Author Archives: Chris Brownell

Episode 23 | Professional Noticing Part 2 Interpretation: Darrell Blanks & Elin VanVleet

Two of the AIMS Center’s Research Associates, both with years of teaching and professional development experience, come into the studio to talk about the import phase of Professional Noticing: Interpretation. We discuss some practices and implications for teachers to employ and be aware of. The role of Noticing in Formative Assessment, its use in Professional Learning Communities (PLC’s), and some challenges to accuracy are examined.

Episode 22 | Teacher Disposition Towards Students who May Need Special Instruction

With the Director Special Education Studies at Fresno Pacific University, Megan Chaney, joining us in the studio we discuss some of the issues of “co-Teaching” students with and without special needs in the same classroom. Some good advice on this task is provided from a voice of experience. Focus upon each other’s strengths and shore up each other’s weaknesses in a setting where ego gets set aside. Letting the content instructor be the expert in the content and the Education Specialist be the expert in the process. We examine the role of teachers disposition in providing a successful learning environment for all students.  Ms. Chaney is a doctoral student at this time focusing on the disposition veteran teachers have working in the Special Needs situation. She reminds us to focus upon the child, the child’s knowledge, and as much as possible to know the child’s needs.

Continue Reading

Episode 21 | Additive to Multiplicative Thinking with Brook Lewis

Brook Lewis talks about the research she has been studying regarding how students progress from additive thinking to multiplicative thinking. Children start early to count, but we can help them to “segment” their counts into various speech patterns. She references a face to face meeting with Dr. Les Steffe the major researcher we look closely at here at AIMS. She introduces to us the concept of a “composite unit” and how to help children to recognize that it is possible to make use of that form of counting. We discuss a multi-dimensional representation of the interconnections she is seeing between composite units and other areas in our research here.

Continue Reading

The Shift, Continued

In my last post, I mentioned that I had been seeing a pattern in the presentations at conferences this past fall. Many of the keynote and special guest speakers had incorporated a frame of reference that seemed to me to be a focus on student thinking. “Why is this an important shift?” you might ask.… Continue Reading

Episode 20 | Universal Design for Learning, Productive Struggle, and Formative Assessment

Meagan and Brandon Dorman chat in the studio this week. We discuss a topic that is important in the Special Education world known as Universal Design for Learning, and how it can assist in creating an environment for all students to learn well, something that is central Meagan’s work. Also we focus on a related topic of Formative Assessment (assessing student knowledge along the path to learning not merely for grading or at the end of a unit). We discuss how shifting to these two foci supports a strong learning environment, rich with opportunity for students to learn. The use of several technology tools are brought up as Brandon’s work is completely focused upon this aspect of the learning enterprise.

Continue Reading

Episode 19 | Beverly Ford, The Mathematics of Students

This highly nuanced topic is a core idea that we study here at the AIMS Center, and Ms. Beverly Ford has been a member of the Research Associates team longer than anyone around here. She gives us clear and coherent exposition what this idea means and how understanding it can be of benefit to teachers. This research focuses upon the idea of the “Epistemic Student,” a topic we have engaged with in earlier podcasts. We discuss some of the methodology of the Center in how we sort through deep ideas in the Mathematics of Students.

To see more from Beverly and her desire to understand the Mathematics of Students, head over to her most recent blog post at http://www.aimsedu.org/2017/01/18/mathematics-of-grace-using-finger-patterns/

Continue Reading

Episode 18 | Professional Noticing 1: Attending

I am joined in the studio by four Research Associates from the AIMS Center for Math & Science Education. Elizabeth Gamino, Everett Gaston, Brook Lewis, and Aileen Rizo discuss some of the goals of this mode of teacher behavior, and provide a few strategies for its inclusion in the teacher repertoire. If you want to understand and assess the understandings that your students possess, you have to learn to notice how they communicate them.

Continue Reading

A Welcome Shift

The Fall semester (I have been in education so long I don’t see seasons as much as school terms), is one that is full of conferences and opportunities to reach out into the broader educational community. In my dual roles between AIMS and FPU, I end up at a significant number of conferences. This Fall… Continue Reading

Episode 16 | Dr. Rich Kriegbaum: FPU & AIMS Partnership in Scholarship

Dr. Richard Kriegbaum is the present President of Fresno Pacific University, and was the President in the era when “The Fresno Pacific Math Project” became “Activities Integrating Math & Science” which later became AIMS. He tells us a bit of the history, some of the present day realities and informs our future. He describes a unique partnership, one that is not found in many academic settings at all. These two organizations have a rich, and mutually beneficial,  symbiosis. His hopes for the future of this relationship are made clear as well.

Continue Reading