Mathematics Professional Development for the Leeward Complex

Teacher participants working in groups to count in different number systems (other than base ten) using area and length pieces.

The CRDG Mathematics Section has partnered with the Hawai‘i DOE Leeward Complex on Bridging the Mathematical Continuum, an NCLB consolidated grant in the Nānākuli/Pearl City/Waipahu (NPW) Complex, for two of its components involving the use of technology. Participating mathematics teachers in grades six through eight all received a visualizer and data projector for their classrooms. They visited ULS mathematics classes to observe how the equipment was used to support mathematical processes that promote better mathematical understanding. Discussions with ULS teachers after the visits gave NPW teachers an opportunity to comment on their observations and ask questions about implementing instructional strategies. They also participated in a one-day workshop to experience, firsthand, teaching and learning in an environment where communication and multiple representations are emphasized.

During the summer of 2006 each participating teacher received a classroom set of TI-73 calculators, and CRDG staff provided an additional four days of professional development related to the use of handheld technology for classroom instruction and learning. Participants engaged in mathematics activities developed and tested in ULS classrooms that allowed them to use the TI-73 graphing calculators while increasing their own mathematics content knowledge. During the implementation phase throughout the school year, teachers are involved in lesson study related to the improvement of mathematics instruction with an emphasis on using technology.

Leaving No Teacher Behind

The Professional Development for Understanding project, funded by a $75,000 grant from the No Child Left Behind initiative, is a collaborative effort by CRDG, Connections Public Charter School, the Hawai‘i Department of Education, and

After taking this course, I started asking my students more questions like, “How did you solve it?” “Why did you solve it that way?” etc. Prior to that I hardly asked questions!

Hawai‘i Community College to work with teachers in the Hilo/Laupāhoehoe/Waiākea Complex. Calling on CRDG’s experience in teacher professional development, this project focuses on the mathematical content knowledge teachers need to deepen their understanding of concepts and broaden their pedagogical skills, and to provide them with support for the practical application of new knowledge to their existing mathematics curricula.

At the conclusion of the institute in the spring of 2006, participants were asked to evaluate their experiences by reporting their perceived change in the quality of their teaching.

Increases were reported in all areas with the greatest gains made (on average by at least 2.7 points on a 10-point scale) in how the teacher asked students to justify their ideas, how often they used a problemsolving, inquiry-based approach to teach mathematics, and the frequency of posing open-ended questions in class. Teachers valued the new approaches to teaching mathematics and the clear explanations as to the purpose of teaching in these new ways. They expressed feeling more confident about teaching and feeling ready to apply their new knowledge to their existing mathematics curricula.

Leeward Complex Professional Development Community Partners

Hawai‘i Department of Education, Leeward District Highlands Intermediate School Nānākuli High & Intermediate School Waipahu Intermediate School Texas Instruments Leaving No Teacher Behind Community Partners Hawai‘i Department of Education Hawai‘i Community College Connections Public Charter School