Preparing high-school graduates for college or careers

Increasing College Readiness and Career Readiness before Graduation

Categories: Assessment, Common Core & Standards, Instruction, Literacy, Mathematics

Most states have improved graduation rates over time, but as one superintendent told this author, “We know how to increase graduation rates; we just don’t know how to educate them before they graduate!” So, what can educators do to increase the number of graduates who are actually ready for college or careers? Read more

Spring Cleaning Your Classroom Culture

Time for Spring Cleaning? Here’s How You Can Unclutter Classroom Culture

Categories: Instruction, Mathematics, School Improvement

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

What's in a grade?

Starting the Conversation: What’s in a Grade?

Categories: Assessment, Mathematics

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

Improving math education is a balancing act.

Mathematics Education…Seeking Balance!

Categories: Mathematics

If you’ve recently worked to implement a new mathematics curriculum or improve student learning through the implementation of research-informed instructional strategies, you may have received push back from colleagues or parents. You may have even found yourself asking why it is so hard to reform and improve mathematics teaching and learning. Read more

What is Your Mathematics Curriculum Vision?

What is your mathematics curriculum vision?

Categories: Mathematics

What is curriculum?  Ask that question to ten teachers or leaders and you will most likely receive ten different responses.  Some might state the curriculum refers to the lessons and academic content taught in the grade level or course.  Others might refer to a textbook as the curriculum. Then some might state that curriculum is the set of standards supported by the essential learning outcomes that defines what we want students to know and be able to do by the end of the year.   The bigger question as a mathematics leader is, “How do we ensure all students have access to a meaningful and coherent mathematics curriculum?” In other words, how does coherence fit into the definition of mathematics curriculum?  Read more