Math Specialist Meeting
11.14.17

Agenda
1. Ongoing Feedback
o Unit Tests
o Greg Tang Puzzles & Kits
o PWB
o xtramath
o ST Math
o Other

2. Learning Management Systems – Are you familiar with any of these?
o Schoology, Canvas, Edmodo, Google Classroom

3. Items shared with our 6-12 math colleagues
Departmental Focus Conversations - Know Thy Impact & Clear Learning Objectives/Targets
Work hard as your student’s teacher, to provide valuable learning opportunities for ALL of your students – including those who need more time than others.
Don’t allow explanations to quickly come out in class, prior to providing time/opportunities for each student to have the “ah hah” moments. If the teacher, a knowledgeable student, a video, or any explanation comes out prior to someone figuring it out, it will rob students from feeling/experiencing/having these moments.
If this continues over time, how will they view themselves as math learners, and in general, what will their perspective of learning and studying math be?
Our challenge is to determine how much time should be devoted to this goal. For the introduction to a new unit, significant time should be planned for this, however I challenge you to provide these opportunities daily.

Possible narrative from Ian’s observations
If you believe that ALL students would benefit from the question, or concept being discussed, require ALL students be expected to do something during these conversations and don’t settle with using a whole class conversation. Students could be asked to discuss with their peers, individually write down an answer in their notes or on a personal white board, or they could be asked to restate a comment from their peer or teacher.
Taking the time to allow students to reflect on what they are learning will engage all students, help to hold them all accountable not only to your expectations but to their own, as well as encourage a deeper level of understanding and retention for ALL students, not just those actively involved in the class conversations.
By sticking with a whole class conversation, many students have the opportunity to drift from the work and conversations. Be direct with what students should be doing during this type of conversation by having ALL students think about this follow up work. Don’t simply ask, “Are there any questions?”, “Does that make sense” or “Do you understand?” - require students to demonstrate they understand.
Have ALL students discuss or think about questions like, “Why does this answer make sense or this method work?” “How do you work on any question presented this way?” “Where do students typically make mistakes on these problems?” or any other “connecting”/“reflecting” type question requiring a true knowledge of the concepts to be thought about and discussed.
These conversations CAN be planned ahead of time or come out naturally during class. Plan to pause during key moments of the lesson, and initiate these quick, reflective conversations. Put a 30 second – 2 minute timer on the board, and use it often.

“I wonder if these exact conversations could have occurred with partners or groups of students instead of as a whole class.”

Actions like these will provide feedback to you about your impact on student learning. Also, students will evaluate if they are learning the right items, while holding themselves more accountable and be encouraged to become their own teacher.

4. Future Topics to Discuss …
Notes
1. We discussed how to access some of the resources within the Number Worlds program.
1. All of the remaining topic tests were sent to be copied and will be delivered to our principals attention.
1. Greg Tang Kits - VA (K-5), OT (3-5), PA (3-5th only), SU (3-5), SH (3-5)
  • Can we get 2 more kits per grade level? 36 more kits?

1. ST Math - The weekly progress reports indicate that we aren't using this program that much. We discussed possible reasons for this, as well as ideas for helping out teachers with using them with students.
- Check out these facilitating questions organized onto bookmarks. These were found in the teacher center, under printables, and helpful resources.
- Check in with teachers who have used the program "more" with their students, and ask:
  • How and when are you using these resources with your students?
  • Have you received the decile (every 10) JiJi postcards?

1. We shared our practices of how we select our Math Olympiad students, regarding which criteria we use to identify our qualifying students.

2. We discussed how our district is looking into a LMS. Many conversations will be continued into the future ...

3. Ian shared that these conversations were discussed with our secondary math teachers, and there is an overlap of these practices that would pertain to our elementary teachers.

4. Let me know if there are any topics you would like to discuss during future meetings.