President’s Message

Stephanie Cooperman, President, AMTNJ

President’s Message – January 1, 2019
WELCOME to The Association of Mathematics Teachers of New Jersey. I hope that you had an enjoyable and productive 2018 school year. Best Wishes for happiness and success in 2019! Let me begin by reviewing the Objective of the AMTNJ By-Laws: The objective of the Association shall be to promote learning and teaching of mathematics at all education levels. The achievement of this objective will be made through activities of the Association, which provide a medium for exchange of views regarding the teaching of mathematics and intend to influence curriculum and methods in schools.” Additionally, it is imperative that the teaching of mathematics integrates access, equity and empowerment for all students.

AMTNJ is a leader in providing several statewide conferences, numerous workshops and other supportive activities throughout the year. These professional development opportunities have provided teachers with lessons and resources to maximize mathematical learning in the classroom.

  • We are looking to grow mutual support with other organizations such as New Jersey Educational Computing Cooperative (NJECC). Their 33rd Annual Statewide Educational Technology Conference is scheduled for January 8 – 10, 2019, at Montclair State University, Montclair, N.J. AMTNJ is tentatively planning a Technology Conference for a Saturday morning in April, 2019. In the past, this was a highly successful conference, with a variety of presentations that showcased current tech trends. The emphasis on including technology when introducing important math concepts has dramatically increased, especially when used by students for collaborative problem-solving purposes. Projects featuring connections between mathematics, art, music, dance, theatre and cinema (STEM and STEAM) appeal to students of all ability levels. Activities that relate mathematics to World Languages and cultures, support NCTM’s initiatives regarding access and equity. Students need to have numerous choices – videos with dialog and music, PowerPoint presentations incorporating audience responses, interactive Smartboard activities, photography shows, graphics with storytelling, short animated clips – for how their pair/group will showcase their findings to peers. There are many creative presentation tools for students to try, which can be found on-line.
  • AMTNJ’s Annual Winter Conference will be held on February 7, 2019, at the Ramada Plaza, Monroe Township, N.J. The theme is “Mathematical Sense Making for All Students”. Our Keynote speaker is Dr. Keith Devlin and his topic is: “What mathematics do people really need for the 21st Century and how do we teach it?” Be sure to mark your calendars for this event! (To learn more about Dr. Devlin, visit his website or listen to The Math Guy on NPR’s Weekend Edition.) To register online visit this link.
  • The AMTNJ/DIMACS Workshops at Rutgers, began in November, 2018 and will run through early May. They are for all grade levels, with the focus on classroom instruction. Among the topics are: preparation for NJ’s statewide assessments, student engagement, motivational standards-based hands-on activities and “real world” applications. The highly regarded 33rd Annual AMTNJ/Rutgers Precalculus Conference for Grades 9 – 16, will be held on March 22, 2019. Sessions related to Algebra, Geometry, Precalculus, Calculus, Discrete Mathematics and Statistics will be presented. (The link for signing up for AMTNJ/DIMACS is the same for the Precalculus Conference.)
  • Several AMTNJ members attended the NJEA Preservice Annual State Conference on Saturday, March 10, 2018, at the Princeton Marriott at Forrestal. At our booth, printed information as well as a video presentation introduced the preservice teachers to what our organization had to offer them as potential members of AMTNJ. Hopefully, there will be a similar event scheduled for this coming spring. AMTNJ supports prospective teachers through our own conferences with reduced costs and membership fees. These students assist speakers and participants with information regarding room locations and hospitality concerns. Additionally, preservice teachers are able to attend sessions and interact with speakers and attendees about essential aspects of math education.
  • AMTNJ will be hosting a Job Fair in the spring for teachers in the fields of mathematics and science. School districts throughout N.J. will be contacted regarding the day, date and location for this event. Advertising via newspapers, radio stations and the AMTNJ website will be provided. Last year’s Job Fair was very successful in that it furnished participants the opportunity for in-depth interviews as well as networking exchanges.
  • AMTNJ will also be joining The Third New3 (“New Cube”) Summer Conference at Siena College, Albany, N.Y. from June 30 – July 3, 2019. This is a joint conference sponsored by the associations of mathematics teachers from AMTNYS (New York), ATMNE (New England), and AMTNJ (New Jersey). The theme for the conference is “Coming Together for Learning, Teaching and Students”, and will feature exciting presentations by outstanding mathematics educators from the northeast. This is an excellent opportunity for collaborating with other mathematics educators for professional development. For more information about this conference – latest updates, questions – please contact the conference coordinator, Jim Matthews at matthews@siena.edu. Please use “New Cubed – 2019” in the subject line of your email.
  • Throughout July – August, 2019, an extensive number of AMTNJ sponsored Summer Institutes will be offered at various locations in New Jersey. In the near future, descriptions of the course offerings may be found on the AMTNJ website. At the top of the webpage, click on the Professional Development menu and select “2019 Summer Institutes.”
  • A Supervisors’ Conference has tentatively been planned for a Saturday morning, in the fall, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm, at New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association (NJPSA) in Monroe, New Jersey. Administrators, principals, supervisors, department chairs, and teacher-leaders need opportunities to meet together to share current trends regarding mathematical pedagogy, research studies, and innovative programs introduced in their individual school districts. Further information will be available on the AMTNJ website by this summer.
  • The 29th Annual Two-Day Conference will be held in October, 2019. This has always been an exceptional conference with an abundant selection of presentations by notable speakers from all over the United States. The two-day event allows greater collaboration among participants and to share their expertise in teaching mathematics. Information regarding the theme, day and date, and location will be made available on the AMTNJ website in the near future.
  • The 2019 NJEA Convention will be held November 7 – 8, 2019 in Atlantic City, N.J. The Professional Development and Instructional Issues division of NJEA is now accepting speaker proposals to present at the NJEA Convention and at High Tech Hall. NJEA members can apply to present in the Teacher to Teacher Learning Lounge. This is an area for NJEA members to demonstrate how they use technology in their classrooms. It is an informal demonstration area for educators to network with other educators. Programs are (2) fifty minute sessions. This is a wonderful opportunity for AMTNJ members to demonstrate their expertise! Proposals must be submitted electronically and the deadline for submissions is Feb 1, 2019. Proposals can be submitted here. Please contact Janet L. Royal at jroyal@njea.org or (609) 310-4322 with questions.
  • I am a member of the Learning Disabilities Association of New Jersey (LDANJ). On November 11, 2018, I attended the LDANJ Fall Conference and Resource Expo for parents, adults, educators, professionals and students. The informative workshops, networking and available resources were outstanding! A relationship with LDANJ is especially important since AMTNJ will be holding the 11th Annual Special Education and Mathematics Conference in December, 2019. Speaker presentations will feature identification of learning disabilities, using diagnostic tools, meeting the requirements of IEPs and 504s, fine-tuning assessment instruments and accessing supplementary resources.

We have been looking into revamping and modernizing our website so we can expand our offerings to mathematics teachers, parents, and students. We already offer competitive mathematics contests: December 11, 2019, the 43rd High School and 8th Middle School Math Contests. There are many online resources listed on the AMTNJ website. During the year, AMTNJ will be inventorying additional student-centered activities as well as innovative lessons and projects related to specific math areas. Students want opportunities to feature their individual talents and interests. They need lessons and activities to investigate that are inspiring and innovative. Important math ideas combined with imaginative artistic effects are very appealing and allow students of all abilities to “shine” for their classmates and for visitors to the AMTNJ website.

I will close by encouraging you to be an active member of AMTNJ. We are always interested in involving our members in the planning of conferences and other math-related activities. Best Wishes for enjoyable and rewarding mathematics teaching in 2019!

Sincerely,

Stephanie H. Cooperman

President AMTNJ – 2019