Math Coach Blog
Learning and Loving Math Together at Claypit Hill
December iReady Challenge
- Every Friday afternoon during the month of December I will check my iReady dashboard. If every student in your room has complete their 30 minutes of iReady "My Path" work that week you will be awarded a raffle ticket. You can earn FOUR raffle tickets over the course of the month.
- On Friday, December 23 I will pull raffle tickets. There will be two winners: a K-2 winner and 3-5 winner.
- What will the prize be??? If your name is pulled, I will do ALL OF YOUR DUTIES during the first week of January (3rd - 6th)! Won't that make returning to school after a nice long vacation just a little bit easier?
As is the case with ST Math, please try to be very present during your students' iReady, "My Path" time. Investing your time in their learning, even when students are learning on a digital platform, makes all the difference!
Celebrate, celebrate, celebrate! Build a classroom culture where lessons completed and lessons passed are celebrated. Do everything you can to increase your students' motivation and engagement during iReady time.
Seek out opportunities to celebrate your students' progress and success in iReady. The small moves we make to boost up a student do so much in helping our kiddos to build positive math identities. Do everything you can to assign positive math status to the student who typically struggles but who has had a success, no matter how small.
Take some time here and there to review student progress with the students themselves. Look at the data with them. Let them see how much they've accomplished. Celebrate their hard work. Take advantage of this time together to set some goals for the week(s) ahead.
Are there students in your room who have a hard time getting their minutes in due to a late morning bus or intervention? Please lean on me for support. I can make myself available to support students during recess time (if students are open to it) or after school for those kids who participate in BASE. Please reach out and we can brainstorm ways to ensure access for all!
Our Winter diagnostic will be administered beginning on January 23 and continuing through February 7th. I am confident that your high quality Tier 1 instruction, the implementation of our WIN Block where all students have access to intervention, and the dedicated work our Michael Rosenblum, our school's math interventionist, will yield very positive results for our Claypit Hill students.
Let's be very proactive in scheduling the testing sessions. Based on the Fall diagnostic, are there students in your room who would benefit from working in a small group or one to one for the diagnostic? Please reach out to me if I can do anything to support student success during the diagnostic window.
I hope that we can have a little fun with iReady during the month of December. Thanks for everything you are doing to support student achievement and the cultivation of positive math identities for ALL students.
"ST Math will continue to be used as a resource to our teachers to help build conceptual understanding of math topics. Like iReady, students can access this platform during Math Stations, skills lab or any free time during the school day. However, there are no minutes or puzzles required for our students when they log into ST Math. The District is working diligently to minimize the screen time of our students."
I truly stand by this thinking and believe that our students are best able to thrive when they are working directly with their teachers. I, too, am concerned about the amount of time our students spend on electronic devices. But, you also know that I LOVE ST Math. The below are reasons, based on my work with fourth-grade students during the past two school years and my experiences as a coach at Claypit Hill, that I think ST Math is worthwhile.
- ST Math is nearly language-free. This is a big deal. This means that language processing, limited vocabularies, and reading are NOT barriers to mathematics learning when using STMath. This is not true for most other programs, including core math programs. ST Math levels the playing field and ALL students deserve that!
- ST Math employs a low floor/high ceiling approach to problem solving. Because each level begins with low floor puzzles students can access the grade level content. As they move through the level the puzzles become increasingly challenging, pushing our students to employ all of their skills and content understanding.
- ST Math affords ALL students an opportunity to work at GRADE LEVEL. I can't emphasize this point enough. Because our students are pushed to solve challenging puzzles at grade level, our students who don't have status in the mathematics classroom can develop a positive math identity as they learn through their experiences that their hard work translates to an ability to be successful with hard math!
Turkey Trot Takeaways
- The students at Claypit Hill, on average, have completed 22% of the ST Math curriculum. This is a BIG deal. We are on track to complete 80% of the curriculum by the end of the school year. This will have a positive impact on our students' achievement.
- There was EXCITEMENT in the air over the last 8 school days. Students were beaming over their success and teachers were stopping me to share exciting observations about student learning too!
- Claypit Hill's puzzle velocity is impressive! You can see your class' velocity and individual student's velocity on your dashboard. Why does velocity matter? It matters because our students are solving more puzzles in less time. This is a big deal because our students are using their ST Math minutes efficiently. Why do I think Claypit Hill students have such impressive velocity? Easy! It is because Claypit Hill's teachers are PRESENT during ST Math time. You are working the room and engaging with your students while they are solving puzzles. This makes all the difference. Thank you for giving our students the gift of your time and engagement.
- Some data: On average, we spent 112 minutes solving puzzles in the last 8 days. That is about 14 minutes a day. Claypit Hill students solved, on average, 116 puzzles over the past 8 days (approx. 14 a day).
- We likely can't dedicate 14 minutes a day to ST Math every day. How can you fit it in to your schedule such that students are truly focused on being productive and such that ALL students have access?
- Reaching that 80% goal will not be easy. However, we are on track to do it. It will be easier with all classes doing their best. Please try to set a goal of completing 10% of your grade level curriculum each month. Checkout the teacher dashboard. Where are you at now? Ideally, classes will reach the 30% mark by winter break. If that is not reasonable given where you are at, can you set a challenging goal that is attainable?
- I do worry about access. Look at the students who are not making good progress. What more can we do to support these students? Lean on me to help.
- Do everything you can to make ST Math time joyful. CELEBRATE, CELEBRATE, CELEBRATE even the little milestones. Use ST Math victories as an opportunity to lift up your students, especially those who historically struggle. Capitalize on any opportunity to assign positive math identities to students who do not perceive themselves as being talented in mathematics (yet).
December Goal: Claypit Hill will make it to 30% curriculum completion by the end of the month.
Students use tools to solve ST Math puzzles!
When students use concrete objects they are building their conceptual understanding of mathematics. Encourage your student to connect ST Math puzzles to concrete objects as they make sense!
Students make sense of puzzles using familiar representations!
I LOVE how this student is making use of a familiar tool (Bridges grid paper) to make sense of the math in this challenging ST Math puzzle!
ST Math time is SOCIAL. The teacher is fully engaged too!
While I'm sure the teacher won't love this particular photo it does show how engaged her students were. It shows how they are using their social skills and language to support one another. It also shows how engaged this teacher is with her students during ST Math time. These are just a few reasons why the students in this room are thriving with ST Math.
Over the past few months I've been able to take an active role in providing professional development for Wayland's elementary teachers. Providing professional development is one part of the math coach job that I truly enjoy. This fall, while many elementary teachers were receiving PD for Empowering Writers, many of our elementary educators took part in math professional development. Workshops offered included ST Math, Building Thinking Routines, Math Workshop, Modeling with Mathematics, and support for Special Educators implementing the Bridges Intervention System. In the coming months, teachers who did not participate in the writing program pilot will have an opportunity to receive training in Empowering Writers. This means that there are some math professional development opportunities ahead for those teachers who piloted the writing program. Stay tuned for information regarding our upcoming Super Wednesday PD days.
Math PLC Preview
- Do some strategic planning for the next iReady Diagnostic
- Talk about the WIN block and your immediate concerns and needs
- Grades 3, 4, and 5 will have an MCAS Data Review Meeting before Winter Break
- Discuss Math SMART Goals so that I can be sure to support you!
- Continue to plan our work together