Public Discussion

  • Icon for: Amie Patchen

    Amie Patchen

    Facilitator
    May 11, 2015 | 09:25 p.m.

    Looks like a great project. The teachers in the video looked really engaged in the activities. How many teachers are involved, and how long do they participate (one session or multiple)? I’m also curious about what the teachers shown in the video were working on— could you describe a little about the structure of the sessions or the prompts or products teachers were asked to think about? Thanks!

  • Icon for: Jacqueline Coomes

    Jacqueline Coomes

    Presenter
    May 11, 2015 | 11:06 p.m.

    Thank you, Amie. There are about 50 teachers in the third year of the three-year project. They are a wonderful group of teachers who like to be challenged. They participate in 9 days of workshops per year (6 school-year, and 3 summer) and work together in their school-based PLCs between workshops. In the workshop shown in the video, they were working in their PLCs to create concept maps that articulated, connected, and distinguished among the concepts of quadratic equations, expressions, and functions. Later in the workshop, we examined a lesson that involved student thinking about these concepts, and discussed ways to use student thinking to facilitate the lesson. Workshops typically include discussing teaching practices such as formative assessment, learning trajectories, or discourse in specific math-teaching contexts to improve pedagogical content knowledge, and mathematical knowledge for teaching. We also do rich math tasks and discuss student motivation.

  • Icon for: Amie Patchen

    Amie Patchen

    Facilitator
    May 12, 2015 | 10:23 a.m.

    Sounds really useful, thanks! Has your research included examining what the teachers do in their school-based PCLs between workshops? Just curious if they already worked collaboratively or if the workshops catalyzed or changed their professional collaborations at their schools. Thanks!

  • Icon for: Beth Sanzenbacher

    Beth Sanzenbacher

    Facilitator
    May 12, 2015 | 01:59 a.m.

    What an interesting project! Appears to be a very grassroots and empowering approach to improve teaching practices. How were teacher-leaders selected? Have they been the same people across the 3 years or have they changes over time? What parts of the PLCs are essential for scaling this model?

  • Icon for: Jacqueline Coomes

    Jacqueline Coomes

    Presenter
    May 12, 2015 | 07:46 a.m.

    We selected teacher-leaders from teachers who were in a previous project with us, and they have been the same throughout the project, other than two middle school coaches who joined us a little later, and two teacher-leaders who moved away. The previous project was similar in structure (PLCs from schools participated in workshops and outside of workshops over several years) but also focused on developing teacher leaders.
    To scale this model, I think teachers need to value learning with and from each other, so teachers need voice in the activities they do, and they need support in developing productive ways of working. It seems to me that the PLCs who have worked the best together have administrators who have shown quite a bit of support.

  • Icon for: Tammy Pirmann

    Tammy Pirmann

    Facilitator
    May 12, 2015 | 08:35 a.m.

    What administrator supports have been most helpful?

  • Icon for: Jacqueline Coomes

    Jacqueline Coomes

    Presenter
    May 12, 2015 | 08:43 a.m.

    The more active administrators have attended parts of the workshops with their teachers, and have attended PLC in-school meetings to listen, to ask questions, and to show that they value the work teachers are doing to improve student learning. Note that many administrators also seek understanding of how to support their teachers, especially wanting to know how to provide feedback on instruction or support PLC work.

  • Icon for: Jacqueline Coomes

    Jacqueline Coomes

    Presenter
    May 12, 2015 | 10:42 a.m.

    We have asked them about their work in their in-school meetings. Specifically, though, we give them assignments between workshops such as working together to devise a short assessment and bring student work to the workshops to analyze. Most recently, since we are in the third year and thought they were ready, we had them conduct lesson studies, then present what they learned in the workshop to the other PLCs. I can’t claim we’ve catalyzed their PLC collaboration, but we have certainly tried to affect it positively so that it is centered on collaboration, inquiry, and instructional decisions based on student thinking. Many teachers, but not all, have reported that collaboraing with their colleagues has been very helpful to their learning.

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.

  1. Jacqueline Coomes
  2. Professor
  3. Riverpoint Advanced Mathematics Partnership - Algebra
  4. http://sites.ewu.edu/jcoomes/
  5. Eastern Washington University
  1. Eric Galey
  2. http://www.ewu.edu/cstem/about/deans-office/eric-galey
  3. Multimedia Specialist
  4. Riverpoint Advanced Mathematics Partnership - Algebra
  5. http://sites.ewu.edu/jcoomes/
  6. Eastern Washington University

Algebra 1: Teaching for meaning and coherence
NSF Award #: WA120804

The RAMP-A project has focused on professional development of Algebra 1 teachers, supporting their understanding and skills in teaching the CCSS for coherence, focus and rigor. Specifically, teachers have focused on how to integrate the Standards of Mathematical Practices while understanding the CCSS content standards and how to teach them.