It Worked!


Coaching Lab: Plan/Observe/Debrief

Cheryl Akers, Math Coach, Howard County Public Schools

This article discusses an example of a half-day PD session of planning, observing, and debriefing where teachers experience students successfully struggling and solving a challenging problem-based task at the grade 5 level.


The Importance of Collaboration

Jenni Clausen, Frederick County Public Schools, MD

One coach's collaboration with an ELL specialist helped teachers embrace their role as an ELL teacher and help them develop the skill set they needed to be effective in this role.


Teaching for Understanding Using Story Problem Routines in K-2 and Utilizing Counterexamples

Natalie Crist, Baltimore County Public Schools

A coach's story of working with teachers focusing on the CCSS Standards for Mathematical Practice and classroom-based formative assessment.


Meaningful Math Mistakes

Melissa Gotard, Carroll County Public Schools

Learn how one school improved computational fluency at the lower elementary grades through analyzing mistakes and focusing on the intentional use of classroom routines, and mini-lessons to help student strengthen their attention to precision and checking for accuracy.


A Tool for Effective Collaborative Planning

Katie Hammack, District Level Elementary Math Resource Teacher, Anne Arundel County Public Schools

Successful collaborative planning does not happen by accident. This district decided on 4 key goals as focus areas. The mathematics leader was able to provide support, maintain focus and evaluate progress based on the specific goals attended to the collaborative planning sessions.


Collaborative Planning with Resistant Teachers

Laura Hunovice, Elementary Mathematics Resource Teacher, Carroll County Public Schools, MD

Collaborative planning can seem overwhelming. Read this leaders story on how she took a group of teachers who were resistant to professional learning and led them through a successful collaborative planning process that resulted in collaborative, well planned instructional units.


Teach One to Reach All: Coaching Teachers to Create a Mathematics Community

Kendra J. Johnson, Howard County Public Schools

Read how this leader was able to build a learning community through modeling in the classroom, sharing video segments and cultivating others' leadership skills. The teachers are excited to collaborate and learn from one another.


Using Content Discussion Prompts to Understand Content

Marcy Myers, Mathematics Resource Teacher, Carroll County Public Schools

Teachers shifted their emphases from developing student independent seatwork to developing thought-provoking questions during instruction by participating in professional development that had them engage in important discussion questions. Read how this mathematics resource teacher helped facilitate this shift and the discussion questions she utilized.


Using Quality Resources to Create Teacher Buy In

Nicholas Pyzik, Math Interventionist/Specialist K-5, Frederick County Public Schools

This is a story of how one math coach used a resource to help him transition from teacher to coach in the same building. He offer a school based professional learning group, using the resource Number Talks by Sherry Parrish to build trust with other teachers.


Classroom Discussions Seeing Math Discourse In Action

Joan Tellish, Elementary Mathematics Support Teacher, Howard County Public Schools

This math support teacher describes how having teachers develop and use a set of talk "tools" in mathematics led to a school-wide adoption of these "tools" in every discipline. The resultant impact of this consistent use of "tools" on respectful discourse throughout all the classrooms is compelling.


Empowering Math Teachers and Coaches to Provide Purposeful Pre-K Mathematics Experiences

Michele Baisey, Teacher Specialist for Early Childhood Education, Frederick County Public Schools and Angela Waltrup, Teacher Specialist for Elementary Mathematics, Frederick County Public Schools

Monthly professional development meetings are used to empower teachers in the implementation of tasks from Nita's Pre-K Playbook in their classrooms.


Building Math Leadership by Creating Parent Communication Documents

Liza DallaValle, Elementary Mathematics Resource Teacher, Carroll County Public Schools, MD

How a coach led a group of teachers through a process to develop parent communication documents and the benefits for all involved.


Utilizing Journals to Focus on Modeling and Reasoning

Kelly Krownapple, Howard County Public Schools

Read how this coach helped a school develop a culture of writing in mathematics with the use of targeted journal prompts from Jump resources, and with their own created prompts. Through journal writing, students, teachers, and parents were able to see the growth of students' abilities to model and reason.


A Ready Resource for Representation: Using LMR (Learning Mathematics through Representations) to Emphasize the Importance of the Number Line in 2nd through 4th Grades

Sorsha Mulroe, Howard County Public Schools

This math instructional support teacher shares her experiences ) in 2nd and 4th grades using LMR (Learning Mathematics through Representations) with its use of the number line as a key representation. Read how the resultant improvement in student learning of whole numbers and fractions provided evidence for the use of this resource in all 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades.


Once a Teacher, Always a Teacher

Megan Sutherland, Frederick County Public Schools

Read how this math specialist got off to a good start in her new position by teaching number sense routines in every kindergarten to second grade classroom, showing her vulnerability and need to grow. This helped create positive relationships that led to the collaboration on many other team curricular and teaching initiatives.


Coaching Conversations Transform Student Conversations

Kristianne Trevorrow, Frederick County Public Schools

Read how this math leader advanced in her leadership growth by using coach-like conversations with teachers as they engaged in a book study and the implementation of its suggestions. The effect of these conversations on community building and productive student-led conversations in classrooms is described.


21st Century Coaching Skills Needed for 21st Century Math Classrooms

Angela M. Waltrup, Teacher Specialist for Elementary Mathematics, Frederick County Public Schools

Many elementary school leadership teams are focusing school improvement efforts on the proper integration of technology in the elementary mathematics classroom. Math specialists often have a role in coaching teachers in the use of this new technology and so must be aware of the 21st-century skills and proficiencies needed as well as how to support teachers as they develop those skills.


Aligning Professional Development and Professional Practice: A Continuous Discussion

Michelle Ziegler, Mathematics Resource Teacher, Carroll County Public Schools

Oftentimes, providing professional development for teachers is part of a math resource teacher's duties. Incorporating this professional development into instructional planning processes is both possible and productive, requiring a range of strategies employed in a continuous, improvement driven manner.


Change Is Good

Holly Cheung, Howard County Middle School, MD

The challenges and benefits of changing schools as a math coach are explored in this article.


Can High School Teachers be Coached?

Megan Gittermann, Secondary Mathematics Instructional Support Teacher, Howard County Public School System, MD

This article gets at the need for and benefits of having high school math coaches.


Courageous Conversations and Data Teams

Joe Hinson, Mathematics Specialist, Frederick County Public Schools, MD

When teachers focused on three main goals: becoming more intentional with their instruction by describing in greater detail what it would look like; incorporating the use of manipulatives and teaching at a concrete level when introducing new skills; and demonstrating ownership of their students' data (whether good or bad) student achievement improved.


Using Common Assessments to Improve Student Learning

Lindsay Kelley, Math Instructional Support Teacher, Howard County Public Schools

Read how the development and evaluation of common assessments with her grade-level math teams provided a way for this middle school math coach to focus her work. Through this developmental process, teachers appreciated the value in unpacking the units of work, working collaboratively, and focusing on how to teach the Standards.


Bringing Worthwhile Mathematics to the Mathematics Classroom

Damitra Newsome, Math Instructional Support Teacher, Howard County Public Schools

Read how this math instructional support teacher helped teachers collaboratively use evaluation and analysis tools to select worthwhile mathematics task, to prepare for the teaching of these tasks, and to reflect on their implementation and success. Because of this thoughtful and deliberate process, teachers witnessed increased student engagement and enthusiasm for mathematics.


Step One: Build a Relationship

Ashley Roberts, Secondary Math Specialist, Frederick County Public Schools

This article discusses making relationship building a priority helps build a positive, productive atmosphere.


Building Teacher Capacity with a Classroom-Focused Improvement Process

Stacey Sisler, Middle School Math Specialist, Frederick County Public Schools

Through a very targeted effort to use questioning to challenge teachers to reflect on their instructional practices, this middle school math specialist reports on her transition from a "fixer" to a listener. This approach has empowered the teachers in many ways that are discussed in this article.


It's about Pace: Taking the Time to Make it Work

AnnMarie Varlotta, Math Instructional Support Teacher, Howard County Public Schools

Beginning coaching experiences can be difficult for new coaches and teachers alike. It is important to take the time, from the very beginning, to build relationships based on respect and trust.


Inspiring a Growth Mindset: It Worked and is Still Working

Melissa Waggoner, Math Instructional Support Teacher, Howard County Public Schools

Ideas about mindset are becoming increasingly important in mathematics education, and it can be productive to think about ways to develop a growth mindset in students. Teams of teachers and teacher leaders have many resources available to inform this work.


It Worked—Starting Out as a Leader in a New Building

Heather P. Wurster, Middle School Math Specialist, Frederick County Public Schools, MD

Math specialists in newly created positions often have a particular set of challenges facing them. Developing relationships with staff is a complex, long term process that benefits from many different, but oftentimes simple, strategies.


The PLC that Worked

Lisa Vaeth, Frederick County Public Schools

A professional learning community (PLC) worked to establish focus on perseverance in problem solving. In doing so, the group created supportive resources with the assistance of the mathematics specialist.