ALEGRIA! (Algebraic Learning for Elementary Grades: Results, Independence, Achievement)
ALEGRIA! provided professional development to all teachers in Vineyard Elementary School to increase the mathematics learning and achievement. The goals of the program included reducing the achievement gaps, increasing the mathematics conceptual content knowledge and mathematics knowledge for teaching among the teachers, and increasing their use of effective pedagogical skills, especially for ELL/SELs, as well as promoting cultural and systemic change that resulted in ongoing improvement promoting long-term sustainability, and creating a replicable model with evidence-based successes.
ALEGRIA! created, nurtured, and sustained professional learning communities of teachers and teacher leaders who achieved the project goals. These communities met, learned, and practiced in summer institutes, met in grade-level PLCs during the academic year, and participated in lesson study to promote student-centered classrooms and to support transfer of learning to the classroom. Teacher leaders were be identified, trained, mentored, and given leadership opportunities throughout and beyond the project.
The Algebra Institute was a 5-day long summer institute that focused on developing algebraic thinking and multiple representations of algebraic problems. The goal was to better understand the "Why?" when it came to solving problems, and to develop connections between the representations and perspectives for the purpose of deepening understanding.
Building Number Sense Institute
The CSUSB Inland Counties Mathematics Project sponsored an institute which focused on strengthening number sense by exploring the concepts of numbers and operations while making connections to algorithms, both standard and non-standard, for different types of numbers. To help deepen mathematical knowledge for teaching, participants investigated topics across grades 2-7 in the Number and Operations, Operations and Algebraic Thinking, and Number System domains from the Common Core State Standards. Participants also engaged in strategies to foster the Standards for Mathematical Practice.
The Geometry Institute was a 5-day long summer institute that focused on developing geometric thinking and multiple representations of algebraic problems. The goal was to better understand the "Why?" when it came to solving problems, and to develop connections between the representations and perspectives for the purpose of deepening understanding.
Noyce Teaching FellowshipThe Noyce Fellowship project had a broad impact on underrepresented groups: Hispanics and African Americans comprise 84% of the SBCUSD student population, and the new SBCUSD hires in the past three years reflect similar ethnic compositions. The recruitment processes for the Fellows targeted to attract a diverse range of applicants, many of whom were likely to be from these historically under-represented groups. The program enhanced teaching and learning by offering a professional development program to mathematics teachers that deepened and expanded their knowledge of mathematics as it pertains to the secondary curriculum, and enhanced their ability to teach the curriculum effectively. The program built district capacity and promoted sustainability in that it increased both the number of teachers in SBCUSD with advanced degrees in mathematics, and the number of teacher leaders who are capable of facilitating and delivering site-based professional development activities. The outcomes of the professional development activities and the program were shared on several levels: as part of their preparation, the Master Teaching Fellows co-facilitated program activities and presented at professional conferences, and the leadership team disseminated information to mathematics education communities through publications and conference presentations.
The professional development program resulted in producing at least 14 secondary mathematics teachers who have completed a rigorous Masters of Arts in Teaching Mathematics (MAT) program. Concurrent to their enrollment in the MAT, these teachers participated in seminars focused on pedagogical content and instructional strategies, engaged in Lesson Study activities, and received ongoing academic and pedagogical mentoring and coaching. Additionally, to expand district capacity in the area of mathematics education, the program prepared at least six master mathematics teachers who were capable of providing a wide range of site-based professional development support to existing teachers, to instruct in CSUSB pre-service programs, and be resident teachers for credential candidates. These master teachers also completed the MAT program, participated in seminars to prepare them to assume coaching and mentoring roles, engaged in Lesson Study activities with the Teaching Fellows, and received academic advising, and mentoring, and coaching related to their new leadership activities. In addition, to ensure that all participants continued to expand their knowledge of current research and best practice in mathematics education, they regularly attended and participated in local, regional and national professional conferences and gave presentations at some.
Standards for Mathematical Practice Institute
To implement the Standards for Math Practice, it is necessary to experience the practice of mathematics. In this institute, teachers did mathematics as mathematicians, and then reflected on their own work and their thinking processes. Teachers then considered ways to implement similar activities in their own classrooms in order to develop students' mathematical thinking. We considered questions such as what conditions are necessary, how can obstacles be overcome, what are realistic goals, and how to adapt the activities to fit into the curriculum?
STIR (Supporting Teachers to Increase Retention)
The goal of STIR was to develop, implement, evaluate and disseminate the results of a comprehensive professional development program for secondary level mathematics teachers.
Objectives achieved include:
- Improving the retention of secondary mathematics teachers as evidenced by an increase in the number of CMP STIR teachers who were retained each year
- Increasing teacher content knowledge as evidenced by self-reports, and pre and post assessments
- Increasing teacher pedagogical expertise as evidenced by self-reports and observations
- Building leadership capacity in the school districts as evidenced by an increase in the number of teachers serving as coaches and/or organizing and conducting professional development activities, and serving as co-instructors in ICMP institutes
- Creating a culture within the two school districts that supported teachers as lifelong learners, professionals, classroom teachers and leaders as evidenced by the creation and support of new professional learning communities.