Just as well-designed curricula and assessments can help improve teaching and learning, the right tools can help schools and school districts be more effective in organizing for improvement, supporting teaching and learning, and communicating with parents and the community. Such tools need to be flexible and adaptable, address critical issues, and be easy to use in order to meet the needs of each individual school district.
The Mathematics Network of Improvement Communities (Math NIC) is a collection of district administrators, principals, mathematics coaches, and teachers representing ten school districts and professional organizations. With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the NIC team identified challenges to the improvement of their mathematics programs. The NIC design group then collaborated with the districts to design nine prototype tools.
The tools look at the essentials of an issue so that participants can focus on challenges and options for making progress. Each tool consists of downloadable materials designed to provide detailed support for a workshop-style session, typically lasting 90-120 minutes. Partner districts have piloted the tools, which are now ready for broader use, but they are far from polished or in final form. The very first tool is a workshop, including 3 videos, designed to provide a “hands on” introduction to the TRU Framework. That link is here.
Each workshop contains a leader guide, a set of powerpoint slides, and a set of handouts. The complete set of workshops, with links, is as follows:
- Teaching Mathematics for Robust Understanding – What makes a mathematically powerful classroom?
- Program Coherence Health Check – How well do our various “drivers” support policy?
- Designing Professional Development – How can we make PD more effective?
- Formative Assessment – What is it, and how can it improve teaching and learning?
- World Class Mathematics for Parents – What is it and what does it mean for my child?
- Lesson Study for Professional Development – What is Lesson Study, and how can it help?
- Mathematical Practices – What does it mean to “think mathematically”?
- Developing Mathematical Proficiency – What kinds of activities help students grow mathematically?
- Observing Mathematics Lessons – What should we focus on, and how?
Next Page: TRU+LessonStudy