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WVDE TREE Resources Available Now
Written by Mark Alvaro   

TREE LogoTREE LogoWith the upcoming change from the TEACH21 site to the new TREE teacher resource page, the West Virginia Department of Education has tasked West Virginia educators with finding the best, free Online Educational Resources (OERs) to place on the new site.

The final result of this project will mostly likely be a web app that teachers will be able to use to search for resources for Math 6, 7, 8, I, II, and III. While that web application is being developed, the state has released spreadsheets that list the OERs with titles, links, descriptions, and the CCRS alignment.  Each course's sheet contains tabs at the top to navigate through the domains.

WVCTM High School Teacher of the Year, Amy Cowgill, said of the resources: “We’ve narrowed the whole internet down to this list.”

Hopefully teachers will enjoy quick access to resources from Open Middle, Dan Meyer, Desmos, Khan Academy, LearnZillion, Illustrative Mathematics, the Math Assessment Project, Emergent Math, the Math Vision Project, and more!

View the sheets by clicking here or you can use the following link:

President's Remarks


Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Happy New Year!  I hope for each of you a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2017!

I am very honored to be your new president.  My vision for my tenure is to keep mathematics education as the main focus in West Virginia.  Our students deserve the best that we as educators can give them.  By providing current ideas, strategies, techniques, and coherency in the forefront, we can enhance our professional practices, which will lead our students toward mathematical proficiency.

Believe me, we all have to work together to reach our goal. To do this, I ask you to work collaboratively with your school and county educators. In my county, the eighth grade teachers meet monthly during off school times.  We enjoy a cup of coffee and exchange ideas and lessons. I also ask you to attend professional developments that are of interest to you and to read blogs and follow some of the leading math educators.  All of the leaders in math are on Facebook and have blogs.

In fact, I would ask that if you find an especially interesting blog, article, or lesson, send it to Mark Alvaro and Jeremy Knight so it can be shared on our site and on our Facebook page. We are all in this together and it is up to all of us to provide the best mathematics education and make it accessible to all West Virginia students.

Thank you for all of your support and continued dedication to our students. I would also like to thank Shelia Ruddle (Past-President) and the executive committee for all the help and support that they have and are continuing to give me.

I look forward to seeing you at our annual conference at the Stonewall Jackson Resort on March 17-18, 2017.

Yours sincerely,

Myrtle Holland, NBCT

President, WVCTM

2017 Election Results

The following individuals were elected to serve on the Executive Committee for WVCTM for a two-year term:  Jeremy Knight, a teacher at Spring Mills Middle School in Berkeley County, will serve as President-Elect;  Karen Mitchell, a professor at Marshall University will serve as Vice President for College; Tiffany Brewer, a teacher at Gilbert Middle School in Mingo County, will serve as Vice President for Middle SchoolAdam Fletcher, a professor at Bethany College will serve as secretary; and Joy Marie Hunt, a teacher at Burch PK-8 in Mingo County, will serve as Member-at-Large

2017 Recognitions

Amy Ritz, one of the Golden Holtan recipients, is congratulated by Roger Bennett, Golden Holtans Chair, and by Dr. Boyd Holtan.Amy Ritz, one of the Golden Holtan recipients, is congratulated by Roger Bennett, Golden Holtans Chair, and by Dr. Boyd Holtan.At the banquet of the annual conference, Roger Bennett, Golden Holtan Grant chair, shared the purpose of the Golden Holtans, the new awardees of these grants, and encouragement for future applicants. Named for Dr. Boyd Holtan, a retired professor from West Virginia University, the Golden Holtans are grants for practicing classroom teachers for the development of a particular project in their classrooms.  Checks in the amount of $400 for each of the projects were presented by Dr. Holtan.  This year’s Golden Holtan Grant recipients were Amy Ritz, a teacher at Moundsville Middle School in Marshall County, for her project entitled “Gingerbread Geometry,” Amy Cowgill, a teacher at Frankfort High School in Mineral County, for her project entitled “After-School ACT-SAT Tutoring,” Lee-Dorah Wokpara, a teacher at Mountain Ridge Middle School in Berkeley County, for her project entitled “I-Pad Air 2,” and Sara Harris Dailey, a teacher at John J. Cornwell Elementary in Hampshire County for her project entitled “Legos in K-5 and in the Title I Classroom.”

Sheila Ruddle, this year’s recipient of the prestigious “Chair” award and a former WVCTM president, presented the Walter Regula Mathematics Teacher-in-Training Grant to Laurie Hercules, a student at Shepherd University majoring in secondary mathematics education.  This grant is named in honor of Sheila’s father, Walter Regula (1914-1975), a Marshall University math education professor who also served as president of the Council. The $600 award is made annually to an outstanding college or university student who is training to become a mathematics teacher and who has intentions of teaching in West Virginia.  Laurie is said to possess the rare combination of knowing her content field thoroughly, knowing and understanding the best methods for teaching that field and enjoying her work with youth. As a youth, Laurie participated in Math Field Day in Berkeley County, and she credits that as providing a defining moment in her decision to become a mathematics teacher.  She has more recently worked as a summer school math tutor for Jefferson County Schools.  She states that she is committed to mathematics education and the well-being of WV students.

Also recognized were the 2016 West Virginia Finalists for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, Bridget Jordan from Sherrard Middle School in Ohio County and Amanda Menihan from the Morgantown Learning Academy in Monongalia County.  

A Week of Inspirational Math
Amy's ClassAmy's Class

Influenced by an online class of Jo Boaler as well as the work of Carol Dweck, Amy Rice, a mathematics teacher at Keyser Middle School, is changing the  mindsets of her students.  On Boaler’s youcubed website, Amy was delighted to find what Boaler entitled, “A Week of Inspirational Mathematics.”  The tasks that are included encourage students to see mathematics as a “broad , interesting and visual subject that involves deep thinking.”  It also includes important growth mindset messages that will increase students’ confidence causing them to persevere with difficult problems and use their mistakes as a springboard to greater learning.  

In one of the scenarios “Number Visuals,” students investigate different representations of numbers.  Amy’s seventh grade students immediately were engaged in noticing what happened in each representation from “all the circles are primes” to “look at the factors in this one.”   When students were asked to create their own visual representation for the number 36 as a homework assignment, they shared their ideas in a gallery walk the following day.  Armed with post-its, students commented on their classmates’ work using vocabulary like “I noticed you used the factors in a different way” or “I like how you justified your method” or “You did a good job verifying your thinking.”   They were eager to ask each other questions as they were curious about the various ways that other students had created their representations.  This investigation provided students with an opportunity to make connections between numbers and pictures that clearly not only deepened  the students’ understanding, but also provided an environment that encouraged them to take risks to further their learning.

WVCTM Salutes the 2016 Award Winners

Jeanne FinsteinJeanne FinsteinThe most prestigious award given by WVCTM is the Distinguished Service Award, presented to the individual who has done exemplary work statewide in mathematics education. The award includes a Captain’s Chair with an engraved plaque, hence it is often referred to as “The Chair” Award. The 2016 recipient is Dr. Jeanne Finstein, currently President of Polyhedron Learning Media, a technology development company that specializes in creating educational software, as well as audio, video, and print materials. Jeanne received her bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University, her master’s degree from Wheeling Jesuit University, and her doctorate also from WVU. She began her career as a high school mathematics teacher, primarily at Wheeling Park High School. After twenty years in public education, she became part of the team at the NASA Classroom of the Future at Wheeling Jesuit. Following this fourteen year stint which included several leadership positions, she founded Polyhedron Learning Media. As its President and Director of Development, she oversees the designing of teaching materials for both formal and informal settings for age groups from kindergarten through adult. As a member of WVCTM, Jeanne has served on the WVCTM Executive Committee in the position of Community Relations Chair since 2007. She has spent nearly ten years as the extremely efficient official photographer and publicist of WVCTM events, especially the annual meeting. In addition, at the conferences she has given numerous presentations on a variety of topics, such as integrating the use of mathematics cartoons to capture students’ imaginations and promote an interest in problem solving. Jeanne served on the Ohio County Board of Education for eight years and is now a member of the Boards of Directors of the NASA WV Space Grant Consortium and the Total Learning Research Institute. Additional accomplishments include serving as the Interim Executive Director of Wheeling National Heritage Area Corporation, President of Friends of Wheeling, Vice Regent of the Wheeling Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and officer or active member of several other organizations. Although Jeanne has not been a mathematics teacher for many years, she has an incredible understanding of the mathematics classroom as it has evolved and a continual appreciation and love for mathematics content.

Election Results
Written by Gary Seldomridge   

The following individuals were elected to serve on the Executive Committee for WVCTM for a two-year term:  Allan Meck, a teacher at Hampshire High School in Hampshire County will serve as Vice President for High School; Melanie Meck, a coach in Hampshire County Schools in Hampshire County will serve at Vice President for Elementary; Allison Miller, a teacher at Spencer Elementary School in Roane County will serve as Member-at-Large; Samantha Service, a teacher at Mountain Ridge Middle School in Berkeley County, will serve as Historian; Jeanne Finstein of Polyhedron Learning Media in Ohio County will serve as Community Relations Coordinator; and Roger Bennett, retired mathematics teachers and consultant, will serve as NCTM Representative.

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