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Activating the Vision

The Four Keys of Mathematics Leadership

In order to build and sustain a successful mathematics program, mathematics leaders need to collaboratively establish a cohesive vision for teaching and learning and put that vision into action. This book details the necessary steps mathematics leaders must take to change traditional practices; meet new curricular, instructional, and assessment challenges; and engage students, families, and community members in mathematics education.


  • Discover the big ideas and essential understandings of the four keys of effective mathematics leadership and how the four keys connect to each other
  • Answer questions to assess mathematics leadership
  • Consider scenarios that illustrate how mathematics leaders can take the visionary leadership actions described in this book
  • Explore the relationships among district-, site-, and team-level engagement
  • Appraise the necessary steps to move mathematics leadership from vision to action
  • Use appendices that present planning templates and menus of professional development opportunities

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Activating the Vision

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Part I: Key 1 Overview: Establish a Clear Vision for Mathematics Teaching and Learning
Chapter 1: Take Stock of Your Mathematics Program's Health
Chapter 2: Develop a Collaborative Vision for an Exemplary Mathematics Program
Chapter 3: Establish Measures of Success
Part II: Key 2 Overview: Support Visionary Professional Learning for Teachers and Teacher Leaders
Chapter 4: Engage Teachers in Worthwhile and Differentiated Professional Learning
Chapter 5: Develop Highly Skilled and Highly Effective Mathematics Leaders
Chapter 6: Build the Capacity of Site-Based Administrators and District Leaders
Part III: Key 3 Overview: Develop Systems for Activating the Vision
Chapter 7: Leverage Collaborative Team Actions
Chapter 8: Create and Implement Well-Designed and Articulated Curriculum and Assessments
Chapter 9: Monitor Consistent Expectations for Exemplary Instruction
Part IV: Key 4 Overview: Empower the Vision of Family and Community Engagement
Chapter 10: Activate the Student Voice to Check Alignment Between Vision and Reality
Chapter 11: Empower Families as Informed Advocates
Chapter 12: Build and Engage a Strong Network of Partnerships
Epilogue: Move Your Vision to Action
Appendix A: Reproducibles
Appendix B: Cognitive-Demand-Level Task-Analysis Guide
Appendix C: Mathematics Professional Development Plan for a School Year




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  • Kanold, T. D. (2011). The Five Disciplines of PLC Leaders. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • Kanold, T. D., Briars, D. J., & Fennell, F. (2012). What Principals Need to Know About Teaching and Learning Mathematics. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • Kanold, T. D., & Larson, M. R. (2012). Common Core Mathematics in a PLC at Work, Leader's Guide. T. D. Kanold (Ed.). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics. (2008). The PRIME Leadership Framework: Principles and Indicators for Mathematics Education Leaders. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • Toncheff, M., & Kanold, T. D. (2015). Beyond the Common Core: A Handbook for Mathematics in a PLC at Work, High School. T. D. Kanold (Ed.). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • Wiliam, D. (2011). Embedded Formative Assessment. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.