Mona Toncheff

Mona Toncheff, an education consultant and author, is project manager for the Arizona Mathematics Partnership (a National Science Foundation-funded grant). She is a former mathematics content specialist.
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Leadership guidance

GPS for Mathematics Leadership

Categories: Mathematics

Do you love Google Maps as much as we do?  This one app has changed how the world travels.  When we are traveling, whether for business or family vacation, we rely heavily on this amazing app to get us where we want to go using the most direct route possible. We no longer have to bring a stack of maps and lists of all addresses needed for our trip.  Instead, when preparing for trips, we click the Google Maps’ “magical star” to save our addresses for future reference.  Then, as we travel with Google Maps, that soothing voice happily announces, “Here is the fastest route given the current traffic.”

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time is a gift

The Gift of Time

Categories: Mathematics, PLC

We have so much time and so little to do. Strike that, reverse that.
-Roald Dahl

My first ten years of teaching I participated in some amazing learning opportunities and some not so memorable. I recall the opening of school training where the teachers came to school four days before the students and two of the four days were the dreaded “required” training. Read more

Ensuring students don't coast

New Year’s Resolution: Have students work harder than the teacher! (Part 4: Hitchhikers)

Categories: Mathematics

During the last three #mathmonday blogs, we have explored how to set up a mathematics community of learners. We started with classroom culture, and then we examined setting up routines, procedures, and roles. We also discussed intentional lesson design from the student’s perspective to ensure that every student has a voice in the learning. The last portion of learning is tied to individual accountability—how do we make sure there are no hitchhikers at the end of the unit?

Notice I said at the end of the unit, not at the end of the day. Think about the last lesson you taught—did everyone master the learning at the end of the day? I could always tell that there were some students who were “not there yet” at the end of the lesson. The joy of mathematics is that most likely we will revisit that concept in the next few lessons or units. I learned from Jerry Cummins that if we truly have a community of learners, not everyone is at the same place at the same time. When we have student teams, we value that the learning rate is variable and that accountability is constant. Read more

Teamwork requires all of the puzzle pieces to fit together.

New Year’s Resolution: Have students work harder than the teacher! (Part 3: No I in Team)

Categories: Mathematics

Last #mathmonday, we explored the idea of structured versus unstructured and discussed setting up routines, procedures, and roles to support building an exceptional mathematics classroom community. Once students understand the daily expectations for their individual success, the next step is to focus on building a community of learners.

John Hattie and Gregory Yates (2014) provides perspective on the importance of acquiring complex skills through social interactions.

Information communicated through instruction, interpersonal contact, direct social modeling, and verbal transmission, can be durable, more securely available, and more strongly validated, than knowledge constructed through an individual’s unaided inductive reasoning. (p. 79)

Thinking back to my professional learning with Jerry Cummins, the strategies Read more