Math Coach Blog

Learning and Loving Math Together at Claypit Hill

Issue #1

A little bit about me...

I am beginning my 29th year in education. I spent the last 27 years as a classroom teacher (grades 2, 3, 4 and 5) and math coach (grades K-5) in the Mendon-Upton Regional School District. I held the math coach position YEARS AGO. Mendon-Upton's school budget is override dependent. Because it is a regional district, both towns need to pass an override for it to be successful. Some are, but most aren't. As a direct result, a math coach is a luxury that is generally presented in an initial budget but almost always cut before the final budget presentation. I have patiently waited for the position to be reinstated but after waiting nearly two decades, it occurred to me that it will likely never be reinstated. Eager to work as a math coach again, I enthusiastically jumped at the chance to work in Wayland. I am over the moon to be housed full time at Claypit Hill.

I will maintain a website that will eventually be linked to the school's site. For now, if you'd like to learn more about me, you can visit my page @

Getting Started...

As a LONG TIME classroom teacher, I know that there is nothing more important than building community with your students and establishing routines during the first weeks of school. I also know that classroom teachers work extraordinarily HARD during these warm weeks. I would love to assist you in any math lesson you're teaching, should you want an extra set of hands. I recognize that the lessons in the first few weeks will not be "curriculum" based. I'd love to be a part of any activity where I'd be a welcome addition.

As we move through the year, you can look forward to me working with teams of teachers in PLCs, modeling lessons, co-planning and co-teaching lessons, observing lessons for non-evaluative feedback only, and facilitating math coaching cycles. Our little math team, comprised of three coaches (Elah Lazin is full time at Loker and Emily Shaw, also a new coach to Wayland, is full time at Happy Hollow) and an interventionist (Michael Rosenblum, who will work full time at Claypit Hill, too) will work hard to ensure that you are well supported as you continue to deliver truly high quality mathematics instruction to all of Wayland's students. We will be learning alongside you and we'll always appreciate your feedback.

Curriculum Nights

I know that you are really focused on hosting a productive curriculum night for families this week. Please reach out if I can support you in any way. I'm sharing a link to the DESE website where you can find a "handout" from DESE that outlines the standards at each grade level written specifically for families. It is likely cumbersome to share printouts of these family guides and not very green either but I really like the clear language, simple suggestions, and specific examples. I hope you find them helpful. They are available in English, Spanish, Portuguese (Brazilian), and Chinese (simplified), too!

DESE Curriculum Guides for Families

Can we log all students into STMath in just ten days?

My first micro-goal of the year is to get all of Claypit Hill's students logged into STMath. Ideally, this will happen within the first ten days of school. We should be able to accomplish the login and set the stage for your students to begin work in STMath in 20-30 minutes. Please sign up for a block of time HERE if you're interested in having me come into your class to get your students started. It is okay to sign up for a block outside of your typical math block, if that works best for you at this time.

I know that STMath is not new to you so if you'd prefer to get started without me, go right ahead! I'll look forward to solving puzzles with your students at some time in the very near future.

Jo Boaler's Week of Inspirational Math

I LOVED using resources from Jo Boaler's Week of Inspirational Math to kick off the school year and I'm sure that many of you do, too. I always found that these activities were perfect for growing the kind of math culture I wanted for my community of learners. I've included a link to Jo Boaler's site below. There are amazing lessons and videos for kiddos. Some videos focus on establishing a growth mindset, embracing struggle, and others help teachers and students to better understand how UNimportant speed is.

I've highlighted a favorite at each grade level that you might consider trying with your class. I'd be happy to come in to teach a lesson, co-teach a lesson, or simply lend a hand while you launch one of these lessons. Please reach out to me if you're interested in having me in!

Kindergarten Which is More?

First Grade Game of Totals

Second Grade Flexible Number Trains (I have Cuisenaire Rods if you need them)

Third Grade I Spy 1/2

Fourth Grade Consecutive Numbers

Fifth Grade Pascal's Triangle

Our New Math Lab

I am truly grateful to have been given space to meet with teachers and teams of teachers in a building that is bursting at the seams. My office is located in the fourth grade wing. I am "the last stop before the garage" and share my space with the grade 3-5 book room. Please feel FREE to shop for books for your students at any time throughout the day so long as I'm not facilitating a meeting. If it is just me...come on in. Most often, you'll find that I'm in classrooms and the space is unoccupied. PLEASE feel free to use the room. I tried to create a space that is calming and conducive to collaboration. It will warm my heart to see that it is being enjoyed by all of the staff at Claypit Hill.

I really do look forward to meeting with teachers and teams of teachers in our new space. I can't wait to get started.

Perhaps you've not made it down to the math lab is a sneak peak of the makeover. Come and visit soon!



A Final Word...

There is no way I can over emphasize how excited I am to join the amazing group of educators that power Claypit Hill. Being your math coach truly is my DREAM JOB. At this point in my career, I am looking to grow and to be challenged. I hope you'll push me. Don't shy away from sharing feedback. I will make mistakes. I am committed to growth. If there is one thing I have done extraordinarily well over the course of my career, it is that I've surrounded myself with exemplary educators who inspire and elevate my practice. I just know that Claypit Hill is a community that will continue to provide the perfect environment for me to work on my craft. I can't wait to partner with you so that we can collaborate to provide a first class education to ALL of Claypit Hill's students.