March 28th, 2012
Does progress toward high-quality mathematics instruction in your school or district proceed in fits and starts or lack a coordinated and sustained effort? Read about how principal Marco Ramirez and instructional coach Chris Confer broke out of old habits to create a successful model that produced lasting change in student achievement at their high-poverty school and schools across the country.
Small Steps, Big Changes tells the story of teachers who gradually shift their beliefs, build confidence, collaborate, troubleshoot problems, and enhance positive attitudes about math. Chris and Marco challenge teachers and administrators to become problem solvers and researchers as they build communities of mathematical excellence. And they distill “what it takes” for all students to be successful in mathematics and to sustain that success:
- setting goals that translate high-level standards such as the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics into actual classroom practice;
- creating a school culture of mathematical thinking, problem solving, and research;
- using “knowledge packages” that organize staff thinking and help students clarify and connect mathematical ideas through concepts, skills, representations, strategies, and language;
- fostering instructional habits such as embracing complexity, keeping math visible, encouraging student talk, and structuring lessons consistently.
Print copies of Small Steps, Big Changes are now shipping, and we’ve just posted the full text of the book for preview online.