Updates from the Math Knowledge Network


MKN Update 1The past few months have been busy for the MKN! On April 17 we held our Annual Advisory Panel Meeting at the Fields Institute, which brought together about 50 educators from across Ontario to discuss work so far and future directions. Attendees represented 12 organization, 10 university, and 5 school board partners, as well as the Ministry of Education, the Fields Institute, and KNAER.

On May 3-4 the MKN was at the OAME 2018 Annual Math Conference where we offered two workshops from KNAER and our four communities of practice, along with several presentations from our members. MKN resources were available for conference attendees at the KNAER/MKN exhibitor table.

See more updates from our CoPs, learn about upcoming events, and find out how you can get involved below.



In April 2018, the Computational Thinking CoP wrote a white paper demonstrating what can happen when Grade 10 Math + Computer Studies are offered as an integrated program. Check out the white paper, Integrated Mathematics + Computer Science – Grade 10: Reforming Secondary School Mathematics Education by CT CoP members, George Gadanidis (Western University) and Jeff Cummings (Wellington Catholic DSB).

MKN Update 2

In May 2018, another white paper was written, which demonstrates what can happen when we use computational modelling as a tool to think-with and learn-with. Read the white paper, Computational Modelling in Elementary Mathematics Education – Making Sense of Coding in Elementary Classrooms by CT CoP members, George Gadanidis (Western University) and Beverly Caswell (Robertson Program, OISE/UT).

MKN Update 3

INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE & MATHEMATICS EDUCATION (mathnework.ca/indigenousknowledge)

Updates from the IK CoP are coming soon! In the meantime, check out their CoP Trailer below.

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Click image to watch trailer



Grade 8-9 Transition

MKN Update 5In March 2018, Dr. Daniel Jarvis hosted a workshop entitled Crossing the Divide: Exploring Critical Transition Issues from Grade 8 to 9 Mathematics at the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences in Toronto.  He further presented a session entitled Grade 8 to 9 Transitions: Exploring Pathways, Resources, and Effective Support Strategies at the Ontario Association for Mathematics Education (OAME) annual conference Infinite Possibilities at Humber College, where he distributed a single page Summary of the 2017 research report entitled Critical Transitions from Grade 8 to Grade 9 Mathematics.  Finally, Dan has been working with Cheryl Hallam, a graphic designer in Kingston, Ontario to develop a responsive website (i.e., for monitors, tablets, and mobile devices) that features introductory videos (Eng/Fr), visual infographics, and links to key resources related to the Year 1 MKN Report.

Locally Developed Grade 9 Classrooms

MKN Update 6The Lakehead University team continued to create and field test resources for the grade 9 locally developed mathematics course. As well, a three-day meeting and teacher workshop was hosted in April, called "Re-envisioning the 'Three R's' from the ground up: Relationships, resilience and resources". This included school visits, team meetings, and a workshop for local teachers. The Technical Report and Executive Summary of this work are now available online.

Future plans include enhanced partnerships with the Board and its Aboriginal Education support staff, as well as the local Old Fort William, to support authentic lesson development with cultural aspects.

High School to University Transition

In April, Dr. Peter Taylor published the article Teach the Mathematics of Mathematicians and presented a Keynote Address, “Why Not?” for the First Year University Mathematics Across Canada: Facts, Community and Vision Conference at the Fields Institute.

In May 2018, Dr. Taylor presented his work on multivariable functions at the secondary level at OAME 2018, worked in 4 secondary schools in Toronto at the Grades 11-12 level, and developed two new units for Grades 11-12 on multivariable functions and game theory. Dr. Taylor continued his work with Grade 11-12 game theory problems with a two-day visit to Lisgar CI, Ottawa in June.

To learn more about Dr. Taylor’s work, visit his Math9-12 website.

MATHEMATICS LEADERSHIP (mathnetwork.ca/math-leadership)

In the previous three months the ML CoP members were very active. The mathematics leadership networks met multiple times—ML2N (Barrie region; April 12-13 and April 30-May 1), NWML2N (Thunder Bay region; April 17-19), MLN (Sudbury region; April 24-25 and May 1-2), and MLNTO (Toronto region; April 23-24). The leadership teams from the participating boards and school authorities worked with Student Achievement Officers (SAOs) and speakers from academia on enhancing their understanding of mathematics content and pedagogy, leadership moves, and evidence-based decision-making. Here are some excerpts from their meeting agendas:

MKN Update 7During the April NWML2N meeting, the participating teams of educators reflected on living the Grandfather Teachings norms within the network and worked on development of proportional reasoning and multiplicative thinking. Also in April, the ML2N facilitators organized activities in which the teams of educators used protocols for data analysis, Lawson’s continuum of multiplicative thinking, and Collaborative Analysis of Student Work. The MLNTO had sessions with Alex Lawson (pictured on the left) and Heather Wark, on student development of multiplicative thinking. The MLN session in May was dedicated to development of (a) flexible computational skills; (b) collective efficacy using the whole school approach; and (c) a community of learners among educators from the North-East region.



Here is what some participants shared:

I have become very comfortable with many leaders in our region, improved my math capacity, and learned many leadership skills. I am able to think system-wide and from various perspectives. (MLN participant)

The continuum provides teachers with a progression flow and names the key ideas and strategies…. Now we have a stronger understanding of the key ideas and are better able to speak to where our students are on the continuum.
(MLNTO participant)

During the April 17 MKN Annual meeting, several representatives of ML CoP member organizations presented. Many thanks to David Nimmo and Velisa Anusic (SAOs) from the ML2N and Heidi Horn-Olivito from the GECDSB for presenting! David and Ve talked about efforts to bring mathematics learning leaders together, while Heidi described how her Board supports development of mathematics leadership among all educators.

MKN Update 8On May 3, Dragana Martinovic presented the overview of the MKN and the ML CoP at the OAME. The GECDSB team (two Principals and a Consultant) presented about the Math Leadership Learning Project, the ML CoP case study. They identified the following conditions that need to be in place for a school to find success with this MLLP:

  • Committed and invested Principal and Vice Principal
  • Committed and invested school-based, cross-divisional math leadership team (school contract, school vision)
  • On-going time for the team to plan and learn
  • On-going support from a Math Facilitator
  • Short cycles of professional learning that target specific instructional practices and build teacher conceptual understanding (tools and representations)
  • Use of data to inform and efficacy of educators
  • The right time and type of student data
  • Monitoring focused on student learning that informs professional learning choices.

On May 4, all of the leadership networks’ facilitators attended the workshop with Jo Boaler in Toronto. The ML CoP also brought a group of teachers from the GECDSB and HWDSB.

On May 31, the networks’ leads met to reflect on their work so far and inform each other about plans for next year. They exchanged experiences and artefacts used with their participants.

In this period, the ML CoP produced the following resources: Reports from the MathPod 2 and the MathPod 3. Alison Boehme from the HWDSB published the blog entry entitled, Viva La Revolution! With Special Thanks to Jo Boaler at the Learning Exchange.

Upcoming events/activities

The Greater Essex County District School Board has extensive plans for professional development during the Summer of 2018. The workshops will target topics such as using concrete materials and technology in mathematics instruction. On August 21-23, the Board will organize the conference titled, Learning Beyond the Horizon - Keeping the VISION Alive! One of the sessions, Leading School Mathematics beyond the Horizon, will specifically bring together Consultants, Administrators, Coaches, and Math Leads.

In August, the ML CoP is bringing four educators to the Visible Learning Institute in Toronto, featuring John Hattie and Jenni Donohoo, with John Almarode facilitating a whole-day session on Visible Learning for Math.

The leadership networks will start a new round of face-to-face meetings in September.


Get Involved!

MKN Update 9Visit our MKN hub on TeachOntario, to share and engage with Ontario educators (and beyond!) through online discussion groups. Find us and follow our page here.

Looking for upcoming learning and sharing opportunities? See our events page and check out our CoP resources. To stay up-to-date on our latest news, activities, and resources, visit mathnetwork.ca, join our mailing list, and follow us on Twitter @mknrcm. If you are interested in getting involved in the work of the MKN, please contact Melanie Langemeyer, MKN Coordinator (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).