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: Effective Feedback & Assessment [clear filter]
Friday, March 1


Cognitively Guided Instruction: A Pathway to Making Sense of Student Work
Limited Capacity seats available

Experience a student centered classroom through Cognitively Guided instruction (CGI). Develop methods to deliver and assess instruction by making sense of student work. Engage in a problem solving instructional strategy that effortlessly connects mathematics, reading, writing, and science when you choose. Be ready to model and explain your way into creating a conceptual, collaborative, student centered learning environment built on the foundation of the Common Core.

In this session, you'll go through through an intense look at connecting images, concepts, facts, language, and procedures through a compellingly researched problem solving approach. You'll solve problems by modeling, explaining their mathematical thinking, and sharing your reasoning with others while constructing connections to the K-5 CCSSM. Participants will be given the opportunity to engage and participate in the process from start to finish.

avatar for David Ismari

David Ismari

Teacher/Math Coach, New Mexico Connections Academy
I have been teaching as a classroom teacher for 17 years. I’ve taught elementary 4th-6th, middle school math 6th-8th, PE K-8, and have been a math coach helping teachers the past few years.I have a degree in elementary education supported my mathematics, physical education, and... Read More →

Friday March 1, 2019 10:45am - 12:00pm
  • MATH STANDARDS & PRACTICES Learn how to create a student centered classroom. All standards are addressed and assessed while giving students the opportunity to solve, share, and discuss mathematics.
  • WHAT WILL ATTENDEES GAIN? Teachers will discover what it looks like to allow opportunities for students to solve problems as they connect problem types to the common core all while engaged in solving problems themselves.
  • BEYOND "STAND & DELIVER" Participants will be immersed in a class that is designed and focused on the delivery methods of modern times.


Optimizing “A-Ha!” Moments with Student-Centered Grading
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

How might we increase student engagement and motivation in assessments? How might we optimize the assessment grading experience to increase feedback and learning opportunities for all?

This conference session will provide guidance on executing this Student-Centered Grading Methods (SCG) to elevate student learning. You'll experience an entire SCG cycle through the perspective of the student and the teacher.

In SCG students grade their own work sans answer-key. They are expected to collaborate and develop solutions (and proof of solutions) through discussion and debate. They become advocates for their thinking and analyze the strategies of their peers. The teacher becomes a coach, optimizing teachable and “a-ha” moments.

A key element of SCG is that assessments need to be collected and analyzed by the teacher first (without a single mark put on the assessment). With that information students are intentionally grouped by considering types of errors made and the needs of the students, and then students work in their new groups to evaluate their assessments and allocate points within their groups. All students are taught to advocate for their thinking, critique one another, and debate what deserves full or partial credit.

Since assessments were previously analyzed and coded by the teacher a lot of information is gained and can be used to inform instruction during the grading session and beyond. It becomes obvious if there are common errors, unique strategies worth highlighting, precision vs. sense-making errors, if a question was poorly worded, etc.

Intentional grouping of students is key to a successful group session. Students should all benefit from their groups. Everyone, even the student’s struggling the most, should feel like an expert on a problem. On the other end of the spectrum, 100%ers can benefit from being grouped with students who solved problems in alternative ways than them.

avatar for Erica Pon

Erica Pon

6th Grade Teacher, Steindorf K-8 School
An elementary school teacher from the Bay Area completing her 8th year of teaching, Erica Pon was the kid who floated by, never truly learned her math facts, and didn't discover a love for math until she started teaching Common Core and realized how unimportant speed and rotate memorization... Read More →

Friday March 1, 2019 10:45am - 12:00pm
Sweeney D
  • MATH STANDARDS & PRACTICES All 8 math practices are addressed in this method.
  • WHAT WILL ATTENDEES GAIN? An understanding of how to implement and use Student-Centered Grading Methods.
  • BEYOND "STAND & DELIVER" Attendees will experience being both teacher and student in the method.


Tiered Tests: A differentiated assessment that provides students more voice and choice
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

The need to create a better system for assessment arose from the recognition that our tests did not reflect or reward what we said we valued in our math classrooms. Specifically, a once-size-fits-all test often felt stressful and overwhelming and did not encourage students to take risks or provide enough opportunities for deeper problem solving.

Over the past two years we created and piloted a “tiered” style of assessment that allows students to choose the types of questions they want to answer. Each test features a wide range of questions and no two students will take the same test in the same way!

Come to this session to learn about how this type of assessment has:
• Significantly reduced stress around testing
• Rewards risk taking
• Encourages students to “know thyself” and take ownership of their learning and progress.
• Allows students from a wide range of skills and readiness to be successful on the same assessment
• Provides even more opportunity for challenge for those who are ready
• Provides real data about the types of questions students are answering which is helpful in giving students feedback, setting personal goals, and making informed course placements.

avatar for Laurie Chandler

Laurie Chandler

Math Teacher, Kent Denver School
avatar for Bruce Collamore

Bruce Collamore

Math Teacher, Kent Denver School
avatar for Whitney McMurtry

Whitney McMurtry

Math Teacher, Kent Denver School
Whitney is an educator, traveller, artist, mathematician and mother.  She has over 20 years of experience in middle school education.  She sees her primary role as a coach to help students feel empowered as individuals and capable as mathematicians.  She currently teaches 7th grade... Read More →

Friday March 1, 2019 2:25pm - 3:10pm
Sweeney A
  • WHAT WILL ATTENDEES GAIN? The primary goal is to share HOW this style of assessments works- how it is created, administered and then used for feedback.
  • BEYOND "STAND & DELIVER" Regular opportunities for table groups to process and share insights and observations throughout.
Saturday, March 2


Putting ideas into Action
Limited Capacity seats available

It’s a long road from idea to reality. Getting into the car after a conference can inadvertently kill your drive to implement the ideas that you learned. Even if those ideas just had you on cloud nine, when you step away from the conference environment, it is sometimes very hard to follow through. The roadblocks that creep into our brains as we drive home, or sit on that plan can bog us down. Most of the time, that’s where it ends. It was well intentioned but it just doesn't seem achievable.

In this session, we'll look at what your resources are to ensure you don’t let those roadblocks get in the way! We will reflect on how to take an idea and link it with the outcome you want to see in the classroom. This is your chance to create an action plan to bring the strategies and ideas to life. Bring bring ideas that you want to implement, or have tried to implement already, but haven’t quite panned out yet. 

avatar for Emily Buchhop

Emily Buchhop

7th Grade Teacher/Team Lead, The Pinnacle Charter School
A Michigander living in Colorado since 2011. I am a seventh year teacher who has taught science, math intervention, and core math classes as well as being qualified to teach social studies, math, and if I'm in Indiana Science too! I have taught in Indiana and Colorado. A 2010 Valparaiso... Read More →

Saturday March 2, 2019 9:40am - 10:55am
  • MATH STANDARDS & PRACTICES CCSS.Math.Practice.MP1, CCSS.Math.Practice.MP5 Use appropriate tools strategically.
  • WHAT WILL ATTENDEES GAIN? Attendees will have an action plan when they leave our session.
  • BEYOND "STAND & DELIVER" We don't intend to lecture the attendees, we want to collaborate with them. It will utilize team effort so that we can make the idea they want to implement into a reality.


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

Rather than strictly following a textbook, we tackle math based solely off the standards. As teachers, we are familiar with what students need to know, so why not share those expectations directly with them? In this session, we'll introduce you in detail to our systems!

To be engaged in their learning, the students spend time individually breaking down the standards on their frequently accessed “I Can” statements. These, along with all of our management tools, are housed in Google Classroom. Students then determine how to tackle the standards in any approach they prefer. There are three classrooms they choose from EVERY day. They may sign up for “small group,” run by a teacher on a specific standard, “independent,” using websites, textbooks, worksheets, or manipulatives to practice solo, or “assessment” to demonstrate their proficiency one-on-one with a teacher.

Each student creates their own assessment and assesses on an individual basis, allowing the teacher to provide immediate feedback. While they assess, their verbal articulation of skill acquisition provides excellent data for us as teachers. The students are also responsible for a great deal of data collection and progress monitoring. They each write a daily log explaining their learning. We respond to these nightly in order to help guide them “picking their path” the next morning. They also record their assessment scores in their own “I Can” form as a way of self-monitoring.

The flexibility of this approach is very beneficial for varied pacing of learners. It allows for solid learning of content, while ensuring a personalized path that works for all students. We really pride ourselves on the fact that we meet the needs of all learning styles and ability levels. One of the biggest strengths of this method is the fact the it teaches students to advocate for their learning. Seeing the newfound confidence in our students. Students that have always “hated” math are now loving it because they understand how THEY learn best.

Note: This is a BYOD session (Bring Your Own Device). Please bring a laptop or tablet and headphones with you to the session.  

avatar for Erin Coggan

Erin Coggan

6th Grade Teacher, Cherokee Trail Elementary
I received my Bachelor's degree in Oklahoma and moved to Colorado shortly thereafter. I am in my 6th year of teaching and have worked with PK-6th grade. I strive to continually evolve my teaching in order to engage students and build my "toolbox" by attending professional developments... Read More →
avatar for Aubrie Duncan

Aubrie Duncan

6th Grade Teacher, Cherokee Trail Elementary
Education has always been a passion for me, starting at a very young age.  My journey started with me earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Colorado State University in 2005.  Shortly after graduation, I extended my education through the University... Read More →
avatar for Madison Levine

Madison Levine

5th Grade Teacher, Cherokee Trail Elementary
My lifelong passion has always been education and I began my path at Florida State University where I received my Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education. Before jumping into the classroom, I became a graduate research assistant and worked on a study with elementary students on... Read More →
avatar for Lindsay Tyler

Lindsay Tyler

6th Grade Teacher, Cherokee Trail Elementary
I attended the University of Northern Colorado and graduated in 2009 with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies of Liberal Arts with an emphasis in English. I am currently in my tenth year of teaching and have taught primarily intermediate elementary grade levels (4-6). Four years... Read More →

Saturday March 2, 2019 11:15am - 12:30pm
Sweeney D
  • MATH STANDARDS & PRACTICES Our approach to math instruction is completely standards based.
  • WHAT WILL ATTENDEES GAIN? Attendees will gain a new perspective on how to teach math in a personalized way in order to improve student engagement and ownership.
  • BEYOND "STAND & DELIVER" Though some “stand and deliver” presenting will be required, we do take opportunities throughout to provide a chance for attendees to explore the tools and reflect on the current learning.