Spotlight on the Profession: Diana Sproat

May 24, 2016  

In this monthly column, we speak with a notable member of the Western Canadian mathematics education community about their past, present, and future work, and about their perspectives on the teaching and learning of mathematics. This month, we had the pleasure of speaking with Diana Sproat, Mathematics Consulant of Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools.


2016 May - Diana Sproat 2Diana Sproat has been employed by Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools for the past 22 years as a teacher, Teacher on Assignment, and most currently as the Mathematics Consultant. She completed her Masters of Education at the University of Saskatchewan with a focus in the area of mathematics and as a member of the Math Cohort. Diana was honored to receive the Saskatchewan Mathematics Teachers’ Society Math Service Award in 2014.

First of all, thank you for taking the time to have this conversation in the full swing of the school year! Could you tell our readers a bit about the work that you do as the Mathematics Consultant for the Greater Saskatoon Catholic School Division? Continue reading

Reflections: 10 things I learned at #NCTMannual

May 17, 2016  

Reflections is a monthly column for teachers, by teachers on topics of interest to mathematics educators: lesson plans, book/resource reviews, reflections on classroom experiences, and more. If you are interested in sharing your own ideas with mathematics educators in the province (and beyond), consider contributing to this column! Contact us at thevariable (at) smts (dot) ca.


10 things I learned at #NCTMannual
Amanda Culver

Last month, I was lucky enough to be able to spend a few days in San Francisco for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Annual Meeting and Exposition. This was my first experience at an NCTM Conference, and it won’t be my last! My days were full of sessions and I overbooked myself, because there were multiple sessions I wanted to go to that were scheduled at the same time. However, all of the sessions that I ended up attending were awesome (well, with the exception of one, which I walked out of because there weren’t enough materials for all participants; no big deal – I went teacher crazy at Target!). The amount of swag at the conference was ridiculous – my suitcase was bursting with all of the notepads, bags, pencils, pens, ribbons, pins, and t-shirts that I picked up. So many t-shirts!

2016 May - swag bag

Teachers love free merch!

Of course, the swag isn’t the only take-away from a conference like this. Continue reading

Intersections (May edition): Upcoming professional development opportunities

May 9, 2016  

In this monthly column, you’ll find information about upcoming math (education)-related workshops, conferences, and other events that will take place in Saskatchewan and beyond. If travel is not an option at this time or if you prefer learning from the comfort of your own home, see the Online workshops and Continuous learning online sections below. Some events fill up fast, so don’t delay signing up! For more information about a particular event or to register, follow the link provided below the description.

If know about an event that should be on our list, please leave a comment below or contact ilona (at) smts (dot) ca.

Within Saskatchewan 

Conferences

cropped-SMTS_Logo_RGB_noname.png

SUM Conference
November 4th – 5th, Saskatoon, SK
Presented by the SMTS

 
Our own annual conference! Join us for two days packed with learning opportunities, featuring keynotes Max Ray-Riek and Grace Kelemanik and featured presenter Peg Cagle. This conference is for math educators teaching in K-12, and registration includes lunch on Friday and a two-year SMTS membership. Click here for more information, and keep checking our website in the coming months for registration details.

Continue reading

Problems to Ponder (May edition)

May 2, 2016  

At the beginning of each month, we share two challenge problems, one problem meant for Grades 7-8 and one for Grades 9-10. Some will be drawn from the Saskatchewan Math Challenge, the Saskatchewan Mathematics Teachers’ Society annual team math challenge for students. The solutions will appear at the end of the month in our monthly periodical, The Variable.

The problems are meant to be discussed in teams – we encourage you to pose them as a challenge in your classroom or your math club!

Grade 7-8 Problem: Magic decimals
Math Challenge 2016

In a magic square, the sums of the numbers in the rows, columns and diagonals are all equal. Use a 4×4 grid to make a magic square for these numbers: 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, … 1.4, 1.5, 1.6.

Continue reading

Introducing The Variable: A new periodical by the SMTS

April 29, 2016  

Periodical header v2

This one’s for you, Saskatchewan math teachers!

The Saskatchewan Mathematics Teachers’ Society is pleased to present The Variable: A new monthly periodical by the SMTS featuring articles, interviews, information about professional development opportunities, mathematical challenges, and other writings of interest to elementary and secondary teachers of mathematics (and all who are passionate, or even simply curious about mathematics education). We welcome a variety of contributions by mathematics educators at all levels – elementary, secondary, and higher – as well as by students. Find our first issue here!

Continue reading

Spotlight on the Profession: Dr. Kathleen Nolan

April 26, 2016  

In this monthly column, we speak with a notable member of the Western Canadian mathematics education community about their past, present, and future work, and about their perspectives on the teaching and learning of mathematics. This month, we had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Kathleen Nolan.


2016 April - Kathleen Nolan - Photo (crop)Dr. Kathleen Nolan is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Regina, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in mathematics curriculum, qualitative research, and contemporary issues in education. Dr. Nolan’s current research focuses on mathematics teacher education, exploring issues of teacher identity and the regulatory practices of schooling, learning and knowing. Bourdieu’s social field theory and theories of critical mathematics education feature prominently in Dr. Nolan’s work. She is the author and co-editor of two books, as well as author of more than 40 published articles, book chapters, and conference proceedings papers. In 2012, she was awarded a Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Grant for her project entitled Reconceptualizing Secondary Mathematics Teacher Education: Critical and Reflexive Perspectives. Within this qualitative research program, Dr. Nolan seeks to strengthen connections between teacher education, curriculum reform and mathematics education research by studying the interplay of different perspectives, or dimensions, of teacher education. One such perspective includes research into the design and facilitation of a professional learning community approach to teacher education internship.

Continue reading

Reflections: Can I do more than totem poles in math?

April 19, 2016  

Reflections is a monthly column for teachers, by teachers on topics of interest to mathematics educators: lesson plans, book/resource reviews, reflections on classroom experiences, and more. If you are interested in sharing your own ideas with mathematics educators in the province (and beyond), consider contributing to this column! Contact us at thevariable (at) smts (dot) ca.


Can I do more than totem poles in math?
Sharon Harvey

“A totem pole casts a shadow that is 15 m long. The angle of depression of the sun is 43°. How tall is the totem pole?” Or perhaps this one: “The following beading pattern has a ratio of black to red beads of 4:7. If there are 35 black beads, how many red beads are there?” FNIM content – check.

This was me. This is me. This has been me for 8 years. Is it better than nothing? Maybe. Is it good enough? Definitely not.

Continue reading

Intersections (April edition): Upcoming professional development opportunities

April 12, 2016  

In this monthly column, you’ll find a list of upcoming math (education)-related workshops, conferences, and other events that will take place in Saskatchewan and beyond. Some events fill up fast, so don’t delay signing up! For more information about a particular event or to register, follow the link provided below the description. If know about an event that should be on our list, please leave a comment below.

Within Saskatchewan 

Conferences

IT Summit
May 2nd – 3rd, Saskatoon, SK
Presented by the SPDU

This two-day event will explore exemplary practices for teaching and learning with technology to support the actualization of Saskatchewan curricula. It promotes professional dialogue that fosters effective teaching and learning with technology, and is designed to share best practices in network infrastructures and centralized technologies that support student learning through technology use in schools and school divisions. See https://www.stf.sk.ca/professional-resources/events-calendar

Continue reading

Problems to Ponder (April edition)

April 9, 2016  

At the beginning of every month, we will be publishing two problems from previous installments of the Saskatchewan Math Challenge, one problem per level (Grade 7-8 and Grade 9-10). The solutions will appear at the end of the month in the SMTS newsletter. The problems are meant to be discussed in teams – we encourage you to pose them as a challenge in your classroom or your math club!

Grade 7-8 Problem: Painted cube
Math Challenge 2016

April 1A cube is made up of 27 smaller cubes. Suppose that all of the faces of the larger cube are painted red, and then it is taken apart.  How many of the small cubes would have no faces painted red?  One face painted red?  Two faces painted red?  Three faces painted red?

 

Continue reading

Reflections on Math Challenge 2016

March 13, 2016  
MC2016 1

Goodbye MC2016… looking forward to MC2017!

On Saturday, March 12, over 70 Grade 7-10 students from schools around the province arrived bright and early to the University of Saskatchewan to participate in this year’s installment of the Saskatchewan Math Challenge, a provincial math challenge co-sponsored by the Saskatchewan Math Teachers’ Society and the University of Saskatchewan. This year, the Math Challenge was also assisted by generous support from the University of Saskatchewan Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

Continue reading