#INspirEDmath

April 2021, Volume 30

Merriam-Webster defines impact as "the force of impression of one thing on another." As classroom educators, it is critical to think beyond what you are teaching and how you are teaching it. Instead you should look into the impact of how you are teaching on student learning. This month's newsletter is focused on helping educators identify, reflect on, and develop impactful ways of thinking about teaching and learning using examples from John Hattie's Ten Mindframes for Visible Learning.


"Great teachers are not by chance but by design." - John Hattie, Author

John Hattie's Mindframes for Visible Learning

"I am an evaluator of my impact on student learning."

Evaluating the impact your practices have on student learning allows you to decipher between effective teaching strategies and impactful ones. Each time you participate in a meeting, a professional learning opportunity, or the classroom a new opportunity is provided to evaluate your impact and make adjustments to improve student outcomes. Check out this list of 252 practices/influences and their effect size to measure the true impact of your practices.

"I see assessment as informing my impact and next steps."

Formative and summative assessments make not only student learning visible but the teacher's influence visible as well. Assessment results allow you to reflect on the questions:

  • What did I learn about my impact?
  • What is the magnitude of that impact?
  • Where do I go next?


Information from assessments can help students can see whether the learning goals were met and the content was understood. The question is whether or not your students are capable of understanding how to interpret the information from assessments. If you are unsure, check out this book by Nancy Frey, John Hattie, and Douglas Fisher titled, Developing Assessment-Capable Visible Learners: Maximizing Skill, Will, and Thrill.

"I am a change agent."

Collective teacher efficacy has the highest effect size from over 250 practices/influences on student achievement. Collective teacher efficacy is the shared belief that through collective action, teachers can positively influence student outcomes, especially those who are disengaged and/or disadvantaged. "Educators with high efficacy show greater effort and persistence, a willingness to try new teaching approaches, set more challenging goals, and attend more closely to the needs of students who require extra assistance" (Donahoo, 2017).


Educators change learning. Educators cause learning. Educators may be the only change agent a student has ever known. Building a school climate that fosters and nurtures high levels of teacher efficacy is essential. Read this article to begin to develop strategies for increasing collective teacher efficacy in your school.

"I strive for challenge."

Rich, relevant and challenging math tasks are essential to building strong math knowers and doers. Tasks should be difficult, but not too difficult. They should be engaging and allow for diverse process and product. While this may sound familiar, it is easier said than done. One thing is certain - students will do challenging tasks if they are interested and if they have explicitly been shown how to know what to do when they don't know what to do.


Enter productive math struggle! How do you get students to engage in the challenge and see the beauty of struggle? IDOE created a Google Site for educators to engage in a self-paced book study surrounding John Sangiovanni's book Productive Math Struggle. Find a colleague or five and embrace the challenge!

"I explicitly inform students what successful impact look like."

In the words of Brene Brown, "clear is kind, unclear is unkind." Clearly defined success criteria are critical in helping students stay focused, monitor their progress and identify success for themselves. It is important for students to know what is expected of them before they can take responsibility for their own learning. Finally, success criteria should be known, shared and the same for all learners. Differentiation happens in the activity, not the success criteria.


Check out the IDOE Math Framework to find success criteria for every K-12 math standard.

Click here to view a webinar where John Hattie discusses all 10 Mindframes.

Elementary Resource of the Month

Would you rather...?

Elementary age students love to ask "would you rather" type questions. In this mathematical spin on a familiar prompt, students not only strengthen their ability to justify their own reasoning but also their ability to critique the reasoning of others. Suggestions for implementation:


  • Model the completion of a single prompt;
  • Create a clear set of expectations;
  • Use the prompts in moderation to keep the concept fresh; and
  • Let students own the prompt and justification.

Visit wouldyourathermath.com for premade prompts or create your own to liven up a worksheet!

Secondary Resource of the Month

Turner's Graph of the Week (GOW)

Graphical displays of data are everywhere. Developing data literate students is not an option. Turner's GOW can help develop data literate students by:

  • Improving content area literacy;
  • Increasing critical engaged students through written and oral discourse;
  • Providing relevant connections to the actual real world;
  • Building community; and
  • Bringing awareness to current events.


An added benefit for teachers? Turner's GOW provides a window into your student's opinions, interests, and passions outside of school. Visit turnersgraphoftheweek.com for weekly additions and archives dating back to 2013!

Opportunities for the Field

New! Webinar - The What, Why, and How of School-Wide Learning Walk Implementation

Are you looking for ways to improve student outcomes by tapping into the expertise of your colleagues? If so, join IDOE's Teaching and Learning Team on Tuesday, April 13 at 4:00 p.m. ET for an informational session on the what, why, and how non-evaluative learning walks can improve your school’s instructional practices. The meeting will also address how IDOE will support and collaborate with teachers that choose to be a part of the 2021-2022 learning walk process. With support from IDOE, teacher teams will implement learning walks as a sustainable and scalable practice in your school. Register for the informational session here.

Reminder! Productive Struggle Workshop

In this FREE full-day workshop, for any K-12 educator, administrator, or instructional coach, discover how to implement and support student productive struggle in the math classroom. This workshop will provide participants with key points from the Productive Math Struggle book, highlight action activities with demonstrations, and support intentional planning time. Show interest today by completing this productive struggle interest form. Virtual and in-person options are available!

IDOE Mathematics Team

Robin Conti

Assistant Director of Teaching and Learning

Emily Bruning

Elementary Math and Science Specialist