News from the Southern 2 Region
Paul Gray, Southern 2 Regional Director
Winter 2017/2018

Mathematics leadership is on the move in Southern 2 this winter! For this quarterly web update, our state team leaders within the region are excited to report what’s going on in their states. I share their excitement since there are a lot of projects and initiatives going on in our region that we can all learn from. Make sure that you take a look at the NCSM Calendar of Events for regional and state events near you.

So without further ado, here’s the scoop from our region.


The Texas Association of Supervisors of Mathematics (TASM) met in October for one day of professional development and one day of business meetings. The professional development day was a mini-conference featuring a selection of speakers and topics of interest to Texas math leaders. NCSM President Connie Schrock spoke during the business meeting to preview new resources from NCSM. The spring meeting will be February 22-23, 2018, in Austin. Robert Kaplinsky and Graham Fletcher will lead the professional development sessions on February 22 and the Texas Education Agency, among others, will provide updates for TASM members on February 23.

Upcoming Texas events:


The Louisiana Council of Supervisors of Mathematics met in November during an extended pre-conference session at the Louisiana Association of Teachers of Mathematics (LATM) annual meeting. NCSM had a table in the exhibit hall and Paul Gray, NCSM’s Southern 2 Regional Director, was present to speak with mathematics teachers and leaders about NCSM and several resources available to both the public and NCSM members, including Coaching Corner and the Great Tasks book series.

If you teach in a state that, like Louisiana, has performance tasks on its state assessment, take a second look at the Great Tasks books. These books are a treasure trove of performance tasks that were written by mathematics teachers for mathematics teachers. There are tasks for each grade level and each task is aligned to both content standards and the Standards for Mathematical Practice.

Upcoming Louisiana events:


Great things are happening in Oklahoma! Robbyn Glinsmann, one of our Oklahoma State Team Leaders, reports three exciting things that are happening in Oklahoma mathematics. Even if you don’t work in Oklahoma, we can all learn from these exciting new initiatives being led by the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

Our NCSM members from Oklahoma are playing key leadership roles in these projects as well as leading the way for the mathematics textbook adoption that will happen in the summer of 2018. Tons of hours of work are going into creating PD, rubrics, and feedback loops to help the 520 independent school districts of Oklahoma make informed decisions when it comes to adopting curriculum that meets their individual needs and aligns with our standards.

Like Terms Communities

People all over are talking about how great it is to be connected to a community of teachers who want to be engaged in conversations around the kinds of activities they can bring to their classroom that will impact student achievement. Oklahoma is proud to have the largest statewide educator social network (now with over 12,000 registered users across a wide array of #OKMath interest groups) and now we have a monthly virtual learning experience designed by Oklahoma educators for Oklahoma educators.

The Like Terms Community is our newest #OKMath initiative and it is already making waves! We have four two-member teams of educators working hard to make this one-hour virtual meeting engaging for you and essential to your professional learning plan. Each 3rd Thursday, we will host a virtual meeting that is interactive and available to teachers across our state. In each meeting we will:

  1. Solve a mathematical task collectively
  2. Discuss student responses and potential misconceptions
  3. Explore implementation strategies that can impact our classrooms, and
  4. Discuss topics for future meetings!

We come together on the third Thursday each month for an exciting, homegrown community of practice.

#OKMath Curriculum Framework

With the adoption of the Oklahoma Academic Standards for Mathematics (OAS-M) in the spring of 2016, it has been the priority of the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) to ensure all Oklahoma educators are provided with the opportunity to deeply understand the instructional shifts needed to fully meet the intent of the standards while also supporting educators with a vision and resources that promote implementing the standards with fidelity.

In the summer of 2016, the OSDE hired three educators for every grade level from Pre-Kindergarten through Algebra 2. These educators have put in an awful lot of hard work analyzing the standards and objectives, providing guidance for learning progressions, unit design, and instructional task selection. For each and every objective in the new OAS-M, the OKMath Framework provides a rephrasing of the objective, referred to as "in a nutshell." This is followed by related Teacher Actions and Student Actions, inspired by NCTM’s Effective Teaching Practices and the OAS-M Mathematical Actions and Processes, respectively. Beyond helping teachers understand what students and teachers are doing when learning the standards, each objective also has a list of Key Understandings and Common Misconceptions.

As November 2017 comes to a close, we are wrapping up phase two of this project that created beautiful storylines for our teachers, highlighting the big idea of mathematics for each grade level. Within these storylines are curriculum resources strategically placed to help teachers to teach our Oklahoma Academic Standards with fidelity.

OCTM – June 8, 2018

The Oklahoma Council of Teachers of Mathematics (OCTM) Summer conference 2018 will be help on the campus of Northeastern State University Broken Arrow on Friday, June 8, 2018. Mark your calendar and make plans to join us for the best professional development for mathematics educators in the state.

Upcoming Oklahoma events:


Cara Cates, one of our Arkansas State Team Leaders, reports that the Arkansas Association of Mathematics Leaders (AAML) met in November at the AAML pre-conference for the Arkansas Curriculum Conference (math, science, literacy, social studies) hosted by the Arkansas Council of Teachers of Mathematics (ACTM) and other content state organizations. Our AAML pre-conference included keynote speaker Dr. Nicki Newton (Fostering a Productive Mathematical Disposition), breakout discussion time for the progressions at different grade bands, and a mini ed-camp (more progressions discussion but k-12 instead of separate bands, ACT Aspire and DOK, Formative Assessment & Interventions with Resources, & Coaching Corner: roles, PD, administration, model classrooms). We had a wonderful lunch sponsored by Math Solutions, and we honored Linda Griffith with the first ever AAML Math Leadership Award, which in future years will be called the Linda Griffith Math Leadership Award.

On a personal note, I’d like to express my gratitude to Linda Griffith, a former Southern 2 Regional Director for NCSM, for her friendship and leadership. I could not be more pleased that AAML has chosen to honor her work with the Linda Griffith Math Leadership Award.

Upcoming Arkansas events:


Brian Buckhalter, our Mississippi State Team Leader, reports that the Mississippi Mathematics Specialists Network is making progress toward affiliation with NCSM! This is very exciting news. NCSM membership in Mississippi has increased by almost 60% in the last year.

Brian presented about math leadership, including NCSM resources, at both the Mississippi Mathematics Specialists Network annual meeting in November 2017 and the Mississippi Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM) annual meeting in October 2017.

Upcoming Mississippi events:


The Alabama Council of Teachers of Mathematics held its annual meeting in November 2017, featuring NCTM President Matt Larson as their keynote speaker. Over 400 teachers attended the premier mathematics education event in Alabama. Next year’s event is scheduled for November 1-2, 2018, in Birmingham and will feature NCTM President-Elect Robert Q. Berry.

Upcoming Alabama events:


The Tennessee Mathematics Teachers Association held its annual meeting in September 2017 at the University of Tennessee-Martin. Because Tennessee is so long from west to east, their annual meeting rotates from west, middle, and east Tennessee. Make plans now to attend the 2018 TMTA annual meeting will be held September 28-29, 2018, in Sevierville. Want to see what you’ve missed at previous TMTA events? Their conference bulletins are archived online.

Upcoming Tennessee events: