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Math Coordinator Support – September

September 19, 2013


Math Coordinator Support – September 2013

So, looking back to the questions that some Math Data Teams  were presented with this week and the anxiety that arose from it … Take a deep breath, it isn’t a quiz – was more of ripping off a band-aid in presenting these to you. It was ouchy at first, but then not so bad.

Start to think of and look at those questions as GUIDING QUESTIONS as you are planning instruction. NOT as a hit or miss quiz … but how can you develop what those questions are asking in your classroom over the course of the unit(s).

What do I mean by that? Well – each question connects to the SEED document .

Now, the SEED document is meant to be a coaching guide for you to self-evaluate your own instruction – less of an evaluative tool, despite how it was presented. It can be a tool for you to look at and determine where you fall in each domain – the categories of Below Standard, Developing, Proficient, and Exemplary are categories for you to figure out your strengths and weaknesses.

It was mentioned yesterday that “now we are teaching to the SEED document” – in essence, yes, you are – because the SEED document is an outline/definition of what is meant in the term Effective Instruction (we throw this term around all the time, but who has defined it? What does it mean to you or to your colleague? You may have different opinions of what it means). It is a standardized tool for everyone in Connecticut to use in measuring how effective instruction is.

Using this document consistently, on your own, will make the TEVAL process minimal as you will already know where you rate and where your strengths and weaknesses are – within the Below Standard, Developing, Proficient, and Exemplary categories. It provides for a solid, two sided, professional conversation with your evaluator about what is seen in your observations.

This professional conversation has more power to it from you if you have used the tool to self-evaluate and have evidence of your practice changing and adjusting in an effort to meet at least the Proficiency level. Do not be discouraged if you do not make Exemplary, not many will – as teachers I know this is tough to not get the highest, most perfect score – Exemplary will come, let’s just set our sights on Proficiency for now. More specifically and simply, Proficiency in just Domains 2 and 3 for this time in the year.

So below – here are the questions presented to you at Data Teams – Next to each I have loosely connected it to the SEED Domain 2 Classroom Environment/ Student Engagement and SEED Domain 3 Planning for Active Learning.

CSDE Common Core of Teaching / SEED Rubric Teaching Student-Centered Mathematics, J. Vandewalle Chapter 1 Foundations of Problem Based Instruction
2.b Promoting student engagement and shared responsibility for learning. 1. What routines / signals are in place to facilitate reflective thought and students learning from each other? – page 4
2.d. Maximizing instructional time by effectively managing routines and transitions. 2. What routines are in place for effective and consistent use of tools / manipulative / models? Pg. 6-10
2.d. Maximizing instructional time by effectively managing routines and transitions. 3. How do you establish clear behavioral and learning expectations during problem based lessons – describe a lesson you have planned for or have done – what did the before / during / after look like and how were Clear Expectations set? PGs. 15-21
2.a Creating a positive learning environment that is responsive to and respectful of the learning needs of students. 4. How are you specifically addressing ELLs and various levels of understanding with in this unit? Pgs. 28-30
3.c Selecting appropriate assessment strategies to monitor ongoing student progress. 5. Aside from the unit pre and post tests, how are you monitoring student progress and what is the evidence of progress? Pgs. 30-32

When I walk through classrooms, I have the SEED document in my head because it is an OBJECTIVE tool I can use to determine where we are at. It is the same tool I am evaluated on as well, so I have been using it to reflect on my own work providing support and aiming at Proficiency.  I think about what I see in the classrooms in terms of this rubric. I try to determine what is happening in the classroom to make a lesson Proficient and if I don’t see Proficiency (according to the attributes on the Rubric) I think about what would need to happen in order for this lesson to meet Proficiency.  That is where my support comes in.  This is much more useful than a generic, “That was really great!” or “How can I support you or do you need anything or is there anything I can help you with?”

I have been circulating classrooms in the district quite a bit with the Rubric in my mind (and also in my mind of how I would be rated in providing instructional support) – I have seen a little of everything Below Standard to Exemplary. When I see Proficiency or Exemplary, I try to go back and video as a model for all to see.

When I am in your building and visiting classrooms, take a few minutes to reflect on the questions from Vandewalle Chapter 1 in the table above and also on the Rubric (can print from the link above) and determine, based on the what I may have seen when I was in your room, where on the rubric would you fall. I am able to meet with you to discuss how to alter a lesson or other component of the classroom to work towards Proficiency. Also, be thinking of ways my support could be most effective for you and your specific reflection.

I hope this helps. I am in the buildings to support your instruction in any way I can.

Please email me with any questions:)



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