Thursday, March 31, 2016

Dean Preble Award Nominations Open

The Dean Preble Award

The Dean Preble Memorial is awarded annually to a Montana educator who has made significant contributions to the teaching and learning of mathematics and who has consistently assumed a leadership role among math educators. Teacher-leaders at all levels, kindergarten through university, are eligible.

The Award
This award is given in memory of our colleague Dean Preble, who passed away from cancer in the fall of 1998. Dean was recognized for his unfailing support for mathematics education in the state of Montana. His dedication to the mathematics teaching profession, his love of his students, his involvement in state and national mathematics organizations, and his devotion to the improvement of mathematics education for all were unparalleled.

One of Dean's wishes was to establish an annual award to recognize outstanding teachers and leaders of mathematics in Montana. In keeping with his wish, MCTM created the Dean Preble Memorial Award. The award consists of an inscribed plaque, a $300 stipend, and a lifetime membership in MCTM. The award is presented at the MCTM annual meeting in October.

Award Criteria
Any member of MCTM may submit a nomination. Current members of the MCTM Board of Directors may not be nominated for this award.
  • The nominee must be a current MCTM member.
  • The nominee must have taught mathematics in Montana.
  • The nominee must have a record of significant and consistent contributions to the teaching and learning of mathematics.
  • The nominee must have a substantial record of participation and leadership in professional activities involving mathematics education.

Nomination Procedure
Nominations should consist of a maximum of two, double-spaced, typewritten pages and should directly address the criteria outlined above. The name, address, telephone number, and present position of both the nominee and the nominator must be included.
Deadline for submissions for the Dean Preble Memorial Award is June 15 annually. Nominations may be sent or e-mailed to:
Cliff Bara
Box 610
Troy - MT - 59935

Thursday, March 24, 2016

M Cubed Registration open

The Montana Math Meet (M Cubed) is a brand new conference and professional development opportunity sponsored by the Montana Council of Teachers of Mathematics.  M Cubed is a unique professional development opportunity for anyone teaching math at any level K-20.  M Cubed is different than other conferences you have attended in the past.

Cost: Unlike traditional conferences that have steep registration fees, this conference will be free for all MCTM members.  Non-members can also attend for a fee of $25.

Schedule: In traditional conferences there is very little unstructured time. M Cubed has unstructured time for discussions on a variety of topics.  When you register you will choose topic groups that you are interested in participating in.  Lunches will be spent with your topic groups discussing ideas.  You can also meet with your topic groups during the afternoon both days.

Participation:  In a traditional conference, presentations are structured and opportunities for attendees to participate in presentations are often limited.  At M Cubed, there are several lot of ways for you to share your ideas with others.  You can present a five or ten minute idea in the "My Favorite" sessions.  We have been sharing examples of "My Favorite" presentations on the MCTM newsletter.   You can also lead a thirty minute session on a topic of your choice. Each thirty minute session will include 15 minutes of time to present and 10-15 minutes for the group to discuss and give feedback to the presenter.

M Cubed will be held at Montana Tech in Butte on August 10th and 11th.  For more information about the conference or to register, please see the conference website.  We hope to see everyone in Butte in August!

Hilary Risser, President Elect

Monday, March 7, 2016

Opportunity for Montana Mathematics and Science Teachers

A new MSP leadership grant is accepting applications March 1st-March 31st.   Click here to apply Here is information about the program:

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

MCTM Elections are HERE!! Please vote.

It’s Time to Vote! 

Hopefully you have received a ballot in your e-mail inbox with a unique code and the website to vote at!   

If you have not received this e-mail, then check your SPAM folder, as it may have gone into there. 

If you still have not received the e-mail, please contact David Erickson (MCTM Membership Chair) at to update your e-mail address in our membership list. 

Thank you for taking the time to vote! 

The bylaws of the Montana Council of Teachers of Mathematics Article III, Section 1 states:   “The membership of the Council shall elect from its members eight (8) directors.  The term of office for each director shall be three (3) years.  These directors shall be elected in such a way that each of the five regions shall always be represented by at least one representative. The directors shall also be elected in such a way that each level, elementary (K-4), upper elementary (5-8), secondary (9-12), and higher education (13-up) shall be represented by no less than one director at all times.  No member of the MCTM may serve more than one elected term unless a time of five years has elapsed between terms.” 

We would like to thank the following directors for their service on the MCTM board over the last three years:
-         John George, Region 3, 9-12 grade band
-        Pam Murnion, Region 3, K-4 grade band
-        Jennifer Brackney, Region 4, 5-8 grade band

This election, among the three new directors there will need to be representation from Region 3 and the K-4 grade band.  We have excellent director nominations – please read their candidate biographies!

Becky Berg – Region 4, K – 4 grade band
School:  Billings Public Schools

City:  Billings, MT  59101

Present Teaching Assignment:   K-6 Instructional Math Coach

Education Background:  
Bachelor’s in Elementary Education, Math Concentration from University of North Dakota, Grand Forks
Master’s in Educational Technology, Boise State University

Teaching Experience:
  • 13 years of classroom teaching experience in Grades 1, 3, 5, 6 for Elko County School District
  • 7 years as a Billings Public Schools Instructional Math Coach
  • 17 years experience providing Professional Development for educators, mostly in technology and math areas.
  • Various contract work for colleges developing and teaching education courses such as Intro to Elementary Education, Science Methods, Technology integration, Portfolio Development with Canvas

Activities in MCTM: I have provided sessions at your MCTM conferences in the past, however, not in the past couple of years due to other commitments.

Other Information (activities, awards, organizational memberships, etc.): I am a member of NCSM.  

What positive traits you will bring to the board?
I enjoy getting to connect and learn through other math educators.  I am passionate about the importance of supporting teachers through face-2-face, blended learning, and other media to reach teachers.  I have a good understanding of what quality math instruction should look like in K-6, very much a balance of concepts, procedures and application.

I am also hoping to do a better job of promoting MCTM to our elementary educators, as the membership is limited in this area.

What role MCTM should take in Montana mathematics?
MCTM can serve as leaders and advocates for quality math education and PD in the state of Montana.  Encouraging and supporting teachers in their demanding roles is a major role that MCTM can play.

Rusty Bowers, Region 2, 9-12 grade band
Fort Benton High School

Fort Benton

Present Teaching Assignment:
I am currently teaching 3 sections of HS math: algebra 1, algebra 3, and AP calculus.  This year I am also the technology coordinator for the district and Assistant Principal for HS/MS/ELEM as well.

Education Background:
I am currently in my last semester of my Educational Leadership masters from MSU-Bozeman.  I also have a master's and bachelor's degree in Mathematics Education from MSU-Bozeman as well.

Teaching Experience:
I am currently in my ninth year of teaching HS math. My first four years of teaching were in Sheridan, MT which is a small class C school.  I was the only HS math teacher in the district.  Then my last four years were teaching HS math in Belgrade.  I went from the only HS math teacher to being one of eight in the HS math department.  I am been part of developing an integrated curriculum while at Belgrade and I have learned so much about math education in the process.

Activities in MCTM:
The only thing I can think of is presenting for MEA conferences

Other Information (activities, awards, organizational memberships, etc.): 
I am part of the Montana Teacher-Leader Initiative from OPI. I was a member of the 4-State Collaborative Project that included MT, ND, SD, IA. I am also part of the STREAM project.  I am a member of the core design team, I helped design the HS geometry module, and facilitated the online portion of our module.  I am also presenting HS math sessions for the MIET workshops and also for the Golden Triangle Consortium.

What positive traits you will bring to the board?
My motivation as a math educator is to help my students understand and appreciate mathematics better. I have built my grass roots curriculum that I teach, without a textbook, in a way that makes sense to me and also my students.  I love technology and use geogebra, desmos, nearpod, and other technology resources, almost on a daily basis.  I have been trying to find my own way of sharing a meaningful math "story" with my students so that they can appreciate the structure and logic of mathematics.  I have many good ideas that have been tested and others that have not been tested yet.  I am also a positive and insightful person that will bring a constructive nature to the MCTM board.  

What role MCTM should take in Montana mathematics? 
I have asked this question since I started teaching HS math, "What is the motivation of me joining MCTM?" One response is the fact that there is a PD grant that I could win for $500, or something like that.  Other than that, I haven't really heard of a good, solid reason.  I would love to see MCTM be the one-stop shop for all the events and professional development available in the state.  Since I have been part of many projects in the state, I love the fact that professional development is evolving into teach leadership.  Again, since I am part of different projects, there is not a one-stop place that shares these opportunities with others.  I know that MCTM can be the informational powerhouse it used to be, plus more.  I think about my fellow colleagues who know nothing of the work that is going on around the state.  I think that if the MCTM site had everything in the state available, we would get more members and better enrollment in future PD opportunities.

Brooke Taylor, Region 4, 9-12 grade band
School: Billings Senior High School

City: Billings

Present Teaching Assignment: I currently teach Honors Algebra 2 & Pre-Algebra

Education Background: B.A. in Mathematics Education (5-12) from Bethel University, M.Ed. in School Counseling from Liberty University, working on Ed.D. in Curriculum & Instruction (Mathematics Education emphasis) through MSU

Teaching Experience: 1 year in North Carolina, 2 years in Tennessee, 1 year in Kentucky (military base school), 4 years now at Senior - all at the high school level teaching: Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Advanced Algebra & Trig, and AP Calculus, and remediation/support classes in Algebra 1 & bridge class between Algebra & Geometry

Activities in MCTM: I am newer to MCTM, but I have participated in Math Circles in Billings, presented at MEA/MFT in 2015, was part of the winning team for MCTM Trivia Night in 2015!, have taken part in work of integrating IEFA with math standards and dispersing them across the state, and am a part of developing professional development for math teachers across Montana with CCSSO, Montana Math Leaders, and STREAM.

Other Information (activities, awards, organizational memberships, etc.):  I'm currently working on National Board Certification, am a finalist for Montana for the PAEMST award,
teach an online course with MTDA,  and participate in the Teacher-Leadership Initiative through NEA.  And I have two little munchkins whom I love dearly and keep me busy too.
What positive traits you will bring to the board?  Even though I am a math teacher, I am also a lifelong learner. I continuously strive to better my knowledge and practices in the teaching of mathematics.  I will bring this passion for learning and excitement to try new ideas in order to serve well on the board.  With my involvement in mathematics in the state, I can bring those experiences and find ways to tie MCTM into other goings on in the math community in Montana.

What role MCTM should take in Montana mathematics?  I believe that MCTM should be the "hub" for mathematics teaching in Montana.  MCTM should be the place that teachers can go to connect with other teachers, gain materials for lessons and learning, and offer members a place to ask questions and gain understandings from others.  I hope to be able to contribute to this endeavor in the future!

LeAnne Yenny, Region 3, 5-8 grade band
School: Emily Dickinson Elementary School

City: Bozeman

Present Teaching Assignment: 5th grade teacher

Education Background: The 2015 - 16 school year marks my 21st year teaching. 
  • 2 years, grade 5 teacher, Bozeman, MT
  • 2 years, Teacher in Residence at Montana State University - Bozeman, Department of Mathematical Sciences
  • 11 years, Middle School Math and Science, Sacajawea Middle School, Bozeman
  • 2 years, Peace Corps Volunteer, Philippines
  • 4 years, teacher, Harrison, MT
Activities in MCTM:
Past SW Montana Math Contest Director (3 years)

Other Information (activities, awards, organizational memberships, etc.):  
National Board Certified in Early Adolescent Mathematics

What positive traits you will bring to the board?
Leadership, Experience, Enthusiasm, Creativity, and Commitment

What role MCTM should take in Montana mathematics?
Leadership. With the constant advances in educational pedagogy, MCTM should serve as the leader in teacher outreach and growth. 

Joe Zephyrs, Region 1, 5-8 grade band
My name is Joe Zephyrs and I am currently the 5th through 8th grade math teacher at Sussex School, a small independent community school located in Missoula, MT. I recently received my M.Ed. from the University of Montana's Curriculum and Instruction program under the advisement of David Erickson. As a professional mathematics educator, I'm interested in how literature and games can positively impact students' interest and engagement in the curriculum. I really enjoy the Math Circles and how they help to bring together and connect local math teachers, and think MCTM can take an increased role in providing more frequent opportunities for local gatherings.