Teachers/Administrators Partnering for Mathematics Learning

School and Community

Oak Grove Middle School was established in August 2012 to alleviate overcrowding in the North Davidson and Ledford Communities. The student body is made up of 24 American Indians (3%), 4 Asians (1%), 31 African Americans (4%), 43 Hispanics (5%), 661 Caucasians (85%), and 14 Multi-Racial (2%) students. 28% of Oak Grove students receive free and reduced lunch.


6th Grade: Melody Deang
7th Grade: Ashley Coons
8th Grade: Miranda Proctor
Principal: Chris Johnston

It is the responsibility of the TAP Math PLC members to examine strategies for mathematical teaching that will meet the needs of our “at risk” students, to support the teaching and learning of mathematics, to increase the mathematics content knowledge of our teachers, develop a shared vision of what quality mathematics instruction looks like, and to bridge the implementation of Common Core State Standards. In conjunction, these purposes combine to support increased student achievement.

These teachers are leaders in mathematics and are deep-seated in their content knowledge. The grade level chairs will be given the challenge of focusing on mathematical formative assessment data, summative assessment data, and benchmark data, at their grade level PLC, to maximize student learning and achievement.


After looking closely at the analysis, the data indicated that the most pressing need at Oak Grove was the probability of proficiency for current 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students on the End of Grade Mathematics test falling between 40% and 70% proficient.  This scope framed the largest percentage of Oak Grove's  "at risk" math students across all three grade levels.


"Can you do addition?" the White Queen asked. "What's one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one?"
"I don't know," said Alice. "I lost count."

Lewis Carrol, Through the Looking Glass

The following quote illustrates several things about math. It is easy to get lost, especially if the question comes too fast, and once one is lost, well...

As experienced mathematics educators that want to meet the needs of each student, we must contemplate the following questions:

(1) What instructional strategies do we as mathematics instructors have to
choose from?
(2) Which strategies best meet the needs of our students at each grade level?

The Common Core was developed from progressions. These progressions explain the mathematical build of domains by logical structure within the discipline. Embedded in the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics are the eight Standards for Mathematical Practice. The eight Standards of Mathematical Practice are the foundation in which instructional strategies should be strategically selected. The eight Standards of Mathematical Practice are:

(1) Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
(2) Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
(3) Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
(4) Model with mathematics.
(5) Use appropriate tools strategically.
(6) Attend to precision.
(7) Look for and make us of structure.
(8) Look for an express regularity in repeated reasoning.

A selection of best instructional practices was put together by the PLC to incorporate the eight Mathematical Practices and to meet the identified needs of the students at Oak Grove Middle School: interactive writing, cooperative learning, homework and practice, questions, cues, and advance organizers, summarizing and note taking, identifying similarities and differences, nonlinguistic representations, and reinforcing effort and providing recognition. Much of our research has been synthesized and described in the book Classroom Instruction That Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement by Marzano, Pickering, and Pollock (ASCD, 2001). Marzano identifies nine strategies that have been proven to improve student achievement :

(1) Identifying similarities and differences.
(2) Summarizing and Note Taking
(3) Reinforcing effort and providing recognition.
(4) Homework and practice.
(6) Learning groups.
(7) Setting objectives and providing feedback.
(8) Generating and testing hypotheses.
(9) Cues, questions, and advance organizers.

Marzano's nine strategies can be used by teachers to best meet the needs of our students, keeping the eight Standards of Mathematical Practice as the foundation of instruction.



  • Interactive Journals
  • Exit Tickets
  • Circle, Triangle, Square
  • Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down
  • Fist to Five
  • Four Corners
  • Math Reflections
  • Math Talks
  • White Boards
  • Conversation Calendars
  • Modeling Problems/Solutions


  • ClassScape Data
  • Test
  • Benchmark Data
  • End of Grade Mathematics Test