The phrases formative assessment or formative data are not new to teachers and principals. But what do they really mean? How are they supposed to impact student and teacher learning? How do they strengthen the work of collaborative teams? Read more
Sarah Schuhl, a consultant specializing in mathematics, has been a secondary mathematics teacher, high school instructional coach, and K–12 mathematics specialist for nearly 20 years.
Teaching can be exhausting. You work hard to create meaningful lessons, assessments, and interventions. You manage students in class with varying learning needs, behavior needs, and experiences. You grade papers and answer emails and phone calls. You participate in parent-student conferences, IEP meetings, and serve on committees or leadership teams. You manage duties on campus and fill out report cards. And all with little fanfare for the effort.
And, on top of everything, the hard work can be made more frustrating when high-stakes assessments show consistently poor student performance or little student growth. What is a teacher or school to do? Read more
Another year has drawn to a close. And now? Before diving headfirst into vacation plans, take a moment. Stop and breathe. Pause…and reflect on the lives of students you impacted this year. What successes quickly come to mind?
The students you taught this year learned. That was because of the intentional work of you and your collaborative team. We don’t typically stop to acknowledge enough how our work positively affected the mathematics knowledge and skills of our students. How much more prepared is each and every student in your grade level or course for next year because of their learning this year? Read more
It’s that time of year again: spring! For many, this means it is time to unclutter the home and “spring-clean” as winter gives way to summer. I know for me, it is this time of year when I suddenly feel the need to purge unused items and scrub windows and floors to make the house feel like new.
Lately, as I work with mathematics teachers and teams, the urge to unclutter makes me wonder what spring-cleaning might look like in classrooms. I wonder what the clutter is that hampers student learning and might need to be “cleaned” or freshened as students work to learn remaining standards. Read more
Perhaps your team is working to minimize the percentage of students earning a D or F in your mathematics course or grade level. Upon analyzing the data, it suddenly becomes clear that teachers on the collaborative team are not all calculating the student grades the same way, or even scoring assessments consistently. Suddenly, proficiency and intervention are all in flux until this issue can be resolved. Students proficient in one class would not be identified as such in another and it becomes clear that expectations differ by teacher, even when teaching the same course or grade level. Read more