Developing Mathematical Mindsets  

January 26, 2018

The 2017-2018 Mathematical Mindsets series got off to a great start with Sue O’Connell, author of Math in Practice working with K-6 teachers. On the first day 27 kindergarten, first and second grade teachers came to ESU 10 to discover new ways to build problem solvers in their classrooms. They explored tools and diagrams to help their students visualize problems and discovered fun contexts, including links to popular children’s literature, to bring problems to life. The following day 26 3rd-6th grade teachers worked with Sue to explore what it takes to be a problem solver and examine ways to build students’ critical skills. One of the highlights of the day was when teachers worked together in teams to create a sequence of problem-solving tasks. Each teacher left with a copy of each group’s sequence of tasks at their grade level that they could begin using the very next day.

Daniel Brahier, Professor of Mathematics Education at the School of Teaching and Learning at Bowling Green State University, lead 27 7th-12th grade educators from 15 school districts through an examination of how decisions made in the areas of instruction, curriculum, and assessment affect the teaching and learning process. Teachers explored and discussed how tools and technology can be used effectively in mathematics lessons. We examined the role of teacher choice in the area of curriculum including scope of content, sequencing of topics, and lesson choice and how it can affect access and equity in the secondary mathematics classroom.

In January, Dr. Chris Cain, Associate Professor in the Education department at Mars Hill University, will lead Teaching Conceptually: Taking the “Magic” Out of the Math. K-12 educators will discover how to make strong mathematical connections in order to allow all children to experience and enjoy the reasoning behind mathematics. Often our students, as well as many adults, have developed the procedural knowledge needed to produce to the “right” answer without any true understanding of how or why a procedure really worked. We must ensure that students start to demystify and conceptualize mathematics. Dr. Chris Cain’s presentation will focus on the how to ensure the ability of the students to understand number through research-supported instruction such as subitizing, analog models, and deep personal connections. Emphasis will be made on Tier Two integration of the MTSS model while layering on Tier 1 conceptual understanding. Our goal is to enable teachers to begin to understand what it means to differentiate on multiple levels “going deep, not wide”.

All participants in the series will meet for a Mathematics Professional Learning Network day with grade level teams means to differentiate on multiple levels “going deep, not wide”. 

All participants in the series will meet for a Mathematics Professional Learning Network day with grade level teams in late February and early March. Educators will work with their grade band colleagues to share ideas and resources. The Teaching and Learning team will provide research-supported classroom assessment practices that improve student motivation and achievement. We will also incorporate blended learning tips to enhance the classroom instructional routine. We have been using Schoology to ask questions and share instructional strategies, problem solving and technology tips, current research, ideas to improve engagement, and more. Our Schoology group will ensure a method of communication and professional learning throughout the year to deliver content and create a community of math educators in central Nebraska.

 

-by Dianah Steinbrink, Teaching and Learning Coordinator

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