ITTIP collaborated with the Cook-Cole College of Arts and Sciences at Longwood University to provide an elementary mathematics professional development opportunity on campus on January 11, 2018. In attendance were 123 elementary administrators, teachers, and mathematics specialists interested in learning more about how to create effective math leadership teams at their elementary schools. Topics for the day included student mindset, rich performance tasks, discourse, and classroom norms.
The idea for the workshop came from a discussion that Dr. Sharon Emerson-Stonnell, Professor of Mathematics, and Dr. Paula Leach, ITTIP Director, had regarding their desire to expand on what has been happening with their Mathematics and Science Partnership (MSP) grants for the past three years. Instructors for the workshop were expert teachers and mathematics leaders from the Virginia Council for Teachers of Mathematics (VCTM). Over the past several years VCTM, in conjunction with the Mathematics Specialist program across the state, have been making a concerted effort to reach administrators and work with them in identifying and promoting effective mathematics instruction in elementary schools.
In order to participate in the workshop, attendees had to attend as teams from an elementary school. The team had to include an administrator and at least two other members. The vast majority of the attendees were from Region 8 and represented 12 school divisions and one private school. Due to the positive response from participants, a follow-up session was planned for April 2018.
The follow-up session occurred on Tuesday, April 17th, where sixty-four teachers from nine divisions (Fuqua, Appomattox, Brunswick, Buckingham, Charlotte, Dinwiddie, Fluvanna, Mecklenburg, Nottoway and Sussex) joined for part two of a mathematics workshop at Longwood University. The April workshop included activities and discussions around effective instructional strategies, timely and targeted feedback, establishing professional learning communities, and fostering professional development. Participants received the book title, “A Guide to Mathematics Leadership: Sequencing Instructional Change”, by Balka, Hull and Miles (2010). Funding for these opportunities was provided by a Mathematics and Science Partnership (MSP) grant and ITTIP.