Our latest updates are featured in the KNAERative Issue 4! See news from our Communities of Practice, learn about upcoming events, and find out how you can get involved.
For updates from KNAER and other KNAER networks, see the full newsletter here.
In partnership with Ontario’s Principals’ Council, Corwin (a publisher of PreK–12 professional learning resources) organized a two-day institute around Visible Learning research. Keynotes John Hattie, Jenni Donohoo, John Almarode, and Olivia Amador-Valerio will contribute to professional learning about creating Visible Learning Schools. The second day is dedicated to Visible Learning Mathematics, when John Almarode will talk about what works best in the teaching and learning of mathematics and how to maximize learner growth and achievement. Participants will be actively engaged in doing mathematics during the session.
The Mathematics Leadership CoP and partners will be presenting twice at the upcoming OAME 2018 Leadership Conference. We look forward to engaging with attending educators from across Ontario and guests from the US!
More information and session descriptions will be available soon on the OAME website.
by Dragana Martinovic
In the first year of the Mathematics Leadership Community of Practice existence, our member networks encompassed North East (MLN), North West (NWML2N), and Central Ontario (ML2N). In this blog, we report from some meetings organized from April to October 2017.
MLN April 2017 meeting
This meeting presented the start of the Phase 2 of the MLN work. The learning goals for this three-day face-to-face session held in Sudbury were:
The sessions included Connie Quadrini, Student Achievement Officer, who talked about: (a) specialized and horizon content knowledge (using Deborah Ball’s framework for Mathematics Knowledge for Teaching) and (b) supporting curriculum connections for students (see a depiction of multiplication across the grades). Connie provided a focus on students with learning disabilities, a topic of particular interest for the MLN educators.
The MLN participants reflected on the question: “How might your learning from today further support students with learning disabilities, in mathematics within your board/school?” and also worked on connecting student thinking to the Lawson Continuum.
The educators worked on the balance of surface, deep, and transfer learning, emphasizing the need to attend to all three, where (surface – how) –may require direct instruction, thinking (deep – why) – requires talk, and constructing (transfer – apply) – requires reflection. Surface may have negative connotation; most teaching is surface. “Too often learning ends at the surface level. But the challenge is this: we can’t over-correct in the other direction, bypassing the foundational knowledge in favour of critical and analytic thinking” (Hattie, 2012, p.131). The MLN facilitators’ team also introduced aspects of the whole school inquiry, which will be a main monitoring tool in the next two Phases.
Timeline for MLN’s Phase 2 Activities
MLN’s Not a Book Study: Open Online Professional Learning
The MLN team also spearheaded this open online professional learning opportunity focused on Dr. Cathy Fosnot’s work specific to multiplication and division. More than 500 educators across Ontario registered. .Beginning on April 10, they were able to interact, network and share thinking with other educators on various open online platforms. Through VoicED Radio, Dr. Fosnot has weekly guided this learning.
432 Tweets were posted on the #notabookstudy Twitter account. 105,707 accounts were reached, which presents an admirable size for audience involved in a Not a Book Study conversation. A total of 266,873 views of a Not a Book Study conversation were recorded. The MLN team conducted a survey asking educators who participated in the Not a Book Study professional learning to provide their feedback. This is what they responded:
Scaling it up! Cathy Fosnot in North Bay
In continuation with previous work, in October, Cathy Fosnot visited the North Ontario region. First, for several days, she worked with individual boards, then she ran a 2-day Leadership Institute in North Bay, and concluded this working visit, with a NOMA event. The Leadership Institute was supported by the Mathematics Leadership Community of Practice. It was attended by 100 educators in leadership positions, including 20 Ministry staff. Three educators from the GECDSB (one Consultant and two Principals) also attended the Institute. Cathy said: “What is happening in Ontario is incredible!”
When talking about ways to support teachers in learning, how to assess the learning in the moment, and how to craft an assessment, she said: “We found that teachers focus on pedagogy, not on mathematics.” The NOMA event had 85 participants. This professional learning for teachers was organized in support of efficient computation, sense-making, and a strong understanding of number and operation.
The MLN has just started its Third Phase. More reports to follow!
The ML2N supports all educators in the Barrie region to:
First day of the July meeting was dedicated to mathematics knowledge for teaching and leading, and monitoring for impact. On the second day, Moses Velasco (Education Officer), gave a session on the professional inquiry. Moses touched the following themes:
Moses said: “Professional learning demands that teachers think critically about their practices and figure out what needs to change to benefit their students’ learning. Professional development always hoped and strived for instructional change but professional learning ensures and plans for change.” He used an example from a three-level inquiry at HPEDSB, where one person’s “if” became another person’s “then.” See how Debbie Donsky visualized this session and one of the slides from Moses’ session:
Scaling it up! Marian Small in Thunder Bay
On October 18 2017, the two leadership networks connected through Skype to share learning. Dr. Marian Small spent two days with NWML2N in Thunder Bay and during the first day session, the ML2N educators participated online (see pictures below). Marian Small talked about leadership in elementary mathematics. She said about leadership: “You cannot delegate this if you are a principal or school leader. You must get in there….You must make a math change a singular focus and a very visible focus.”
Scaling it up! Alex Lawson in Toronto
In September and October, Dr. Lawson facilitated sessions for the leadership networks’ teams. She talked about learning trajectories in relation to mathematical operations. The educators participated in discussions, solved mathematics problems, and watched videos that demonstrated mathematical development of Gr. 1 – 5 children. See what strategies different groups of educators suggested for children to solve 5+7 = ?, if they do not know it as a fact:
The image on the right presents different strategies from the continuum when solving 6+8=?. What can teachers do to help children move along the continuum? “A lot!” says Lawson, “We can introduce mathematical models that help children to construct mathematical understanding.” The premise of her talks was that “Just memorizing the [mathematical] facts is no longer enough and it never was.”
This blog post was written by Dr. Dragana Martinovic, co-Lead of the Mathematics Leadership CoP and Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Windsor.