1 Plan for Improving the District s Elementary Math Program Rhonda B. Cohen, PhD, Director of Teaching and Learning Amherst School Committee Meeting Presentation May 15, 2012
2 Overview 1. Curriculum review process 2. Adopt a new elementary math program (K-5) 3. Implementation 4. K-12 Connections
3 Curriculum Review Process Participants Director of Teaching and Learning Elementary Math Coaches Classroom Teachers ELL, Special Education, and Intervention Teachers Administrators Co-Chair and Previous Members of the Math Textbook Committee (Spring 2011)
4 Framing the Problem Investigations implementation and alignment issues persist Differentiation issues Rigor and challenge Supplementing (inconsistency) Homework (inconsistency) Pacing Guides Common Core and MA Curriculum Frameworks MCAS math student performance (e.g., 48% -63% of fourth graders and 33%-41% of fifth graders not proficient).
5 Key Questions n To what extent would it be possible to modify the Investigations math program to address these concerns? n Are there any other elementary math curriculum materials available that would be better positioned to address these concerns (e.g., Think Math!, Everyday Math, Singapore Math)? n To what extent are the currently available elementary math programs aligned with the MA Curriculum Frameworks (Common Core)?
6 Think Math! Three Elementary Math Programs Brookline, Framingham, and Weston Everyday Math 40% of MA school districts Newton, Lexington, and Winchester Math in Focus (Singapore Math) Insufficient evidence about effectiveness of methodology in the US Pedagogical approach does not align well with mathematical practices standards
7 Review Process n n n n n n Publishers sent a complete sets of curriculum materials for review purposes. Elementary math coaches begin math analysis work Evaluation criteria determined Director of Teaching and Learning contacts school districts to learn about their experiences with the math programs (50+ hours) Communication to staff about the plan for collecting teacher feedback (school visits, district-wide meetings) Invite previous members of the Math Textbook Review Committee to attend district meetings to build a bridge between last year s work and offer feedback on the review process.
8 Math Analysis Work What is the amount and range of mathematics content available for students to learn at specific grade levels? How do the curriculum materials help students to develop problem solving skills (e.g., open-ended math problems, inquiry, explaining and recording math ideas, using multiple representations)? To what extent do the materials focus on both developing conceptual understanding and procedural fluency?
9 Evaluation Criteria Alignment to the MA Curriculum Frameworks Rigor as represented by the amount and range of mathematics content available for students to learn Balance between developing conceptual understanding and procedural fluency Ability to differentiate the materials to meet the needs of all learners Math fact automaticity Resources for enrichment, intervention, and English Language Learners Family/Home resources Technology Research & Success
10 Everyday Math Think Math! Content modifications and additional opportunities for problem solving needed (e.g., Math Forum, open-ended) Content modifications and additional opportunities for problem solving needed (e.g. Math Forum, open-ended) Addresses the five content strands (number sense and operations, measurement, geometry, data, and probability) in a structured way. Offers a few math problems in different strands per day. These problems can take as little as 5 minutes to complete. Provides a balance between developing conceptual understanding and procedural fluency. Places a stronger emphasis on developing conceptual understanding
11 Everyday Math Think Math! Offers a wealth of resources for differentiating the curriculum including daily routines, leveled problems, games, enrichment and intervention activities, and special math projects. Limited amount of resources available for differentiating the curriculum. Due to the limited and inadequate amount of homework, extension activities are being used for homework. Enrichment/intervention activities have student handouts. Program provides the following resources for developing math fact automaticity: Fact Family Triangles,, 40+ math games per grade level, and the online resources Math Facts Workshop & Fact Dash Game (timed or untimed). Ideas for enrichment/intervention found in the Teacher s Guides, do not have student handouts.. Think Math districts also report insufficient enrichment activities. Math fact practice needs to be supplemented outside of the core program.
12 Everyday Math Think Math! English Language Learners (ELL) resources: English Language Learner Handbook organized by unit and lesson. Daily Math Message and math vocabulary translated in the following languages: Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Urdu. All components of the curriculum materials are available in Spanish. English Language Learners (ELL) resources: Activities appear in the Teacher s Guides. Family Letters are available in Spanish. Family/Home Resources: Home Connection Handbook includes Family Letters, Do Anytime Activities, and explanations about algorithms, routines, and games. For details, see the Everyday Math at Home website.
13 Everyday Math Think Math! Technology Resources: Teacher resources include: e-toolkit (virtual manipulatives and digital versions of teaching aid masters), e-planner (an online lesson planner), Online Benchmark Assessments (in addition to paper assessments), and e- Presentations (interactive( whiteboard lessons).. Technology Resources: Teacher resources are available as PDF documents. Interactive board lessons are being developed. Technology Resources: Student resources include My Reference Book (grades 1-2) and the Student Reference Books (grades 3-5) are available as online interactive resources that have audio narration and animations (available in Spanish). Students also have access to online math
14 Everyday Math Research & Success Everyday Math program has been a core elementary math program for the past 25 years. Used worldwide by 4.3 million students in 220,000 classrooms. Original research based on a study involving 78,000 students. Students included in research studies were from a range of socioeconomic backgrounds and attended schools in urban, suburban, and rural communities Think Math! Research & Success Think Math! is a relatively new elementary math program. The program was piloted in Brookline 5 years ago. Weston began using the program 2 years ago and Framingham 3 years ago. Original research based on a study involving 3500 students. To date, each grade has undergone 2 years of classroom testing. Summative assessment is only possible when materials are in wide use What Works Clearinghouse identified only the Everyday Math program to have potentially positive effects on students math achievement.
15 Everyday Math Research & Success Among the highest performing districts in MA have been using the Everyday Math program for more than 20 years (Newton, Lexington, Winchester). In these communities, the program has withstood multiple curriculum reviews. Think Math! Research & Success Two university communities that use the Everyday Math program report success in closing the achievement gap (i.e., Ann Arbor Public Schools, Pittsburgh Public Schools.) Brookline and Weston continue to perform well pre- and post- adoption. Framingham hopes to see an increase in MCAS scores this year. Not uncommon for MCAS scores to rise in the first year of implementation (e.g., Leverett, Manchester-Essex)
16 Adopt a New Elementary Math Program K-5: Everyday Math The Everyday Math program continues to be a widely used elementary math program with a solid research basis. Specific strengths include: rigor (above grade-level content, range of math topics) resources available for differentiation focus on problem solving in everyday contexts balance between conceptual understanding and procedural fluency technology and family/home resources documented success for a wide range of students
17 Initial Training (June 2012) Implementation (1) Full day grade-specific training provided to all classroom teachers, special education teachers, and intervention teachers (K training, grade 1 training, etc.) Three hours additional training for special education and math intervention teachers. Training addresses the needs of teachers who work in multiple grade levels. Teacher kits are purchased for all classroom teachers, special education teachers, and intervention teachers. At each building, an additional set of teacher kits is purchased for principals and math coaches use. Note: Outdated or no longer used manipulative materials will need to be inventoried. Per district policy, they need to repurposed, sold, or donated.
18 Summer 2012 Implementation (2) All classroom teachers are provided 3 hours of summer curriculum work to focus on planning for the fall (grant funded). One ELL teacher from each school is provided 6 hours of summer curriculum work to organize ELL support materials and plan informational evenings in the fall (grant funded). Math coaches develop pacing guides and grade specific recommendations for each unit. Recommendations include information about the Common Core and mathematical practices, as well as ways to engage students in open-ended problem solving. New hires are provided 3 hours of initial Everyday Math training on Teacher Orientation Day. Further training is provided in the mentoring program. All administrators complete one full day of Everyday Math Training. Special attention is placed on what it means to implement the program successfully.
19 Parent/Home Connections Implementation (3) May/June 2012 Director of Teaching and Learning holds informational sessions at each elementary school. Attendees will get a preview of the program as well as information about what to expect in the fall. September 2012 Director of Teaching and Learning and math coaches hold Math Evenings (K-2) and (3-5) that will focus on How to Help Your Child Succeed in Math. These evenings will focus on what students are learning, electronic resources, and homework. Parents, guardians, and caregivers are encouraged to attend sessions at any of the Amherst-Pelham elementary schools. Everyday Math school districts view parents, guardians, and caregivers as partners. This partnership includes a commitment to ongoing parent/home connections.
20 Implementation (4) Year I ( ) Elementary math coaches support the transition, model Everyday Math lessons, and help teachers to assess student learning. Elementary math coaches work with intervention and special education teachers to meet the needs of students. Everyday Math consultant provides 2 half day follow up sessions for each grade level. Everyday Math consultant provides technology training to math coaches and technology teachers who provide building-based training. After the first year, Everyday Math consultant is contracted on an as needed basis. Math coaches provide professional development to new hires and continue to support successful implementation.
21 K-12 Connections Review Homework Guidelines (K-6, 7-8, 9-12) MCAS math assessments, aligned to the Common Core, are not yet available. Curriculum materials available are not sufficiently aligned to the Common Core. Reasonable to assume within the next 3 years, new materials and resources will become available. (Jan 2015 projected Everyday Math Fourth Edition release) Amherst Regional Public Schools Math Update (June) High School Math Program Grades 6-8 Alignment
22 Informational Sessions: Crocker Farm: (Wed) May 30, 6:30PM 7:30PM Pelham: (Thu) May 31, 6:30PM 7:30PM Wildwood: (Tue) June 5, 6:30PM 7:30PM Fort River: (Wed) June 6, 6:30PM 7:30PM Parents, guardians, and caregivers are encouraged to attend sessions at any of the Amherst-Pelham elementary schools.
23 Thank You