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November 2016
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Welcome back to another eNews where we share information and ideas about Mathematics education in BC. Below, you will find reference to more professional development opportunities, another round of free book giveaways, and a new simpler form for teacher award nominations.

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

The BCAMT Fall conference was a huge success. I would like to thank the conference committee for all of their hard work putting this event together.

This year’s winner of the “Count the Hexagons” contest is Julie McTaggart. Julie will be receiving a free copy of 50 Years of Vector. Congratulations Julie!.

One of BCAMT’s most important roles is to provide outreach for smaller communities unable to travel to our conferences or find it difficult to find professional development in Mathematics Education. If you would like to invite us to your smaller community, please contact us ( and we could help to organize a workshop near you.

The International Statistical Literacy Project (ISLP) organizes a poster competition for school children every other year, the next being in 2017. The Statistical Society of Canada is promoting participation in this competition, and they are hoping to encourage the involvement of many schools.

There are two age categories, and schools need to register their involvement by December. The deadline for submission of posters is the end of February, and there may be a small prize for the provincial winners. Contact Bruce Dunham for more information.

Upcoming Conferences

BCAMT New Teachers Conference
Date January 21, 2017
Location Surrey
More Information Coming soon
BCTF New Teachers' Conference
Date Februrary 24/25
Location Radisson Hotel, Richmond
More Information:
MyPITA, BCSSTA, and BCAMT mini-conference
Date May 12
Location Whistler, BC
Keynotes: Peter Liljedahl, Adrienne Gear, Amy Burvall

50 Years of Vector

We are happy to announce the publication of Selected writings from the Journal of the British Columbia Association of Mathematics Teachers: Celebrating 50 years of Vector. This book captures in one place the history of BCAMT, Vector, and the teaching of mathematics in BC over the last 50 years. Especially now, during our current curriculum revisions, it is good to look back at where we have been over the last 50 years. There are fabulous contributions from many familiar names to the BCAMT landscape.

Use this Discount code with your order: EJC30173

Vector Article Submissions

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 latest edition of Vector is in the mail.

BCAMT Book Club

We are coming up fast to Winter Break again – unbelievable, I know. The BCAMT Book Club would like to purchase books again for interested members. If you would like to receive a free book from our Book Club, please complete the following form:
We will be mailing out 10 books in December to the lucky winners, and in return we ask that they complete a book review for the book club website:

BCAMT Membership

If you are a BCAMT member, and you aren't receiving your copy of Vector, or if you are planning on changing your mailing address, please contact our membership chair, Brad Epp:

BCAMT Awards

Each year, the BCAMT recognizes teachers for their outstanding work by giving out one of these awards:

  • Outstanding Elementary Teacher Award
  • Outstanding Secondary Teacher Award
  • Outstanding New Teacher Award
  • Ivan L. Johnson Memorial Award
  • Service Award

More information for each of these awards can be found here. If you have a colleague you would like to nominate for one of our awards, simply complete this form:

The initial nomination process is very simple—this year, we are streamlining the application process to make it easier. Nominators and nominees will be contacted at a later date and asked to provide more information.

Problem of the Month

A circular road is 27 km long. On this road are six cottages, owned by six friends. The Friends visit each other a lot, and they have noticed that every whole number from 1 to 26 (inclusive) is accounted for at least once when they calculate the distances from one cottage to another. Of course the friends can walk in either direction as required. Your task is to place these cottages at distances that will fulfill these conditions.

Source: 536 Puzzles and Curious Problems by Henry Ernest Dudeney

This Month in #MTBos

The "MathTwitterBlogoSphere" is a community of math educators who connect through twitter and blogs. From Kindergarten to calculus (and beyond!), from pre-service teacher candidate to retiree, across very different contexts and experiences, what ties this group of educators together is a passion for mathematics education and an interest in supporting one another. While the MathTwitterBlogoSphere is a space to find engaging problems and rich tasks, more importantly, it is a place to find thoughtful conversations about topics of importance to math teachers. It isn't a formal organization; there isn't a process for "signing up" or any requirements of being a "member." To get started, simply search the hashtag #MTBoS ("mitt-boss") on twitter and follow your own rabbit hole. Each month we'll share some of the posts that resonated with us. To that end…

Joe Schwartz, an elementary math specialist in New Jersey, shares how asking students to "write everything you know about this figure" rather than "find the volume of this rectangular prism" reveals so much more about his students' thinking. While the context here is an elementary classroom, this instructional strategy certainly spans K-12. 

Dan Meyer shares Desmos' latest activity, Marcellus the Giant. This activity will be of particular interest to BC teachers of Mathematics 8 and 9; the embedded link to building great math activities will be of interest to many more. An interesting follow-up might be BCAMT Fall Conference keynote speaker Fawn Nguyen's Actual Life-Size Barbie lesson, shared several years ago. 

Jon Orr, a secondary math teacher in Ontario, posted a puzzle involving pentominoes and hundreds charts. While Jon's high school students use algebraic expressions to formalize their strategies, the underlying reasoning is accessible to younger children in earlier grades. 

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