Category Archives: Math Events

Special Math Days

World Metrology Day

I know you’re on the edge of your seat.

World Metrology Day is celebrated annually on May 20, the anniversary of  the international agreement on units of measurement finalized at the Metre Convention in Paris, France in 1875.

World Metrology Day (WMD) commemorates the signing of the treaty and it is a day when all the countries in the world that enjoy the benefits of a single, coherent system of measurements, traceable to the International System of Units (SI), celebrate the scientific, technological, and economic achievements that this treaty has enabled for more than a century.

There are only 3 countries in the world that have not officially recognized the metric system: Liberia, Myanmar, and the United States.

Great news for students struggling to remember how many ounces in a pound, feet in a mile, or cups in a gallon. According to Elizabeth Gentry of the National Institute of Standards and Technology(NIST):

The United States is undergoing a subtle transition to the International System of Units (SI), commonly known as the metric system.

Learn about events in Gaitherburg, MD and Boulder, CO as well as celebrations around the world at the official WMD2009 site.

You were wondering: “What is Metrology?”

From Coastal Calibration Laboratories:

Definition 1): Metrology is the science of measurement.

Definition 2): Metrology is the science of weights and measures used to determine the conformance of an item to technical requirements. Metrology also includes the development of standards and systems for absolute and relative measurements.

Want to learn more about Metrology?

Singapore Math Training Sessions


(Image courtesy of Indexed.)

I’ll be presenting “How to Use Strategies from Singapore Math to Strengthen your Math Instruction” in Cincinnati on May 13, Atlanta on May 14 and in New Jersey on May 20 & 21, 2009. You can read more about these 1 day seminars and register through the Institute for Educational Development.

All seminars will be “buzzword” free!

These are the only public sessions I’ll be doing until the 2009 – 2010 school year.

Thinking about a field trip to see the world’s top-scoring math in action? There are just a few spots left for this July’s Singapore Math Summer Program.

NCTM Takeaways

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Meeting and Exposition (NCTM) has ended and I wanted to share a few quick items regarding Singapore Math.


First off, Houghton Mifflin’s division Great Source premiered their new Singapore math series. Called Math in Focus, the textbooks are hardbound (and are heavy!) and the Teacher’s Editions appear quite comprehensive. This series looks like an American textbook series. I chatted with Patsy Kanter, one of the authors, as well as Shar Hammet, the head of the mathematics division for Houghton Mifflin, and they feel that they’ve kept the true essence of the curriculum while adding value to a classroom teacher.  I hope to procure a grade level to review and share. At each grade level, the series includes:

  • Student Book A and Student Book B
  • Workbook A and Workbook B
  • Teacher’s Edition
  • Extra Practice (Blackline Masters)
  • Assessment (Blackline Masters)
  • Reteach (Blackline Masters)
  • Enrichment (Blackline Masters)
  • Manipulatives

You can download a sample lesson from the first grade.



The Singapore Model Method for Learning Mathematics was available from the Marshall Cavendish booth and will be available next month from Written by the Ministry of Education, this book ( or monograph, as they refer to the publication) is designed to serve as a resource book on the Model Method:

The main purpose is to make explicit how the Model Method is used to develop students’ understanding of fundamental mathematics concepts and proficiency in solving basic mathematics word problems.

Although I’ve just begun reading the book, it appears to be a comprehensive overview of the Model Method and provides examples for both basic and quite challenging word problems.

The table of contents (click to enlarge):

Model Method

And a sample page 77 from Appendix A:

model method example

Finally, there were 4 presentations on Singapore Math at the NCTM:

ALL four Singapore Math sessions were oversubscribed, with disappointed attendees listening outside at the door. Dr. Yeap’s session saw people lining up 40 minutes beforehand to get a seat!

April is Math Awareness Month


Sponsored by the American Mathematical Society, the American Statistical Association, the Mathematical Association of America, and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, the theme for April’s Math Awareness Month is Mathematics and Climate.  From the press release:

One of the most important challenges of our time is modeling global climate. Some of the fundamental questions researchers are currently addressing are:

  • How long will the summer Arctic sea ice pack survive?
  • Are hurricanes and other severe weather events getting stronger?
  • How much will sea level rise as ice sheets melt?
  • How do human activities affect climate change?
  • How is global climate monitored?

You can write to the AMS for a free copy of the poster below or download it direct from their site. Looking for inspiration for the classroom? The site also has a list of activities and events happening around the country as well as a place for you to submit your own.


Happy Square Root Day!


From Yahoo news:

Dust off the slide rules and recharge the calculators. Square Root Day is upon us.

The math-buffs’ holiday, which only occurs nine times each century, falls on Tuesday — 3/3/09 (for the mathematically challenged, three is the square root of nine).

“These days are like calendar comets, you wait and wait and wait for them, then they brighten up your day — and poof — they’re gone,” said Ron Gordon, a Redwood City teacher who started a contest meant to get people excited about the event.

Be sure to get your fill of square carrots and radishes, there are only 6 left in this century:


Image via flickr user denaldo

World Maths Day 2009


This annual event will be held on March 4th, 2009 and will last as long as it is March 4th somewhere in the world. From the World Maths Day website:

Unite with students and schools from around the world to set a new world record! The Challenge – to correctly answer more than 182,445,169 questions in 48 hours.

Students play against each other in real time playing mental math games.  Each game lasts for 60 seconds, students can play as many games as they wish. The questions are appropriately leveled for different ages and abilities and cover basic math facts. Of course, this is a free program, but time to register is running short. Teachers register their teams and are provided with a unique login and password for each student. When students login, they watch on a map as they are connected with students around the world to compete against.

Have fun and keep an eye out for students from a certain Math Club in Colorado.