had fantastic attendance and I think tomorrow's could be even better. All are welcome, even if you aren't a district math supervisor. After introductions, we're going to talk about our experiences with distance learning specifically as they relate to NCTM's eight effective teaching practices. We'll follow that with Chapter 9 of our book study, where Kelly Shank Slavik of Poudre SD will lead us through a discussion of supporting productive struggle. We'll talk about district's plans for dealing with "unfinished learning" over our lunch before shifting to the last chapter of our Taking Action book study, in which Mark Koester of MSU Denver will help us pull everything all together. Finally, we'll finish up with some business, look ahead to the year ahead, and officially welcome our board members to their new positions: Sara MacDonald (Littleton) will become past president, Megan Korponic (DPS) will take over as president, and Jocelyn Hatfield (Cherry Creek) will become president-elect. Jaime Levi (Summit County) will start her 2nd year as NCSM representative and we'll thank Felicia Casto (Mesa County) for her three years of service to CML.

CCTM Virtual PD and Other News

CCTM currently has two virtual PD sessions on the calendar and you can expect to see more as we head into summer.

  • Thursday, May 14, 3:30-5:00: Kelly Shank Slavik will present Empowering Students to Own Their Learning. A full description and registration link are available on the CCTM event calendar. Almost 100 people have registered as of this morning -- don't miss it! CCTM is giving members 1.5 hours of continuing education credit for participating.
  • Thursday, May 28, 3:30-5:00: Jackie Palmquist and Alyssa Schneider will present Invite ALL Students to the Math Conversations with Number Talks. CCTM will again give members 1.5 hours of continuing education credit for participating. A full description is available on the CCTM event calendar, and registration is now live.

Save the date! CCTM has announced that they are planning a fall conference for October 2 in Denver with keynote speaker Robert Berry, Past President of NCTM. This event would kick off an extended book study of NCTM's Taking Action series that would culminate in a CCTM conference in 2021.

CCTM elected seven board members in their recent election: Mary Pittman (President-Elect), Kim Smith (Vice President), Linda Donaldson (Secretary), Megan Korponic (NCTM Representative), Chelsea Carstensen (Region 1 Representative), Elissa Pitts (Region 4 Representative), and Felicia Westland (Region 7 Representative). These board members will assume their duties in June. Thanks to all of you who voted!

CCTM has also launched a new website and membership platform. It's now easy to manage your own membership and communication preferences, and CCTM is busy setting up benefits like a community forum, an event archive, and transcripts of your CCTM continuing education credits. Check it out at

Calculus II at MSU (hey, that rhymes)

Dr. Rob Niemeyer at MSU Denver is adjusting his Calculus II class in the fall so it is a flipped course well-suited for advanced high school students looking for a distance learning Calc II option. The course is scheduled for 6 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Dr. Niemeyer has prepared a video message for students and encourages people to contact him at if they have questions.

Sports Analytics Symposium

Arti Smith at Kent Denver School is running a one-day teaching symposium on sports analytics on June 5, if conditions allow. For more information, see the Kent Denver website or reach out to Arty directly.

Job Openings

Renaissance Secondary School, a public charter school in Castle Rock, is looking for applicants for a 6-8 mathematics teaching position. Please see the school website for more information and how to apply.