What's Happening with Math and Science at ESU 10?  

January 23, 2019
The Teaching and Learning Department is hosting another year of the mathematics professional learning series. This series is for K-12 educators interested in enhancing their instructional skills in the teaching of math and increasing engagement of all students. Participants in the series are part of a Professional Learning Network of educators who work collaboratively to support each other, share ideas and resources, and learn from their colleagues. 

We started the series with 22 K-5th grade teachers on October 3rd, “Leveraging Worthwhile Math Tasks” presented by John SanGiovanni the coordinator of elementary mathematics in Howard County, Maryland. John also works as a graduate program coordinator for Elementary Mathematics Leadership at McDaniel College in Maryland. This workshop helped teachers develop ideas about selecting tasks, using evidence, and supporting productive struggle. Participants examined attributes of worthwhile tasks and learned about useful modifications for increasing quality. Teachers also applied their understanding to identify strategies for provoking and supporting productive struggle.

On October 5th, 35 6th-12th grade teachers joined us for “Maximize Effective Math Instruction with Rich Tasks and Purposeful Use of Technology” led by Andrew Stadel, math teacher and instructional coach. Participants explored both daily and unit problem-solving tasks with the purpose of connecting conceptual understanding with procedural fluency. Educators discussed classroom routines and structures that support these tasks and bring as many students into the math conversation as possible. Additionally, we discovered ways to leverage technology to capture student thinking as a formative assessment tool to inform our math instruction and boost student learning. Educators walked away with tools, resources, and strategies they could implement immediately.

We will host 2 other presenters at ESU 10 in January as part of the series. Lenny VerMaas, math teacher and consultant, will spend the day working collaboratively with 6-12 teachers to develop their mathematical understanding, flexibility, adaptability and growth mindset. Amy Nebesniak from the Universtiy of Nebraska at Kearney will help K-5 teachers develop strategies to effectively and efficiently build number sense, with a special focus on fact fluency and math talk. The day will also include research-based evidence of the role of mindsets and ways to incorporate growth mindset into the math class.
On September 8th, 2017 the Nebraska College and Career Ready Standards for Science were adopted. The 2017-2018 school year was phase one of implementation of the new science standards. 235 educators participated in the “Exploration of the NCCRS-Science” workshops throughout the 2017-2018 school year. Since the adoption, 33 school districts in ESU 10 have either participated in the Science Teacher Network workshops or I have assisted their science teachers exploration of the standards on-site. In alignment with the Nebraska Department of Educations science vision, we are beginning our second phase of implementation, “Classroom Transitions and Practices”. The focus for phase two is the integration of the Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs) and Crosscutting Concepts (CCCs), using phenomena in 3-dimensional lessons and units, standards unpacking and collaboration across district lines to begin the process of creating units and storylines.