CMC Central Symposium

Opening Doors to Our Students' Futures

March 8 & 9, 2019
UC Merced
Merced, CA

Symposium Flyer

Friday's session is full. To be placed on a waiting list, contact Scott Ellingson at [email protected] 

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Symposium Program


Speaker Handouts

Friday March 8

11:30 AM Check In

12:15 - 1:45 PM San Francisco Unified: One District’s Story

San Francisco Unified recently eliminated all tracking of students in their school district. The goal is to create equity for all students. They will share their journey and successes.  To learn more, visit


2 - 3:30 PM Dan Meyer: Designing for Mathematical Surprise

A former HS math teacher and advocate for better math instruction, he earned his doctorate from Stanford University and is currently the Chief Academic Officer at Desmos. He has worked with educators internationally in all 50 states. To learn more, visit dy/dan – less helpful - Dan Meyer.



8:15 AM Check In

9 - 10:15 AM Morning Keynote - Graham Fletcher: Teaching on the Edge of Understanding and at the Speed of Learning

Graham Fletcher has served in education as a classroom teacher, math instructional lead, and currently as a math specialist. His work with the math progressions and problem-based lessons has led him to present throughout North America and beyond.

To learn more, visit Questioning My Metacognition | Trying to be a better teacher.  In addition to his keynote, Graham will also be presenting the following breakout sessions on  Saturday.

  • Grades K-2 Breakout Session: Harnessing the Power of the Purposeful Task 

  • Grades 3-5 Breakout Session: Harnessing the Power of the Purposeful Task (3-5)

10:30 - 11:45 AM Breakout Session 1


Dr. Barbie Buckner: NASA Scale of Discovery: Fractions, Ratios, & Conversions
Come explore applications of ratios, fractions, and conversions with hands-on standards-aligned STEM activities. Engage with space and our universe as you apply scale to distance, time, and size. Learn how to apply fractions to our solar system.


Professor Harry Cheng: Engaging Struggling Math Students with Coding and Robotics
Many students struggle with traditional approaches to math education and end up failing year after year. Join this session to learn how UC Davis C-STEM Math Curriculum for Secondary Schools provides a unique, hands-on approach to engaging students with hands-on physical computing and robotics while learning the CCSS. Learning math with computing can be a cost-effective way to close the math achievement gap and provide basic CS education for all students without adding new courses. 

Bring your computers and we encourage you to visit, to install the C-STEM software before the session.


Graham Fletcher: Harnessing the Power of the Purposeful Task (Grades TK-2)
In this session, we’ll explore the power of problem-based lessons and how they can be used as a formative assessment tool. In specific, we’ll look at the structure of 3-Act Math Tasks and how these tasks can be used to build conceptual understanding in the primary grades. Working through multiple tasks, we’ll develop an understanding of the purposeful moves that take place throughout a lesson. Participants will leave with an understanding of what 3-Act Tasks are and how to implement them in their classroom. 

  Brad Fulton: Using the the 100’s Chart to Successfully Transition to Algebra
Students encounter the 100's chart in the primary grades. Learn how to build upon their understanding of simple arithmetic to foster a deep understanding of algebraic skills. A seamless transition from arithmetic to algebra will have all students engaged in learning. A classroom-ready handout is available.
  Jillian Green: Conscious Reteaching in High School Math 
Co Speaker: Flor Perez

High School math teachers know that student gaps in learning appear in all classrooms, from Algebra 1 to AP Calculus. Rather than blaming the student or the previous teacher, discover ways to reteach basic skills and concepts while maintaining the rigor of higher level HS math courses. Through reteaching, students gain mathematical confidence and are empowered to ask genuine questions without fear. 


Dennis Mulhearn: Challenge Yourself, Solve Problems
Yes, we are instructors: "Here is a tool. This is how it works. Practice until you can operate it." But, oh so much more we are coaches: We must prepare our students to use their strengths and their experience to solve all the problems they will meet once they leave us. Put yourself in your student's place. Are YOU up to the task yourself? Are you ready to channel your strengths to solve these problems? Team up or work alone to solve challenging problems assigned to you. Come and find out!

  Christine Newell: Building  Mathematical Language Routines
Mathematics Language Routines (MLR) provide opportunity and scaffolding for all students to engage in meaningful discussions by intentionally and systematically developing the language of mathematics. Experience MLRs and see them in action in classrooms as we explore how to build students' mathematics register by honoring and amplifying their emerging language and ideas.
  Michael Nordlin: Maximizing Student Talk - A Powerful Vehicle for Learning

Productive Classroom Conversations are essential for fostering deep learning in the classroom at all grades. You will learn why student talk is so important for the students' learning and for the teachers' formative data. We will also work through some tasks so you can see it's application tethered to visual models. You will also understand what is necessary for making Productive Classroom Conversations a reality.


Mike PersingerMath Rigor More Test?
Increase Math learning not by increased test prep, but through selectively integrating Maker projects with a focus on math rigor. See English Learners and economically disadvantaged students build agency, engage in engineering practices, and learn to take risks - contributing to Maker Mindset.


Mark Petrie: Using Technology to Enhance ELD Math Lessons
Technology is great, but, how does a teacher apply it to a lesson in a way that supports ELD growth and enhances the lesson. When is appropriate to use high technology, and when is low technology the key. Tools like DESMOS and Polyup provide technical support. A teacher can enhance their presentation by using Doceri and an iPad interactively with an Ebook. It is important that a teacher design and tailor technology to a lesson and include vocabulary support & scaffolding to support learning.

  Cynthia Raff: Integer Intervention: Strategies for Middle School Students
Helping middle school students understand integer operations so they can be successful in algebra and beyond is no easy task. Looking at intervention research and how that really plays out in a classroom will guide this session. We will explore strategies to develop concepts and build fluency.


11:45 AM - 12:45 PM Lunch

12:45 PM - 2 PM Breakout Session 2


Dr. Barbie Buckner: NASA Smart Skies: Using Aeronautics for DTR Problems 
Come learn about NASA, Smart Skies activities that use math to simulate and solve real world distance-rate-time problems of air traffic control. Students can manipulate planes on their routes, the corresponding distance vs. time graph, and the equation of each line on the graph. Learn about NASA, FREE Sector 33 App that extends this concept to a mobile device. Walk away with additional resources including worksheets, assessments and educational guides.


Ned Diamond: Putting the A and M In STEAM
The visual beauty of math is the perfect way to engage students of all backgrounds and an effective way to lead to differentiated questions within the same activity. This interactive session models an engaging classroom where students play with art and math, discovering cool things about multiples, factors, parity, and arithmetic and discover patterns and practice logical reasoning. It's a creative time with ready to use lessons.


Gary Eisenberg: Singing, Dancing, and Playing Through PreK-4 Math
Ready to use, practical ideas to enhance their PreK-4 math instruction through songs, dances, and games. Participants will gain invaluable resources that are easily accessible through YouTube.


Graham Fletcher: Harnessing the Power of the Purposeful Task, Grades 3-5
In this session, we’ll explore the power of problem-based lessons and how they can be used as a formative assessment tool. In specific, we’ll look at the structure of 3-Act Math Tasks and how these tasks can be used to build conceptual understanding in the intermediate grades. Working through multiple tasks, we’ll develop an understanding of the purposeful moves that take place throughout a lesson. Participants will leave with an understanding of what 3-Act Tasks are and how to implement them in their classroom. 

  Sarah Galasso: Number Lines: Not Just for Counting

Number lines are powerful tools. How do we tap into that power to go on a journey from numbers to algebraic relationships that will open doors for deeper understanding? We will investigate connections between number lines and the exploration of expressions and equations.

  Denise Green: Enacting Mathematics Discourse Practices
Co Speaker: Dr. Dennis Kombe

Our team will share activities and strategies enacted during a year-long professional learning to promote classroom discourse in support of all learners, based on Smith and Stein, 5 practices for orchestrating productive mathematics discussions. We will share how teachers used rich mathematical tasks to deepen student understanding of mathematics. Participants will engage in a sample task and learn how teams incorporated these classroom discussion practices to impact student learning.


Chris Luzniak: Amplifying Student Voice in Math Class
Co Speaker: Jemma Kennedy
Participating in discussions in math and science classes is a socially risky endeavor. As teachers, we want to encourage our students' voices, yet keep up with the long list of content. How do we help students share their thinking and develop their argumentation? Let's explore! We will share ideas for shifting the culture in your classroom without wholesale changes in curriculum. Come learn how adjusting just a few minutes minutes of your lessons can have a large effect on your entire classroom.

  John Martin: Making Mathematics Learning Visible Using Algebra Tiles

Participants will use both physical and digital manipulatives to help students create a visual picture of mathematics. The topics covered range from operations on integers to solving equations to operations on polynomials. We will explore the continuum of moving from concrete to representational to abstract.

  Patty Morrison: Using Literature in the PreK-1 Classroom

Children love to hear stories. I will share ready to go lesson plans incorporating fun literature books and math concepts for the Pre-k - 1 Grade Level. Come Join the Fun!!


Dr. Binsen Qjan: Programming and Physical Computing with Arduino
Join this hands-on session to learn the user-friendly UC Davis C-STEM physical computing with Arduino curriculum. Learn about the endless exciting possibilities of physical computing and how to incorporate making into your classroom. Arduino boards can be integrated into Math, Computer Science, Engineering, and Robotics courses, including afterschool programs and summer camps.

  Jeremiah Ruesch: Math EduProtocols: Redefining Math Instruction

Confucious said, "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." Empowering the student into doing the learning, this session models 6 powerful Math EDUProtocols follow Madeline Hunter's lesson planning components that transfers the action into the students hands.

  Robert Vriesman: Teaching Mathematics - An Intuitive Approach
This method of teaching math builds upon a students innate knowledge of mathematics. Rather than procedures and formulas, it guides the student to an intuitive understanding much faster than traditional methods. It borrows from recent research of mindset and interleaving. Emphasis is put on writing one’s own materials.


2:15 - 3:30 PM Breakout Session 3


Kristen Acosta: Hanging Math Out to Dry with Clothesline Math
Do you know that number line appears in the standards more than 26 times? Come explore how the clothesline (an interactive number line) creates the opportunity for all students to develop number sense with whole numbers, fractions and decimals.


Professor Harry Cheng: RoboBlocky For Learning Math, Computing, Robotics, and Art
This workshop will provide teachers with hands-on experience and skills necessary to integrate RoboBlockly (, a free web-based robot simulation environment, in their STEAM infused mathematics classroom teaching. The RoboBlockly curriculum includes student self-guided Hour of Code, Robotics, and Coding Activities. Participants will also explore the Roboblockly Activity Portal where a growing user community shares ideas and creations.

Bring your computers and we encourage you to visit, to install the C-STEM software before the session.

  Howie Hua: How I Humanize the Math Classroom

The math classroom can easily be turned into a class where students wish they were robots: just memorize formulas, theorems, and definitions, and, plug and chug. How do we bring back the human aspect of math? How do we show that we value our students‚voices? In this session, I will share many pedagogical strategies that you can start using in your classroom next week that humanize your math classroom, making your students feel that they are more than their ID number.

  Kathleen Jalapour: Don’t Track Your Math Class “Level” Them Instead

Math tracking damages those students who can least afford it, and the damage to confidence can be fateful. There is a widespread movement towards de-tracking middle school math, but what do we replace it with? At Keys School, we have found that the most learning-appropriate progression moves students through the "levels" Concrete -> Pictorial -> Abstract -> Challenge. We'll bring examples of the concrete/pictorial phase and share our experiences with de-tracking. Come with questions!

  Travlyn Langendorff: Reading Strategies for the Math Classroom

Now that textbooks are more text rich than ever, and our students often read well below grade level or are English Learners, it is important for math teachers to have strategies to help their students access the material. This session will cover the fundamentals of reading instruction and provide some concrete strategies that a teacher can try in their own classroom.

  Chris Luzniak: From Mis-Takes to First-Takes: The Role of Reframing Errors
Co Speaker: Jemma Kennedy

Peter Drucker famously quipped, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast every time”. What can that perspective teach us about our work to grow reflective, innovative problem-solvers? This session will highlight the importance of encouraging mistake-making and reflection (for students and teachers!) in developing a culture of joyful growth and innovation. We will present strategies to move students and teachers from a posture of hiding, mis-takes‚ to one of reflectively embracing first-takes.

  Christopher Quirarte: Fishbowl Lesson Study 
Co Speaker: Dr. Theodore Sagun

Come and learn about processes for quality, long-term professional development for teachers and parents. This is a process for teachers to generate a shared knowledge of practice with parents and understanding student thinking to make instructional decisions and to support the thinking at home.


Dr. Amelie Schinck-Mikel: Opening the Door to 3-D Visualization
Co Speakers: 
Dr. Elsa Medina, Adriana Vazquez, Emily Mapa
Participants will explore a series of fun geometry tasks designed to promote 3-D visualization, geometric thinking and language. Using simple tools such as multilinks cubes and isometric paper, the activity will provide opportunities for participants to create 3-D structures, and 2-D representations of 3-D objects. The end product of the activity is a 3-D puzzle sure to foster engagement and independent mathematical thinking with students of all ages.

  Mary SirodyStudent Thinking is Not an Oxymoron
Reflecting on student thinking can give us clues to design more effective, engaging, efficient instruction. We will connect diagnostic results, big math ideas, powerful instructional routines to extend and deepen all students' thinking-Free resources


Priscilla Sustaita-Clark: Student Vision: Empower with Numberless Math Stories
Co Speaker: Sarah Crocker
Use math during Designated ELD? See how it CAN be done for language learners. Using student visualization to begin the process of sentence unpacking (from the ELD Framework), to scaffold the technique of analyzing language for primary students. Numberless Math stories are the perfect vehicle to empower them to understand how to construct and deconstruct the language of mathematics.