Thursday, May 09, 2019

Bettering the math program: summer study details

My colleague noted that we use the design process as we continually evaluate, test, and develop the fifth grade program to best meet state/system-wide standards, students interests/needs, and our overarching goal of promoting a dynamic, collaborative, creative, and kind teaching/learning team.

As I think of that and my many posts about math education, I recognize that the more I write about this and define what it is I need to do to better the program, the better able I am to put these efforts into place and foster betterment.

So right now I'm laying out my summer math professional learning path:

Deep Dive into the Data
I'm an educator who looks deeply at informal and formal data points to assess the teaching/learning program. Because I know what I did to teach all the students and I know how they reacted to the teaching from their varied perspectives, experiences, and efforts, I can use that data well to point me in the direction of betterment. Specifically I will use the data in the following ways:
  • Identifying types of students we reached versus types of students we did not reach, then doing a deep dive into the reasons why we may not have reached particular types of students and later sharing that data with colleagues to foster good discussion and program changes related to betterment.
  • Identifying content areas, concepts, and skills that we didn't teach as well as we could have and re-looking at how we taught those areas and what we might do better.
Use of Performance Assessments
Since students are responsible for showing their thinking, explanations, model making, and reasonable solutions, it's important to coach students in efforts like these. Using a process similar to the writing process with brainstorming (exploring), drafting, peer/teacher conferencing, and final results/presentation. I will work this summer to create and identify performance assessments to use next year. This is a good reference for relevant data. 

Updating Math Resources
Ready access to apt math resources helps the entire learning team to do their best. This summer I'll update the math website to serve as a wonderful resource for students, family members, and colleagues. 

Engaging, Interdisciplinary Math Instruction
I'll work with colleagues to look for ways to make math more engaging and interdisciplinary.

Extra Help Sessions
I'll work with colleagues to plan for ways that we can offer extra help to students and their families. Providing sessions like this this year was very helpful. 

Material Organization
I'll continue to find ways to best organize the materials so that the math learning materials are readily available and accessible to all students, educators, and family members should they need them.

Professional Learning
I'll study with the following resources:
  • the books pictured on this post
  • my reading list--a list that I use to post timely articles and references.
  • ongoing articles, comments, references from the YouCubed, Khan Academy, Twitter, and other math/education social media threads and blogs
  • summer collegial efforts that involve math
Now that I've updated and better defined my math professional learning path, the next step is to actually schedule these steps so that I do them. This is a good way to ensure that you do the work needed to continually use the design process to better the teaching/learning you do.