March 2021 - Oregon Math Educator Update

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Oregon Department of Education - Oregon achieves - together

Oregon Math Educator Update - March 2021

people standing on a hill

The monthly Oregon Math Educator Update is a primary mathematics education communication tool of the Oregon Department of Education (ODE). Its purpose is to provide resources that connect educators to mathematics work happening in our state, including resources centering anti-racist math education. External resources are provided for review by individual educators whose professional evaluation and judgment should guide their usefulness in supporting local conversations.

Photo by Baim Hanif on Unsplash

ODE’s Commitment to Equity and Access in Mathematics Education

OMP logo vertical

An equitable mathematics system intentionally broadens participation and engagement of all students, harnessing cultural, linguistic, and mathematical competencies they bring to the classroom. ODE is committed to collaborating with education partners across the state to analyze our system of mathematics education through the Oregon equity lens in order to change policies and practices that lead to (historically) inequitable student outcomes.  The vision of the Oregon Math Project is to engineer a system of equitable math instruction where all students are invited to the table with an authentic sense of belonging, purpose, and joy throughout their K-12 learning.  

To achieve this goal, ODE has identified four core commitments which are described in more detail on the ODE Math Standards website, and will be focal points of upcoming newsletters.

  • Commitment 1: Provide a strong foundation of mathematical understanding and fluency for every student (March 2021 Focus)
  • Commitment 2: Apply mathematics through authentic problem solving opportunities for students (April 2021 Focus)
  • Commitment 3: Implement inclusive active learning strategies that engage students with content both inside and outside the classroom (May 2021 Focus)
  • Commitment 4: Dismantle systemic barriers based on perceptions of students’ mathematical readiness rooted in racially-biased or otherwise invalid assumptions (June 2021 Focus)

Commitment 1 - Foundation of fluency and understanding

boy writing on paper

National Academies Press (NAP) has defined five strands of mathematical proficiency as (1) conceptual understanding, (2) procedural fluency, (3) strategic competence, (4) adaptive reasoning, and (5) productive disposition. ODE is committed to a strong foundation of both procedural fluency and conceptual understanding which are defined by NAP as: 

  • Conceptual understanding refers to the integrated and functional grasp of mathematical ideas, which enables [students] to learn new ideas by connecting those ideas to what they already know. 
  • Procedural Fluency is defined as the skill in carrying out procedures flexibly, accurately, efficiently, and appropriately. (NAP, 2001, p. 116)

Some resources to support conversations around fluency and understanding consistent with learning research are provided below. We invite you to share additional resources to add to Oregon Math Project by adding them to the Mathematics group on Oregon Open Learning, or by emailing

National Academies Press (NAP)

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)


Student Achievement Partners

Photo by Santi Vedrí on Unsplash

Math Standards Update - Feedback Extension to April 1, 2021

kids at school

We are so grateful for the opportunity to share the vision of the Oregon Math Project and promote educator review of the draft K-12 math standards. We are especially thankful to the nine ESDs who hosted 18 events! Because many districts will be busy transitioning back to hybrid or in-person instruction at this time, we are extending the feedback window to April 1, 2021, to give additional time to review content standards.

Access to the draft standards can be found on the ODE math homepage under the menu titled “2020-2021 K-12 Math Standards Review”. Feedback can be submitted through the standards public feedback survey

Moving forward, the math content panel will have the opportunity to take a closer look at the K-12 measurement, statistics, and data standards in collaboration with the American Statistical Association who has recently adopted with NCTM a K-12 data science framework (GAISE II, 2020). Look for updates in the coming months on this work as we take time to align Oregon standards to national work in the area of data science.

For additional information, please contact Mark Freed, Mathematics Education Specialist.

2021 OSAS Math Item Development

Brainstorming over paper

The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) is seeking educators interested in developing mathematics items for the high school assessments within the Oregon Statewide Assessment System. Item development will take place remotely in June 2021, after the completion of the 2020-21 school year.  The commitment includes both synchronous and asynchronous time for training, item drafting, and review of items. Interested applicants should complete this application by 5:00pm on Friday, March 26, 2021. ODE will notify successful applicants on Monday, March 29, 2021, along with information on next steps. 

Selected applicants will participate in a required initial orientation in April; the specific date and time will be determined via an online poll. Item authors will then asynchronously complete a series of short training modules before drafting items in June. Synchronous support will be available continually throughout the project. Item authors should plan for a 20 hour commitment, which will be completed no later than Friday, July 2, 2021.

For additional information, please refer to the complete recruitment letter or contact Andy Byerley, Mathematics Assessment Specialist.

Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

Oregon Open Learning on OER Commons

Oregon Open Learning Logo

This newsletter is focused on the issue of fluency in mathematics. To help support your efforts in teaching toward fluency we have created a new fluency folder in the Oregon Open Learning math group. Our intent is to seed this folder with some Open Education Resources (OERs) and invite you to do the same. We will continue to add resources this month. As a starting point, we invite you to look at what has been developed by the San Francisco Unified School District. They created lists of resources that support the idea that mathematical fluency is about flexibility, efficiency, and accuracy rather than speed. If you would like to understand this shift in thinking, make sure you read some of the articles linked in this newsletter.

As we were looking for Creative Commons resources to highlight, we focused on whether the resources provided opportunities for students to share their thinking about how they arrived at answers. Focusing on student thinking can help us center on the assets every student brings to the math classroom. A game-like feel is common in many of these activities providing multiple entry points for students. Some may look very familiar and can take on a new meaning when we shift away from speed and focus on efficiency and accuracy.

Have fun browsing though the activities and please share your favorite OERs in Oregon Open Learning.  Please reach out to the math team if you have any questions about Oregon Open Learning.

Recruitment Open for Tools for Teachers Instructional Resources

tools for teachers logo

For the first time in Oregon, recruitment is open for the State Network of Educators (SNE) Virtual Summer Workshops scheduled for June 14-18 and July 12-16, 2021. SNE Workshops provide educators with an in-depth opportunity to learn the formative assessment process as they contribute to the critical work of building new instructional resources for Tools for Teachers. The SNE Workshop Recruitment page includes workshop information including timelines, agendas, FAQ, and more. Interested ELA and math educators should complete the “Save the Date” form by 5:00pm on Friday, March 26, 2021.

Learn more about Tools for Teachers here. For more information on the State Network of Educators, please contact Andy Byerley, Mathematics Assessment Specialist.

Upcoming Professional Learning Opportunities

Title: From Hidden Figures to Human Flourishing:  Humanity, Community, and Justice in Mathematics

March 11, 2021, at 4:00 PM PST (7:00 PM EST)

Presenters: A conversation with Ranthony Edmonds and Francis Su

(Link to registration) (Link to flyer)

Description: In this dialogue, Ranthony Edmonds and Francis Su will discuss what it means to say math is a human endeavor, how to create a mathematical community in school and at home, and ways that educators and parents can support the potential of every student to flourish in math.

Title: Teaching Mathematics for Social Justice

March 31, 2021, at 4:00 PM PDT

Presenters: Robert Q. Berry III, Basil M. Conway IV, Brian R. Lawler, John W. Staley

[TODOS Live Webinar homepage] [Event Registration Link]

Description: Teaching Math for Social Justice (TMSJ) is much more than the lessons teachers might implement in their classrooms. It is about the relationships they build with and among students; the teaching practices that help them do that; and the goals to develop positive social, cultural, and mathematics identities—as authors, actors, and doers. Join the authors, Robert Q. Berry III, Basil M. Conway IV, Brian R. Lawler, and John Staley, of "High School Lessons to Explore, Understand, and Respond to Social Injustice" as they unpack ideas from the book to promote thought and action toward TMSJ in the high school classroom.

Archive Recordings

Oregon Math Leader Network

  • Jo Boaler - 21st Century Mathematics (recording link)
  • Desmos -  What is Brilliant Here? Using Student Thinking and Identity as the Center of a Classroom Experience (recording link)

Student Achievement Partners - Coffee and Conversations 

  • Bringing Student Voices to the Anti-Racist Teaching Conversation (recording link)

The materials contained in the Department of Education’s Oregon Mathematics Educator Update are drawn from both internal and external sources and inclusion of external materials does not necessarily indicate Oregon Department of Education endorsement.