Category Archives: Math Resources

Math is often the subject that creates a block for student learning. Listed here are many links to helpful sites that will enable learning and tutoring at school and home for those that need a repeat or different way to look at the taught skills.


Each February, Fresno County Office of Education provides a time and place for MATHCOUNTS CompetitionMATHCOUNTS offers fun and engaging programs that get middle school students excited about math. These programs include the MATHCOUNTS Competition Program, the MATHCOUNTS Club Program, and the MATHCOUNTS Reel Math Challenge.  This year 17 schools competed at The Satellite Student Union at Fresno State.

Winning team, Granite Ridge in Clovis!

Thank you, Jon Dueck for all your work in providing this competition.

Looking for Algebra 1 and Math 1 teachers!

If you are an Algebra I or Math I teacher, please see below.

WestEd, a not-for-profit educational research agency, has been funded by the U.S. Department of Education to conduct a study during the fall 2017 semester to evaluate the Querium StepWise™ Virtual Tutor for Algebra. StepWise is an online supplemental homework and quiz program that uses artificial intelligence to help students improve their mathematics problem solving. Aligned with Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, the intelligent tutoring system provides real-time, personalized tutoring to Algebra 1 students with the goal of achieving outcomes similar to those found with 1:1 tutoring.

Participating math teachers will receive stipends up to $850 for their involvement in this 8-week study! To participate, teachers must: a) be currently teaching Algebra I, and b) have at least part-time 1:1 student access to a computer, laptop, or tablet.

Please indicate your interest in participating by Friday, May 5th:

Please also forward this information to any Algebra 1 teachers who you think might be interested in participating. We look forward to the opportunity to work with you!

Bryan Matlen, Ph.D.
Research Associate, WestEd, STEM program

The Map of Mathematics

As I was cruising through youtube, I found this incredible video that maps out the beginning of mathematics through how it is applied.  I would love to sit down and speak with this guy, Dominic Walliman.  You will see the connections of science, technology, engineering and more.  What an incredible overview.  Enjoy!  ~Sandy

Teaching At Home/Addition

Once your student understands counting with manipulatives and identifies where whole numbers fall on a number line, you can add using both of this visuals.  Start with adding 1+1, put out two beans and push the one and one together.  The student should come up with 2.  Have the child count the one and one and then count it again as 2.  Show the numbers with dots on a paper.  One dot plus one dot equals two dots.  Now add 2+1 and move through the same process.

1+1, 2+1. 3+1, 4+1, 5+1, 6+1…

Then add 1+2 and look at 2+1 again to show student that 1+2 and 2+1 gives you the same number of beans or dots.  This is COMMUTATIVE PROPERTY.  Shows that you can add in either direction and get the same thing.

Move to the number line now.  Put your finger or a pencil on the number 1.  Adding one means moving right by one number.  This will also show that 1+1=2.  Show it with beans, dots and number line for several examples.

Go back and ask if 4+5 = 5+4 to revisit commutative property.

Continue to practice single digit addition until student feels confident.

Don’t miss CMC-Central in Stanislaus

2015 Theme:  Communicating Mathematically
Friday, March 13th, Cathy Carroll, Research Associate with WestEd, will present a session for administrators and lead teachers.
Saturday, March 14th – PI Day!!! – Author Greg Tang (
gregtangmath.comwill open and close the day, with grade span teacher-to-teacher break-outs during the day.

Don’t be left out!  Grab your administrator and join us at CSU Stanislaus for an energizing two day symposium around communication. (Go to or see attached flyer for more information.)

We sincerely hope to see you there!
Your Central Section Board and CCSS Symposium Planning Committee

Lori M. Hamada
President, CMC Central

Calculators in the Classroom?

Calculators in the classroom is a constant debate.  However, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, aka PARCC, had created their own Policy.


PARCC Calculator Policy for
Calculator Sections of the Mathematics Assessments – Originally Released July 2012, Updated October 2014*

Allowable Calculators:

  • Grades 3-5: No calculators allowed, except for students with an approved calculator accommodation (see below)
  • Grades 6-7: Four-function with square root and percentage functions
  • Grade 8: Scientific calculators
  • High school: Graphing calculators (with functionalities consistent with TI -84 or similar models)Additionally, schools must adhere to the following additional guidance regarding calculators:
  • No calculators with Computer Algebra System (CAS) features are allowed.
  • No tablet, laptop (or PDA), or phone-based calculators are allowed during PARCC assessments.
  • Students are not allowed to share calculators within a testing session.
  •  Test administrators must confirm that memory on all calculators has been cleared before and after the testing sessions.
  • Calculators with “QWERTY” keyboards are not permitted.
  • If schools or districts permit students to bring their own hand-held calculators for PARCC assessment purposes, test administrators must confirm that the calculators meet PARCC requirements as defined above.Calculator Accommodations:For students who meet the guidelines in the PARCC Accessibility Features and Accommodations Manual for a calculation device, this accommodation allows a calculation device to be used on non- calculator section of any PARCC mathematics assessment. Four-function with square root and percentage functions are allowable for grades 3-5. Please refer to the allowable calculator list for other grade levels.If a student needs a calculator as part of an accommodation in the non-calculator section, the student will need a hand-held calculator because an online calculator will not be available. If a student needs a specific calculator (e.g., large key, talking), the student can also bring his or her own, provided it is specified in his or her approved IEP or 504 Plan.

    *Calculator specifications were released July 2012. One addition was made July 2014 to allow four function calculators with square root AND percentage functions. Additional guidance on allowable calculators for accommodations for grades was included September 2014. Additional clarification was added to the FAQs October 2014.

Frequently Asked Questions about PARCC’s Calculator Policy:

1. Can students use hand-held calculators for computer-based assessments?

Yes. For 2014-2015, students may use hand-held calculators on computer-based Mathematics PARCC assessments on sections where a calculator is allowable (grades 6 through high school), if they prefer. All hand-held calculators must meet PARCC requirements as defined in PARCC’s Calculator Policy.

It is recommended that schools identify which students prefer to use a hand-held calculator prior to administration to ensure that a sufficient number of calculators is available. Hand-held calculators are required for paper-based testing. Test administrators are responsible for ensuring hand-held calculators meet specifications, including ensuring the memory is cleared before and after administration.

2. Can students use their own calculators on PARCC assessments?

Yes. However, test administrators must confirm that the calculators meet PARCC requirements as defined in PARCC’s Calculator Policy.

3. Can students use calculators on PARCC assessments that are allowable for higher or lower grade level assessments?

No. In order to provide comparability across schools in the consortium, students must only use calculators that are allowable for their grade/course assessment. PARCC assessment items were developed with PARCC’s Calculator Policy in mind. Allowing for the use of a calculator that is designated for a lower or higher grade level assessment may unfairly disadvantage or advantage students and is, therefore, not allowed.

4. If a student takes an Algebra I course where a graphing calculator is used, but the student is taking a grade 8 PARCC assessment where a scientific calculator is used, which calculator should they use?

Calculator usage is assessment specific, regardless of the student’s grade level (e.g., a student who takes the assessment for a specific grade or course must use the calculator required by PARCC’s Calculator Policy for that assessment). In this example, the student should use a scientific calculator, since the student is taking the grade 8 PARCC assessment. A student taking the Algebra I assessment would use the graphing calculator for this assessment regardless of the student’s grade level. Schools should ensure students have ample opportunity to practice with the allowable calculator for their PARCC grade/course assessment.

5. Does my school have to buy new calculators?

Maybe. All schools participating in computer-based PARCC assessments will be provided an online calculator through the computer-based delivery platform. If a student chooses to use a hand-held calculator, he or she may either bring their own calculator or the school may provide the calculator. For paper-based assessments, all students in grades 6 and higher must have a hand-held calculator for the calculator portion of the assessment. Either schools must ensure they have a sufficient number of the appropriate calculators available or allow students to bring their own. All calculators must meet PARCC requirements defined in PARCC’s Calculator Policy.

Teachers need to make sure students know how to utilize calculators  for their success not for the test but for future classes and their careers.

Following are photos from Miss Watson’s 7th-grade class in Peoria, Illinois.  You can see that students are grouped or partnered, utilizing hands-on learning and graphing calculators.  Students are engaged, utilizing math vocabulary and higher-level thinking skills in order to encompass their learning.  Students are taking responsibility to fill learning gaps by learning from others.  Teacher is the coach and not the center of learning.  Changing to project-based learning in cooperative learning style using manipulative and calculators with the teacher as a resource will change the learning environment to productive experience for all involved.  ~Sandy


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