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oUR LATEST NEWS: TI STEM Super Saturday & ATMNE 2023

September 23, 2023, 8:00 am - 12:30 pm

Begin the school year with a K-12 Super Saturday STEM event sponsored by Texas Instruments and co-hosted by RIMTA and RISTA. Keynote presentation by Page Keeley, developer and primary author of hte Student Ideas in Science series and the Formative Assessment Practical Strategies Linking Assessment and Instruction and Learning Series.  Flier Here.

ATMNE 2023 - Oct. 12-13, in Portland, ME



Student of the Year: Lexi, Mt. St. Charles High School

Rookie Teacher of the Year: Chelsea O'Connor, Samuel Slater Middle School

Teacher of the Year: Nicholas Horne, Burrillville High School

Amedeo DeRobbio Award: Vivian LaFerla

Thanks to all those who attended or supported the RIMTA Spring Conference with Mike Steele

RIMTA BLOG - Check out the latest news, lessons and resources from RIMTA (Our Blog will replace our newsletter).

  • 09 Nov 2021 3:32 PM | Gina Kilday (Administrator)

    Each year RIMTA highlights the outstanding work and contributions made by Rhode Island teachers and students to mathematics education through its three RIMTA Recognition Awards categories:

    • an “Outstanding Teacher of the Year” who has demonstrated the effective characteristics of an outstanding practitioner who positively impacts mathematics education for all members of the school community,

    •  an “Outstanding Rookie of the Year” who has shown outstanding promise for positively impacting mathematics education within their first three years of teaching, and

    •  an “Outstanding Student of the Year” who has shown “true grit” through sustained success and academic progress in the mathematics classroom.

    Applications for these three award categories are now open and available through theRIMTA Website ( under the “Awards and Grants” tab. 

    Completed applications are due on or before January 31, 2022. The “Outstanding Teacher of the Year” and “Outstanding Rookie of the Year” will be recognized at RIMTA’s spring conference on March 26, 2022. The “Outstanding Student of the Year” will be honored at their school in March at a date and time to be determined.

    Questions and completed applications should be directed to Sara Donaldson at

    Thank you for helping to promote mathematics excellence in Rhode Island!

    Sara Donaldson on behalf of the RIMTA Board of Directors

  • 09 Dec 2020 9:34 PM | Gina Kilday (Administrator)

    The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM),  the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics (NCSM), and TODOS: Mathematics for ALL have all called upon mathematics educators across the country to make social justice a key priority in our work in order to create systemic change that will promote “fair and equitable teaching practices, high expectations for all students, access to rich, rigorous, and relevant mathematics, and strong family/community relationships” (NCSM & TODOS, 2020). 

    Heeding this call to action, the RIMTA board is working to establish a Committee for Access and Equity and to more actively engage our members (and future members) in our work to promote positive and inclusive math learning opportunities. To this end, we are seeking educators throughout the state who would like to help drive this work as members of the Committee for Access and Equity or through other RIMTA work (e.g.; conference planning and Twitter chats) to help empower Rhode Island educators and to hold us all accountable for ensuring equitable access and outcomes for marginalized students within our classrooms. If you are interested in joining this work or if you would like to learn more about these effort please contact Sara Donaldson at

  • 10 Jul 2020 5:00 PM | Stephen Levesque (Administrator)

    “You want us to see that there can be different approaches to solving a problem,” said one of my PrepareRI math scholars, his face showing up in a box on Zoom and a green band flashing indicating he has unmuted and is talking. “You really want to hear about our thinking,” typed another, in a chat window. A Seats at the Table task they were confronted with on this day.

    Source: WestEd

    Another day online for these incoming 9th grade Freshman students. A transition away from middle school and a new chapter in their lives while they are soon-to-be the class of 2024 high school graduates (in four years, that is). And, like the end of their last school year, device and camera on, meeting virtually through Zoom. Except, now it’s summer.. So, you may ask, “Why math over the summer?”

    Well, first of all, these scholars chose to do this. They could have opted-out and said, no, I really want to enjoy my summer, but these scholars--they want to be ready for what high school math is going to throw their way. And, some nice incentives are also thrown their way in the form of gift cards. Yes, you heard it here -- they EARN MONEY while taking this High School Math Readiness eight-week course over the summer.

    Source: PrepareRI

    PrepareRI, in collaboration with our Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE), Carnegie Math Pathways by WestEd, RIDE’s Summer Readiness division, and our learning management system, Realizeit, that houses all of my scholars’ asynchronous work -- all of these groups contributing to a research-based, evidence-based opportunity for young scholars to learn math over the summer. 

    Source: Rhode Island Department of Education

    Here is what a typical day looks like for a student...

    As for their math instructor, I was involved in an intensive one-week professional learning opportunity to gain pedagogical, philosophical, and best approach strategies to enact their curriculum. Although with any great curriculum comes opportunities for students to conduct deliberate practice with math, WestEd’s philosophical approach is more about “productive persistence,” tenacity, and the use of good strategies. 

    During our online Zoom collaboration meetings, I encourage the use of sentence starters, such as, “I notice…, “ “I wonder…,” “I agree with ____, because,” and “I disagree with _____, because,” as a few examples. I really have to hold back and not interject my thoughts or opinions, but rather, facilitate online discourse and dialogue around mathematical thinking. That is, not so much what I’m thinking about with these mathematical tasks, but more so, what our math scholars are thinking. Making their thinking visible, is truly at the heart of this process.

    They unmute and contribute to the discussion, using the chat feature to articulate their typed-responses, building on other peers’ ideas -- “I agree with Manya, because…” I do not affirm correct or incorrect responses, I just continue to facilitate the conversation. Eventually, students are able to drive the discussion and help make their mathematical sense-making very transparent with justifications and rationale. Again, this process of making their thinking visible is at the heart of the process.

    I found Week 1’s curriculum to be strategic. There was one day with a focus on incorrect student responses and discussion around these. I framed these student work examples as some of my “favorite mistakes!” Then, the following day, we looked at three other student work examples (they all happened to be correct and viable solutions, all slightly different in their approach).

    Source: WestEd

    After our mathematical discussion around how many people can sit at 20 trapezoidal tables laid out in this fashion, I asked the question, “So, what was the method to my madness? Why did I present various incorrect and correct examples of student work?”

    “You want to give us the tools to persevere,” said one scholar. “It’s important to understand what other people are thinking so that we can help each other,” said another.

    As with keeping up with the philosophical stance of not necessarily confirming or judging any student response, I helped facilitate further conversation, where many other students expressed their thoughts. My heart was filled with joy to hear their responses, a small smile on my face was evident.

    This is going to be a great summer!

    Author: Timothy Marum ( -

  • 09 May 2020 9:15 PM | Gina Kilday (Administrator)

    RIMTA is partnering with the Rhode Island Department of Education in assisting teachers in this era of Distance Learning.  RIDE/RIMTA have organized a Professional Learning Community as a forum for teachers to share ideas and resources.  The session scheduled for this Tuesday, May 12, will focus on blended learning with breakout sessions for elementary and secondary teachers.  Join this PLC every Tuesday at 3:30 to be a part of this extremely beneficial program.  To get on the mailing list for the PLC, fill out this Google Form.

     As of now, the ATMNE Fall Conference is scheduled to be held on December 4-5 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Danbury, CT.  The conference program committee is currently seeking dynamic professionals to present sessions and workshops across a wide variety of topics and grade bands. They need your expertise. If you are interested in presenting a session at the conference, submit your proposalhere by June 30. 

    This is my final post as RIMTA President.  Starting soon, RIMTA will be in the highly capable (and far more organized) hands of Meredith Astrologo.  If you know Meredith, you know that her tireless work ethic, attention to detail, and willingness to cooperate with others will make RIMTA members the real winners for the next two years!

    I want to publicly thank the entire RIMTA Board for their advice, support, and hard work throughout my tenure.  They are the stars that make RIMTA the active, vibrant organization that it is.  Hopefully, I did a good enough job staying out of their way!

    Respectfully Submitted,

    Steve Levesque

    Outgoing RIMTA President

  • 12 Apr 2020 7:31 PM | Gina Kilday (Administrator)

    The Rhode Island Department of Education has compiled resources to help educators and parents navigate the current COVID-19 situation.  On this site , under the heading of "Resources for Distance Learning" there is a spread sheet with a Distance Learning Resource Guide by topic, subject and grade that will be updated regularly.

    Thanks to Chris Castillero from RIDE for sharing this update with us.

  • 27 Mar 2020 10:58 AM | Gina Kilday (Administrator)

         This is the new reality created by COVID-19, a pandemic that has impacted and will continue to impact our daily lives.  We are concerned as citizens. We are concerned as family members. And we are concerned as educators. Going forward, this will fundamentally affect how we conduct our daily lives; we need to be there for each other.

         We do not know when life will return to some sense of normalcy, but we know that until then, we are responsible for educating our students to the best of our ability.  How do we create a meaningful experience for our students while maintaining a semblance of order?  

         Fortunately, the education community is an incredibly supportive group.  We humbly suggest a few resources for you in this difficult time. There have definitely been a multitude of resources, and we don’t intend to add to the information overload.  Feel free to use some, all, or none of these resources. 

    From the Rhode Island Department of Education

    • RIDE has worked tirelessly to support educators as they implement distance learning.

    • The Highlander Institute, in partnership with RIDE, is launching the Rhode Island Distance Learning Helpline. A free statewide helpline, staffed byFuseRI Fellows for 6 hrs M-F & 2 hrs Sat & Sun.Fellows are RI educators supporting other RI educators w/online coaching.

    From Tim “Tech” Marum

    From Dr. Sara Donaldson

    • The Leading Equity Center has a free online course that is good (takes a bit of time but focuses on equity).  Their resource blog is at

    • Learn Zillion has opened up a lot of their videos for free access.

    • Go on Twitter and follow NCTM, NCSM, ExploreMTBoS. There are a lot of great resources and support being shared.

    From Susan Pagliaro

    From Dr. Drs. Danielle Dennis, Sarah Bularzik, and Dr. Kees deGroot, curated by Dr. Diane Kern and sent by Dr. Nicole Hersey

    • Ten Percent Happier: Coronavirus Sanity Guide

    • EDpuzzle is an easy to use video platform that allows you to take any video (preexisting or made by you) and personalize it to your lesson. You can crop the video, record your voice on top of it, and embed quizzes in the video to check for student understanding.

    From others

    • is a site in which you can create assessments and assignments.  These questions are easy to score and diagnose misconceptions quickly...fantastic formative assessment!

    • Visit for videos on Diagnostic Questions that give students the most difficulty.

    Being away from our colleagues and confined to our homes, we may feel more alone than ever.  But you are not alone now. You are not the only one nervous and unsure in these trying times.  Together, we can do this!  

  • 13 Jan 2020 3:31 PM | Gina Kilday (Administrator)

    Thirty percent. Statewide, roughly 30 percent of students are meeting expectations in mathematics. That means that the vast majority of students are not proficient in math in Rhode Island.  

    So now what?  

    The data is daunting, but if we get back to basics and focus on the things that we know are most impactful for teaching and learning, we can move the needle. 

    We need high-quality math curriculum, supported with meaningful professional learning, and a continuous improvement mindset in instruction as we learn from one another and find what works in getting kids excited about and engaged in mathematics.  

    A big part of that is building relevance into the classroom, and helping students to understand how what they’re learning in class connects to career pathways, college readiness, and lifelong success. If we can’t answer that question from the get-go, students will lose interest. If we can’t answer that question, then we need to rethink our approach.  

    As math educators, you know more than anyone how important math is to future student success. As you continue your work and drive the effort to improve outcomes, just know that I’m in your corner. I want to be helpful to your community of practice as you not only improve math teaching and learning, but also as you change mindsets of students, families, and even fellow educators when it comes to the importance of math. 

    I know that if we are intentional in our approach, and if we remain focused on instruction, 30 percent proficiency will be a thing of the past for Rhode Island students. It’s a complex equation, but if we work together, it’s one that we can solve.  

  • 05 Dec 2019 11:40 PM | Gina Kilday (Administrator)

    National Winners for RI PAEMST Just Announced in October 2019 

    For Secondary - 2017 

    David Upegui - Central Falls High School (Science)

    Kristina Sparfven - Chariho Middle School (Math)

    For Elementary - 2018

    Kerri Luchka - Western Coventry Elementary School (Science)

    Lindsay Bliven - Ashaway Elementary School (Math)

    Congratulations 2019 PAEMST Secondary State Finalist

    • Robert Mayne of Chariho High School in Wood River Junction (Mathematics)

    • Jane Ramos of Vincent J. Gallagher Middle School in Smithfield (Science) 

    on their selection as the Rhode Island State Finalists for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) for 2019! We recognize these teachers as outstanding educators who exemplify the highest standards of mathematics and science teaching at the secondary level (7-12).

    These teachers will now be elevated to the national level for consideration as a national finalist for the state. Good luck, Jane and Robert!

  • 18 Nov 2019 9:46 AM | Gina Kilday (Administrator)

    Have you ever met someone and you immediately knew you needed this person to be part of your professional life? Well, I have. I was truly fortunate to have met a Master Teacher, whom I now refer to as my mentor, at the New Cubed Conference at Sienna College at the beginning of July, 2019. I was mesmerized as soon as he started talking about his teaching and was in awe of his ideas for middle school math. Even though I have been a middle school teacher for the past thirty-one years, my hope when I attend a conference is to get one new idea that I am able to use immediately in the classroom. I not only learned one idea, I learned a whole new way to get students excited and to truly enjoy math class. This article references one of these great ideas that was shared with me. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Please let me know if you try his lesson and how it went.

    After fifteen years as a banker, Eric O’Brien enjoyed his role as an elementary school teacher in Bellmore, Long Island. Eric used his love of mathematics to enhance lessons in number theory, computation, algebraic reasoning, geometric reasoning and problem solving techniques. He employs keen observation skills to introduce integers to primary students and to solidify computational skills with 3rd through 8th graders. He has been heard asking 4th and 5th Graders to hand him their fears before guiding them into an exploration of algebraic techniques and wields hammers with 5th and 6th graders as they construct geoboards and guides them toward a journey into geometric reasoning. After solidifying sixth graders’ understanding of algebra, Eric has no fear in guiding students on an investigation of Pascal’s triangle and introduction into the calculus. He includes a host of light-hearted tales as he shares his love of mathematical history with his students.

    The foundation of Eric’s ventures into mathematics include a solid investigation into computation. While other educators are pleased when their students can retain a foundation of 100 basic math facts, Eric pushes his students to find methods to mentally calculate over 10,000 basic and maybe not so basic facts. Eric’s students don’t break a sweat when explaining that 360 has 24 factors, that thirty-one perfect squares are less than 1000 or that is a relation between the measure of the arc of a circle and corresponding inscribed angle.

    Lesson One: Double, Double, Doubling as a Multiplication Tool for Struggling Middle School Students

    I have spent many of my years working with middle school students. Often students have entered my classroom, fearing that they will be working with “that math guy.” I ask what that statement means and children often admit their fear of mathematics. I ask them why they feel that way and many admit they have struggled with math for the first five years of their learning careers.

    Asking learners to put their fears squarely in my hands, I tell them I will hold firmly to their fears and I will give them back if they’d like. “May I begin?”, I ask students,gaining some trust from the worriers.

    “Let’s play a game called the Doubling Game,” I tell my learners. “If we make a mistake, we’ll start over again.” I ask the students to take a deep breath and exhale. The students find themselves to relax simply by engaging in that behavior.

    “One, Double,” I say. The students usually give me a resounding “Two.” I look around, showing I am impressed. Again I say “Double.” The kids shout “Four” and I smile.

    Again I shout “Double,” awaiting their reply. While many students shout “ Eight”, a few shout “Six”, followed by “Oops!” There is laughter in the air.

    I explain that it is fine to make a mistake. Asking the guilty party why he or she said “Oops”, the students say they were thinking they were counting by twos and had to remember they were doubling, two different processes.

    I wanted to let students know a few things. First of all, it’s ok to make mistakes. My room is filled with experimentation. Mistakes will happen when students are learning. Secondly, teachers should anticipate that mistakes are going to happen and when they do, we acknowledge without punishment and return to work.

    “Let’s get back to work,” I recommend. “One. Double” The children shout, “Two,”

    And after a short wait, I say, “Double” The children answer, “Four.” Again I wait, allowing students to learn that true learning comes through chanting and cadence. Tension builds before I say, “Double” and the children shout, “Eight!”

    I look at the child who mistakenly replied, “Six” the first time. A little nervousness appears on his or her face before we continue. I reassure the class that some of their replies will require some thinking, before I say, “Double” again. After a short delay, children say, “Sixteen.” A few others join in.

    Whether middle schoolers know it or not, adding eight plus eight mentally takes more effort than two plus two or four plus four. Their learning will sometimes indeed take a moment. We teachers have to learn the importance of students’ wait time. That wait time will soon rear its head again.

    With my next “Double,” many students will not know how to double sixteen. The positions of the 6 and the 1, meaning one ten, are reversed. I have to say, “When we say ‘sixteen’, we mean 10 and 6. Double 10, double 6, and add them.”

    When students double 10 and double six, there is another level of cognition they must encounter. Doubling 10 gets them twenty, and doubling six gets them twelve. I like to say 10 and 2. By doubling sixteen, students’ minds have a lot of processing to complete to answer “Thirty-two.”

    But after some thought process, the students do answer “Thirty-two.” Happy that  my students have succeeded, I say, “Let’s start again!” Having struggled to get the solutions, we begin again, the students usually flying through the five responses.

    “One. Double”, I confidently say. “Two,” they respond.

    “Double,” I say. “Four!”

    “Double,” I say, “Eight!”

    “Double,” I repeat, “Sixteen!”

    “Double,” I smile, “Thirty-two!”, they are surprised.

    “Double,” I say confidently, watching their eyes roll in their heads. “Sixty-four!”, many of them say. The rest repeat 64. Of course it is. They doubled 30, they doubled two. No carrying. They just say the number.

    “Let’s repeat the process,” I recommend. Usually there are no complaints. The students, new to sixth grade, have successfully doubled right through 64.

    “All right! We will continue beyond 64 tomorrow. Great job, everyone! Would any of you like your fears back?”

    My students always squealed, ecstatic that they had accomplished so much. No pain! Their struggles were met with only my assurances that they would succeed in the process. And no one wanted their fears back.

    Oh, by the way, the next day, we get past 1,000. When I assure them that that means they have gotten past 2 to the power of 10, we sneak right into a discussion of exponents. And we talk about their accomplishments. I ask them why they were so scared before our first lesson. They say they never knew math could be so fun.

  • 06 Nov 2019 10:44 AM | Gina Kilday (Administrator)

    by Sara Donaldson, Ed.D., Wheaton College, Norton, MA

    In their series of articles about rules that expire, Karp, Bush, and Dougherty (2014, 2015, 2017) discuss the negative impact many provided hints and short-cuts have on students’ future mathematics success and confidence. Many of these “rules” do not hold true as students move into more complex topics (e.g.; just adding a zero to the end of a number when multiplying by ten no longer works when you are working with decimals). And even when the “rules” do hold true, students’ reliance on them does not support their understanding of the patterns and structures that make math work and that help them develop the sense making and reasoning needed for long term success.

    Rule number two of their original 13 Rules That Expire (Karp, Bush, & Dougherty, 2014) article is “Use key words to solve word problems” (p. 21). The authors explain that although key words can be helpful, when students are encouraged to scan problems for key words and numbers instead of first making sense of the overall problem situation, the everyday and multiple meanings of key words can lead to wrong answers and an inability to determine whether an answer makes sense (e.g.; left might indicate subtraction, but it could also just be identifying handedness). One strategy for helping students develop the ability to make sense of problems, instead of relying on short cuts, is to have them practice sorting problems based on the type of operation they would use to solve the problem. This task shifts the focus from solving problems to making sense of problems (as finding the answer is not part of the work) and allows students to determine the characteristics of problems that require adding versus subtracting on their own, thus helping to promote understanding and confidence.

    Here is how I approach this type of lesson:

    Preparation: Gather 10-15 one step word problems with approximately half of them for each operation (e.g.; half addition and half subtraction). You can make up problems, adapt problems from your curricular materials, or simply use problems from your math text or workbook. I try to choose problems with familiar contexts and easy numbers so students can focus on the structure of the problem without being overwhelmed by other details. Depending upon your grade level the problems could involve addition and subtraction of single-digit whole numbers or multiplication and division of fractions, making it easily adaptable for different parts of the curriculum.

    Once you’ve chosen your problems, print them out and cut them apart. Each group or pair of students will need a complete set of problems. I put them into envelopes for easy distribution.


    Step 1: Display two problems (one for each operation). Using a think-pair-share structure, have students determine what operation would be used to solve each problem. Then lead a short discussion around how students made their decisions. If students bring up “key words” as their strategy, push them to talk about what the word means in the problem and what the word indicates is happening in the problem situation.

    Step 2: Explain to students that today they will be working in pairs/small groups to sort problems into two sets based on the operation needed to solve the problem. Emphasize that they will not be solving the problems, just sorting them. I usually encourage students to see each problem as a mini-story and to use what they picture happening in the story to help them determine the operation, just like they work to create a movie in their head to help them understand texts when they are reading.

    Step 3: Group students and distribute the problem sets. I like to have students work with at least one other student on this task so they need to talk through decisions, however you could also start by having students complete the sorting independently before moving to step 4 where they will compare their sort with another student.

    Step 4: Once students have sorted their problems have them work with another pair/group to compare their sorts. For any problems where they disagree on the operation, ask students to discuss their thinking and work to reach consensus. If a group is unable to come to agreement on a problem, ask them to put it aside so we can discuss it as a whole class during the debrief (Step 5).

    Step 5: After groups have had time to talk through their sorts, bring the class together to debrief their thinking, talk through any problems which caused disagreement, and come up with some guidelines for determining the underlying characteristics of problems requiring each operation. With the problems displayed for all to see, have students make “We noticed that…” statements that generalize the patterns found for problems using each operation. For example, “We noticed that for subtraction we were finding the difference between two groups but for addition we were putting groups together.” Recording these generalization statements on anchor charts, along with representative problems, will serve as a good future resource for students that will promote their sense making and reasoning ability, as well as their independent problem solving ability.

    Some groups of students are very adept at generalizing patterns, while others are not. Being prepared with questions such as, “Is that always true?” and “How is that different than in the (opposite operation) problems?” can be helpful. Additionally, pulling out a few problems that have similar structures and asking students, “What do you notice is the same about these problems?” is also a helpful scaffold.

    Extending the lesson. In addition to sorting problems based on inverse operations, students can also sort problems that use the same operation, but which have different underlying structures. Connecting this type of sort to solution strategies helps students develop fluency as they come to recognize entry points for different types of problems and thus are better able to pull forward prior experiences as they tackle unfamiliar problems. The “Mathematics Glossary” of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics identifies common addition and subtraction problem situations (Table 1) and multiplication and division problem situations (Table 2). Although students are not expected to be able to name these different problem structures, becoming familiar with them and recognizing that each type requires a slightly different approach will empower students and allow them to carry these strategies forward to similarly structured problems using more complex numbers in future years, as this knowledge and understanding will never “expire”, unlike the rules upon which many students currently rely.

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When you join RIMTA, you automatically become a member of the Association of Teachers of Mathematics in New England (ATMNE).  ATMNE members receive two annual newsletters, the New England Mathematics Journal (NEMJ), invitations to regional conferences and more.  All ATMNE publications have gone GREEN so make sure you keep your e-mail up to date. 


  • to promote an active interest in mathematics and its applications
  • to provide opportunities for the exchange of ideas and materials related to the instruction of mathematics
  • to work for the improvement of mathematics instruction at all levels
  • to further the cooperative study of problems related to the teaching of mathematics at the elementary, middle school, high school and college level

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RIMTA is a partner affiliate of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).

RIMTA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 

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