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Ontario Association for Mathematics Education
Ontario Association for Mathematics Education

President's Message - September 2021

A new school year is beginning

JUDY MENDAGLIO


judy.mendaglio@oame.on.ca
A new school year is beginning. Hopefully, you have had a refreshing rest during the summer break. We have no idea what the year will hold, but most of us are hoping that our endless hours in front of screens, trying to teach from a distance, will be behind us. However, we know that we will be facing other challenges this year:

-Year 2 of a new elementary curriculum, which teachers are still learning about and planning for
-A new destreamed Grade 9 curriculum, with its emphasis on anti-racism, equity, inclusion, culturally responsive and relevant pedagogy, and student voice 

-The as yet unknown consequences of COVID-related school closures on students’ learning, academic achievement, and social development 

-The degree to which school closures and other COVID- related factors have disproportionately affected vulnerable populations 


This will probably be another year, during which educators will face challenges that they may never have faced before, but which, as we saw these past two years, they will navigate successfully. What we need to keep reminding ourselves is that educators in Ontario are a community of learners. We are very lucky to have the range of excellent resources that are available to us. 


Since you are reading this column, there is an excellent chance that you are a member of OAME/AOEM. The membership of this wonderful organization comprises a community of mathematics educators, who support one another, always, but especially in times of unusual challenges. Unfortunately, many members are unaware of just how much members of OAME/AOEM contribute to the resources available to support math educators in Ontario. Most people know that we run provincial conferences: the Spring Annual Conference and the Fall Leadership Conference. In fact, many of you will have become members as a benefit of attending or presenting at one of our provincial conferences. However, membership to OAME/AOEM provides so much more, and I would like to tell you more about the supports you can find on the OAME/AOEM website, www.oame.on.ca.

OAME/AOEM is a provincial subject association, but we are structured a bit differently than some other subject associations in Ontario in that we have organized the province into 14 regional chapters, such as TEAMS (Toronto Educators Association for Mathematics), PRMA (Pine Ridge Math Association), and NWOAME (Northwestern Ontario Association for Mathematics). A 15th chapter is ISOMA (Independent Schools of Ontario Mathematics Association), which is not a regional chapter, but covers all of Ontario. The 15 chapters of OAME/AOEM are there to support you. You probably know that when you became a member of OAME/AOEM, you automatically became a member of the chapter of OAME/AOEM that you selected (if you are not sure, you can check by logging into the OAME/AOEM website). So, what might that mean to you? Well, the chapters conduct their own conferences, often called mini- conferences. For example, in July, the Quinte St. Lawrence Mathematics Association (QSLMA) held a one-day virtual conference, “Reaching All Learners Together,” which featured speakers Chris Suurtamm, Peter Liljedahl, and Nat Banting, along with breakout speakers Cathy Marks Krpan, George Gadanidis, Octavia Beckles, and Daniel Ansari, among others. All members of OAME/AOEM were welcomed to attend this amazing conference. What a wonderful opportunity for the 500 or so people who came out to this conference (from the comfort of their homes)! To find out more about what your chapter, and others, are doing, visit the OAME/AOEM Conference page (EVENTS).

In 2021–2022, OAME/AOEM will be offering a new series of podcasts on OAME Talks: www.sites.google.com/ oame.on.ca/oame-talks/home?authuser=0. In addition to announcements about this season’s podcasts, you will find recordings of conversations with Marian Small (Talk 2: Teaching with intention: Focusing on what matters), Fawn Nguyen (Talk 3: What if we’ve been teaching mathematics all wrong?), Kaneka Turner (Talk 11: Beyond the invitation: Lesson structure and routines that foster agency and equity), and Tara Flynn and Shelley Yearley (Talk 20: Unit fractions unlock learning), among others.

If you follow the Members-only link, you will also find recordings of OAME/AOEM presentations. For example, all the presentations from the 2020 virtual conference can be found here, as well as recordings of the featured speakers from OAME 2019 and Jo Boaler’s webinar (June 2020), “21st-Century Teaching and Learning.”

Of course, also in the Members section are the current issues of the Ontario Mathematics Gazette and Abacus (which you are reading now)! But, were you aware that the Gazette and Abacus archives go back to volume 1, issue 1, from February 1962? Imagine the wealth of knowledge that can be retrieved from these pages!

OAME/AOEM also supports the effective use of technology in mathematics classrooms with our mathies tools (www.mathies.ca/learningTools.php#gsc.tab=0). If you have not recently visited the mathies site, please take a half hour sometime and play. With the new elementary and Grade 9 curricula, you may see new ways of incorporating the mathies tools into your math program planning. These tools are designed by Ontario teachers to support the Ontario math curriculum, and are one of the few tools available also to French and French-immersion math teachers and students. And, they are free!

Additionally, since the summer of 2020, OAME/AOEM has been partnered with AFEMO (l’Association francophone pour l’enseignement des mathématiques en Ontario) in the creation of webinars and lessons, as well as assessment plans, to support the implementation of The Ontario Curriculum Grades 1–8: Mathematics, 2020 and the 2021 Grade 9 destreamed curriculum. These resources are free to all educators and are found at our project website, OntarioMath.support (www.ontariomath.support/).

The members of OAME/AOEM try very hard to create meaningful learning experiences and useful resources for the mathematics educators of Ontario. I hope that this stroll through our association has provided you with some new places for you to find what you need to support your own challenges in the 2021–2022 year.

I wish everyone a wonderful school year!

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