Developing Mathematical Mindsets  

April 28, 2017

The Teaching and Learning Department will be leading a math series for educators called Developing Mathematical Mindsets: Instructional Strategies to Improve Learning for All Students. This series of professional learning will support educators in advancing their own instructional skill set in the area of math. Elementary and secondary teachers will see best practices in action, learn instructional strategies to support math instruction and explore ways to increase engagement of all students. School districts who have a math school improvement goal or are developing a multi-tiered system of supports in math are advised to attend as a cohort of educators. Administrators are also encouraged to attend to better understand ways to support classroom teachers. Participants in the series will be part of a Professional Learning Network of educators who will work collaboratively to support each other, share ideas and resources, and learn from colleagues.  

The series kicked off on February 20, 2017, with 100 Nebraska teachers, administrators, and instructional coaches at ESU 10. Matt Vaudrey and John Stevens, authors of The Classroom Chef: Sharpen Your Lessons, Season Your Classes, Make Math Meaningful, led the day long workshop. We spent the day “preparing the kitchen” to enhance current lesson plans. Participants experienced how they can create engaging, meaningful tasks for students to develop their mathematical understanding by using concrete and representational instructional techniques before developing a student’s abstract understanding of math concepts.

We will host three other national presenters at ESU 10 during the 2017-2018 school year as part of the series. Sue O’Connell, author of Math in Practice, will help K-6 educators explore what it takes to be a problem solver and examine ways to support students as they solve math problems through interactive, hands-on tasks. Participants will gather ready-to-use ideas and activities to help their students simplify problems, find solutions, explain their thinking and build their confidence. Daniel Brahier, Professor of Mathematics Education at the School of Teaching and Learning at Bowling Green State University, will lead a session with 7-12 educators examining how decisions made in the areas of instruction, curriculum, and assessment affect the teaching and learning process. All participants in the Developing Mathematical Mindset series will attend Dr. Chris Cain’s presentation focusing on how to ensure students’ ability to understand numbers through research-supported instruction and effective interventions. This presentation will focus on Tier 2 integration of the MTSS model while layering on Tier 1 conceptual understanding.

-by Dianah Steinbrink, Teaching and Learning Coordinator