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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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I Have Math Tools, Now What?

Sandy Barrett, Elementary Math Coach, Cossatot River School District

An elementary math coach helps supply classrooms with the tools needed to effectively teach math concepts. Read to find out why the teachers did not use them and how the problem was solved.

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Importance of Purposefully Building Classroom Culture

Brooke Bradley, Math Facilitator, Rogers Public Schools

Because of an overwhelming demand, for how to build an effective student led classroom culture, a regional professional development was created to help coaches and teachers foster vibrant student communication, collaborative work, and develop students' ability to have empathy for others.

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Whatever It Takes!

Kat Bir, Elementary Math Coach, Pulaski County Special School District

This year, we were given the task of pulling two 5th grade math classrooms' scores up from 29% proficient. We created a push-in plan with the mentality of "Whatever it takes", and we did just that! We created an action plan that allowed for planning with the teacher, a short mini-lesson, and time for small group lessons with no more than 4 students. Each group's lesson was individualized for their learning and focused on closing their achievement gap. IT WORKED!

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The Downs and Ups of Vertical Alignment Conversations

Tim Brister, Mathematics Specialist, Harding University Finley STEM Center

Focusing on content from upper level grades to lower and then back up again can help ground vertical alignment discussions and help teachers see relationships between mathematical ideas.

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Direct Instruction to Teacher as a Facilitator

Amanda Butler, Elementary Mathematics Instructional Facilitator, Pulaski County Special School District

This coach worked one-on-one with a traditional, direct-instruction style teacher who showed no growth in her students' learning. Through coaching, the teacher progressed to trying a weekly activity, to a daily activity, to grouping, and strong formative assessment.

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Summer Book Study Platform

Cynthia Chisholm, Math Facilitator, K-4, El Dorado School District

This is an option for a non threatening, relaxed platform to encourage teachers to read a book during their summer break that truly impacted our building in a positive way.

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#ObserveMe

John Davis, Math Facilitator, El Dorado Public Schools

A coach uses the #Observeme movement to encourage veteran teachers to create their own observation rubric to receive feedback for their growth. The movement started with six teachers, but grew in numbers as teachers of all experiences and content areas wanted to take part.

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Build relationships. Show you care. Change is hard but it is possible.

Zsuzsanna Diamond, Math Instructional Facilitator, K-5, Little Rock School District

Moral of the story: Build relationships. Show you care. Change is hard but it is possible.

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Developing Curriculum with Teachers — NOT for Teachers

Tracey Garrison, K-12 Math Coordinator, Jacksonville-North Pulaski School District

This article describes the on-going process of developing curriculum with teachers across multiple buildings. It talks about the importance of this process being done with teachers as opposed to for teachers. It is not a fast process but an important process.

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Serendipity: Improving the Process of Collaborative Planning

Patricia Goodman, District Math Lead Teacher, K-5, Little Rock School District

This is the story of how a coach shifted her approach to supporting collaborative lesson planning, putting the power in the hands of the teachers while providing support with a process and structure for planning.

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Whatever It Takes!

Lourdes Goodnight, District Math Program Administrator, Pulaski County Special School District

This year, we were given the task of pulling two 5th grade math classrooms' scores up from 29% proficient. We created a push-in plan with the mentality of "Whatever it takes", and we did just that! We created an action plan that allowed for planning with the teacher, a short mini-lesson, and time for small group lessons with no more than 4 students. Each group's lesson was individualized for their learning and focused on closing their achievement gap. IT WORKED!

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Coaching the Best to Be Better than the Best

Staisey Hodge, Math Instructional Facilitator, Pulaski County Special School District

When it comes to coaching, don't ignore your veteran teachers.

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Why Isn't This Working?

Krystle Hula, Assistant Principal, LISA Academy Chenal Elementary

This story is about my work with a 2nd grade teacher on her delivery and time management of her math lessons.

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Achieving Through Collaboration

Lisa Lollar, LaDonna Oates, Math Facilitators, Little Rock School District

Partnering neighborhood schools helped increase participation in professional learning events and helped teachers develop a community of discourse about mathematics teaching practice.

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Building Relationships

Stacie Mathis, Math and Science Instructional Facilitator, Rogers Public Schools

A look at a first year facilitator and her experiences in building relationships in her new school.

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Constructive Classroom Conversations

Rhina Odom, First Grade Teacher & Math Team Lead, Lonoke Primary School

The positive effects of student-centered learning through constructive classroom conversations and co-teaching have changed the way teachers approach teaching.

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Professional Learning Communities and Priority Standards through the District Lens

Beth Pesnell, Math and Science Curriculum Specialist, Rogers Public Schools

Curriculum Specialist of a large district shares how their elementary instructional facilitators collaboratively selected priority standards in K-5 Mathematics and how that process influenced their building level work in Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) and helped promote instructional equity across the district.

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Focusing on Student Work Opens Door to Coaching

Ronda Phillips, Math Coach, Bentonville Public Schools

A 5th/6th grade math coach uses an informal conversation about student work to open the door to a formal coaching cycle with a team of hesitant teachers.

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Building Shared Vision through PLC Work

Haylee Pierce, Math Facilitator, Rogers Public Schools

Schools that utilize the professional learning community process to achieve shared vision for mathematics education within their setting can use the process to deepen teachers' content knowledge and increase student achievement.

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From Being Coached to Being a Coach

Dianne Rhodes, Math Coach, Crystal Hill Elementary School, Pulaski County Special School District

A story about novice first grade teacher who was assigned to teach all the fifth grade math at the school.

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Making Drastic Change using Standards Based Reporting

Janice Riggs, Instructional Facilitator, El Dorado Public Schools

A coach's story of working with teachers to create a drastic change using Standards Based Reporting. Through positive interactions and teacher ownership, teachers' attitudes changed from panic and fear to celebration.

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The Conversation IS the Relationship

Kim Romain, Math Instructional Facilitator, Little Rock School District

This story is about how one conversation began a positive working relationship between a reluctant principal and a district math facilitator.

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Developing a Common Vision for Mathematics Instruction through STEM

Jackie Starks, Math Coach, Searcy School District

Elementary Math Coach develops a common vision for mathematics instruction among all stakeholders by connecting the engineering design process to the mathematics problem solving process. At McRae Elementary, young children, their families, and their teachers engage in mathematics pertinent to their grade level, through engaging STEM activities led by specialists.

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Novice Teachers Versus Veteran Teachers

Tyronza Thames-Walker, Math Instructional Facilitator, Little Rock School District

An elementary math coach works with a group of novice and experienced educators who had differing views on the need for instructional coaching in math. The coach engaged the teachers in a PLC process resulting in the experienced teachers requesting to engage more in the coaching process.

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Conceptual Understanding of Multiplying Fractions

Nancy Via, Math Specialist, Arch Ford Educational Services

This story is about helping a group of teachers find a way to work on a collaborative solution for a shared problem. A coach shares a protocol with a team of teachers based on their request.

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Resolving Conflict Through Collaboration

Kim Woods, 5-6 Math Coach, Bentonville Public Schools

A middle school math coach works with teachers to resolve a conflicting view of a common assessment and rubric through collaboration.

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The Downs and Ups of Vertical Alignment Conversations

Tim Brister, Mathematics Specialist, Harding University Finley STEM Center

Focusing on content from upper level grades to lower and then back up again can help ground vertical alignment discussions and help teachers see relationships between mathematical ideas.

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Building Teacher Tools to Increase Students' ACT Skills and Confidence

Tonia Crow, Cabot Public Schools

This story tells of a collaborative approach to adjust to new state testing, using data to inform what was worked. The approach, focusing on new standards, increased the depth and content taught in the classroom.

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One on One Data Meetings and Data Driven Instruction

Tuba Dundar, Mathematics Instructional Coach, Lisa Academy - North

My story was about holding one on one data meetings after testing between teacher, coach and administration, between teacher and student and benefits of those meetings.

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Developing Curriculum with Teachers — NOT for Teachers

Tracey Garrison, K-12 Math Coordinator, Jacksonville-North Pulaski School District

This article describes the on-going process of developing curriculum with teachers across multiple buildings. It talks about the importance of this process being done with teachers as opposed to for teachers. It is not a fast process but an important process.

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First Steps in Coaching a Resistant High School Teacher

Marion Harris, High School Math Coach, Bentonville Public Schools

Meeting teachers where they are in their growth process is an important skill when coaching teachers, especially resistant teachers. As coaches, we need to realize any development is progress and should be valued. Starting with small procedural changes, rather than sweeping philosophical reform, may be the way to get teachers started on a growth path as well as earning their trust.

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Growing My Mind and My Mathematics

Kelley Pedro, Math Instructional Facilitator, Little Rock School District

My story is about growth mindset - what it is and why it's important to have one.

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Building Shared Vision through PLC Work

Haylee Pierce, Math Facilitator, Rogers Public Schools

Schools that utilize the professional learning community process to achieve shared vision for mathematics education within their setting can use the process to deepen teachers' content knowledge and increase student achievement.

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Making data based decisions to improve student performance

Sally Robison, District Secondary Mathematics Specialist, North Little Rock School District

Using an assessments tool effectively to make data based decisions about student performance will ultimately increase teacher awareness, assist with instructional decisions and improve student performance. Pre and post analysis of questions, standards, and by students and classes will increase reflective practice and effective instruction.

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Cultivating a true professional learning network that impacts student performance.

Tom Simmons, District Math Chair, El Dorado Public Schools

I'd like to tell you the story of the most powerful professional learning network that I've witnessed. The impact of this network on student performance has been amazing. Students are more engaged in a variety of instructional activities and teachers are collaborating almost continuously to improve their craft.

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Honest Communication Leads to Long-term Coaching

Michele Sobiech, Junior High Math Coach, Bentonville Public Schools

Difficult conversations can lead to an honest and professional working relationship. Keeping feedback student centered while working with a 7th grade teacher leads to a long-term coaching relationship.

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The Downs and Ups of Vertical Alignment Conversations

Tim Brister, Mathematics Specialist, Harding University Finley STEM Center

Focusing on content from upper level grades to lower and then back up again can help ground vertical alignment discussions and help teachers see relationships between mathematical ideas.

PDF

Developing Curriculum with Teachers — NOT for Teachers

Tracey Garrison, K-12 Math Coordinator, Jacksonville-North Pulaski School District

This article describes the on-going process of developing curriculum with teachers across multiple buildings. It talks about the importance of this process being done with teachers as opposed to for teachers. It is not a fast process but an important process.

PDF

Whatever It Takes!

Lourdes Goodnight, District Math Program Administrator, Pulaski County Special School District

This year, we were given the task of pulling two 5th grade math classrooms' scores up from 29% proficient. We created a push-in plan with the mentality of "Whatever it takes", and we did just that! We created an action plan that allowed for planning with the teacher, a short mini-lesson, and time for small group lessons with no more than 4 students. Each group's lesson was individualized for their learning and focused on closing their achievement gap. IT WORKED!

PDF

Why Isn't This Working?

Krystle Hula, Assistant Principal, LISA Academy Chenal Elementary

This story is about my work with a 2nd grade teacher on her delivery and time management of her math lessons.

PDF

Professional Learning Communities and Priority Standards through the District Lens

Beth Pesnell, Math and Science Curriculum Specialist, Rogers Public Schools

Curriculum Specialist of a large district shares how their elementary instructional facilitators collaboratively selected priority standards in K-5 Mathematics and how that process influenced their building level work in Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) and helped promote instructional equity across the district.

PDF

Making data based decisions to improve student performance

Sally Robison, District Secondary Mathematics Specialist, North Little Rock School District

Using an assessments tool effectively to make data based decisions about student performance will ultimately increase teacher awareness, assist with instructional decisions and improve student performance. Pre and post analysis of questions, standards, and by students and classes will increase reflective practice and effective instruction.

PDF

The Conversation IS the Relationship

Kim Romain, Math Instructional Facilitator, Little Rock School District

This story is about how one conversation began a positive working relationship between a reluctant principal and a district math facilitator.

PDF

Cultivating a true professional learning network that impacts student performance.

Tom Simmons, District Math Chair, El Dorado Public Schools

I'd like to tell you the story of the most powerful professional learning network that I've witnessed. The impact of this network on student performance has been amazing. Students are more engaged in a variety of instructional activities and teachers are collaborating almost continuously to improve their craft.

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