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September 2016
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Wow! Where did that summer go? I hope everyone has had an incredible summer filled with family, friends, fun and relaxation. And I also wish you all the best in your school start-up this year.

If you have some important math news to share with our community of educators, we may be able to include it in this newsletter. Please contact Michael Pruner at

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News and Events

More New Curriculum Drafts

September 2016 marks the first month of full implementation for BC’s redesigned curriculum k – 9. But, what does ‘full implementation’ mean? The following excerpt is taken from BCTF’s site:

While it is important to note that the revised curriculum for K‒9 is mandated for the 2016‒17 school year, all partners recognize that the process of curriculum implementation takes time. To that end, partners agreed to the following wording when working on the curriculum framework documents to support curriculum implementation:

The process should ensure that the focus is strength-based rather than deficit-based, and should allow for multiple entry points to engage in the dialogue around curriculum. It is therefore critical and cannot be overemphasized that the implementation of the currricula be viewed as an ongoing, long-term process, rather than an event. With this in mind, we understand it will take time for teachers as they begin implementing the redesigned K–9 curriculum in September 2016. Rather, curriculum implementation is an ongoing process built around cumulative, reflective practice supported by all learning partners.

I have included this so that you know that all groups, including administrators and the ministry, understand that this implementation will take time and that an instant turn over to the re-designed curriculum is not possible and not expected.

BCAMT Fall Conference: Math is Social


A draft list of conference sessions has now been released for this year's conference focusing on the social aspects of learning math. More sessions will be added in the coming weeks.

The early-bird deadline for conference registration is October 1, which gives you a discount of $20 over the on-site rate.

Please circulate widely and encourage your colleagues to attend this excellent conference!


Upcoming Conferences

BCAMT Fall Conference
Date October 21
Location Gladstone Secondary School, Vancouver
Keynote: Fawn Nguyen
More Information
Northwest Math Conference
Date October 21-23
Location Yakima, Washington
More Information
MyPITA, BCSSTA, and BCAMT mini-conference
Date May 12
Location Whistler, BC
More Information Coming soon...


Start UP Workshops

Start UP is a workshop series for beginning teachers grades K – 7. Its goal is to help teachers with strategies for starting their school year. Workshop dates this year are September 17th and 24th in Surrey. See for registration information and more details.


The BCAMT is investigating a platform for teachers to share lessons and resources that is live and always evolving. The platform is called 'openbook' ( and we are interested in your impressions. Login, look around, and let us know what you think. In order for this platform to work and be useful to others, it will require the dedicated efforts of a few individuals. If you have any suggestions, or you would like to join the team, then please send Meril Rasmussen an email

Marc Garneau has created and is curating a page dedicated to providing resources to support teachers with the new curriculum. Check it out:

The BCAMT now has a tab for resources dedicated to support you with including First People’s perspectives, Indigenizing the curriculum, or teaching through First People’s Principles of Learning.

BCAMT Grants

Each year the BCAMT offers up to $8000 in grant funds to its membership. The funds must be used to further mathematics education in BC. These initiatives must meet the Goals and Objectives of the BCAMT. These funds are not meant for individual professional development. The deadline for grant applications is November 8th, 2016, and the application form can be found here.


Vector is always looking for articles from all math teachers in BC. If you have a personal teaching experience to share, please consider writing an article. Perhaps you have discovered a great new way to for students to experience geometry, or you have tried a unique assessment model (it doesn’t even have to be a story of success), we would love to hear from you. Send stories of your experiments, discoveries, and journeys in math education to The next edition of Vector will be mailed in the Spring.

Weekly Competency Tasks

The BCAMT is continuing with releasing two math-tasks every Sunday. We are now calling these tasks ‘competency tasks,’ because they seem to fit quite nicely with the curricular competencies in the revised curriculum. These open math tasks are intended for intermediate to grade 12 students. They are non-content based so that all students should be able to get started and investigate by drawing pictures, making guesses, or asking questions. When possible, extensions will be provided so that you can keep your students in Flow during the activity. Although they may not fit under a specific topic for your course, the richness of the mathematics comes out when students explain their thinking or show creativity in their solution strategies.

It would be fun and more valuable to everyone if we can share our experiences on the listserv, twitter, or facebook. Take pictures of student’s work and share out how the tasks worked with your class or how the tasks were modified to improve results with your students. Please take the time and share your experiences, so others can learn from your experiences.

Problem of the Month

Imagine a three dimensional version of x’s and o’s where two players take it in turn to place different coloured marbles into a box.


The box is made from 27 transparent unit cubes arranged in a 3-by-3-by-3 array. The object of the game is to complete as many winning lines of three marbles as possible.

How many different winning lines are there?


Interesting Maths

Natalie Sinclair is our local geometry expert out of Simon Fraser University, and she has developed a bunch of Web Sketchpad interactive sketches. I really like this interface, because students do not need to install any special software to use these sketches. The site provides activities for exploring geometric concepts with all ages.


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