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eMath September 2020 Newsletter

Now that it’s September, schools around the country, including New York State, are in full swing. Around New York, schools are experimenting with in school classes, hybrid models, and fully remote teaching. Each has its challenges and there are still a lot of questions about how the 2020-2021 school year is going to play out. At eMathInstruction, we are doing our best to create materials that will help teachers navigate these challenging times.

For this month, we start by offering SMART Notebook files for the first three units in each of our middle school courses. These files can only be used by the program SMART Notebook, which is the standard software used by teachers who have SMART Boards. Because of how many teachers use this software and how many are in remote learning situations, we thought it would be wise to post them. I did want to mention that some of the presentations have animation in them and teachers should experiment with the presentations before using them in a remote situation. The files are located as the last resource under each of the lessons.

For our new additions in Common Core Algebra I this month, we bring you two new resources. First, we have published the Unit 4 Assessments, Forms A, B, and C, in Spanish. As I mentioned in last month’s newsletter, these tests are identical to the original English versions, but have been translated into Spanish. We hope that if your school has native Spanish language speakers that these tests will help you better understand what math they have learned and what still needs work. We also created a new lesson for Unit 2 (Linear Expressions, Equations, and Inequalities). This lesson is entitled “Using Structure to Understand Solutions to Equations.” It has students solve equations with integer solutions both algebraically and using tables on their calculators. Particular emphasis is placed on understanding how the structure of an equation can tell us whether it has no solutions or an infinite number.

In Common Core Geometry this month we bring you two new resources for Unit 2 (Transformations, Rigid Motions, and Congruence). First, we have a mid-unit quiz that can be given after Lesson #5. We provide you with two forms of this quiz for more flexibility. We also bring you the Form D assessment for Unit 2.

For Common Core Algebra II this month we have one resource for Unit 3 (Linear Functions, Equations, and Their Algebra) and one for Unit 4 (Exponential and Logarithmic Functions). For Unit 3, we bring you a mid-unit quiz and include two forms of the quiz. For Unit 4, we bring you an enrichment lesson on solving equations that involve logarithms. Please note, this is not a lesson on solving exponential equations using logarithms, but a lesson on solving equations that contain logarithms. We keep them relatively simple and do not involve log laws to combine logarithms. We emphasize solving these equations by applying inverse operations, including exponentiation. Some time in the lesson is also devoted to solving logarithmic equations graphically.

Finally, in Algebra 2 with Trigonometry we bring you a Unit 3 (Quadratic Functions and Their Algebra) enrichment lesson on “Using Structure to Factor.” This lesson requires students to see the structure in an expression and use it to factor more challenging expressions. We also bring you the Unit 3 Form D assessment.

This has been an “interesting” start to the school year. With students and teachers on Zoom, Teams, Classroom, Schoolology and other platforms just trying their best to make this learning thing work this year. I don’t know about anyone else, but I long for the days of having kids in a packed classroom five days a week. Good teaching and thorough learning was hard enough back then, and now it is so much more challenging. We don’t have a crystal ball here at eMathInstruction, and we certainly don’t know what the New York State Department of Education is planning in terms of testing at the end of the year. Our ardent hope is that they will either cancel the testing, as they did last year, or will modify it and the standards that should be taught in a way that makes sense given the reduced instructional time that all students are experiencing this year. Oh, and we hope they do this soon and don’t wait until mid-March of 2021. Until next month, stay healthy, stay sane, and keep fighting the good fight. -Kirk

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eMath August 2020 Newsletter

Ah, 2020! As schools “re-open” around New York and the country, the learning environment has never been more strange or more stressful. We’ve been busy here at eMathInstruction filling orders and creating resources to help with whatever teachers and students face this coming year. It’s our first year with middle school courses, so we have lots of new resources on that front as well as all new add-ons for our high school courses.

Before we get into the new middle school and high school materials, we first should mention the new way we are organizing resources for each course. We have now moved all resources for a given unit of a course in that unit’s page. We used to have only the lessons and homework sets for a given unit located there, with reviews, assessments, and add-ons located in other pages. We now have moved all of those into the individual unit pages. Generally, we have the standard lessons/homework sets first, followed by the unit review, unit assessments, quizzes, and additional lessons or activities that have been added-on. We have color coded these so that it is easy to quickly identify free lessons versus paid items, such as reviews, assessments, and add-ons. Here is an example from Unit 2 in Common Core Geometry:

Now that our resources are easier than ever to find, let’s discuss the latest additions to all of our courses.

In Common Core Algebra I this year we are adding Spanish versions of our first three forms of the unit assessments (Forms A, B, and C). We worked with three fantastic math teachers who were also bilingual in Spanish to create these translations for us. Each exam was translated by one teacher and then reviewed by another. For this month, we are releasing a number of these assessments so that teachers can begin to evaluate how they can use them effectively. We have included Units 1, 2, and 3, for a total of nine assessments. You will find these as an option under the unit assessments. Here is a screenshot of Unit #1 from Algebra I:

Notice that the PDF DOCUMENT – SPANISH is located immediately below the PDF ANSWER KEY for each exam. Please also note that we did not translate the answer keys into Spanish on the assumption that the person grading the student exams will be fluent in Spanish.

In Common Core Geometry this month we bring you two resources for Unit 1 (Essential Geometric Tools and Concepts). First, we have a mid-unit quiz with both a Form A and a Form B. Although this would be a very early quiz, we believe it is more important than ever to make sure kids are starting off with a solid understanding of the material. We also bring you the Form D assessment for Unit 1.

For Common Core Algebra II we bring you a mid-unit quiz for Unit 1 (Algebraic Essentials Review). We are committed this year to creating mid-unit quizzes in each of our high school courses for each unit. We know that many of these have already been created, but we want to make sure we have consistency in each unit with both a Form A and Form B mid-unit quiz. We also bring you an add-on lesson for Unit 2 (Functions) on Exploring Functions Using the Graphing Calculator. In this add-on, we give students problems that force them to experiment with their graphing window as well as tools like the maximum and zero command to find important features of real-world functions. We think this is an excellent resource for encouraging kids to use their calculators to explore the behavior of unfamiliar functions.

In Algebra 2 with Trigonometry, this month we offer up the Form D Unit Assessment for Unit 1 (Introduction to Functions) and Unit 2 (Linear Relations and Functions). Our general goal is to have four forms of each unit assessment for each course.

Our middle school courses are brand new this year, which means that we have a much smaller library of resources for them at this point. Right now, teachers will find in each unit the lessons for the unit and the unit review. As add-ons this year, we will be publishing the first round of unit assessments for each course. For this month, we have published the unit assessments for Units 1, 2, and 3 for each course. You will find the assessments as the last resource (for now) of each unit. For example, Unit 3 in N-Gen Math 6 looks as follows:

We will continue to publish the unit assessments each month as the add-ons for the middle school courses. Next year we plan to add Form B assessments, as well as quizzes and exit tickets.

I don’t think I’m going out on a limb to say that the fall of 2020 will be even more strange and stressful for teachers and students than even the spring of 2020. And that was no walk in the park. Teachers will need to be ready to move from fully in school to hybrid models to fully remote learning at a moment’s notice. At eMathInstruction, we hope to be able to help with whatever transitions you have to make as a teacher this year. For now, take care of yourselves, stay healthy, and stay sane.

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eMath May 2020 Newsletter

May has arrived and so has spring in upstate New York. It seems like only yesterday that we were being hit by a blizzard, when in reality it was actually last week. Neither weather nor quarantine at home with kids has stopped us here at eMathInstruction. We’ve been busy creating the last round of add-ons for the year as well as putting the finishing touches on the first editions of our new N-Gen Math series for grades 6 through 8. More on those later. First, to the add-ons for this month.

In our Common Core Algebra I Add-Ons we round out the assessments and exit tickets for the course. We bring you the Unit 10 (Statistics) Form D Assessment. We also have the Unit 11 (Functions and Modeling) Exit Tickets as well as its Form D Assessment. So many assessments to choose from now.

For Common Core Geometry Add-Ons this month we bring you two new resources. First, we have a Unit 10 (Measurement and Modeling) Progress Quiz. We plan to add many more of these quizzes next year. We also bring you the Form C Assessment for Unit 10.

Common Core Algebra II Add-Ons this month begin with the Unit 12 (Probability) Form D Assessment. We then bring you the Unit 13 (Statistics) Exit Tickets and Form D Assessment.

Finally, our Algebra 2 with Trigonometry Add-Ons this month have four new additions. First we have the Unit 12 (Statistics) Exit Tickets and Form C Assessment. We also bring you the Unit 13 (Sequences and Series) Exit Tickets and Form C Assessment.

Besides a lot of work on add-ons, we’ve also been busy with finishing the first editions of our N-Gen Math middle school books. Our plan is to have the workbooks and answer key memberships available for sale no later than June 15, 2020, so just a month from today. The Teacher Plus Answer Key memberships will include online access to the answer keys for the lessons and homework sets. It will also include online access to Unit Reviews for each unit and access to Microsoft Word documents for each resource. In the late summer we will be releasing some Unit Assessments and will continue to release Unit Assessments for the middle school courses as the school year progresses next year.

We’ll put out an additional post once we’ve gotten everything uploaded and our courses are ready to be used. For now, it’s time I get back to work on them. Take care everyone, stay healthy and safe during these challenging times.

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eMath April 2020 Newsletter

So, we find ourselves in week #6 of quarantine here is upstate New York. I imagine wherever you’re at, you’ve been homebound for just as long as we have here at eMath. We’ve had a lot of increase in our work since schools have closed because of how many are moving to remote learning models. Besides trying to keep up with many emails asking about remote learning, we’ve also been busy with add-on creation as well as finishing the first editions of our middle school N-Gen Math series. Let me first discuss our latest round of add-ons.

In our Common Core Algebra I Add-Ons this month we bring you some mid-unit quizzes as well as a Form D assessment. We bring you the Unit 7 (Polynomials) and Unit 8 (Quadratic Functions and Their Algebra) Mid-Unit Quizzes this month. These could even be helpful during these times to use as review assessments or finals review materials. We also bring you the Unit 9 (Roots and Irrational Numbers) Form D Assessment.

For our Common Core Geometry Add-Ons this month we have two new resources. First, we bring you the Unit 9 (Circle Geometry) Form C Assessment. We also offer the Unit 10 (Measurement and Modeling) Exit Tickets. We’ve found that teachers are making creative use of the exit tickets during this period of online learning.

We have three new resources for you in our Common Core Algebra II Add-Ons. First, we have the Unit 11 (Circular Functions) Exit Tickets. We also have the Unit 11 Form D Assessment. Finally, we also bring you the Unit 12 (Probability) Exit Tickets.

This month in Algebra 2 with Trigonometry Add-Ons we have the Unit 10 (Exponential and Logarithmic Functions) Form C Assessment. We then bring you the Unit 11 (Probability) Exit Tickets and Form C Assessment.

Since I last wrote, we have been busy finishing up the first edition of our middle school courses. We have now finished and uploaded all videos for the three courses. We hope that they help with some of the remote instruction that is happening now. We are also working on finishing the first version of the workbooks, the answer keys, and the unit reviews. We will begin to create assessment materials for all three courses in the early summer.

There has been a lot of news out of the education world, including the cancellation of the New York State Regents exams and the delay of the Next Generation Standards implementation by one year. Here at eMathInstruction, we will be facing all of these challenges with our eyes on the future as well as the present to make sure we have materials ready for when and how teachers will need to use them.

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Revised Next Generation Timeline and June 2020 Regents Exams

Well, if you didn’t know already, there were huge announcements put out this morning (April 8, 2020) regarding this year’s Regents exams in New York State along with graduation requirements and the timeline for implementation of the Next Generation Mathematics Learning Standards. We wanted to make everyone aware of this information, given that most of us are in quarantine and maybe wouldn’t get this information in a timely manner. Here is the link to the article out of NYSED:

http://www.nysed.gov/news/2020/state-education-department-issues-guidance-graduation-and-course-requirement-changes-due

First, lets start with Regents exams. We already knew that they and the 3-8 tests had been cancelled. What NYSED released today was direction for districts regarding how this effects Regents graduation credits. Basically, NYSED is allowing school districts to give students a Regents credit as long as they pass the course that would have ended in the exam. Here is the relevant passage from the article:

Personally, I think this is an excellent move by NYSED and the most logical thing to do given the uncertainty that we all face. It still gives kids the motivation to pass the course they are in and to try their best during these times of remote learning, but it takes the pressure off of both them and their teachers to prepare them for an August or January examination.

Now, in another bombshell, and I will admit a surprise to me, NYSED also pushed the entire implementation of the Next Generation Mathematics Learning Standards off for another year. This is not only true for the 3-8 courses/assessments but also for the high school level exams. Now the first set of 3-8 assessments aligned to the Next Gen Standards will not go into place until the spring of 2022 and the first administration of the Next Generation aligned Algebra I exam will not occur until June of 2023. Although it is hard to almost fathom, your school could conceivably still be giving the Common Core Aligned Algebra II exam in June of 2026. Yes, you read that right, June of 2026!!! Here is an image of the updated implementation timeline:


Here is the link to the revised timeline:

http://www.nysed.gov/common/nysed/files/programs/curriculum-instruction/next-gen-mathematics-implementation-timeline-revised-april-2020.pdf

Here at eMathInstruction we have been planning on the timeline as it was yesterday for awhile. We aren’t in anyway sure of what this means for our own curricular products, other than we will have additional time to work on our Next Generation aligned high school courses (a whole extra year in fact). We will work to update all of our fantastic members as we solidify our own plans.

For now, stay safe, stay sane, stay at home, and most importantly, stay healthy!!!

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eMath March 2020 Newsletter

What a crazy last few weeks it has been. School districts have been closing left and right for weeks or even over a month in order to “flatten the curve” as it is being called. We just posted an article detailing the steps we are taking here at eMathInstruction to help districts as many move to a remote instruction model in the coming days. Part of how we are going to help, though, is by continuing to publish materials in our monthly add-ons and by continuing to record videos for our middle school series of courses. Let’s discuss the add-ons first and then I’ll give you an update on our middle school progress.

In Common Core Algebra I Add-Ons this month we have the Unit 8 (Quadratic Functions and Their Algebra) Form D Assessment. We also bring you the Unit 9 (Roots and Irrational Numbers) and the Unit 10 (Statistics) Exit Tickets. We will put out our last CC Algebra I exit tickets, for Unit 11, in April. I’m hoping that teachers might be able to creatively use the exit tickets in a remote learning situation. Maybe they could be used for informal assessment by the student.

For Common Core Geometry Add-Ons this month we have a few resources for Unit 8 (Right Triangle Trigonometry). First we bring you a practice set of exercises on solving for missing sides and missing angles in right triangles using the trigonometric ratios. This is a straight up fluency worksheet that gives students some nice practice setting up trig ratios and then solving them. We also have the Unit 8 Form C Assessment. Finally, we bring you the Unit 9 (Circle Geometry) Exit Tickets.

This month we are brining you a lot of resources in the Common Core Algebra II Add-Ons. CC Algebra II is a very long course, as anyone who has taught it knows. In order to keep pace with the Form D assessments and exit tickets, we bring you five resources in CC Algebra II this month. We begin with the Unit 8 (Radicals and the Quadratic Formula) Form D Assessment. We then have the Unit 9 (Complex Numbers) Exit Tickets. Of course, that means that we then bring you the Unit 9 Form D Assessment. We then have the Unit 10 (Polynomial and Rational Functions) Exit Tickets and Form D Assessment. We wanted to make sure we got all of these resources to you now, so that if you need them while students are learning from home, then you have them at your disposal.

In Algebra 2 with Trigonometry Add-Ons, we have a similar situation to CC Algebra II. In this case, we bring you four resources, starting with the Unit 8 (Trigonometric Algebra) Form C Assessment. We then have the Unit 9 (Trigonometric Applications) Exit Tickets and Form C Assessment. Finally, we also bring you the Unit 10 (Exponential and Logarithmic Functions) Exit Tickets.

We are coming along on our Next Generation aligned middle school courses. For those of you not in New York State, the Next Generation Math Standards are what New York is renaming the Common Core Standards (with slight modifications). We now have our N-Gen Math 6 and N-Gen Math 7 books done in their first editions, with sample copies available in early May. Our N-Gen Math 8 book is not far behind. We are busy also recording videos for all three courses. It looks like by the end of March we will finish all videos for both Math 6 and Math 7. Math 8 videos will be finished by mid-April. We hope that these videos will help with remote learning this year.

We are starting to receive orders for our middle school products. Although we are happy to get the orders, we won’t be able to process them until late June. Let us know if you have any questions by emailing Orders@emathinstruction.com. We will be posting cleaned up version of all of the middle school files in June as well standards alignment documents this summer.

That’s it for now. I hope that everyone out there, teachers, students, administrators, and parents, all stay healthy and sane during these coming weeks. We can do so much for each other in our communities, large and small, that will help our country as a whole defeat the common threat we now face. Take care and be well.

Kirk

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Remote Learning with eMathInstruction

The past week has been interesting and trying.  Recently, we learned of several states that have closed school.  In states such as New York, many schools are now closing for two weeks to over a month.  Please know that we at eMath consider every teacher out there to be a hero. You are likely being asked to prepare to do the impossible, teach students remotely.  We are here to help and support you in any way we can.  We have been getting many questions about how eMathInstruction materials can be used so wanted to send out answers to a few common questions.

Q: Can files be posted?

A: We have several different types of files and will address each independently.

  • Lessons and homework sets that are already available for free download may be reposted though we greatly prefer that you just post the appropriate link to our website.  This will likely be easier for you in the long run.
  • Unit reviews are only available with the purchase of a membership and may be reposted to closed systems only such as Google Classroom
  • Answer keys and assessments are only available with the purchase of a membership.  These are our most sensitive files.  These may only be posted to closed systems inaccessible to the broader internet (such as Google Classroom).  We ask that these most sensitive files be removed from the closed system after they are needed. 

Q: Why can certain documents such as assessments, answer keys only be posted to closed systems?

A: There are several reasons we prohibit the posting of these items to traditional websites and web pages. 

  • The first and most important reason is academic integrity.  Students are quite internet savvy.  Students from outside of your school will find the files you post and use them to cheat.  You would not want your students finding answers on the internet so we ask that you be considerate to teachers and students on the other side of the country.
  • eMath Instruction provides a plethora of files for free.  Unfortunately we cannot provide everything for free or we would not have the funding to continue to provide new resources.  If our paid content is posted to the internet where anyone can find it we lose out on the ability to sell our material and therefore continue to do what we do.

Q: How can videos be easily accessed?  Can they be downloaded?

A: All of our videos are on YouTube.  Videos for Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II are also on TeacherTube.  Unfortunately the file size of videos is quite large and impractical to provide off of the internet.  We understand that many folks struggle with access to internet due to living in a remote location or due to other family circumstances.  At this point, in order to view videos, access to the internet is needed.  Below are the links to our YouTube and TeacherTube channels.  Videos are also accessible from our website.

Q: Can we still purchase books?  How can we get them to students if our school has already closed?

A: Yes.  We have books available.  We can work with your school to possibly ship books directly to students if needed.  Please contact us directly to discuss.  If your school has not yet closed and you think you may need books, your best bet is to order them as soon as possible. 

If there are any other questions you have or any other way we can support you, please feel free to reach out to us.  You can reach us at orders@emathinstruction.com or info@emathinstruction.com.  We are here for you.  We hope you all stay safe and healthy.

Kirk and Shana Weiler

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Reordering N-Gen Math™ 8 and Middle School Videos

We’ve been getting great input this year on our new middle school courses that are aligned to the new Next Generation Math Standards (coming next year to New York K-8). I’ve had some great conversations with teachers who are using the courses. One of the things I heard from multiple teachers was that they would like to see algebra moved to the beginning of N-Gen Math™ 8 so that equation solving could be a greater part of the geometry units.

One of the new skills that students learn in 8th grade algebra is how to solve equations with variables on both sides. Since our original ordering had this skill taught in Unit 4, we didn’t incorporate it into our Units 1 through 3 (on geometry). We decided to remedy that and move our algebra unit to Unit 1 and then incorporate those algebraic skills into our geometry units (which became Units 2 through 4). Because of this reordering, we had to remove some problems that had been in the algebra unit, but we were able to beef up the algebra in many of the geometry problems.

We also created some new lessons in geometry based on feedback. We created an additional lesson in the Tools of Geometry on angle terminology associated with parallel lines (alternate interior, exterior, same side, corresponding, etcetera). We added a few lessons in our unit on Transformations. One of these looks at congruent angles formed by parallel lines through the lens of rigid motions. The other lesson comes at the end of the unit and gives students lots of practice using algebra to model geometry problems.

One of the very nice consequences of the reordering is that our unit on similarity now comes immediately before the unit on linear functions and graphs of lines. Given that in 8th grade we justify the slope of a line based on similarity, this flow of topics is much more natural. I think the changes to N-Gen Math™ 8 will make it more complete and will strengthen both the algebra and geometry skills of the students. I’d like to thank Elizabeth Agen of Golding Middle School and Beth Goldberg of Linden Avenue Middle School for the feedback on the order of the topics. I had some very good back and forth discussions with both teachers that really got me to think harder about the best sequence of topics in the course.

We’ve also begun to record and post the videos for the middle school courses. It’s going to take us quite some time to finish them as we can only do so many in a day and there’s other work to be done. My hope is to have them all recorded and posted by next spring. We’ll be recording more videos next week and then will need to take some time off for the fall AMTNYS conference up in Rochester. For now, keep watching as we continue to post the first few units of all three courses.

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TI-Nspire Directions for Algebra I and Geometry by Jeanne Oliveira

Our good friend and longtime contributor, Jeanne Oliveira, from Germantown CSD has created an amazing collection of TI-Nsprire directions that go with the eMath Curriculum for both Algebra I and Geometry. Some of these we’ve posted in the past. But now we have the full collection. These include both PDF versions of the instructions and TNSP versions. I’m going to post them by unit in zip folders for easier download.

Algebra I:

eMathInstruction Alg I Unit 01 Nspire Instructions

eMathInstruction Alg I Unit 02 Nspire Instructions

eMathInstruction Alg I Unit 03 Nspire Instructions

eMathInstruction Alg I Unit 05 Nspire Instructions

eMathInstruction Alg I Unit 06 Nspire Instructions

eMathInstruction Alg I Unit 07 Nspire Instructions

eMathInstruction Alg I Unit 08 Nspire Instructions

eMathInstruction Alg I Unit 09 Nspire Instructions

eMathInstruction Alg I Unit 10 Nspire Instructions

eMathInstruction Alg I Unit 11 Nspire Instructions

 

Geometry:

eMathInstruction Geometry Unit 05

eMathInstruction Geometry Unit 06

eMathInstruction Geometry Unit 07

eMathInstruction Geometry Unit 08

eMathInstruction Geometry Unit 09

eMathInstruction Geometry Unit 10

 

Jeanne spent a lot of time on these and plans to do a set for Algebra II as well. We’d like to thank her for sharing these materials with the wider math education community. Thanks Jeanne!

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Regents Live Review 2019

In just two weeks students all around New York State will sit down to take their (Common Core) Algebra I Regents exam. As we’ve done in the past two years, I will be doing a Live Review session for each of the three major high school math Regents exams (Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II).

I will be going over questions from past Regents exams. The question packets for each Regents are given below. Fair warning: they are extremely long (around 20 pages each)!!!

Common Core Algebra I Live Review Problems 2019 (pdf)

Common Core Algebra I Live Review Problems 2019 (MS Word)

Common Core Geometry Live Review Problems 2019 (pdf)

Common Core Geometry Live Review Problems 2019 (MS Word)

Common Core Algebra II Live Review Problems 2019 (pdf)

Common Core Algebra II Live Review Problems 2019 (MS Word)

We likely will not make it through the entire packet on any one of the nights. I think it really would take about 5 hours to do a complete review.

The reviews will be shown on YouTube Live (Kirk Weiler Channel) and Instagram Live (follow @emathinstruction). The video will be much better on the YouTube Live platform. We mainly will have Instagram Live going for students to comment (whatever it takes to get them to the review ;-).

Can’t wait to “see” you all there.