News from the Central 1 Region
Gwen Zimmermann, Central 1 Regional Director
Fall 2014

I have no doubt that like me, most of you are back into a routine of the new school year. Many of us take the summer to rest and rejuvenate. Maybe we attend conferences and/or catch up with professional reading. While I took time for myself, I did take advantage to catch up on some professional reading. One of my favorite leadership books I revisited was The Five Disciplines of PLC Leaders by NCSM past-president Tim Kanold. I read it a couple of years ago, but continue to go back to it for inspiration and clarity. I hope you, too, found a book (or multiple) that you found intellectually stimulating and inspirational.

The summer months can tend to be somewhat slow in the various states in the Central 1 region and teachers and schools take a breath. The NCSM board takes advantage of the "slower" summer months to have their summer board meeting. The focus of this meeting is to review the work of the past year and beginning to plan for the future. One area of particular interest the board is exploring is in the area of instructional technology.

Additionally, some of our team leaders have also been busy.

This summer, Dr. Edna Bazik attended Active Math Workshops presented by local mathematics educators, Hope Martin and David Spangler, founders of these Active Math Workshops. Active Math is celebrating their 20th year of providing mathematics professional development for teachers of grades K-12.

Illinois is a PARCC state and a lot continues to be happening, especially given that we will be administering the PARCC exam in the 2014-2015 school year. Edna has been very involved serving on a Core Leadership Group (CLG) of PARCC reviewing assessment items for grades 3-8. In the fall, Edna will be working for PARCC in Baltimore, MD as a member of the PARCC Mathematics Data Review. Her participation will contribute to the development of assessment tasks and items that will make up the PARCC's Next-Generation Assessment System.

In Illinois, we are working to clarify exactly who we will be assessing. The current plan is to assess students in grades 3 through 8. At the high school level, we will be using the PARCC as an end-of-course assessment. Those students in Algebra 2/Math 3 (districts may choose between a "traditional" mathematics curriculum or integrated) will be taking the PARCC. This means some of our high school students will not be taking a mathematics assessment.

At Illinois' state conference, Dan Meyer will be the featured speaker. Like many states, we rotate locations, and this year, the Chicago suburban location is new. We are excited to showcase all the great things that are happening in classrooms across the state.

Some other professional learning opportunities in our region include:

  • NCTM Regional in Indianapolis, IN Oct 30-31.
  • And don't forget the NCSM Leadership Seminar on October 29th. The conference is titled It's TIME: Using Imperatives to Support and Motivate Leaders in Mathematics Education. I hope to see you there!
  • Complex Instruction Consortium - November 19th at Niles North High School in Niles, IL. This a consortium of teachers who are interested in implementing complex instruction and group work in their classrooms. Teachers also develop tasks to use in their classroom. Best part is that the day-long training is free!
  • Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics 2014 Conference in Tinley Park, IL.

I send emails to welcome new members, remind members of lapsing memberships, and membership benefits. I will occasionally receive emails back from mathematics education leaders just wanting to network about some ideas or seeking possible resources. It's just a great reminder that the "N" in NCSM is about networking. One of the greatest benefits of our organization! Remember that we are all in this together and have so much to offer one another. It's amazing how much we have in common as we seek to support teachers and students in the learning of mathematics.

As always, if you are planning for an upcoming state conference, let me know if you need an NCSM leader to come speak or if you like NCSM information and handouts to district.

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