National Speakers join K-12 Math Teachers for 2020!

In the midst of Covid 19, our teachers attended professional learning to share ideas for remote instruction, teaching Generation Z, and effective instructional strategies for the learning of mathematics standards.

Some of the highlights of this summer and beginning of the school year included:

A district-wide math professional learning day with Tim Elmore and Andrew McPeak on instruction for the Generation Z learner during the pandemic. Teachers learned about strategies to better lead their students for promotion of higher learning.Z

Growing Leaders founder Dr. Tim Elmore is passionate about understanding the emerging generation and helping adults teach them how to become leaders in their schools, their communities and their careers. As a youth leadership expert and thought leader in his field, he educates adults to help them understand the challenges and experiences today’s generation faces and connect with them in a way that resonates. Dr. Elmore believes, by cultivating leadership abilities in young adults and encouraging the adults who guide them, Growing Leaders can be the catalyst for emerging generations that will truly change the world.

Andrew McPeak is a sought-after millennial communicator who brings a unique generational perspective to audiences. He is the co-author of Dr. Tim Elmore’s latest book Generation Z Unfiltered and he has shared insights from this resource with educators, coaches and business leaders around the country. Along with co-authoring Marching Off the Map, Andrew also co-hosts the Leading the Next Generation with Tim Elmore podcast.

Pamela Weber Harris shared with teachers how the discovery of math concepts with students assists in building powerful numeracy. She is the author of several books, including Building Powerful Numeracy, Discovering Advanced Algebra, and a book for professional development leaders. A former secondary mathematics teacher, Pam currently teaches at Texas State University, is a K-12 mathematics education consultant, a T3 (Teachers Teaching with Technology) Instructor, and an author and coauthor of several professional development workshops. Pam presents frequently at regional and national conferences. Her interests include teaching real math, building powerful numeracy, sequencing rich tasks to construct mathematics, using technology appropriately, smart assessment, and vertical connectivity in curricula in schools PK-12.

During the weeks of August 3rd and August 14th, we offered additional sessions for teachers. We were able to bring back Sean Kavanaugh, our 360 Degree Math expert. As an assistant principal at MLK Jr. Early College, Kavanaugh developed a compelling alternative to the way mathematics is taught called 360o Math. This approach gained global attention when it was featured on the CBS Special TEACH. For the past three years, he has served as the principal of an urban middle school in Denver. As a school leader in Denver, he is on the cutting-edge of education and works in relentless pursuit of equity.

K-12 teachers beginning this school year implementing a 360 Math Classroom or interested in implementing, were shown a possible class layout and structure. Teachers were also able to participate as students in a sample lesson presented by Sean.

Teachers also participated in grade level and course collaboration sessions to review the gaps standards from 2019-2020 and discuss the frameworks/resources for accelerated intervention. Teachers shared the pros and cons to a digital learning environment as well as shared ideas and resources for effective learning by CC leads and future professional learning. Teachers were also given information about the revisions of state standards and available resources for the 2020-21 school year.

Over the summer, teachers began their first experiences with virtual trainings. Miranda Westbrook, the K-5 Math Professional Learning Specialist, offered sessions for our elementary teachers.

K-5 teachers engaged in professional learning to investigate strategies that build students’ understanding and fluency in mathematics. A hands-on approach to mathematics allows students to make sense of concepts before transitioning to numerical thinking. Teachers explored strategies to support students with calculating problems quickly, accurately, and appropriately. In the primary grades, teachers used number bonds and part-total models to represent the relationship between addition and subtraction.

In the intermediate grades, teachers examined the meaning of multiplication and division using arrays.

Over 1,000 teachers in grades K-5 participated in professional learning sessions to acquire knowledge of content and resources for teaching content in a digital environment. Exploring content with digital base-ten blocks and digital ten frames and counters were some of the favorites!

Ashley Clody, the 6-12 Math Professional Learning Specialist, offered trainings for our middle and high school teachers.

Sessions on 6th grade fraction operations, 7th grade integer operations, 8th grade transformations, and a look vertically at equations from 6th grade to Algebra I were provided to teachers. Overall, we had about 40 teachers actively participating!

We had over 200 math teachers from grades 6-12 join us online for professional learning. Each middle school grade level, Foundations of Algebra, Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II were presented with Unit 1 overviews. Teachers had standards clarified, common student misconceptions addressed as well as some conceptual, hands-on ways to bridge to the abstract approaches. Not only were teachers shown hands-on manipulatives using a document camera, but they were also shown some free virtual manipulatives that could be used with students and by students during digital learning.

Teachers were also given an overview of the resources available within CTLS Teach. Teachers were shown resources for notes, practice, differentiation, assessments, and more. We were also able to have one of our McGraw Hill representatives, Shelly McClanahan join us to share some of the amazing tools within our middle school online textbook.

Beth Smith with Texas Instruments also offered some sessions for K-12 teachers about using calculators for discovery purposes instead of just for computation.

Teachers also explored thousands of resources in CTLS Teach to support their instruction.


Michelle Mikes, Supervisor

Contributing Author: Ashley Clody, 6-12 Professional Learning Specialist

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