Sara's Coaching Corner

Hosp Elementary 1-12-2016


ESTAR is an algebra screener for grades 2-4. They are still working out the kinks, so we might be able to administer this at the end of the year. It will not be mandatory, but could give us good information if we try it.

MSTAR is a 5th grade assessment. The coordinators want us to know that they do not look at this information. However, it is good data for the teacher to have.

TEMI can be given in Kinder at the beginning of the year as a screener. However, after that, only our low students should be given the TEMI. You could possibly use it for students that are being brought to SST or as a data collection tool.

What are representations?

What do teachers mean when we ask students to show their work? Are we asking them to show the numeric computations and steps they took in reaching a solution to a division problem? Are we looking for the right steps in solving an equation? Are we asking them to somehow put on paper the processes and thinking they went through as they developed a solution to a multistep problem? What does it truly mean to ask students to represent their mathematical thinking, and how can we support, model for, and encourage students to put on paper their interpretations of the mathematical models that helped them make those crucial connections between the concrete and the abstract?

Representing their solutions is one of the means by which students can communicate to others their mathematical thinking and at the same time clarify in their own mind what meaning lies in the mathematics. While manipulatives provide students with an opportunity to model the mathematics at hand, they are just that: models. It is up to the teacher to help students make the connections between the models and the mathematics. Only by making that connection will students truly understand and internalize the math. Once that connection has been made, students can represent their thinking in words, pictures or symbols, and diagrams and apply their knowledge to more complex problem-solving situations. Representations take many forms: an algorithm that represents a problem situation, a graph that represents data collected in the classroom, an array that shows a multiplication process, or a diagram that illustrates area or perimeter. Numbers, pictures, diagrams, equations, graphs, and models are all forms of mathematical representations. While in the past, standard representations were simply taught to students, teachers are now recognizing the power of alternative representations as tools through which students can explore and enhance their mathematical thinking.

The ways in which mathematical ideas are represented is fundamental to how people can understand and use those ideas. ~National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

5th grade math professional learning

We are looking forward to our 5th grade PL via Google Hangout (including special program teachers and administrators). Below is a list of some housekeeping items:

1. Workshop Registration: All participants will need to register on Workshop by the 14th at

2. Google Form: All registered participants will receive credit for the course once they complete a couple reflection questions. The form will be sent to participants through workshop email the day of the PD (that is why it's important they are registered).

3. Google Hangout: The PD will be conducted through the tool Google Hangout. One teacher will be the spokesperson for the team when we are interacting. Feel free to pull up on the projector. Kayla will help with setting-up the team with Google Hangout before the PD date. Anyone participating in the PD needs to be together in one room since we have a limit on the number of computers that you can use Google Hangout at one time.

4. Representation Handout: Please read the Representation handout (see above) to read before the professional learning. (5th grade, I'm putting a copy in your box.)

Talk Read Talk Write

Lilliana shared a strategy that ESL teachers use called "Talk Read Talk Write." We will talk more about this during collaboration, but here is a video example.


ELAR Professional Learning

Professional Learning - 7:20-8:20 - Admin Training Rooms
We will celebrate the successes teachers have had with implementing the ELAR cluster pre-assessments and the utilization of that data in developing common formative assessments. Teachers will need to bring (1) an example of how they have used the ELAR cluster pre-assessments to create CFAs and (2) a technology device. Please assist and support teachers as needed.

ELAR Updates

  • Reading cluster 6 will be loaded for 3-5 on January 22 and for K-2 in February.
  • Reading and Writing simulations are now loaded at the print shop.

Stephanie Harvey Blog

Erin and I had such a great time presenting some of the information we learned from the Stephanie Harvey training! Here is a link to her blog:

Writing Goals

I LOVE going on learning walks here at Hosp! It is great to see the amazing things our teachers are doing. :)

One of the great ideas we saw this time was a way for students to show their current writing goals. This is a great idea for us and our students!

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