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Mathematics Leadership Support Systems (MLSS) K-8 Implementing the CCSS in rates, ratios and proportions, lesson study, and effective instructional strategies for promoting math discourse

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Course Description:

The LAPDA Mathematics Leadership Support System (MLSS) is designed to meet the ongoing needs of Vermont’s mathematics teacher leaders. It is a forum in which math leaders engage in content, research about how students learn specific concepts, and current state and national issues in math education. Through a practicum, the work done in and for the course is designed to directly impact instruction, curriculum and assessment specifically as it relates to the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in mathematics in Vermont schools and districts.
This year, MLSS with focus on rates, ratios and proportions, lesson study, and effective instructional strategies for promoting math discourse. Participants will complete a practicum that either supports the implementation of lesson study or the implementation of professional development of the CCSS in their school/district.

Lesson Study Description:

Lesson study, which has been used in Japan for many years, is a model for intensive school-based professional development. In this model, teachers collaborate to develop a lesson plan, teach and observe the lesson to collect data on student learning, and use their observations to refine their lesson. Participants will be introduced to, observe, and implement (or expand) the use of a lesson study protocol in their schools.

“Research on teacher professional development has demonstrated that teachers are more likely to change their thinking and practice when they have opportunities to learn about student thinking about mathematics and discuss their instruction for student thinking about mathematics (Carpenter, Fennema, Peterson, Chiang, & Loef, 1989)”.

MLSS Goals:

1) Participants will be immersed in a deep understanding of the CCSS in grades K-8 including the mathematical practices, supporting documents like the learning progressions, and the SBAC Assessment Framework. In particular, participants will study the CCSS in fractions, ratios and proportions, lesson study, and effective instructional strategies for promoting math discourse. Participants will engage in the mathematics education research that underpins these mathematical topics, and use this knowledge to help design professional development for teachers in their school/district.
2) Participants will become familiar with the impact of the CCSS on mathematics curriculum, instruction, and assessment in their school/district as we move toward full implementation. In particular, participants will develop model CCSS implementation plans considering all aspects of implementation.
3) Participants will engage in understanding of current issues in mathematics. For example, learning progressions and its implications for instruction, curriculum, and assessment  and other important issues as they arise during the 2013-2014 school year.
4) Participants will complete a practicum in which they either conduct lesson study or implement professional development in their schools/districts using these ideas.
5) Participants will support the use of effective instructional strategies (e.g., questioning, use of student solutions, student engagement, and formative assessment) in their schools through their lesson study or professional development.

 About the Instructors

Beth Hulbert is the K-8 Mathematics Coordinator for Barre Supervisory Union. She is on the OGAP design team, and has developed and is currently implementing a Grades 1 – 5 Math Intervention model in Barre City. Beth also teaches courses in math content, pedagogy, and assessment for LAPDA and a number of other institutions. Beth received the 1992 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and was awarded a Fulbright Award in 1999. She received her M.Ed. in Mathematics Education from the University of Vermont.

Mary Abele-Austin has spent the last 11 years focused on improving math instruction through imbedded professional development for classroom teachers.  She currently works at with teachers Pre-K to 8th grade in the Waterbury / Duxbury School District as their math coach / coordinator.  This is her 10th year in this capacity.  Mary is actively implementing the lesson study model of professional development with her math teachers.  Mary is trained facilitator for the On-Going Assessment Project (OGAP) in Fractions, Multiplicative Reasoning, and Proportionality.  Before becoming a math coach, Mary worked as a 3rd/4th grade classroom teacher.  Mary graduated from the University of Vermont in 1989 with a BS in Elementary Education.  She received her Master’s Degree from UVM and the Vermont Mathematics Initiative in May of 2010.