A Whole-School Algebra Readiness Program at Kapālama Elementary School

Building on professional development based on the Measure Up research project, CRDG’s Melfried Olson and Fay Zenigami are working with Kapālama Elementary School to provide a whole-school professional development program focused on algebra readiness for all students. The work is funded through a Hawai‘i Department of Education Mathematics and Science Partnership grant. Every teacher in the school is engaged in the program, which comprises doing mathematics, researching and planning for lesson study, and teaching and observing research lessons during collaboration and articulation days. CRDG project team members work to build teachers’ mathematical understanding and algebraic reasoning skills through a focus on the process standards of communication, reasoning, and problem solving. For a second year, Kapālama also hosted a summer school program for in-coming second grade students in conjunction with a five-day teacher professional development session. The student class allowed teachers to observe and interact with children learning the same mathematical concepts they were studying in their workshop experience. In addition, a separate eight-day professional development session allowed the Kapālama teachers to identify specific topics they felt were important to spend more time understanding for their grade levels, then develop educative curriculum materials to support enhanced instruction of these topics.