Educator Resources

Saturday Math

Welcome to Saturday Math, a place where teachers, administrators, curriculum enthusiasts, and other colleagues from the metropolitan New York area do, learn, and talk about math together. Four times each year we meet to explore our own mathematical thinking and discuss issues related to teaching and learning mathematics. Each facilitated session consists of interactive activities and discussions, and you will go home with resources and ideas to try out in your own practice on Monday. Session topics may focus on content (e.g., Connecting Fractions, Decimals and Percents) or pedagogy (e.g., Using Mathematical Routines), and will always provide ample opportunity to make connections to your unique practice as a teacher, coach, administrator, or other educational professional.

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Dates and Topics for 2018-19

This year in Bank Street’s Saturday Math seminars, we will explore the development of our own and our students’ math identity.

What do we mean by math identity? Our math identity is how we view ourselves as mathematicians. It is how we relate to and feel about the subject of mathematics. Do we love it, dislike it, or are we indifferent to it? Do we love math because we are good at it? Because we find math interesting?  Do we dislike it because it doesn’t make sense? Do we feel connected to the content? How do we want our students to feel about math? How do our feelings about math influence our students’ math identities? This year we will explore four topics that support developing a math identity for ourselves as well as our students.

In each session, participants are engaging in mathematical problem-solving, while the facilitators model the pedagogy that promotes the development of a mathematical identity. We then unpack the facilitation of the problem-solving, helping participants explore their own mathematical identity. In addition, we consider some of the implications for classroom practice. We invite you to attend individual sessions, but also encourage you to attend the entire series.

The sessions will be held at Bank Street School of Education in room 710 from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM on the dates listed below.

We ask for a $10 donation to help offset the costs and participants will receive CTLE hours.

  • October 20, 2018—Developing Mathematical Identity: Setting Up the Classroom

    We will explore ways to create a classroom culture and space so that our students feel comfortable exploring mathematics. We will discuss ways to create a classroom culture that views making mistakes as positive learning experiences. We will share ways to set up our classrooms so that students feel confident in expressing their views and feelings about mathematics in ways that help them grow as mathematicians.

  • December 1, 2018—Developing Mathematical Identity: The Nature of Assessment

    If we are trying to cultivate our students’ math identity, then we need to find ways for them express what they have internalized about the math we have discussed in class. Of course we want to know how they understand the material, but we also want to assess how they are feeling about the math and how they think the content connects to them as mathematicians. In addition to assessing mathematical content, we must also assess the behaviors and dispositions of mathematical thinkers.

  • February 2, 2019—Developing Mathematical Identity: Writing in Math Class

    Communicating with clarity and precision is an essential skill for all learners. Showing their thinking through writing is a powerful way for students to grapple with the mathematics. How many times have you heard a student say, “I understand_________, but I just can’t explain it.”? Writing gives students the opportunity to test out and organize their thoughts when they are engaged in a rich task. Writing also gives us access to our students’ thinking, which informs our assessment and planning. Writing also serves as a bookend for students–a space to reflect on their new learning and generate questions the drive continued exploration. During this session, we will explore ways to integrate writing in math class in order to support students’ development of their math identities.

  • March 9, 2019—Developing Mathematical Identity: Mathematical Modeling and Social Justice

    We have looked at mathematical modeling in the past during Saturday Math, and in this session, we will take it a step further. We will focus on developing students’ capacity to model so they are the ones bringing the modeling to the classroom. In thinking about culturally responsive classrooms, it is imperative that the knowledge students bring to the classroom is considered essential to making meaning of mathematics. Putting the students in charge of mathematical modeling is a way to deepen their math identities.

Meet the Facilitators:

Michael Cassaro

Michael CassaroPresently, Michael Cassaro supports graduates of and current students in the Leadership in Mathematics Education program as they facilitate these carefully crafted Saturday Math sessions. Michael consults with schools, districts and universities across the tri-state area and advises and teaches in the Leadership in Mathematics Education program at Bank Street College. He believes that mathematics is a thinking, sense-making endeavor. When we seek to understand how mathematical ideas are connected to each other and in the world around us, mathematics becomes an entirely new type of pursuit. By modeling a learning posture, Michael invites all participants into the conversation about growing our practice. It is through this shared dialogue that we become better teachers, leaders and learners.

When not discovering math with his young children, Michael can be found with his friends and family – telling stories, breaking bread, and attempting to keep a large biodynamic garden.

Nancy Buck

Nancy BuckNancy Buck supports current students and graduates of the Leadership in Mathematics Education program in facilitating the Saturday Math sessions. Nancy has taught math to students ranging from 5th grade – freshmen in college. She currently and coaches teachers at The Young Women’s Leadership School of the Bronx. She is also a Master Teacher in the Math for America program. She believes that math is a beautiful and creative subject that allows people to understand the world around them. She works hard to create safe spaces so that all educators can see that both they and their students are mathematicians.

History of Saturday Math

Since 1989, Bank Street faculty, current students, and graduates have run Saturday Math at Bank Street. Saturday Math invites teachers, administrators, curriculum enthusiasts, and other colleagues from the metropolitan New York area to enter the doors of Bank Street and engage in experiences that reflect the College’s progressive thinking around mathematics education.

While Saturday Math has grown and developed over time, it maintains consistent core goals. We support the development of education professionals, provide access for prospective candidates for the Leadership in Mathematics Education program, and empower current graduate students to design and facilitate powerful professional development seminars. In keeping with Bank Street’s commitment to growing community, we provide a light breakfast and space for participants to network and mingle.