Park City Mathematics Institute
Developing Professional Capacity: Teacher Leadership
Project Abstract
Fractions in the Middle School Grades
Grade Level(s): 6-8
Subject: Math Professional Development
Authors: Janet Acree and Justin Powell
We created a 4-hour long professional development workshop for middle school teachers on fraction concepts in the middle school grades. The workshop begins with hands-on modeling of fraction division with manipulatives, which will lead into conversations about the fraction learning trajectory through elementary and middle school. Then, we move into less concrete representations with a more involved fraction operation problem. Next, we focus on "math magic" of tricks for calculating and uncovering the math that's actually happening in fraction division. Last, we focus on fractions as division which will be facilitated through an experience of calculating decimals in base-3. Our goal is to give teachers a better understanding of fraction concepts in the middle grades and how to approach these topics with students.
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Best practice for math teachers
Grade Level(s): 6-12
Subject: Math Professional Development
Author: Lila Gilbreath
I created an outline and supporting materials for a professional development (PD) session on “What does a good math teacher in our district look like?” I am using resources about “best practice,” task implementation, and effective PD. During the PD we will create a framework for best practice principles in our district, and use that framework to drive lesson study work.
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Facilitating Collaboration in Department Meetings
Grade Level(s): MS/HS Departments
Subject: Math Department
Author: Rasa Guarnaccia
This is my personal discovery of "best practices" on collaborative math departments. This will personally impact me because I am in a departmental situation where there is a lack of motivation to collaborate. I have some influence in planning whole school PD as well as planning individual meetings with other math teachers, and can create spaces + protocols to help other math teachers see the value of collaboration and commit to it. I think it will also impact other department heads in a PD planning way if they are looking for ways their department can collaborate in official and not just unofficial ways. I have found through my research that many teachers do most of their collaboration informally. The downside to this is that new teachers may be "out of the loop" and it may occur that teachers are only collaborating in ways that they feel comfortable, which doesn't push their teaching.
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Creating Change from the Perspective of a Colleague
Grade Level(s): High School
Subject: School Change
Author: Dylan Kane
I want to better understand how I can leverage influence for change from the position of a colleague and not as a designated leader. This is my reflection from reading, talking with participants, researching, and trying to synthesize ideas on creating change in schools.
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Writing in the Math Classroom
Grade Level(s): High School
Subject: Mathematics
Authors: Abigail Kirchman (Athena Leonardo, Dr. Shana Henry, Shelly October)
The James Baldwin School is part of the NYC New York Performance Standards Consortium. Students prepare Performance-Based Assessment Tasks (PBATs) in place of the New York State Regents exams. PBATs consist of a written paper on a mathematical task followed by a presentation to a panel. Language - especially writing - is a focus in my context.
My colleagues and I plan to present about our writing inquiry project, "Pencil to Paper - Writing Productively" to Math for America in January, 2019 and "Writing - The Avenue to Deeper Mathematical Thinking" at the EL National Conference in October, 2019. I also plan to share my work with Speech and Language Pathologist Shelly October in a presentation entitled "Speech & Language is Everywhere - Including Math!" about how to identify speech and language needs in a classroom and collaborate with educators to provide support.
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Vertical Non Permanent Surfaces (VNPS) and Visibly Randomized Groupings (VRG) for an Equitable, Thinking Classroom
Grade Level(s): 4th-6th
Subject: Math (but structures can be used across subjects)
Author: Teresa McCarthy
The goal of the workshop is to expose participants to Vertical Non-Permanent Surfaces and Visibly Randomized Grouping structures to support equity, problem solving, and discourse.
Participants will:
Experience various randomized grouping structures (tech and no tech)
Learn how randomized groupings can help eliminate classroom status and promote equity Experience how vertical whiteboards can be used in problem-based instruction (problem solving & reengagement)
Learn how vertical non-permanent surfaces promotes risk-taking, collaboration, and building mathematical connections
Reflect on experiences and set a goal for the start of the school year.
Decide what level of continued collaboration and support they would value and welcome from each other. Make local connections.
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Games in and around the math classroom
Grade Level(s): K-12
Subject: Game-based learning
Author: Gabriel Morden-Snipper
This annotated bibliography is a survey of resources on game-based learning. The goal is to help plan professional development sessions for teachers on game play. The articles, videos, books and websites address the theoretical framework about game play, research about its efficacy, as well as some examples of games that teachers say have benefited their students.
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Finding a Focus as a First Year Department Chair
Grade Level(s): 9-12
Subject: High School Math
Author: Amanda Peper
My work at PCMI focused on how I will approach my first year as department chair at my school. I hope to create an atmosphere of growth, learning, and collaboration within the department, and I focused my time on researching and outlining potential meeting plans, protocols, and structures.
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Writing in math classrooms
Grade Level(s): High School
Subject: Mathematics
Author: Danny Ramos + math department
I plan on presenting at a small conference. The conference is held by the Consortium schools in NYC. I plan on presenting how my math department uses a specific writing model to help students write essays in the math classroom. The workshop is a little longer than 2 hours. During this time I plan on presenting how I use the RSCAC model in my classroom and how my math department uses the RSCAC model from grades 9 to 12.
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Rediscovering the Joy in Mathematics
Grade Level(s): 6-8
Subject: Developing Professional Capacity
Author: Mrs. Patricia Saucedo
This facilitator's guide for an upcoming math conference presentation lays out the plan to share the beauty and joy of mathematical principles and teaching practices in order to explore the concepts of wonder, joy and play. The joy of mathematics sparks engagement in the educator and student. The beauty and brilliance of this workshop is to rediscover the joy of doing mathematics through play. A teacher's joy can be to see the possibilities and pass them along to open her students' eyes. A student can enjoy math, and gain a lingering memory that math is joyous and rewarding.
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Eight practices to school change through mathematics
Grade Level(s): Any
Subject: School Change
Author: Carol Spice
The attachment is a reader's guide to Small Steps, Big Changes Eight Essential Practices for Transforming Schools Through Mathematics by Chris Confer & Marco Ramirez. Small Steps, Big Changes is a great resource for teacher leaders trying to make changes in mathematics programs. Confer and Ramirez have identified eight principles that, in their words, "transform what can be an overwhelming process into a set of comprehensible and concrete steps."
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Developing Trust as a department head: First Steps
Grade Level(s): Department Heads, Coaches, and supporters of teachers
Subject: Developing Professional Capacity: Teacher Leadership
Topic: First Things First: Establishing Trust between department heads and colleagues within a department
Author: William Thill
Developing trust between a head and colleagues is a non-negotiable condition required for a mathematics department to move towards improving student learning. What actions by a department head can help (and hinder) the development of trust between a department head and colleagues? This file is a documentation of the questions, notes, resources, and findings to answer this question.
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IAS/Park City Mathematics Institute is an outreach program of the Institute for Advanced Study, 1 Einstein Drive, Princeton, NJ 08540.
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