My last blog of the year is dedicated to the teachers of Highland and John Wetten Elementary Schools. They came through a pretty stressful and at times disheartening school year with grace and fortitude. It inspired me to work harder to find resources and answers to their questions. In this blog, I’d like to share some of the answers we’ve discovered together.
First of all, it is critical to have a clear and coherent vision of mathematics instruction. There are many balls a teacher needs to juggle simultaneously. I chose to use a stool to illustrate to our teachers what I believed were the essential components. On one leg of the stool I placed the caption Conceptual Understanding. It is critical that classroom teachers have a deep understanding of the mathematics of their grade level standards. We created curriculum maps to identify which standards at which time of year we would focus instruction around. Once that was in place, we looked through all the resources available to us to find the best instructional materials to teach those standards.
On the next leg of the stool I placed the label Problem Solving. (more…)