Sunday, October 04, 2015

Elementary School Math

A request was made for discussion on this topic.  Weigh in, please.


dan dempsey said...

I bring forth the following from earlier. Keeping in mind that Elementary School Math lays the foundation for all that follows.

On Sept 30, Melissa mentioned that SPS Staff reported little data if any about the Opportunity Gap during a Board work session on "Closing the Opportunity Gap".
Perhaps this is why =>

SPS SBAC 7th grade Math results
for Black/ African American students show
41.4% of those students at Well Below Standard.

Lynn said...
I am not thrilled to see that one of the measures of progress in closing the gap will be % of 8th Grade students completing Algebra 1 and demonstrating proficiency on state test.

So let us look at 7th grade SBAC math results looking at SPS White and Black students.

Pass rate
72.9% White Black 31.7%

Level 4 exceeds standard
47.4% White Black 7.1%

More stats at my Blog HERE.

After a 8 years of observation, I do not trust Central Office Staff.
So often reports fail to report and resemble sales presentations selling not just a program or approach but selling Central Staff expertise.

The current "Scope & Sequence" revision is likely without merit. Remember the Central Staff "Waiver" controversy at the time of MiF adoption.

What has Central Office done in math? Likely some good things but much of the improvement of late has happened when Schools and Teachers deviated from the Central Office chosen path (Saxon math at Mercer began under the radar). Leaving Everyday and Connected seemed to be the path to improvement.

I have calculated grade 3 through 8 .. Opportunity Gaps in a 3 large Excel spreadsheets. (SBAC 2015, MSP 2013, MSP 2011)
I have yet to put those up on my blog.

-- Dan Dempsey

Outsider said...

Do teachers actually like Math in Focus?

At our school, the principle is always talking about the great results they have achieved through collaboration, and it's all about collaboration. I get the feeling "collaboration" is a warm & fuzzy way of saying "anyone who deviates half a millimeter from the party line will be shot." There seems to be no point asking teachers personally what they think about Math in Focus, or raising any concern about it.

By coincidence, there seems to be an unstated but strictly enforced rule that kids can't bring their math books home (even if they are reporting at home that they are struggling and need help.) I wonder if that is because the school anticipates flak if parents actually see the books.

Anonymous said...

You're going to have to figure it out for yourself. I had a Teacher of the Year tell me my skepticism of Everyday Math was all wrong, that EDM was awesome! My kid learned little that year, and we constantly supplemented b/c he was not learning much in EDM. Finally everyone got wise to its limitations, but nothing changed for a long time. One of my kids had an elementary math teacher who didn't correct kids' work because it made kids feel bad to see they had made mistakes. Another made it only partway through the curriculum. But they had a lot of fun doing "projects". Nothing came home with either kid--no books, no papers, no assessments. I had to go to school and look at their portfolios to see what they were doing and if they even understood it. Our elementary school principal didn't care about math. He once asked me what the problem was with kids using calculators in grade 4, if they couldn't do double-digit multiplication. Like he got through life with a calculator and no math knowledge, so it must not be important to learn math. In between these experiences, there were some awesome teachers. You just can't be sure and it's too important to leave to fate. So do your own research into what they should know, by when, and run through it with them at home. If they miss what they need in elementary school, a lot of doors start slamming shut, years before they know whether or not they want to have a career requiring math competency.


Anonymous said...

Last year we started a new math curriculum, Math in Focus (MIF). There was a bit of a kerfuffle about which math curriculum to adopt; administrators wanted Envision, many parents wanted a Singapore math type curriculum like MIF, and teachers were all over the place about what they wanted. We ended up with MIF. Last year we received some training on the curriculum. We probably could have used some more training, especially on bar modeling, but it was our first year.

At the end of last year, the math dept asked for volunteers to create a scope and sequence document, based on common core. The purpose of scope and sequence document is to clarify the math standards one is supposed to teach and the order in which they need to be taught.

At the beginning of this year teachers were told that we are no longer following the MIF curriculum, but instead are following the new math scope and sequence document. The reason we were told that we needed to follow the scope and sequence instead of the MIF curriculum is because we need to be teaching the common core and MIF was not common core aligned. Many teachers I know were pretty upset. The scope and sequence documents, for some grade levels, do not seem to make sense mathematically. The district created units/curriculum to support teachers in teaching the new scope and sequence. The units are awful! At this time, using the district created units are optional; using the scope and sequence is not optional.

I wrote a letter to the board to complain. Not too longer after, the scope and sequence document was updated to include MIF chapters. At first I was excited thinking that we could teach MIF. However, as I started to use the document I realized that the MIF chapters were just thrown in there to look like we are using MIF. The MIF chapters are out of sequence and don't make sense to teach the way they are aligned to the scope and sequence document. I thought about complaining again, but I'm concerned they'll make me use the district units, which are really bad.

So basically now, there is no required math curriculum.Instead we have a scope and sequence document. The idea is that teachers can use whatever materials they want as long as they are following the district scope and sequence. In fact, according to the most recent Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction newsletter, the goal of the district is to move to the scope and sequence model for all subjects. The notion is that this will produce more equity for students somehow. I don't really understand that. I think it will produce less equity because teachers are using all different materials to teach math. On the district website it says we are using MIF, but not really.

Here is my problem. I think we need a math curriculum that everyone is using. I don't mind waivers, but a chunk of the district should be using the same curriculum. MIF, as a curriculum, is fine. It has pros and cons like every curriculum I used. I like that it is not a spiral curriculum. I think the teaching is a little deeper, a little more challenging. But, I'm not fighting to use MIF. I'm fighting to just have a math curriculum that we can use in the order that the book is laid out. I don't have a problem with supplementing, but it is ridiculous to have each teacher develop their own curriculum.
Frustrated Math

Anonymous said...

Frustrated Math,

My understanding is that where MIF is not aligned with the common core it is because MIF covers some topics earlier than required. What would happen if you just blew off the district scope and sequence and taught from the MIF books? What are they going to do, fire you? I've seen teachers who really should not be teaching not get fired; are they going to fire an awesome teacher because they use the MIF books?

Sincere question

Anonymous said...

Sincere Question,
That's exactly what a number of my coworkers and I have decided to do. At first, I was going to try and develop my own curriculum that matched, but then I thought why bother? Really, what are they going to do? So I get a letter in my file, who cares?
Frustrated Math

Anonymous said...

We were told flat out by the teacher at Curriculum night (who was fighting to not roll eyes) that the reason for the new scope and sequence was to get through the SBAC-tested stuff by April. It was SBAC alignment, not "common core" alignment.

It would be really interesting for someone to do a records request about those emails at the JSCEE! It is so undermining, such complete ... subversion, undermining?

I'd bet a lot that SBAC is in fact the sole reason for the scope & sequence order - which definitely in my child's grade makes no sense as I look at the units. "Volume" is Unit 3 and "classify shapes" is Unit 13, well after SBAC, for instance - don't you think shapes should come before volume? Percent and angles are jammed together into one unit at the end - clearly the unit no one ever gets to at the end of the year - and shouldn't percent have gone with all the decimals or fractions stuff much earlier? Why put percent after shapes and with angles? Befuddling, and it makes me believe that whoever designed it doesn't teach math to kids or is blinded by some mysterious SBAC/common core list to such an extent that what makes sense is jettisoned. Sigh.

In the teacher's clear but carefully unstated opinion, there was no pedagogical reason to do things in this order.

The teacher appeared to be unhappy with the change. Luckily the teacher is a strong math teacher, and worked w/the other math teachers over the summer to rebuild, and thankfully the school is still using MIF (my child has thrived with the simple, clean design of the pages and large enough print/writing space, instead of the cluttered with cartoons pages in other texts). I feel like my child will come out okay, but I really feel for anyone whose teachers are just jamming whatever the heck they want. Yuck. We're using a text, thank goodness, even if it's in a wacky order.

Seriously, my elem. kid started year with adding, multiplying, etc fractions - without ever having reviewed whole number multiplication b/c that's not til unit 4 - after decimals, after "volume"! WTF! (How can you do volume which is inherently based on multiplication if you haven't reviewed multiplication????)

Signed - math counts

dan dempsey said...

Wow what a revelation from Frustrated Math.

"The reason we were told that we needed to follow the scope and sequence instead of the MIF curriculum is because we need to be teaching the common core and MIF was not common core aligned. Many teachers I know were pretty upset. The scope and sequence documents, for some grade levels, do not seem to make sense mathematically. The district created units/curriculum to support teachers in teaching the new scope and sequence. The units are awful! At this time, using the district created units are optional; using the scope and sequence is not optional. "

I think the above can be explained by the District's desire to teach to the test. The SBAC test at each grade level. McCallum a CCSS-M author has stated that it would be good if some topics are presented earlier than indicated by a strict observance of CCSS.

The plan should be to teach math in an effective efficient fashion in grades thru grade 8 so that students are prepared for high school math and student learning is maximized. Is lock step one-size fits-all instruction to meet each grade level SBAC test the Central Math Staff plan?

Apparently the SPS Central math staff fashions themselves as excellent curriculum and materials producers far better than MiF creators. Does anyone here actually buy that? Then why should the Board be buying that line? So the big difficulty with the MiF "Scope & Sequence" likely has little to do with Maximizing Student Learning of Mathematics and everything to do with Central Office math staff desires.

My Oh My where is the Board? Tail continues to wag dog.

Linh-Co said...

Here's a generic topics list "scope of sequence" for parents for grade 1. This is what Where's the Math consider "gold" standards when we originally compiled Singapore, California, Indiana, and Massachusetts Standards. These states and Singapore standards were considered A standards. It seems a waste of time for central office staff to reinvent the wheel. Not much has changed with 1st grade standards. Some topics are moved up and some down a grade level but they are generally the same since forever. I wish more training was provided for our elementary teachers in mathematical content and bar modeling instead of these futile exercises. Some PD with fractions, decimals, percents, ratios and proportions would go a long way in strengthening our elementary math instruction. The math department is more interested in pedagogy than actual content.

Grade 1:

Count, read, write whole numbers, by 1's, 2's, 5's, 10's to 100.
Compare and order whole numbers to 100.
Identify numbers as odd/even.
Recall from memory single digit addition facts up to 9+9.
Understand meaning of addition/subtraction
Apply inverse relationship between addition/subtraction facts.
Understand commutative and associative property for addition.
Solve two-digit addition/subtraction without regrouping.
Identify, classify triangles, rectangles, squares, circles.
Tell time to the nearest 1/2 hour.
Measure to nearest inch and centimeters.
Determine amount of money with different denominations (quarters, dimes, nickels, pennies)
Compare and interpret data in pictures and picture graphs.

Anonymous said...

...a teacher who was there continued:
One “problem” with math in the United States has many roots. One of which is the poor materials and procedure only curricula of prior generations that created many math illiterate people who are now parents. The big push now is to have more students successful in STEM careers because so many of our past generations were not prepared for those careers. So many who had math the way the “Where’s the Math” movement want to return to.

Unfortunately rote procedures do not work for everyone, some students need to know what is going in a conceptual way. The students who learned math well with that type of education are a small fraction of the population, and generally “get” math and think that conceptual development is a waste of time.

Additionally, mathematics is more than just arithmetic, and requires critical thinking and proofs beyond just calculating like modeling systems and understanding the application of mathematics to solve real problems. Many (not all) teachers are mostly focused on helping kids who don’t get it, and hopefully extending the breadth and level of challenge for the kids who do. Both these ends are met with some time being spent helping children develop conceptual understanding (the maligned “discovery” method). I do not think good mathematics education neglects procedure or accuracy, I just think that it should not be all it has. And the conversation about standards is also a bit of a red herring. When critics of the common core talk about it, it often seems as if they have not really looked at the standards. Which one in particular do you not want your child to learn? As with curriculum, standards are not going to be perfect for everyone. What they need to do is give teachers and curriculum designers (and reviewers) a clear logical sequence of content and skills that should be taught and ideally mastered so that everyone is at least close to being on the same page. And while I do think we over test, we should have some way to objectively measure the system and you need standards and standards based assessments for that.

The common core is very similar to our prior Washington State Standards, but certainly things were moved around both up and down. And an effort was made to limit, or at least focus on essentials so that students don’t bounce all over the place without getting mastery over essentials. Throwing out the CCSM and starting over would only set us back. My biggest complaint is that some things seem developmentally inappropriate (but still a logical part of the continuum), mostly in the language arts department; in math, many good things to learn were de-emphasized in an effort to provide focus and a minimum for mastery; but that makes for good opportunities for advanced learning extensions based on readiness. It really should not be an either or, and I think this dichotomy creates contentious debate about a one right way to teach math. You need both, and if you look at the practice standards it is an attempt to frame that for teachers. No document can capture it all, but when I see criticism of the standards, and the 8 practices I wonder if there are any most parents would not want their child to learn.

- a teacher who was there

Anonymous said...

This district needs to use Math in Focus textbooks and stop sneaking in other materials they think will bring better test scores. Otherwise, how will they ever know what really works?

The discovery methods were a disaster for my kids. The conceptual approach only confused them.

SPS needs to train teachers to use Math in Focus and prepare students for higher math. The district needs to improve middle and high school curricula so students are prepared for college or trades that rely on math. Right now that is not happening.

S parent

Linh-Co said...

@ A teacher who was there

I have to disagree with you about traditional math focusing purely on procedural math. I have a 1942 First Year Algebra book and the topics covered are the same relevant topics covered in a Math 84 class at the community college level. Granted it doesn't look like Discovering Algebra. There are thorough definitions and explanations of the how and why things work.

I was taught at Whitman by an excellent 8th grade math teacher in 1981. He showed us why the sums of angles in a triangle totaled to 180 degrees. I can remember the demonstration of him cutting the tips of the three angles on a triangle and putting them together to show how they formed a straight line. He taught us many procedural skills as well. Without it, I would have never been able to get a math degree at the UW. There were teachers who taught "good" math prior to inquiry math, and many bad ones too.

Anonymous said...

In fact, according to the most recent Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction newsletter, the goal of the district is to move to the scope and sequence model for all subjects.

This is very concerning, and explains some of what we've been noticing in terms of lack of a coherent curriculum in LA/SS. The standards are not curriculum! The CCSS make that point.

...The Standards must therefore be complemented by a well-developed, content-rich curriculum consistent with the expectations laid out in this document.

...The aim of the Standards is to articulate the fundamentals, not to set out an exhaustive list or a set of restrictions that limits what can be taught beyond what is specified herein.


-concerned parent

Linh-Co said...

Could someone post the Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction newsletter or send a link to it? I would like to read the new mandate of moving to the scope and sequence for all subjects.

Anonymous said...

Won't out the school, but it has shelved yes totally shelved the MIF books. Why? Because the young, easily cowed teachers have the message in no uncertain terms from Central that MIF does not address common core fully and will not have the kids ready for the (@*# SBAC.

MIF is now being used as a supplement not the core material. Which of course makes its efficacy moot. I have not seen nor do I expect to see the textbook coming home in backpacks this year. Instead? Lots of worksheets! Hooray! What a waste of a textbook adoption. Central having not gotten its way has gone behind the board and done what it wanted anyway.

Melissa, parents, do a school survey and bet this is the case with most K5s. MIF is out the door. OUTRAGEOUS.


Anonymous said...

Our child was part of the EDM adoption when it was all about fidelity of implementation. EDM was inadequate and we spent countless hours at home supplementing and undoing the damage. The district has spent millions of dollars on new materials and now the books are sitting on shelves? Now that we have better materials, they are saying don't bother using them?! Something is seriously wrong when it's insubordination to follow the district approved materials. It's so backwards.

The debate about traditional math is setting up false dichotomies. We used a "traditional" text at home to supplant CMP materials, and there was plenty of proof, problem solving, and understanding of the "why." We believe our child is doing well in high school math because of the solid algebraic skills gained from a more traditional text.

Parents, inquire at your school. If you are not happy about the lack of support for MIF, or a scope and sequence that creates an incoherent sequencing of skills, write the Board. State you will opt your child out of SBAC if this does not get resolved.


Anonymous said...

A teacher who was there,

All students need concepts and practice. What I see with upper level SPS math students is that when they approach a problem conceptually, they have to keep stopping to think about how to do the mechanics and they get tangled up with basic level computations where their error rate is so high that if they have to do 5 steps they are unlikely to get them all correct and complete the problem. If they can not do basic calculations automatically, without thinking about it, they will not be able to get through a more advanced problem even if they understand the concept. Even when they use a calculator, their number sense is so low that they can not notice when they have typed into their calculator wrong & it is not making sense. They need to not only understand how addition works but to see it so many times, they immediately sense when something doesn't look right.

It is like trying to understand the symbolism in Orwell but they have to keep stopping to sound out site words. Or trying to interpret Tchaikovsky but you have to keep looking where to put your fingers on the instrument.

It sounds like things will not improve. Parents in the know will make sure their children get what they need to be successful & other children will continue to be locked out of STEM futures.

-math tutor

Anonymous said...

Sounds like MIFfed is in a K5? I can report the same situation at a K8. Out with MIF and in with SPS-mandated 'scope and sequence' which looks a lot like no MIF and much more like a random binder of worksheets. Agree this is stupid. Very.


Robyn said...

This conversation is disturbing and increases my desire to opt-out.

I would like to opt my 5th grader out of testing this year, but no one knows yet how 6th grade math placement will work (see below - school is prepping for possibility that it's 5th grade MAP, but will it be?). I opted out of testing for 4th grade. Is anyone willing to make a guess of how my current 5th grader doing 7th grade math will be placed in math as a 6th grader if there are no test scores due to me opting out again this year? I don't want my kid to suffer by repeating 2 years of math in middle school due to my personal stand. I have no interest in pursuing Algebra 1 in 6th grade. Could the middle school really say no test scores? We automatically place you in 6th grade math.

So, your guesses are appreciated since I don't think we'll have answers on middle school math placement before testing season begins. Yes, I did e-mail the middle school and ask. The response was the generic "they are working on that at the District level so we don't know yet". I didn't receive a response to my follow-up question asking what happens if there are no test scores to use for placement.

And, if anyone is interested, here's Lincoln's 5th grade testing regimen (looks fun, eh?):

5th Grade
-Classroom Based
-Amplify-winter: ELA only (Nov 16-Dec 18)
-Amplify-spring: ELA only (Feb 1- March 11)
-Math MAP winter (for middle school placement?)
-Smarter Balanced in Spring: ELA & Math (March 14-June 3)
-MSP Science: (April 18-June 3)

dan dempsey said...

My my what a lame explanation that MiF is not aligned to the Common Core State Standards so the new "Scope and Sequence" is needed. Instead of proceeding in a fashion put together by thoughtful authors, mish-mash ala SPS central is the new direction.

WOW to think that preparation for SBAC grade level testing could be a reasonable direction. What about maximizing student learning?

Dumb-down all ahead-full using the Math Staff's new scope and sequence etc.

Big NEWS the CCSS definition of "career and college ready" is only minimally college ready.

Common Core College and Career Standards: Big Fraud

About failure to follow the "new" "scope and sequence", Shouting correctly wrote:
"Something is seriously wrong when it's insubordination to follow the district approved materials. It's so backwards.

The debate about traditional math is setting up false dichotomies."

Anyone looking to the Board for clarification?

Anonymous said...

Here is the newsletter. The first article we received in our Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction newsletter this week. The second article is the article referenced in the newsletter.

FIRST ARTICLE: Scope and Sequence documents ready for you
An important CAI goal is to ensure that every teacher has access to a "scope and sequence" for every subject area. Click here to read our September homepage story for families on this goal. As you know, a scope and sequence is an academic road map for each subject area and grade level, typically based on standards. We offer scope and sequence documents -- including some sample unit plans -- in these subject areas:

Math (check often for updates)
English Language Arts (check often for updates)
Physical Education and Health

Coming soon:

Science (some instructional guides available now)
Visual and Performing Arts

REFERENCED ARTICLE: Teacher training focuses on aiming for similar learning goals
Posted on 09/04/2015
Our district's learning “arrows” may not travel identical paths, but they should all be pointing toward similar targets. That was the message to teachers on Sept. 1, their official first day back to school for professional development.

“We can’t all do everything the same … but each teacher in each building should be trying to help all of our students achieve similar learning standards,” School Operations Manager Sherri Kokx told Visual and Performing Arts teachers in the Roosevelt High School theater.

Arts teachers were among the certified staff who participated in the districtwide day of training at various Seattle Public Schools locations. Most of the sessions focused on using or developing an overall learning map, called a “scope and sequence,” for each grade level and subject area, to help teachers aim their “learning arrows” toward the same educational targets.

A scope and sequence provides direction for teachers about which learning standards to emphasize and suggestions about how to get there, but teachers still have plenty of creative freedom.

For example, tenth-graders should be able to support their arguments well with evidence. That’s a Common Core standard. The language arts scope and sequence for grade 10 suggests that students show they can do that in a unit called “Conflicting Ideologies.” Dozens of texts are suggested, such as “Lord of the Flies” or “The Kite Runner,” or teachers may choose something else.

“Teachers can still build these skills and meet the same standards with the texts they like to use,” says Jamie Kemano, a Rainier Beach High School language arts teacher.

“It isn’t a curriculum, but rather a tool and a guideline. I’m really excited about using it,” says Erica Wheeler, a Hazel Wolf K-8 kindergarten teacher who helped lead a session on the language arts scope and sequence.

The scope and sequence work is one way the district is moving closer to the first goal of its Strategic Plan, to ensure educational excellence and equity for every student.

District teachers and staff worked together on a K-12 physical education scope and sequence a few years ago, followed by English language arts in 2013-14 and math in 2014-15. In language arts and math, teachers are now working on sharing smaller units of study that fit the overall scope and sequence.

“I really like that we are given something that we can immediately apply in a couple weeks. It’s great, especially for a new teacher like me,” says Emily Knight, who will teach ninth-grade language arts at Rainier Beach.

Visual and performing arts teachers are working together on a scope and sequence this year, and science teachers are doing the same, based on the state’s newly adopted Next Generation Science Standards.

MY COMMENT: It is ridiculous!! I can go with scope and sequence for ELA. We haven't had a curriculum in the whole time I've worked for the district. Most teachers already have developed their own curriculum. However, math is different than ELA. WE NEED A MATH CURRICULUM!
Frustrated Math

Anonymous said...


Which middle school will your child attend? Regardless, I'd talk to someone at the school in the math department about how they make these decisions. Be wary. If your kid is really mathy and might be headed for a career that requires good math, the curriculum might be of concern. If your kid is placed into a math class with older kids who never liked math and don't want to be there, the class will be too slow and your kid will get bored, and not get the basics he needs for higher math. If your MS doesn't offer math above algebra, when he's in 8th grade he might be given some sort of on-line or split-class solution that will be inadequate and a waste of time. It will tick the admin's box of "meeting the kid's needs", while in no way meeting the kid's needs.

Forewarned is forearmed

Anonymous said...

If you are worried about math placement (or even LA placement) for 6th grade, you are better off having your 5th grade student sit for the SBAC and MAP tests. You simply don't know what metrics will be used. But didn't they use 4th grade MSP scores for math placement as well? Hopefully your child won't be penalized for not having 4th grade scores. There seems to be little risk, however, of opting out of Amplify. The Amplify tests are not valid for AL or math placement.

I would agree with Forewarned. The district math is weak. Skills and content are missing. Your child may be fine, getting A's, but once they hit high school, the deficiencies are much more apparent, and much harder to remedy. The challenging math class may be too challenging, simply because skills are missing, not because your child is incapable of doing the work.


Anonymous said...

I've tried posting a letter twice from Tolley that talks about the scope and sequence being mandatory and why. It keeps disappearing. Am I doing something wrong?
Frustrated Math

Anonymous said...

@ Frustrated Math. I care about this topic. I see a letter above in this thread that says it was posted by you. Is that the Tolley letter?


Anonymous said...

K-8er, the letter posted above is the letter sent to teachers from the Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Dept. I'll try again with Tolley. Maybe I'll split it in half with two posts and see if that works.
Frustrated math

Anonymous said...

Here is the Tolley letter to principals that he recommended be sent to teachers.

Part One
Dear Principals,
At SLI last week, I enjoyed sharing with you our vision for systems coherence. To support this priority, this year I expect all schools to follow a standards-aligned scope and sequence for both English language arts and mathematics instruction. I would like to explain our intended purpose, results and implementation, and I encourage you to share this communication with your staff as soon as possible.
Purpose: Following a shared and standards-aligned scope and sequence is critical to the success of our Multi-Tiered System of Supports initiative, which will be a core function of your work this school year. As you know, MTSS relies on data from common assessments and other sources to help teachers work collaboratively to identify individual student needs and support the selection of effective instructional strategies. A consistent scope and sequence provides:
· Clear delineation of our academic standards for our students
· An outline for using our instructional materials to reach those standards
· Scaffolded growth expectations from year to year and even month to month
· A basis for our design of common assessments, both formative and interim
· A common language and structure for collaboration and PLC work
Results: Following a standards-aligned scope and sequence districtwide will support our efforts to address inequities within our system and help the district close opportunity and achievement gaps.

Frustrated math

Anonymous said...

Part 1 posted great. Part 2?


Anonymous said...

I've posted part 2 two times.
I don't know what the problem is.
Frustrated math

Anonymous said...

Part Two of Three Tolley letter

Implementation: Teams of our English language arts and math teachers have worked with district curriculum specialists to produce the scope and sequence documents, available online in PDF form:
If you do not intend to follow the district scope and sequence, you must identify and/or develop an alternative, standards-aligned scope and sequence for either math or ELA that you believe will best serve the teachers and students in your building. Please provide a copy and submit it to curriculum@seattleschools. org with a rationale for approval by Oct. 1, 2015.
Frustrated math

Anonymous said...

Part Three of Three Tolley letter
In addition to providing the scope and sequence, we are supporting you with:
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: As you know, both the math and ELA programs are providing scope and sequence and unit plan training on the Sept. 1 district-directed TRI day. Since June, the Principal Communicator has updated our menu of offerings and pointed you to an internal web page: ASSESSMENT ALIGNMENT: We are working diligently to ensure that this year’s Amplify interim assessments align to the scope and sequence. We are also working to support schools that choose alternative interims or common assessments. This should result in more useful data for teachers as they collaborate.
PROFESSIONAL LEARNING COMMUNITIES: We will continue with trainings this school year that will help guide teacher leaders as they support PLCs in their use of common, aligned data.
I am so pleased that our teachers and central office staff have teamed to produce this important work and are supporting it with training. Please share this communication with your staff, and let me know if you have questions. Thank you for all you do for our teachers and students.

Michael Tolley
Associate Superintendent of Teaching and Learning

Frustrated Math

Anonymous said...

Ah, teaching to the test. Pacing guides, fidelity of implementation. Been there, done that. It was not successful last time.

I wish they would just go back to giving ITBS every few years, and be done with it.

-HS Parent

Anonymous said...

Frustrated Math....

How ironic from Tolley =>

We will continue with trainings this school year that will help guide teacher leaders as they support PLCs in their use of common, aligned data."

Yet on September 30, 2015 at the School Board work session
NO Opportunity Gap data was presented.

and the School Board apparently slumbers on.

PLC are clearly top-down orchestrated indoctrination sessions... What is professional about such a community? ... Is that even a community?

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

So Tolley's letter is from over a month ago.

I wonder what Tolley and math staff are advocating now?

Is it any difference than a month ago?

-- Dan Dempsey