Professional development within the East Side Alliance has focused on the implementation of the math common core standards at the middle and high school grade levels. Over 150 teachers have been impacted.
The professional development goals for the East Side Alliance centers around the following:
– on strategies to make mathematics accessible to all students
– with colleagues on strategic plans and steps for effective implementation
– a classroom culture that supports a problem solving approach to mathematics
– a common language around mathematical thinking and learning
– strategies to make tasks more open-ended, to encourage multiple methods and representations
– in inquiry-based strategies and tasks to develop conceptual understandings of mathematics as a subject of patterns and connections
– in rich mathematical tasks that encourage students to develop a sense of agency
ESA Math Toolkit
Our latest initiative for the ESA is a shared Math Toolkit, similar in style to other district toolkits (San Francisco, Stanislaus, etc.). We convened a cohort of math experts over the past 6 months, to provide ideas, content, and strategies. A draft toolkit was then presented to a group of teachers in May, at a special symposium. Their feedback is currently being processed and incorporated, and a final working toolkit will be ready for the 2017-2018 school year.
The purpose of the ESA Math Toolkit is to develop a blueprint for best mathematics instructional practices that can be the foundation for professional development across the East Side Alliance. In the past year, the ESA provided three math symposia followed by High School and Middle School Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) convening mathematics teachers across the ESA.
We hold three math symposia per year, focusing on topics such as formative assessment, questioning skills, mathematical mindsets, and educational research, with the target audience being middle school and high school teachers within the East Side Alliance. To date, 15 math symposiums have been held for middle school and high school math teachers.
High School/Middle School Math Collaboratives
The high school/middle school math collaboratives are professional learning communities convening high school and middle school teachers to delve deeper into the mathematical practices presented at the larger symposia.
Upper Elementary Collaboratives
Our newest addition to our ongoing professional development efforts for the East Side Alliance is our elementary math collaborative, focusing on Grades 3-6 teachers (where 6th grade is part of the elementary school, not the middle school), instructional coaches, and administrators. We held two sessions this school year, focusing on both content and pedagogy, based on the work of Dr. Jo Boaler.
Professional Learning Communities
Professional development in conducting and facilitating professional learning communities has been provided by the New Teacher Center, with over 400 teachers and an additional 50 principals going through the training.