Math Coach Blog

Learning and Loving Math Together at Claypit Hill

Issue #4


Thank you so much for your patience with the technology this week. It certainly has made iReady administration a bit of challenge. A special thank you to Nancy and the tech team for doing their best to iron out the issues. At this time, most of the issues are in the hands of our friends at Class Link. We'll let you know when they are resolved. Thankfully these glitches are only impacting a few students in each class.

Now that many of you have received some data you might be wanting to get into iReady and start using that data to make some instructional choices. I don't know about you but unless I'm using my skills all the time, they go fuzzy on me. Here is a quick refresher for those of you who may forget or have not been shown how to access a standards report.

  • Click on "Diagnostic Results" toward the top of your dashboard.
  • Click on "Explore Domain Placements".
  • Click on a student's name.
  • Toward the top left hand corner of your screen you'll notice a pull down menu. Right now, it says "Diagnostic Results". Pull down to, "MA Standards".
  • If you leave the defaults in place, you'll only see how the student measures up against his or her current grade level standards. You will likely want to adjust to see the grade before (or two grades before) and in some cases, the next grade.
  • Green check marks indicate that the student's performance met the standard. Empty checkmarks mean that a child's performance demonstrated partial understanding BUT in most cases, the diagnostic did not thoroughly assess the standard and therefor no definitive conclusion can be drawn. An X indicates that the standard has not been met yet.
  • You can view each of your students' standards reports by toggling between students. Click on the pull down arrow next to your student's name to view other student reports.
  • You can easily save or print this report by clicking on the PDF icon toward the top right hand corner of your screen. A new window will open that can be closed when you are done.
  • To leave the standards report and return to your iReady dashboard simply click on the Close X (in blue) located at the top right corner of your screen.

PLEASE don't hesitate to book some time with me if you have questions, want to take a deeper dive into data, or want some individualized support. You can book time with my by clicking on the "Book Time with Marie" tab of my website, you can stop me in the hall or you can stop by my office. If I'm not there...just leave me a note on my table.

WIN - Intervention Block

I loved meeting with teams and beginning the conversation around our new WIN Blocks and how we can capitalize on this time to offer intervention. Now that I've had some time to process the conversations here are a few of my take-aways.

  • One of the most EXCITING things about the Win Block is that we don't have to get off to a slow start with our mathematicians, spending precious moments of our CORE math block reviewing the previous grade's standards. Instead, we can forge ahead with grade level work knowing that we can use the WIN Block to address standards unmet in previous grades.
  • The best way to capitalize on this time is to focus our work on a SMALL group of students for a handful of weeks. While the teacher is working with this small group, the other students should be doing something MEANINGFUL. Playing fluency games, working on a short or longterm assignment that can be done independently and that inspire the student to go DEEPER into grade level standards, using the iReady's "My Path" or ST Math are all great options.
  • Learning what works best in your classroom for your students will take some time. While you do need to get started right away with your WIN Block you shouldn't feel pressure to have it up and running perfectly. Give yourself grace and permission to experiment. Talk to your team about what is and isn't working in their rooms and lean on me for support and resources. I am happy to work alongside you, succeeding and stumbling together, until we get it right for the students!

STMath Update

Thank you to the many teachers who have been hard at work building a strong math problem solving culture where perseverance, the use of tools, and learning from mistakes are hallmarks. While there are lots of things educators can do to grow this culture, we're lucky at our school to have an engaging tool in ST Math that gives us a platform for this work. I can see from my ST Math dashboard that you and your students are loving ST Math as much as I do!

On Friday afternoons, I'll be popping into a couple of classrooms to celebrate student success in STMath. One K-2 classroom and one 3-5 classroom will be recognized for extraordinary effort each week. Sometimes we'll be recognizing puzzle count, sometimes we'll be recognizing positive habits like the use of tools and perseverance during STMath time. Sometimes we'll be celebrating the extraordinary effort of the classroom teacher to make STMath time powerful and joyful for the students. How will we recognize success? A stuffed JiJi will spend the week with your students until it is time to recognize a new group of students the following Friday.

This week we're recognizing Ms. Anderson's 1st grade class and Ms. Wales' 5th grade class. Both classes have met their first big milestone and both classes are chock full of hard working puzzle-solvers. Well done!

Congratulations to Ms. Anderson, Ms. Currie, Ms. Walther, Ms. Moquin and Ms. Wales classes! They've met an important STMath milestone this past week. There are MANY other classes right on the cusp of meeting their first big milestone. I couldn't be prouder of how hard our students are working and how much joy I see in your math classes during STMath time. Nothing makes me happier than to see a teacher interacting with a student, "talking it out", and EMBRACING the struggle. We can't prepare out students for every problem that they'll encounter but we CAN teach them how to work through challenging problems without letting frustration become a barrier. ST Math is a great tool to use to build students' appetite for productive struggle.

As a reminder, THIS Wednesday, September 28th, many teachers will be able to access some in person STMath professional development. Our math leadership team has been working with our new Education Success Manager, Allison Hamblett, to design PD that is both engaging and useful! Our session will be held right here at Claypit Hill.

If you'd like to get started in creating an amazing STMath culture in your classroom and you want to begin NOW there are lots of resources for teachers on the STMath pages of this website. Just click on the STMath tab.

Bridges Intervention System Training for Special Educators

Michael Rosenblum and I partnered to train Claypit's special education team to use the Bridges Intervention Program this past Wednesday. Thank you to Stacey Laudenslager who generously hosted us in her room. An ENORMOUS thank you to the special educators who came to work hard and learn. They dug right in and had a little fun too. We're very excited that this effective intervention tool is now in the hands or our incredibly skilled special education team. Our students will be well served by talented teachers equipped with excellent tools to help them achieve at high levels.

If you're curious about the tools our special educators will be using, you can check out the presentation shared at this PD session by clicking HERE.

Math PLC Review

I LOVED meeting with PLCs this week. Our time flew by but I really do think we capitalized on every moment we had together.

  • We spent a fair amount of time talking about the diagnostic and accessing data to inform instruction. Most teams communicated a desire for PD in this area. While all teachers felt like they had enough info to administer the diagnostic, many are ready to dig deeper into the reports once the window is closed. Teachers are excited about using the data to for WIN groups so that they can target their intervention.
  • Thank you SO much for taking the time to look closely at your end of unit 1 assessments. They are now in final draft form and will be shared with you very soon. You must use this version of the assessment so that we have consistency across the district. This will be very helpful when we pause to analyze student data.
  • We spent a fair amount of time talking about how we can maximize our effectiveness during the WIN Block. Most teams would appreciate support in pulling lessons from the iReady toolbox to intervene. In addition, I heard loud and clear that teams need resources to meet the needs of high achieving students during the WIN block. I am already hard at work, updating my website so that you can access short term and longer term assignments/projects for your use. I promise that these projects will 1) be engaging 2) be rigorous and 3) allow students a high level of challenge as they go DEEPER into their GRADE LEVEL standards.
  • The teams were reminded of the district goal for weekly iReady use. Students need to work on "My Path" for a minimum of 30 minutes weekly. While this is the communicated weekly goal, I would strongly encourage you to look at HOW your students are using their time. Encourage them to complete quizzes with success. Noticing when students are working hard and have a "STREAK" going with their quizzes in the green zone is a great way to celebrate their hard work. Let's do everything we can to inspire productivity during the iReady minutes. That is the best way to maximize iReady's effectiveness.
  • We talked about goal setting in ST Math. There is no district goal for ST Math usage this year. That being said, I'd like to encourage you to weave ST Math into your regular instruction. I love that ST Math affords ALL students an opportunity to do math at a high level because there is no language required. This is a game changer for our students because it means that ALL students can access grade level math and that no student is left behind. I really do believe that success in math can open the door to opportunity for our students. In my opinion, leveling the playing field should be a high priority for all teachers. ST Math is one tool that can bring us closer to achieving this goal. Our ST Math ESM (Education Success Manager) recommends that each teacher set a goal of completing 10% of the STMath curriculum each month. As a classroom teacher who met this goal easily last year, I'd encourage you to take this on. Working toward this SMALL goal each month will set you up to achieve BIG goals...propelling all students toward higher achievement in mathematics and growing a love for mathematics learning being the biggest, boldest, most courageous goals of all!
  • Finally, in our meetings we began to imagine what our year together might look like. I loved how eager teachers are to begin this work together. I'm so grateful for all of the invitations to join you in your work with our students. Spending time in your classrooms is the most joyful thing I do. I have added a tab on my website so that you can sign up for time with me. Feel free to sign up for me to come into your classroom or for time to work with me in the math lab; looking at data, planning instruction, navigating iReady or ST Math, challenging students, etc. Please try to sign up at least 24 hours in advance so that I have a little time to plan. I will send you a Google Calendar Invite confirming our time together.
  • I did not get to meet with our 5th grade team this week and for good reason. This week, nothing was more important than the time these teachers spent loving up their students. Let's work hard this year, like our friends in fifth grade, to always keep our eye on what our students need most. If you are a kindergarten or fifth grade teacher who did not get to meet with me in a PLC this week and you just read through these bullet points, consider yourself up to speed. I'm very much looking forward to our fist meeting and getting to know you all better.

Have a great week, Claypit Hill Educators!