News from the Eastern 1 Region
Mari Muri, Eastern 1 Regional Director
As the holidays approach, I've taken time to reflect back on this fall in our Region. What keeps coming to the foreground is the days of mathematics meetings in Hartford, CT, October 24-26. It began with a NCSM Leadership Seminar on Oct. 24. Over 125 mathematics leaders attended the full day!
I had the privilege of planning this session and inviting the speakers. The day consisted of an introduction to NCSM by our President Suzanne Mitchell. She was followed by two presentations: Dr. Shelbi Cole, Director for Mathematics at Smarter Balance, presented information on the Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium (SBAC) and Dr. Anne Collins, Mathematics Director at Lesley University in Boston, presented information about the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). The purpose of having everyone from all Eastern 1 Region states, as well as from WA, MO, PA, and NJ, was to learn in-depth about both consortia. Attendees were able to discuss the similarities and differences between the two. The time permitted for questions and answers between the audience and the two speakers was very rich. Everyone went away having a greater understanding of these upcoming assessments in their state.
The rest of the day was devoted to an emphasis on classroom assessment. Dr. Suzanne Libfeld and Arlene Sciarretta led grades 9-12 teachers in how to use formative assessment and also selecting challenging math tasks. The middle grades attendees joined Blair Dunivon from Pearson in similar ideas to those used at the high school level. Each participant in these sessions received a free book from NCSM, Using Classroom Assessment to Improve Student Learning, edited by Dr. Anne Collins for publication by NCTM. Elementary teachers spent their afternoon with Mari Muri looking at various phases of formative assessment and selecting math tasks to challenge students. These participants each received INFORMative Assessment, grades K-6 written by Jeane Joyner and Mari Muri for Math Solutions Publications.
Participants were then treated to a reception on site, sponsored by DreamBox Learning before heading off to the opening session of the NCTM Regional Conference being held in Hartford for the next two days. During these meetings, NCSM sponsored a very successful membership booth. Many math teachers and leaders as well as emerging teacher leaders stopped by the booth to learn more about NCSM. Among the loyal members who took time to staff the table were Jenny Jorgensen and Shawn Towle from Maine, Suzanne Libfeld, Arlene Sciaretta, and Nancy Zarach from New York, Christine Newman and Brenda Dzwill from Connecticut, and Eric Milou from New Jersey. Special interest for our organization came from teacher coaches who are eager to use the information and special hints on the NCSM website - Coaching Corner. We hope these leaders will visit often and check for new information frequently.
Friday morning all NCSM members in attendance at this conference were invited to a delicious hot breakfast sponsored by one of the NCSM supporting sponsors, ExploreLearning. Even though it was held at an early hour to allow members to attend early morning sessions, over 50 members attended. It was a treat to be picked up at our hotels and returned to the convention center by a special shuttle provided just for us!
I hope you all took time to vote for a new Eastern 1 Regional Director. My term will expire at the end of the national NCSM Conference in Denver this coming April. For those of you who did vote, you know that we had two excellent math leaders from which to choose. Congratulations go to Suzanne Libfeld from NY State. She has served as a state team leader under both Laurie Boswell and me. She will do an excellent job representing our region - congratulations, Suzanne.
In the meantime, please don't hesitate to contact me at if you have any questions, concerns, ideas, etc. I would welcome hearing from you! And please, visit our website often. All the conference information is already there and more will be added.