The Math Leadership team met today to participate in inter-school/class visits or Instructional Rounds. This practice is a model adapted from the medical profession that provides opportunities for educators to collect information about how students are learning and applying their knowledge to solve problems. One of the major goals of Instructional Rounds is to be able to identify and replicate positive trends and patterns that emerge from best instructional practices. The lens for today’s visit was: What evidence do we see that demonstrates how students communicate their ideas and concepts about math that support engagement? We aimed to explore the variety of ways students are able to communicate their math knowledge and conceptual understanding through writing, drawing, questioning, use of math manipulatives, and discussion.

We split up into small groups so that everyone had an opportunity to visit several classrooms in both an elementary and secondary school. Each group rotated through two or three classrooms over the course of an approximately 45-minute period. Each member took notes on the types of tasks or activities students were working on, the conversations students were having with each other and their teachers, and the various ways students were communicating and applying their knowledge of mathematical concepts. Afterwards, the entire team reassembled and listened to each group in order to capture and chart the beginning, middle, and end of the lessons.

We then took a Gallery-Walk and looked at the data across all of the classes and schools to identify common trends and patterns. We noticed that students were communicating mathematical ideas and concepts both verbally and in writing, using consistent math language across grades, working in small groups or partnerships, writing and drawing equations, and reading for meaning, just to name a few.

We are very proud of the growth we have made as a Math Leadership Team and district as we continue to look more closely at the way students learn, communicate, and apply math. We recognize the importance of providing opportunities for class visits with a focus on student engagement so that we can continue learning from our greatest resource, Our Students!

by:

Shannon Sorrentino, Instructional Math Coach

Brian Culot, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction