Teachers Collaborate to Improve Early Numeracy
Posted On:
Friday, January 13, 2017
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With the support of DSAC (District and School Assistance Program) elementary teachers from Ludlow are participating in the Early Numeracy Workshop which reinforces the early numeracy work occurring in the elementary  schools. The program focuses on sharing best practices around supporting the teachers who are engaged in this work.

According to DSAC, the goals of this program include-

  • Build a school’s capacity to recognize robust (rigorous) early numeracy instruction based on data

  • Identify best standards-based practices in math instruction to improve the quality of feedback from administrators and coaches.

  • Develop a shared understanding of the tiered system of supports in place for mathematics

One of the components of the program requires participants to observe other classrooms.  Chapin Street Principal, Mrs. Nikki Reed, explained that 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Marybeth Lewison, is participating in this workshop. Lewison has observed 5th grade teachers, Mrs. Michelle Irwin  and Mrs. Katie Leary at Veterans Park School, who are also participants in the workshop, having observed in Lewison’s classroom.

Lewison’s observation focused on better understanding how 5th grade teachers conduct the math workshop model, using the Eureka Math Program. Lewison shared, “Seeing how the 5th grade teachers at Veterans Park implement math workshop has given me ideas for how I  might be able to implement this program in my 3rd grade class.”

Following her observation Leary commented, “It was wonderful to see the 3rd graders in Marybeth's class talking about many of the skills and strategies we use in 5th grade. It’s rewarding to see the progress we (the district) have made since implementing Eureka Math as a guide; it has allowed consistency across grade levels that is critical for student achievement.”

“I was amazed by the common language all of our students shared,” added Irwin. “Many of the strategies and tools the 3rd graders were using will stick with them and carry on through 5th grade. It was so exciting to see 3rd graders thinking so deeply about numbers as well as using a variety of tools to solve problems.”

Mrs. Melissa Knowles, Veterans Park Principal, shared that Eureka Math has been the math curriculum utilized in the  district for grades kindergarten-5th since the start of the 2015 school year. According to their website this program encourages students to use mental strategies to solve mathematical problems, and to focus on the process and not the answer.  

All agree that incorporating classroom visits as a component of the Early Numeracy Workshop assists teachers to align assessment and teaching practices that helps to ensure consistency, while also supporting grade level curricula across the district.  Lewison explained it best, “I teach 3rd grade.  My visit to a 5th grade math class gave me a look into the future for my current students, allowing me to see the 5th grade content and therefore giving me a better understanding of  the skills they need to master to be successful when they leave my classroom."

Mrs. Katie Leary, Mrs. Marybeth Lewison, Mrs. Michelle Irwin

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