Welcome to the 2019 MidSchoolMath National Conference! #MidSchoolMath2019

Looking for Session Handouts? Check out the Conference Dropbox at http://bit.ly/MidSchoolMath2019Additional materials will be added as they are provided. 

Thank you for joining us in Santa Fe for our 6th Annual Conference! If you selected your sessions prior to Sunday, 2/24, a print copy of your personalized schedule will be provided in your attendee packet. You’ll also get a daily agenda email from SCHED!

As a reminder, helpful information about traveling to Santa Fe, including airport shuttle services, featured hotels, getting around town, restaurants, and more can be found here.  

After the Conference, please take a moment to provide session feedback using SCHED! Thank you!

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Sessions: Educational Equity [clear filter]
Friday, March 1


Language-Based Math Instruction for Struggling Learners
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

Join us to learn about our language-based method of math instruction for struggling learners that has consistently provided increased intrinsic student motivation, increased confidence, increased problem solving/reasoning skills and strong learning gains in our lowest middle school math performers. This session acknowledges the complex language involved in understanding, practicing and mastering new middle school math standards and explores how to repair and build the critical foundational pieces

Experience the instruction like a student, with a casual, interactive introduction of the target skill and vocabulary through riddles and word-play. This classroom opportunity, as well as mini mock lesson, provide for independent thinking, scaffolded brain-storming, and practice with figurative language. Following this discussion we will move quickly into a cooperative, hands-on game involving the target vocabulary and concepts. We will end the mini-mock lesson, segueing into standards-based practice problems.

We'll wrap up this session with Q &A, provide a brief history of how this class was developed and share success stories. You'll leave with specific real-world activities, ideas for stations, games, hands-on tasks and vocabulary building.

avatar for Thyra Schwab

Thyra Schwab

SLP, Imagine School at Palmer Ranch
I have been a speech/language pathologist in Sarasota, Fl for 23 years. I have experience in several settings, but quickly found that school-based practice was my passion. For the last 10 years I have worked at a charter school, Imagine Schools Palmer Ranch, where I realized that... Read More →
avatar for Corry Tyle

Corry Tyle

ESE Liaison, Imagine School at Palmer Ranch
With 8 years in the business world and 15 years as an educator, I am currently the ESE Liaison, ESE Middle School Math Teacher and Intensive Math Teacher at the Imagine School at Palmer Ranch in Sarasota, Florida.  Previously, while in the regular education classroom, I felt the... Read More →

Friday March 1, 2019 9:40am - 10:25am
Sweeney D
  • WHAT WILL ATTENDEES GAIN? real-world activities, ideas for stations, games, hands-on tasks and vocabulary building.
  • BEYOND "STAND & DELIVER" Play word games to introduce new vocabulary and ensure understanding of previously learned vocabulary.


Supporting the Learning of ELLs through Discourse and Assessment
Limited Capacity seats available

In this session, we will share a research protocol developed to support the mathematical learning of English Learners (ELs). The goal is for the tool, the “Discursive Assessment Protocol” (DAP), is to support equitable mathematical learning of ELs, while providing teachers with a useful tool aligned with best practices and the CCSS-M Mathematical Practices.

Given the lack of tools that teachers have to support the learning and achievement of ELs, we believe that the development of a formative assessment tool such as the DAP is important to support teachers of ELs to have detailed assessment information about their students’ mathematical strengths. We hypothesize that the use of the DAP will also help teachers have a better understanding of EL students’ thinking in mathematics, which will lead to improved instruction and enhanced student learning and achievement. Additionally, the research team believes the tool is significant not just for cognitive reasons, but also because the tool has the potential to support teachers to develop positive and impactful academic relationships with their Latino/a students (Kitchen, Burr, & Castellon, 2010). This is noteworthy given the plethora of examples in the research literature documenting how teachers and administrators seldom form the sort of meaningful relationships with youth valued within Latino/a culture (e.g., see, Suárez-Orozco, 1989; Valenzuela, 1999).

In this session, you'll learn about the tool, have the opportunity to solve tasks aligned with grade 5-6 CCSS Standards in Number & Operations – Fractions, and share your mathematical solutions to these sample tasks with others. We'll also view videos of 6th grade ELs solving these same mathematical tasks and, with the aid of prompts, examine issues related to equity and access and teacher moves made to support equity and student access.


Lorenzo Gonzales

Education PD Specialist, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Dr. Gonzales has been a leader of LANL's Math & Science Academy (MSA) since 2002. Through MSA, he has worked to increase teachers’ use of research-supported practices to conduct effective math and science lessons in their classrooms. He is currently working with his colleagues in... Read More →
avatar for Richard Kitchen

Richard Kitchen

Professor, Wyoming Excellence in Higher Education Endowed Chair in Mathematics Education, University of Wyoming
Richard Kitchen is Professor and Wyoming Excellence in Higher Education Endowed Chair in Mathematics Education at the University of Wyoming (UW). Dr. Kitchen was the co-Principal Investigator of the Center for the Mathematics Education of Latinos/as (CEMELA) that was funded through... Read More →

Friday March 1, 2019 10:45am - 12:00pm
Sweeney B
  • MATH STANDARDS & PRACTICES Grades 5-6 CCSS Standards in Number & Operations – Fractions with 'Discursive Assessment Protocol' incorporating all eight of the Math Practice
  • WHAT WILL ATTENDEES GAIN? Participants will learn about equity and student access in general, what these constructs are, and some of what the research literature says about equity and access
  • BEYOND "STAND & DELIVER" Significant time will be devoted during the session to participants solve tasks aligned with grade 5-6 CCSS Standards in Number & Operations – Fractions.


Tower of Power: Social Learning through Heterogeneous Groups
Limited Capacity filling up

In the session, we'll highlight the power of social learning through an interactive activity attending to the Math Practice Standards and exploring ideas of educational equity in our math classes. Our goal is to simulate the leveling of learners and illuminate the effect that this practice has on students’ access to learning.

You'll engage in a hands-on building activity, then we'll debrief this experiential metaphor in an interactive discussion pulling from both your experience and current research. 

avatar for Annie Adams

Annie Adams

Math Coach, Independent School District of Boise Cit
I get my teaching energy from generating and facilitating student discussions on problem solving and number sense. I have taught middle school mathematics in the San Francisco Bay Area and Boise, Idaho. It is my first year as a Math Coach in the Boise School District.

Marti Dinkelman

Math Coach, Independent School District of Boise Cit

Sharon Tennent

Math Coach, Independent School District of Boise Cit
With a passion for early numeracy and development of mathematical structures, I work to provide growth opportunities for my fellow educators in the Boise School District.  

Andrew Webb

Math Coach, Independent School District of Boise Cit
avatar for Suzanne Wolfkiel

Suzanne Wolfkiel

Math Coach, Independent School District of Boise Cit
Currently a math coach for the Boise School District, my twenty years of experience has allowed me to see multiple states' standards and multiple levels of learners. From this, I have found a passion for engaging all students in a variety of experiences in order to deepen their thinking... Read More →
avatar for Lucas Younger

Lucas Younger

Math Coach, Independent School District of Boise Cit
I draw on my education and experience as both a teacher and a school counselor to provide professional education and enrichment for my fellow educators in the Boise School District.

Friday March 1, 2019 10:45am - 12:00pm
  • MATH STANDARDS & PRACTICES Standards for Mathematical Practice
  • WHAT WILL ATTENDEES GAIN? The biggest gain will be experiencing and feeling the limiting effect of leveling students by perceived ability.
  • BEYOND "STAND & DELIVER" Interactive hands-on activity where participants will experience being split by levels and limited by who they are able to learn with and from. collective reflection is


Unhide Math
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

It has dawned upon us that math as it was taught in the US over the course of my lifetime has been a disservice. Products of our math education system have declared themselves “not math people”. And we have allowed that to go on for far too long.

While it’s accepted that there are myriad interpretations of say a poem or a story, it has long been held that there is only one interpretation of a math problem - namely, the answer. We have recognized that math is not a binary subject in school. It is not merely “right” or “wrong”. There are many avenues to the solution...and even if you don’t get the “answer”, you likely did many things well.

The anxiety that exists around math education involves much more than this binary attitude we think we’ve done away with. It involves the assumptions we have as teachers. Math is a secret class. This starts with the very set of teaching strategies we’ve come to accept as best practice. Students may not be aware, in fact, that math is a binary subject out in the world. You don’t use multiple avenues to figure out the square footage of your backyard. Students need to be explicitly told that math education isn’t binary, but math as you may use it every day, is.

Similarly, many assumptions are held in the classroom. Numbers, as initially presented to children have no markings. Then, suddenly, we have “negative” numbers. And if the numbers aren’t negative...they’re positive. Which is what we’ve been dealing with all along but we haven’t told the kids there’s a secret “+” sign in front of those numbers. Students are taught that the number after 1 is 2. And then one day...presto...there’s 1.5. 9 is 9. But add a zero...and it’s 90. We don’t mention that while we’re adding a zero, we’re also moving the decimal point to the right. Otherwise, 9 with a zero added would be 9.0. These nuances are confusing and subtle and assumed.

In this session, we'll look at the math continuum through the eyes of the learner...and question everything.

avatar for Dan Winsor

Dan Winsor

7th/8th Teacher, Steindorf STEAM School
Graduated college with a Finance degree, worked in corporate accounting for 5 years, stayed at home with 2 little boys for 3 years, got my teaching credential and have been teaching 6th-8th math for 14 years.  The teaching part was my best idea.  Not including having kids.

Friday March 1, 2019 1:25pm - 2:10pm
Sweeney C
  • MATH STANDARDS & PRACTICES Standards of Mathematical Practices
  • WHAT WILL ATTENDEES GAIN? Knowledge that many of our own biases and assumptions create confusing situations for the students.
  • BEYOND "STAND & DELIVER" Allowing the attendees to share ideas and thoughts helps to create a dynamic learning situation.


Academic Talk & Technology in the Math Classroom
Limited Capacity filling up

In San Lorenzo Unified School District, we, as a Mathematics Collaborative, have been exploring ongoing ways to incorporate technology into accessible and engaging math lessons. The focus of the work is to provide students with opportunities to experience their course level content, and be engaged with Mathematical Learning Routines that are based in the Design Principles for promoting discussion as written by the Stanford Graduate School of Education.

We, by no means have found the ""magic bullet"", but we do believe we are moving in a more equitable direction in Mathematics for Middle School students by working collaboratively, sharing resources, and using Lesson Study to have a lens on how content and pedagogy are inherently linked to each student's success in math.

Our cafe style approach will be to share a 7th grade lesson created by one of our lead teachers, and use it to contextualize how we think about technology and ELD in Math. We will share specific ways that we design accessible lessons to build student agency and develop academic language.

Note: This is a BYOD Session! Please bring a laptop or tablet with you to the session if you have one available.

avatar for Brian Lundgren

Brian Lundgren

Math Teacher, San Lorenzo Unified School District

Erik Moll

MS Math TSA, San Lorenzo Unified

Friday March 1, 2019 2:25pm - 3:10pm
  • WHAT WILL ATTENDEES GAIN? We envision teachers inspired to think and learn more about what ELD in math looks like.
  • BEYOND "STAND & DELIVER" Teachers will have the opportunity to explore rates and make their own conclusions about how middle school students think and explore using technology.


Vocabulary Building in Mathematics for English Language Learners (ELLs)
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

This session specifically addresses the vocabulary challenges faced by students who are learning the English language. The vocabulary challenges they have correlate with the results for ELLs in problem solving in the content of mathematics. The purpose of the session is to provide math teachers will strategies to develop language of ELLs by using the four language development domains in the subject of math so they will be better equipped to solve real world math problems.

Together, we'll address how to choose academic and math specific vocabulary appropriate for the math concepts being taught, strategies for recall and the use of the vocabulary throughout instruction, and applying the vocabulary to real world math problems. In this session, I will explain the four domains of language development according to WIDA, which are speaking, writing, listening, and reading. It is important for educators of math to incorporate the four language domains when teaching ELLs because each domain contributes to the ultimate goal of being able to apply the language to mathematical problem solving.

I will also introduce three instructional strategies for attendees to take away to use in their math classrooms. All three strategies will come from the 2014 guide “Dekalb County Strategies for Teaching English Language, Literature, and Content: A Teacher’s Guide” written by Mary Lou McCloskey, Janet Orr, Lydia Stack, and Gabriela Kleckova. The first technique is to take the content standard and unpack the vocabulary needed to meet the objective of that particular standard. The second strategy is to create a Word Square graphic organizer to show the word, meaning, symbol or picture, and a sentence/example. Next, attendees will engage in interactive activity, Conga Line/Inside Outside Circles for review and to get them speaking and listening to each other. Lastly, they will apply the vocabulary to solve real world and mathematical problems. 

avatar for Allyson Goode

Allyson Goode

Teacher, Freedom Middle School
Allyson Goode is passionate about bridging the academic achievement gaps that exist between the growing populations of English Language Learners (ELLs) and native English speakers. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree In Middle Grades Education from Georgia Southern University. She is... Read More →

Friday March 1, 2019 2:25pm - 3:10pm
Sweeney C
  • MATH STANDARDS & PRACTICES The Standards of Mathematical Practices
  • WHAT WILL ATTENDEES GAIN? Engage in vocabulary building strategies and the application of academic and content specific vocabulary in real world math problems.
  • BEYOND "STAND & DELIVER" Attendees of this session will actively participate in stations. They will first take the content standard and unpack the vocabulary needed to meet the objective of that particular standard.
Saturday, March 2


Language and Literacy in Math Class
Limited Capacity seats available

Language instruction during mathematics instruction should go beyond teaching content-specific vocabulary and making sense of word problems. It is also an opportunity for students to learn how to communicate precisely while engaging in reading, writing, listening, questioning, and explaining.

In this session, we'll explore the use of content-based language objectives which clarify how students will develop language and literacy skills within mathematics instruction, together with student engagement strategies which support student use of academic language in their math class.

avatar for Noirin Foy

Noirin Foy

Instructional Support Teacher, Los Altos School District
Having worked in the high tech industry, Noirin Foy made a career change to mathematics education in 2009. She has taught middle school math and is now a middle school math instructional coach in Los Altos, California. She believes that students learn best in a language-rich classroom... Read More →

Saturday March 2, 2019 9:40am - 10:55am
  • MATH STANDARDS & PRACTICES Math Practice Standard 3 and Math Practice Standard 6
  • WHAT WILL ATTENDEES GAIN? Attendees will learn how to develop language objectives to support the development of student literacy skills during mathematics instruction.
  • BEYOND "STAND & DELIVER" Attendees will participate in student engagement strategies which they can use with their students. There will be time for attendees to explore the presenter's resources and ask questions.


Culturally Responsive Math Practices
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

Join Featured Presenter Gladys Graham in this session examining what it means to teach using culturally responsive practices, in theory and in practice.
You'll take a critical look at the characteristics of culturally responsive teaching as it relates to math instruction. Then, explore opportunities for professional self-reflection, building cultural competence and conduct a personal analysis of dimensions of instruction (the curriculum, teaching methodology, classroom culture, relational trust, and more). Strategies and skills will be shared and modeled in this important and relevant session.

avatar for Gladys Graham

Gladys Graham

Gladys Graham's life’s work has been supporting the development and sustainability of positive school culture, high student academic performance and effective leadership. She excels at designing and facilitating professional development for teachers, students and school leaders... Read More →

Saturday March 2, 2019 11:15am - 12:30pm


Experience how to Best Support your ELLs Mathematical Journey: Walk a Mile in Their Shoes!
Limited Capacity seats available

How do we give English language learners access to rich problems and stories in our mathematics classrooms? How can we decrease frustration and increase engagement and participation?

Come participate in a short problem-solving lesson in Spanish to experience sheltering and scaffolding strategies that support English learners in having access to the CCSSM and Mathematical Practices. This session is designed for teachers who have zero to an intermediate level of Spanish. This session will give teachers concrete strategies and instructional moves to give language learners access to projects, 3 Act Tasks, and story problems that you are already using in your classroom. The short lesson will be in Spanish. The reflection and share outs will be in English so participants can fully participate in the professional dialogue.

This session will be interactive, engaging and give you the opportunity to step into the shoes of the English language learners in your classroom.

This session will have two presenters. One will take the teacher role with sheltering and facilitating the lesson in Spanish. The other presenter will take a coaching role, facilitating the reflection and share outs of participants about the lesson in English. Both presenters will share personal experiences about working with language learners in the mathematics classroom and the research that supports these strategies. Feedback when we have used this structure with teachers and administrators in the past has been very positive. There is nothing quite like experiencing in 15 minutes the challenges that our English language learners face all day as they navigate their different content classes.

avatar for Evelyn Chavez

Evelyn Chavez

Professional Development Coordinator, Dual Language Education of New Mexico
Evelyn Chavez is an experienced classroom teacher and a professional development coordinator committed to supporting teachers in meeting the needs of our language learners. She is a lead trainer with the math framework Achievement Inspired Mathematics for Scaffolding Student Success... Read More →
avatar for Lisa Meyer

Lisa Meyer

Director of Operations & Programming, Dual Language Education of NM
Lisa Meyer has spent the last eight years supporting teachers and schools with meeting the needs of English learners and academic language learners through high-quality, engaging instruction. As a classroom teacher, professional development coordinator, and developer for the math... Read More →

Saturday March 2, 2019 11:15am - 12:30pm
  • MATH STANDARDS & PRACTICES Participants will experience strategies that give students access to the CCSSM and the Mathematical Practice Standards.
  • WHAT WILL ATTENDEES GAIN? Participants will walk away with concrete ideas on how to adjust planning and classroom delivery to better meet the needs of English language learners.
  • BEYOND "STAND & DELIVER" Instead of using a traditional presentation to deliver the content, the participants experience why it is essential to use well-developed visuals and high-level supported language.