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Strategies

The following strategies will be implemented to help the MMP accomplish its goals of Student Learning, Teacher Learning, and Collective Vision and Leadership for Mathematics.

  • Comprehensive Mathematics FrameworkComprehensive Mathematics Framework Comprehensive Mathematics Framework Link

The Comprehensive Mathematics Framework (see diagram) was developed as a vision for the PK-16 learning and teaching of mathematics. This framework is represented by a cycle that revolves around the Wisconsin content standards of number, algebra, statistics, probability, geometry, measurement, and their interconnections. The five components of mathematical proficiency—understanding, computing, reasoning, applying, and engaging—as presented in the National Research Council’s report Helping Children Learn Mathematics (NRC, 2002) and drawn from the report Adding It Up ( NRC, 2001a) will drive classroom practice, define high-quality teaching of challenging mathematics, and be incorporated into the entire teacher learning continuum from teacher preparation through induction and continuing professional development.

The framework will guide student mastery of the Wisconsin math standards and transition to college mathematics as demonstrated by their understanding of mathematical content, their skills in computing accurately and efficiently, their ability to apply principles and strategies to solve problems, their ability to reason logically, and their engagement in doing mathematics. To achieve this, the framework will guide:

  • High quality instruction in PK-16 mathematics classrooms;
  • Ongoing professional learning for teachers in developing students’ mastery of state standards;
  • Parents and guardians in nurturing and monitoring the development of their children’s learning as aligned to the state standards.
  • Mathematics Teacher Leaders

Teacher Leadership is a necessary component of any systemwide effort for improvement. The MMP is creating the opportunity for teachers to take on leadership roles for mathematics, develop expertise to coach their colleagues, and engage in shared decision-making through the creation of Mathematics Teacher Leaders (MTL) to strengthen each of the 165 district schools.

The teacher leaders have been receiving training in understanding of mathematics content, effective implementation, and building skills in collaborating with colleagues. Their training parallels that received by the literacy coaches in 2002 under the MPA model.

The role of the Math Teacher Leader (MTL) will be to:

  • Bring depth and sound mathematics content to the learning team.
  • Maintain classroom responsibilities for mathematics instruction.
  • Focus the school on implementing the comprehensive mathematics framework.
  • Facilitate grade level, subject area, and staff meetings during/after school day.
  • Support teachers in classrooms with the mathematics being taught, especially beginning teachers.
  • Assist Literacy Coach with integration of balanced literacy into mathematics.
  • Ensure a link from the school site to the district and partners.
  • School-based Learning Teams

The school learning team, inclusive of the mathematics teacher leader, ensures mathematics support for all teachers within each school. To ensure professional growth for all teachers, the learning team designates meeting dates for teachers to learn together. Focused time for teacher learning will occur at full-day and after school staff meetings, grade level meetings, and in classrooms. Teachers will ground their professional learning in practice using district videotapes of classrooms to facilitate discussions that will improve student achievement. Math teacher leaders, literacy coaches, and math specialists, in collaboration with mathematicians and mathematics educators, will facilitate ongoing staff development at individual school sites to strengthen teachers’ mathematical abilities and to improve classroom teaching practices.

  • Design Teams for Mathematics courses

The purpose of design teams is to bring together mathematics faculty, mathematics education faculty, and Teachers-in-Residence in order to develop courses that truly develop the mathematical knowledge needed for teaching in urban districts. It is our belief that this can best be accomplished by building a collaborative team that represents the key stakeholders. Mathematics faculty bring a deep and richly connected knowledge of mathematics, mathematics education faculty bring knowledge of ways to connect those mathematical ideas with learners, and the TIRs ground our work in the practice of teaching in urban environments.

  • Teachers-In-Residence

The MMP has utilized an existing collaboration between MPS and UWM, the Teachers-in-Residence (TIR) program, first initiated in 2000. A joint committee selected four outstanding classroom teachers of mathematics who were placed on special assignment at UWM to link mathematics teacher preparation and urban classroom practice. They work closely with mathematics faculty, participate in courses to deepen their mathematics content knowledge for teaching, and will be prepared to return to MPS in teacher leadership roles.

The teachers-in-residence have the following roles:

  • serve as members of design teams to revise and develop courses;
  • mentor MPS induction-year teachers of mathematics;
  • support individuals transitioning from MATC to UWM teacher preparation programs;
  • participate in the IHE Network;
  • participate as researchers studying mathematical preparation and induction.

The first cohort of TIRs will be at UWM for two years and then another cohort will be selected for the remaining years, thus further building district capacity.

 

 
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