Professional Learning

Learning Together, Planning Together, Achieving Greater

I describe the elementary school classrooms of today with terms such as collaborative, talkative, active, thinking, and problem solving. Close your eyes and envision such a classroom. Do you see students moving around? Do you hear the students talking? Do you see collaborative work being done and problems being solved? These images make me smile… Continue Reading

Principals Leading Change

More than 30 engaged, collaborative-minded elementary school principals made for a lot of fun last Thursday in Indianapolis. I was there to help them do some thinking about how their teachers might incorporate more hands-on mathematics into their classrooms with the end goal of increasing math achievement scores in their district. At AIMS, we believe… Continue Reading

Permission to Change

Don’t forget to remain a student while you teach others. To me, that is what being a teaching/learning professional is all about. I also think it is about the support that comes with the permission to change as an educator. And it’s about learning in a way that makes sense, so a person can make… Continue Reading

Staying on Track – I Am Learning All the Time

Increasing student achievement: three words many schools incorporate into their mission, vision, and goal statements. Schools are making commitments to strengthen every student’s conceptual, representational, and abstract understanding of what they study. To ensure we are meeting the demands of 21st century learning and increasing student achievement, we must ensure teachers have a deep understanding… Continue Reading

Perseverance Counts

How do students come to know that persevering in mathematics has merit? I believe it is with the help of a great teacher. Teachers can listen to students and help them to understand that their mathematical thinking is powerful. Teachers facilitate the learning of students, justifying their mathematics in appropriate ways and gear lessons to… Continue Reading

Math Discourse in Your Classroom

Having discussions with students is how most teaching is done. Classroom discourse in a mathematics classroom, for example, means having whole-class discussions around mathematics in such a way that students get to express their conceptual math understanding through reasoning, debate, and an exchange of ideas. Leading and engaging students in this form of instructional arrangement… Continue Reading

Teachers Making an Impact = Students Who Learn and Lead

Teachers help students acquire knowledge and become competent in all subject areas. After teachers have met the requirements for having and using a teaching credential, it seems one expectation is for them to be a “high-quality” teacher. How does a person become a “high-quality” teacher? Teacher quality has been consistently identified as the most important… Continue Reading

Moving Forward Takes Looking Back

Theologian, philosopher, poet, and social critic Soren Kierkegaard lived from 1813-1855. He philosophized how one should live as a “single individual,” giving priority to concrete human reality over abstract thinking and highlighting the importance of personal choice and commitment. Here are two quotes and some thoughts that were shared with me by Richard Thiessen, the… Continue Reading