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Regardless of their specific mathematics programs, No Child Left Behind - Blue Ribbon Schools use many similar instructional techniques. All emphasize alignment of the school’s mathematics curriculum with state standards and conduct frequent benchmark assessments to determine student mastery of the standards. All strive to allow sufficient time for math instruction each day to ensure that all students reach high levels of achievement. Assessment is formative and ongoing, and students who experience difficulty mastering math concepts receive immediate intervention and additional instructional time. Many schools use manipulatives to help students understand math concepts. Mastery of computation is balanced with problem-solving, applying mathematics, and making real-world connections.

1.
Improving Math Performance

What do you think is the single most important factor in

dramatically improving students’ math performance

in your school?

Regardless of their specific mathematics programs, No Child Left

Themes in

curriculum content Behind - Blue Ribbon Schools use many similar instructional

and standards: techniques. All emphasize alignment of the school’s mathematics

y Alignment with state curriculum with state standards and conduct frequent benchmark

frameworks assessments to determine student mastery of the standards. All

y Coherent, focused, strive to allot sufficient time for math instruction each day to ensure

demanding program

that all students reach high levels of achievement. Assessment is

y Connections to real

world formative and ongoing, and students who experience difficulty

y Year-to-year mastering math concepts receive immediate intervention and

continuity additional instructional time. Many schools use manipulatives to

y Building on prior help students understand math concepts. Mastery of computation

skills and

knowledge is balanced with problem solving, applying mathematics, and

y Use of making real world connections. As in all Blue Ribbon Schools,

manipulatives for quality teachers, parent involvement, and a coherent progression

concept

development from grade to grade are key to student success. School comments

about improved student math performance are organized below by

topic—curriculum, teaching, student support, and assessment—with

illustrations from survey responses.

1

What do you think is the single most important factor in

dramatically improving students’ math performance

in your school?

Regardless of their specific mathematics programs, No Child Left

Themes in

curriculum content Behind - Blue Ribbon Schools use many similar instructional

and standards: techniques. All emphasize alignment of the school’s mathematics

y Alignment with state curriculum with state standards and conduct frequent benchmark

frameworks assessments to determine student mastery of the standards. All

y Coherent, focused, strive to allot sufficient time for math instruction each day to ensure

demanding program

that all students reach high levels of achievement. Assessment is

y Connections to real

world formative and ongoing, and students who experience difficulty

y Year-to-year mastering math concepts receive immediate intervention and

continuity additional instructional time. Many schools use manipulatives to

y Building on prior help students understand math concepts. Mastery of computation

skills and

knowledge is balanced with problem solving, applying mathematics, and

y Use of making real world connections. As in all Blue Ribbon Schools,

manipulatives for quality teachers, parent involvement, and a coherent progression

concept

development from grade to grade are key to student success. School comments

about improved student math performance are organized below by

topic—curriculum, teaching, student support, and assessment—with

illustrations from survey responses.

1

2.
A. Curriculum content and standards

Blue Ribbon Schools use coherent, focused, and demanding mathematics curriculum that

reflect the logical and sequential nature of mathematics. Students move from mastering

basic computational skills and number concepts to more complex ideas and mathematical

reasoning, including problem solving. Schools expect students to know math concepts and

be able to apply them in a variety of settings. All teaching is aligned with district and state

standards in mathematics.

Louisa May Alcott Elementary School Riverside, CA

“We present a balance between conceptual understanding, basic computational and

procedural skills, and problem solving. Students are intellectually engaged in learning by

reasoning, predicting, evaluating, concluding, and solving problems, skills that are

fundamental for life-long learning. Other key strategies include:

• A relentless focus on the California mathematics content standards.

• Use of a district pacing guide to ensure all key concepts are taught during the year.

• Reteaching students who do not learn after the initial instruction.”

Mountain View Academy

Greeley, CO

“Each lesson is organized around multiple skills

or topics, rather than around a single skill or

topic. Each skill or topic is addressed for only five

to ten minutes in any given day's lesson, but it is

revisited day after day for many lessons. . .

[which] promotes mastery rather than teaching

for exposure. Strands make sequencing and

cumulative introduction of skills feasible, and topics can be treated in depth. Concepts are

arranged in a logical scope and sequence, so that several topics can appear in one lesson.

This permits pre-skills to be taught before being integrated into more complex mathematical

2

Blue Ribbon Schools use coherent, focused, and demanding mathematics curriculum that

reflect the logical and sequential nature of mathematics. Students move from mastering

basic computational skills and number concepts to more complex ideas and mathematical

reasoning, including problem solving. Schools expect students to know math concepts and

be able to apply them in a variety of settings. All teaching is aligned with district and state

standards in mathematics.

Louisa May Alcott Elementary School Riverside, CA

“We present a balance between conceptual understanding, basic computational and

procedural skills, and problem solving. Students are intellectually engaged in learning by

reasoning, predicting, evaluating, concluding, and solving problems, skills that are

fundamental for life-long learning. Other key strategies include:

• A relentless focus on the California mathematics content standards.

• Use of a district pacing guide to ensure all key concepts are taught during the year.

• Reteaching students who do not learn after the initial instruction.”

Mountain View Academy

Greeley, CO

“Each lesson is organized around multiple skills

or topics, rather than around a single skill or

topic. Each skill or topic is addressed for only five

to ten minutes in any given day's lesson, but it is

revisited day after day for many lessons. . .

[which] promotes mastery rather than teaching

for exposure. Strands make sequencing and

cumulative introduction of skills feasible, and topics can be treated in depth. Concepts are

arranged in a logical scope and sequence, so that several topics can appear in one lesson.

This permits pre-skills to be taught before being integrated into more complex mathematical

2

3.
Orleans Elementary School

Orleans, MA

“The adoption of the Massachusetts

Mathematics Curriculum Frameworks

required teachers to shift learning

mathematics from the process of

absorbing facts and practicing procedures

to the process of developing one's

knowledge of facts and procedures in

relation to a set of important, underlying

mathematical ideas.”

Joseph K. Lumsden Bahweting P.S.A. School Sault Saint Marie, MI

“The single most important factor in our math performance is the stressing of the foundation

of each mathematical concept. All concepts are first taught with manipulatives such as

counters of various types, Cuisenaire rods, base ten Blocks, fraction strips, and the like. This

teaches the students exactly what they are calculating and why. The algorithm is taught only

after the foundation is laid with manipulatives. Also, concepts are taught in a sequence that

enables skill scaffolding for learners.”

David Crockett Elementary School Baytown, TX

“Crockett staff realizes that student achievement that is measured in grades 3, 4, & 5 is not

just the responsibility of those grades. Not only are grades pre-K-fifth vertically aligned in

reading, but this is also consistent in the math curriculum. Teachers follow the suggested

lesson design provided by the math department which begins daily with a calendar math

lesson, a problem-solving lesson, and computation. Math facts are also part of this lesson

with emphasis on practicing the facts in ways other than just pencil and paper timed drills.

Utilizing and building on these effective strategies each year engages the student and

teacher in a high level of learning.”

3

Orleans, MA

“The adoption of the Massachusetts

Mathematics Curriculum Frameworks

required teachers to shift learning

mathematics from the process of

absorbing facts and practicing procedures

to the process of developing one's

knowledge of facts and procedures in

relation to a set of important, underlying

mathematical ideas.”

Joseph K. Lumsden Bahweting P.S.A. School Sault Saint Marie, MI

“The single most important factor in our math performance is the stressing of the foundation

of each mathematical concept. All concepts are first taught with manipulatives such as

counters of various types, Cuisenaire rods, base ten Blocks, fraction strips, and the like. This

teaches the students exactly what they are calculating and why. The algorithm is taught only

after the foundation is laid with manipulatives. Also, concepts are taught in a sequence that

enables skill scaffolding for learners.”

David Crockett Elementary School Baytown, TX

“Crockett staff realizes that student achievement that is measured in grades 3, 4, & 5 is not

just the responsibility of those grades. Not only are grades pre-K-fifth vertically aligned in

reading, but this is also consistent in the math curriculum. Teachers follow the suggested

lesson design provided by the math department which begins daily with a calendar math

lesson, a problem-solving lesson, and computation. Math facts are also part of this lesson

with emphasis on practicing the facts in ways other than just pencil and paper timed drills.

Utilizing and building on these effective strategies each year engages the student and

teacher in a high level of learning.”

3

4.
Kashmere Gardens Elementary School Houston, TX

“The single most important factor is scaffolding new concepts with prior knowledge during

each lesson presentation thus building a cohesive mental picture. The stage must be set in

order for new learning concepts, ideas, and information to take place. When prior knowledge

is connected to new information, students are better prepared to comprehend new

Mount Airy Elementary School Gretna, VA

“A combination of Silver Burdett/Ginn and SAXON Math programs . . . provide an

incremental developmental and continual review of concepts/skills. . . . The skill lessons and

exercises increase in complexity with each lesson, affording sufficient time for students to

become acquainted and comfortable with the skill, therefore making the application of the

skill deliberate and uncomplicated.”

Newport High School Bellevue, WA

“Four years ago Newport implemented the Core Plus integrated math curricula. Instead of . .

. [watching and hearing] how to compute math problems, students now work collaboratively

in small groups to problem solve. Students are now forced to think deeply about their

learning and to be prepared to defend and explain responses.”

Barton Elementary School Milwaukee, WI

“Mathematics: Explorations and Applications [is a] well-rounded, highly researched math

program that aligns well with state standards and the state testing. There are multiple

components of MEA that address different standards. There are thinking stories that . . .

require deep mathematical thinking related to real life scenarios. Daily problem solving

questions also address mathematical thinking for all purposes. Mental math develops

automatic recall of mathematical equations, mastery of which are critical to higher level

functions. Games develop the strategic thinking and number sense.”

4

“The single most important factor is scaffolding new concepts with prior knowledge during

each lesson presentation thus building a cohesive mental picture. The stage must be set in

order for new learning concepts, ideas, and information to take place. When prior knowledge

is connected to new information, students are better prepared to comprehend new

Mount Airy Elementary School Gretna, VA

“A combination of Silver Burdett/Ginn and SAXON Math programs . . . provide an

incremental developmental and continual review of concepts/skills. . . . The skill lessons and

exercises increase in complexity with each lesson, affording sufficient time for students to

become acquainted and comfortable with the skill, therefore making the application of the

skill deliberate and uncomplicated.”

Newport High School Bellevue, WA

“Four years ago Newport implemented the Core Plus integrated math curricula. Instead of . .

. [watching and hearing] how to compute math problems, students now work collaboratively

in small groups to problem solve. Students are now forced to think deeply about their

learning and to be prepared to defend and explain responses.”

Barton Elementary School Milwaukee, WI

“Mathematics: Explorations and Applications [is a] well-rounded, highly researched math

program that aligns well with state standards and the state testing. There are multiple

components of MEA that address different standards. There are thinking stories that . . .

require deep mathematical thinking related to real life scenarios. Daily problem solving

questions also address mathematical thinking for all purposes. Mental math develops

automatic recall of mathematical equations, mastery of which are critical to higher level

functions. Games develop the strategic thinking and number sense.”

4

5.
B. Teaching strategies

Differentiated classroom instruction, flexible grouping, and immediate intervention for

students who are not mastering math standards give students the individual instruction they

need to succeed in math. Teacher collaboration, within and across grade levels,

acknowledges the importance of year-to-year continuity in mathematics instruction. The

quality of math teachers, particularly with regard to their content knowledge of mathematics,

is critically important.

Richardson D. White Elementary School

Themes in teaching

Glendale, CA

strategies:

“Assessment is ongoing, allowing teachers to re-teach as

y Ongoing

assessment needed. Differentiation within the math block occurs via varied

y Differentiated instructional strategies and tools including small group

instruction

instruction.”

y Flexible grouping

y Teacher

collaboration

y Year-to-year Walnut Grove Elementary School Pleasanton, CA

continuity

y Ongoing “Our average student exits Walnut Grove (5th grade) performing

professional above the 90th percentile in Math (SAT/9, CAT/6). . . . Our staff

development

approaches the teaching of math with a heavy emphasis on the

development of strong conceptual understanding. That translates to extensive early

instruction with hands-on, manipulative materials. Number sense is heavily emphasized.

Math is treated as much as a language as a subset of skills. Mathematical reasoning,

mathematical communication, and mathematical application are clearly identified as

schoolwide goals and staff training, collaboration, and reflection are aligned accordingly.”

Dennison Elementary School Lakewood, CO

“Teachers use assessment for learning, engage in ongoing staff development to improve

their own effectiveness, and plan with one another to ensure consistency and high

expectations. Teachers analyze the data available to them and make adjustments as

necessary to be sure students are learning what is necessary to meet standards.”

5

Differentiated classroom instruction, flexible grouping, and immediate intervention for

students who are not mastering math standards give students the individual instruction they

need to succeed in math. Teacher collaboration, within and across grade levels,

acknowledges the importance of year-to-year continuity in mathematics instruction. The

quality of math teachers, particularly with regard to their content knowledge of mathematics,

is critically important.

Richardson D. White Elementary School

Themes in teaching

Glendale, CA

strategies:

“Assessment is ongoing, allowing teachers to re-teach as

y Ongoing

assessment needed. Differentiation within the math block occurs via varied

y Differentiated instructional strategies and tools including small group

instruction

instruction.”

y Flexible grouping

y Teacher

collaboration

y Year-to-year Walnut Grove Elementary School Pleasanton, CA

continuity

y Ongoing “Our average student exits Walnut Grove (5th grade) performing

professional above the 90th percentile in Math (SAT/9, CAT/6). . . . Our staff

development

approaches the teaching of math with a heavy emphasis on the

development of strong conceptual understanding. That translates to extensive early

instruction with hands-on, manipulative materials. Number sense is heavily emphasized.

Math is treated as much as a language as a subset of skills. Mathematical reasoning,

mathematical communication, and mathematical application are clearly identified as

schoolwide goals and staff training, collaboration, and reflection are aligned accordingly.”

Dennison Elementary School Lakewood, CO

“Teachers use assessment for learning, engage in ongoing staff development to improve

their own effectiveness, and plan with one another to ensure consistency and high

expectations. Teachers analyze the data available to them and make adjustments as

necessary to be sure students are learning what is necessary to meet standards.”

5

6.
Holy Name of Jesus School Indialantic, FL

“The most important factor is the involvement of a high quality teacher who will ascertain

that students master a concept before moving on, work with struggling students, and provide

a strong foundation in basic facts.”

Lyon Elementary School

Glenview, IL

“The district has established a

consistent program for mathematics

for all of the schools utilizing the

University of Chicago School

Mathematics program. The district

was involved in the original pilot of

this instructional approach and has

been using the program for over ten

years. Our teachers are well trained in its instructional strategies and how to implementation

daily lessons. They also understand the need to supplement the program in certain areas,

as well as the value of the hands on learning components. Finally, the ‘Home Links’

program allows for a connection between school and home, so that the parents are involved

and have an understanding of the program.”

Williams Middle School Longmeadow, MA

“For the last three years, coordinators have led teacher efforts to map their math curriculum,

using the Heidi Hayes Jacobs model. During the summers and professional development

days, coordinators and teaching teams have worked to align individual teacher curriculum

maps with the state frameworks by identifying gaps and weaknesses or repetitions and

redundancies across the grade levels. Readjustments in curriculum were made to cover all

framework topics. All district teachers were involved in developing consensus district maps

for each curriculum.”

6

“The most important factor is the involvement of a high quality teacher who will ascertain

that students master a concept before moving on, work with struggling students, and provide

a strong foundation in basic facts.”

Lyon Elementary School

Glenview, IL

“The district has established a

consistent program for mathematics

for all of the schools utilizing the

University of Chicago School

Mathematics program. The district

was involved in the original pilot of

this instructional approach and has

been using the program for over ten

years. Our teachers are well trained in its instructional strategies and how to implementation

daily lessons. They also understand the need to supplement the program in certain areas,

as well as the value of the hands on learning components. Finally, the ‘Home Links’

program allows for a connection between school and home, so that the parents are involved

and have an understanding of the program.”

Williams Middle School Longmeadow, MA

“For the last three years, coordinators have led teacher efforts to map their math curriculum,

using the Heidi Hayes Jacobs model. During the summers and professional development

days, coordinators and teaching teams have worked to align individual teacher curriculum

maps with the state frameworks by identifying gaps and weaknesses or repetitions and

redundancies across the grade levels. Readjustments in curriculum were made to cover all

framework topics. All district teachers were involved in developing consensus district maps

for each curriculum.”

6

7.
Eugene Field Accelerated School St. Joseph, MO

“We at Eugene Field attribute our high math scores to rigorous, hands-on instruction that

involves higher order thinking skills. Students are taught that a planned procedure is helpful

in solving a problem and that process is emphasized in each math topic and unit. Students

are required to communicate—first orally and later in writing—the process that was used or

the reasoning used to arrive at the correct answer. Math games and manipulatives are used

to enhance instruction and application of concepts.”

Mt. Pleasant Academy Elementary School Mt. Pleasant, SC

“Good teachers use direct instruction to model the learning, require and provide for time on

task, have high expectations, and do not give up on any child.”

Steenrod Elementary School Wheeling, WV

“The teachers provide opportunities to apply problem-solving skills to relevant, everyday

experiences. Manipulatives, computers, and calculators are part of math instruction at all

levels to assure understanding of concepts, and daily math drills provide practice in

mathematical communication and use of algorithms. Integration with other curricular areas is

managed through thematic units and projects. Students use a variety of measuring,

estimating, graphing, and problem-solving techniques. All teachers are aware that the

concepts in math are like a set of stairs--one cannot reach the top by skipping too many

7

“We at Eugene Field attribute our high math scores to rigorous, hands-on instruction that

involves higher order thinking skills. Students are taught that a planned procedure is helpful

in solving a problem and that process is emphasized in each math topic and unit. Students

are required to communicate—first orally and later in writing—the process that was used or

the reasoning used to arrive at the correct answer. Math games and manipulatives are used

to enhance instruction and application of concepts.”

Mt. Pleasant Academy Elementary School Mt. Pleasant, SC

“Good teachers use direct instruction to model the learning, require and provide for time on

task, have high expectations, and do not give up on any child.”

Steenrod Elementary School Wheeling, WV

“The teachers provide opportunities to apply problem-solving skills to relevant, everyday

experiences. Manipulatives, computers, and calculators are part of math instruction at all

levels to assure understanding of concepts, and daily math drills provide practice in

mathematical communication and use of algorithms. Integration with other curricular areas is

managed through thematic units and projects. Students use a variety of measuring,

estimating, graphing, and problem-solving techniques. All teachers are aware that the

concepts in math are like a set of stairs--one cannot reach the top by skipping too many

7

8.
C. Student support

Blue Ribbon Schools support their students in mathematics instruction through a variety of

techniques, including keeping parents informed about student performance and involved in

their children’s educations.

Themes in student Forest Park Elementary School Fremont, CA

support:

y “The school uses multiple measures for data analysis to

y Early intervention determine areas of mathematical competencies in need of

y Frequent parent- emphasis for identified students. There is a lot of collaboration

teacher

conferences and discussion about identified students in order to determine

y Home strategies the best avenues for effecting progress. The school also

y Extended day intervenes as early as possible and makes every attempt to

programs

y Tutoring involve parents in every aspect of the student's educational

y Summer process.”

workshops

Village Christian Schools Sun Valley, CA

“We did a grade-by-grade item analysis of the standardized test score data [and] identified

areas of strength and weakness. We designed specific instructional interventions and

adopted new curricula to address those areas of weakness. Each year, we continue to

identify areas where continued growth is needed and modify the instructional program to

produce that growth. A key strategy in improving scores was to target the lowest performing

students (stanines 1-3) and to build interventions for these students. The major intervention

was to develop a peer tutoring program that would help lower performing students build

foundational skills in math.”

Sumner Academy of Arts and Sciences Kansas City, KS

“The math department has designed several interventions to assist students who are

struggling with math. They provide summer workshops to incoming students free of charge,

they provide tutoring periods during activity periods, and they meet with students regularly

before school, after school and on Saturdays. This year they have begun a new class which

requires struggling students to have 90 minutes of math instruction every day.”

8

Blue Ribbon Schools support their students in mathematics instruction through a variety of

techniques, including keeping parents informed about student performance and involved in

their children’s educations.

Themes in student Forest Park Elementary School Fremont, CA

support:

y “The school uses multiple measures for data analysis to

y Early intervention determine areas of mathematical competencies in need of

y Frequent parent- emphasis for identified students. There is a lot of collaboration

teacher

conferences and discussion about identified students in order to determine

y Home strategies the best avenues for effecting progress. The school also

y Extended day intervenes as early as possible and makes every attempt to

programs

y Tutoring involve parents in every aspect of the student's educational

y Summer process.”

workshops

Village Christian Schools Sun Valley, CA

“We did a grade-by-grade item analysis of the standardized test score data [and] identified

areas of strength and weakness. We designed specific instructional interventions and

adopted new curricula to address those areas of weakness. Each year, we continue to

identify areas where continued growth is needed and modify the instructional program to

produce that growth. A key strategy in improving scores was to target the lowest performing

students (stanines 1-3) and to build interventions for these students. The major intervention

was to develop a peer tutoring program that would help lower performing students build

foundational skills in math.”

Sumner Academy of Arts and Sciences Kansas City, KS

“The math department has designed several interventions to assist students who are

struggling with math. They provide summer workshops to incoming students free of charge,

they provide tutoring periods during activity periods, and they meet with students regularly

before school, after school and on Saturdays. This year they have begun a new class which

requires struggling students to have 90 minutes of math instruction every day.”

8

9.
Benjamin Franklin High School New Orleans, LA

“Mathematics teachers articulate the curriculum across grade levels, using frequent

assessments to ensure that students are building the necessary foundation for higher-level

mathematics. Keenly aware of student data, mathematics teachers address evident student

weaknesses, build into their courses time for tutoring students during the school day, and

staff a Saturday program for students who need to work on their mathematics skills.”

Summit Park Elementary School Baltimore, MD

“We offer advanced, compacted math curricula for students who demonstrate readiness.

Grade level students all participate in rigorous programs with high expectations. Teachers

regroup students based on their needs for each unit. Teachers work in teams to evaluate

students' work and their own instructional effectiveness.”

Granville Middle School Granville, OH

“The students at Granville Middle School are permitted to advance to upper levels of math at

their own pace. Many of those students need some extra support from teachers because

they are in class with high school pupils. At the same time, it is necessary to support

struggling students with individual help. The math department holds individual help sessions

for students called ‘Monday math help.’ The Math Counts program, which has become so

popular that it has almost turned into a club, participates in daily morning math help

sessions. These are open to all students regardless of ability, and therefore draw students

who may be struggling as well as those who are advanced.”

W. W. Scarborough Elementary School Houston, TX

“Our biggest leap in math achievement came from careful analysis of disaggregated test

data. We were then able to devise focused tutoring through Math Camps during the day and

at before- and after-school tutorials. Careful data analysis gave us a focus so that we could

help more students be successful.”

9

“Mathematics teachers articulate the curriculum across grade levels, using frequent

assessments to ensure that students are building the necessary foundation for higher-level

mathematics. Keenly aware of student data, mathematics teachers address evident student

weaknesses, build into their courses time for tutoring students during the school day, and

staff a Saturday program for students who need to work on their mathematics skills.”

Summit Park Elementary School Baltimore, MD

“We offer advanced, compacted math curricula for students who demonstrate readiness.

Grade level students all participate in rigorous programs with high expectations. Teachers

regroup students based on their needs for each unit. Teachers work in teams to evaluate

students' work and their own instructional effectiveness.”

Granville Middle School Granville, OH

“The students at Granville Middle School are permitted to advance to upper levels of math at

their own pace. Many of those students need some extra support from teachers because

they are in class with high school pupils. At the same time, it is necessary to support

struggling students with individual help. The math department holds individual help sessions

for students called ‘Monday math help.’ The Math Counts program, which has become so

popular that it has almost turned into a club, participates in daily morning math help

sessions. These are open to all students regardless of ability, and therefore draw students

who may be struggling as well as those who are advanced.”

W. W. Scarborough Elementary School Houston, TX

“Our biggest leap in math achievement came from careful analysis of disaggregated test

data. We were then able to devise focused tutoring through Math Camps during the day and

at before- and after-school tutorials. Careful data analysis gave us a focus so that we could

help more students be successful.”

9

10.
Franklin Elementary School Tacoma, WA

“Some of our intermediate teachers hold math curriculum nights to help parents better

understand the curriculum and homework. We extended the day for at-risk and English as a

second language students to help them understand math exemplars and develop strategies

in solving story problems. We increased our support staff time in the area of math for grades

4 and 5. There is cross-grade tutoring. High school students from a local private school

come to tutor our students in skills they lacked.”

10

“Some of our intermediate teachers hold math curriculum nights to help parents better

understand the curriculum and homework. We extended the day for at-risk and English as a

second language students to help them understand math exemplars and develop strategies

in solving story problems. We increased our support staff time in the area of math for grades

4 and 5. There is cross-grade tutoring. High school students from a local private school

come to tutor our students in skills they lacked.”

10

11.
D. Importance of assessment

Formative, continuous assessment guides mathematics instruction. It informs instructional

planning at the specific level of individual student needs and, more broadly, suggests where

a given teacher might improve a lesson.

Themes in William Howard Taft Elementary School Boise, ID

assessment:

“Continuous classroom assessment which is focused on specific

y Diagnostic benchmarks is the one factor which allows us to:

screening

y Provide K parents with specific activities to meet the needs of

y Individual their child(ren)

instruction based

y Schedule students in small and large groups in order to meet

on assessment

their needs

y Teaching guided

y Provide paraprofessionals with specific skills/concepts to work

by assessment

with individual students

y Performance

assessment y Move students in and out of flexible small groups based on their

attainment of specific skills/concepts on a daily/weekly basis

y Ongoing

assessment y Focus our horizontal and vertical collaborative team meetings on

specific data which then drives our classroom instruction.”

Dirksen Primary School Pekin, IL

“Math district criterion-based assessments were also developed for each grade level to be

taken in the Fall, Winter, and Spring. These formative tests, along with individual student

portfolios, help staff and students monitor learning progress in meeting and exceeding the

district/state learning expectations. See http://www.pekin.net/pekin108/curr/math/math.html.”

Lone Dell Elementary School Arnold, MO

“Math instruction is provided through an individualized approach to instruction utilizing

performance tasks that are monitored through various assessments, including our district's

quarterly assessments. We focus on the results of the standardized testing as well as our

own quarterly assessments to redirect and focus on strengths and weaknesses to our

instruction. Each year may require modifications to our instructional practices depending on

the needs of the incoming students.”

11

Formative, continuous assessment guides mathematics instruction. It informs instructional

planning at the specific level of individual student needs and, more broadly, suggests where

a given teacher might improve a lesson.

Themes in William Howard Taft Elementary School Boise, ID

assessment:

“Continuous classroom assessment which is focused on specific

y Diagnostic benchmarks is the one factor which allows us to:

screening

y Provide K parents with specific activities to meet the needs of

y Individual their child(ren)

instruction based

y Schedule students in small and large groups in order to meet

on assessment

their needs

y Teaching guided

y Provide paraprofessionals with specific skills/concepts to work

by assessment

with individual students

y Performance

assessment y Move students in and out of flexible small groups based on their

attainment of specific skills/concepts on a daily/weekly basis

y Ongoing

assessment y Focus our horizontal and vertical collaborative team meetings on

specific data which then drives our classroom instruction.”

Dirksen Primary School Pekin, IL

“Math district criterion-based assessments were also developed for each grade level to be

taken in the Fall, Winter, and Spring. These formative tests, along with individual student

portfolios, help staff and students monitor learning progress in meeting and exceeding the

district/state learning expectations. See http://www.pekin.net/pekin108/curr/math/math.html.”

Lone Dell Elementary School Arnold, MO

“Math instruction is provided through an individualized approach to instruction utilizing

performance tasks that are monitored through various assessments, including our district's

quarterly assessments. We focus on the results of the standardized testing as well as our

own quarterly assessments to redirect and focus on strengths and weaknesses to our

instruction. Each year may require modifications to our instructional practices depending on

the needs of the incoming students.”

11

12.
Robert Seaman Elementary School Jericho, NY

“A process of continuous diagnosis and customized instruction based upon benchmarking,

coordinated by a lead Mathematics teacher, [is] supported by small group non-redundant

instructional support.”

Northwest Elementary Schoo Smithfield, OH

“[We] use weekly review sheets and [break] down the strands of the proficiency test, zeroing

in on the weakest areas of concern and providing many supplemental teaching materials for

the classroom.”

Walsingham Academy Lower School Williamsburg, VA

“[We] develop learning plans by department and grade based on the strengths and

weaknesses discovered on the previous year's tests. We review our curriculum and teaching

strategies, and new strategies are implemented if necessary. Data from student progress in

the classroom is reviewed in regularly scheduled math meetings. Math teachers met with

math teachers in the grade above them and grade below them to align curriculum and

developed a math mastery reporting instrument to be used for all students. Parents are

apprised of their students’ performance on standardized tests, and conferences are

scheduled to explain scores and develop home strategies when appropriate.”

Kenova Elementary School Kenova, WV

“Math performance at our school has been dramatically improved by doing an item analysis

of our test results from the previous year and gearing our instruction toward improving in

weak areas. Mid year we assess our students again and once again focus our efforts toward

areas that need further instruction. “

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“A process of continuous diagnosis and customized instruction based upon benchmarking,

coordinated by a lead Mathematics teacher, [is] supported by small group non-redundant

instructional support.”

Northwest Elementary Schoo Smithfield, OH

“[We] use weekly review sheets and [break] down the strands of the proficiency test, zeroing

in on the weakest areas of concern and providing many supplemental teaching materials for

the classroom.”

Walsingham Academy Lower School Williamsburg, VA

“[We] develop learning plans by department and grade based on the strengths and

weaknesses discovered on the previous year's tests. We review our curriculum and teaching

strategies, and new strategies are implemented if necessary. Data from student progress in

the classroom is reviewed in regularly scheduled math meetings. Math teachers met with

math teachers in the grade above them and grade below them to align curriculum and

developed a math mastery reporting instrument to be used for all students. Parents are

apprised of their students’ performance on standardized tests, and conferences are

scheduled to explain scores and develop home strategies when appropriate.”

Kenova Elementary School Kenova, WV

“Math performance at our school has been dramatically improved by doing an item analysis

of our test results from the previous year and gearing our instruction toward improving in

weak areas. Mid year we assess our students again and once again focus our efforts toward

areas that need further instruction. “

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