Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Small Classroom Grant Awardee - Shari Kepner

Those Things You Can’t Teach Without
I often tell other math teachers that there are a few non-negotiable tools that I need for my classroom: individual dry erase boards, graphing utilities to place in the hands of my students when and as needed that can be used anytime/anywhere (including on those long bus rides to extra-curricular events!), a document camera, an interactive whiteboard, and a graphing calculator emulator. I applied for and accepted a position at a new-to-me school this year, so trying to outfit my classroom with the tools I want was a bit of an adventure at the start of the school year. MCTM helped to make this adventure a happy one!
I used an MCTM Small Classroom Grant to purchase TI SmartView™ CE Emulator Software for the TI-84+ family of graphing calculators. A perpetual license for a single computer costs $156 and can be purchased from a dealer (look for discounts in the exhibitor hall if you’re attending NCTM in San Antonio this spring). You can also download a free, 90-day trial (visit Once you download the free trial, you have the option of purchasing a license online.
I really enjoy teaching with TI SmartView™ because it makes student-centered activities involving graphing calculators SO easy to manage. While one student (like Leah, at right) is manipulating the emulator in front of the class, I can check in with all the other student pairs or groups that might be having difficulty with their own calculators, whether it be keystroke sequences, error messages, or mode/format issues.
My absolute favorite function of TI SmartView™ is the  quick, easy drag-and-drop screenshot capability with SMART Notebook software. Yes, TI Connect™ software is free, but the necessity to use more cables, get your computer to recognize the calculator cable, and then the amount of mouse clicks needed to embed the image(s) into whatever document or program that you want to use...ugh. The drag-and-drop screenshot feature allows me to quickly put a graph/window/table (see left) - any screen view that you can create on the calculator - into our class notes (via SMART Notebook) that students can then access later on our class webpage to remind themselves of the necessary steps in their calculator exploration procedures.

If you have not explored the classroom possibilities of TI SmartView™, I strongly encourage you to check out the free trial. Additionally, I found the MCTM Small Classroom Grant Application to be quite simple to fill out and submit. Thanks, MCTM! -Shari Kepner

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Job opportunity and PD opportunities

Here is a new job ad
Plains School Job Opening

Job Description

Plains School District is seeking a 7-12 mathematics teacher for the 2016-2017 academic year.  The teacher will be responsible for teaching a range of mathematics courses including 7-8 math, Geometry, Algebra II, and Trigonometry/Pre-Calculus.

Applicants interested in coaching/advising extracurricular activities are encouraged to apply. 

Academic Qualifications
Applicant must be able to meet the qualifications for appropriate Montana certification and endorsement.
Supplemental Information
Please complete the following to apply:
11.)    District Application
22.)    Letter of Interest
33.)    Resume
44.)    Complete college Transcripts
56.)    3 letters of recommendation

District application can be found at:

Here are two new opportunities for professional development

Attn. Teachers - Apply to be a part of Springtime in the Rockies this April 21-22!
Montana Learning Center at Canyon Ferry Lake

The Montana Learning Center has teamed up with Boeing, SAE International, and Rocky Mountain AWIM Initiative to bring you a unique opportunity to be on the forefront of K-5 STEAM education right here in Montana! Come and learn about engaging hands-on curriculum that will excite you and your students about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Springtime in the Rockies also includes a behind-the-scenes tour of Boeing-Helena.

Teachers who participate in Springtime in the Rockies will receive 18 Montana Office of Public Instruction renewal units and a complimentary SAE's A World in Motion classroom kit! Room and board is also provided free of charge for participants at the Montana Learning Center.

Space is limited to only 30 participating K-5 STEAM teacher leaders who teach in the formal classroom setting in Montana, so apply today! Applications are due March 1st. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance shortly after the application deadline.

For more information and registration, please visit:

Any questions regarding this opportunity should be directed to

The Springtime in the Rockies conference is proudly designed and delivered by fellow Montana teachers. Funding for this opportunity is provided by Boeing, SAE International, Rocky Mountain AWIM Initiative, and the Montana Learning Center.


Montana Learning Center at Canyon Ferry Lake is a non-profit organization providing educational enrichment through critical thinking with the goal to inspire our next generation to do extraordinary things for the betterment of society. The MLC has proudly been serving students and teachers since 1984.

University of Washington’s College of Education and Teaching Channel invite you to participate in the pilot of an online Learning Lab. Argumentation in Mathematics An interactive online course designed for K-2 classroom teachers Constructing arguments and critiquing the reasoning of others is one of eight standards for mathematical practice described by the Common Core State Standards. Children of all ages can engage in mathematical argumentation by making claims about mathematical relationships, supporting their reasoning with evidence, making sense of one another’s arguments, and working together to try to reach consensus about whether mathematical claims are valid. This course features two classroom activities through which we can support our youngest learners to engage in argumentation: Which One Doesn’t Belong? and Same or Not the Same? Each week, you will explore ideas related to argumentation through brief readings, video vignettes, and participating in discussion. Lab coursework is meant to be interactive and closely tied to your classroom instruction, including opportunities to try out these activities with your students, discuss practice with other K-2 teachers, and share artifacts from your own practice. Course Details: ● This Learning Lab consists of 10 weeks of lessons. ● The course will begin mid-March and will include one “break week” in the spring. ● This pilot is offered at no cost. In fact, teachers will receive a $250 stipend for completion of the course and providing feedback via survey and interview. ● Coursework is likely to take 1-3 hours to complete each week. This can be completed at any point in the week that works for you. ● Some assignments involve filming students engaging in argumentation or submitting student work samples. You will need to have access to a camera or smartphone that will allow you to submit video artifacts. ● Researchers at the University of Washington are studying what teachers learn from professional collaboration in the Labs, using records of online work. Teachers who participate in a Learning Lab have the option to be included in this research. You may participate in a Learning Lab and receive compensation without participating in the research. Space in this pilot is limited. For questions, contact Kendra Lomax at<>. Project funded by the National Science Foundation