Math Success Team                            January 20, 2006 Meeting

 

Members present:        Jrobertson, Christiansen, Curtis, Karcher, Clancey, Lampe, Murray, Worsham, Jones, Stuber

Member excused:        Mercer                         Total contact time:      2 hours

 

Meeting convened at 1:00 p.m.  Agenda reviewed by Mr. Curtis.

 

Mr. Curtis’ agenda included the Team’s original design statements.  The team discussed the genesis and presumptions as they related to our findings to date.

1.      1.      The Team was formed by the district Continuous Improvement Plan.

2.      2.      The assumptions were that by analyzing our student achievement we would be able to isolate strands of the curriculum in need of attention.  We assumed the attention would be addressed in professional development and/or curriculum alignment.

3.      3.      Our sense to date is that the scope and sequence, learner outcomes, and assessments are not significant concerns.  While they may all be tweaked, and while the k-12 discussions have illuminated some areas of mutual enlightenment, these issues can be resolved in the 7-year cycles if they have not already been addressed.

4.      4.      The two areas which do seem significant are materials and resources, and teaching strategies.

a.       a.       Materials and resources.  K-5 would definitely benefit from a standard math text series.  The system for reaching the district learner outcomes are fragmented and piece-meal.  Other needs may become manifest when area b. is more fully explored.

b.      b.      Teaching strategies.  The district benefits from math instructors who are well-qualified and motivated.  Math currently is taught in units and would benefit from a system which did not isolate it from the rest of the curriculum.  The Team’s challenge is to review best practices for having better student success in Math.  One recurring issue is retention.  Another area is problem solving.

5.      5.      Staff development.  Professional development must follow on the heels of identified improvement areas.  Mutual discussions have greatly benefits the Math Team and would likely benefit the other math staff but it is only one venue for professional development.  Math needs to be a district concern as a district goal and therefore not just “across the curriculum” but “across the district.”

 

Next steps.  The Team is still in research mode.  Mr. Curtis provided net-sites 14c and  PUMAS some staff already use for assistance is lesson planning.  He also provided “Qualities of Best Practices in Teaching Mathematics” and “Math Facts” both of which contain useful information about teaching strategies.  The Team will review the material and propose ideas next meeting.

Next meeting:             March 8, 2006             1:00 p.m.