Table 5: Action Options with Clarifications

Triggering Question:

"WHAT are action options which, if adopted and implemented, will overcome barriers and help us align initiatives to sustain the ideal model for learning mathematics by ALL students ?"

Action Option 1: ReImagine systems (hodgesra)
Identify models and look at research that suggest ways we can re-imagine how a school system might be restructured to support learning for all students; some of this is already started with Project Reimagine. Many of our districts as currently structured don't allow for math supports such as RTI and mathematics specialists.

Action Option 2: Provide math coaches for all districts/areas (tmaynard)
Have more professional "coaches" that are trained in best practice for mathematics education in the classrooms helping teachers plan, deliver and evaluate lessons. (best practice would include all the good stuff we've talked about - formative assessment, manipulatives, lesson design, modifying for special needs, various instructional methods, incorporating technology, etc.)
C: This is one of the most effective forms of professional development if it is done right... it is specific to teacher need, embedded in their classroom practice and allows for reflection and refinement of practice
C: I agree. With the stimulus dollars, we have districts using literacy coaches. We are looking at embedding math coaches next year. The job embedded factor is huge!

Action Option 3: Identify schools with exceptional intervention and enrichment programs (thallendan)
Across the country, there are schools that have excellent intervention and enrichment programs that are available to all students without missing new learning. Where are they? Let's identify them, study them and put them in front of our districts as an exemplar.
C: This is very important. I would take it one step further and document the key features and implementation concerns they had so that others could put similar practices in place with the correct supporting structures and resources (i.e. it is not just a "program" but also a thought process)
C: It would be wonderful to find those that exist here in Michigan so interventions, lessons, etc are aligned to the work our teachers are engaged in.

Action Option 4: Provide RtI resources and professional developmet to help all schools identify and fill learning gaps for all students. (Robynseifertlucas)
If you have a screener that gives immediate feedback of the learning gaps the students have, this will allow us to overcome the barrier that inhibits the data not being actionable at the classroom level
C: What does RtI stand for?
C: Response to Intervention - more info. available at:
C: Provide RtI resources and professional developmet to help all schools identify and fill learning gaps for all students.
C: Something that would give immediate feedback would be great and in the meantime the state is having trouble giving feedback within a year.
C: Provide RtI resources and professional developmet to help all schools identify and fill learning gaps for all students.
C: Not only do we want them to have data readily available, but we want to ensure teachers have an idea for aligned interventions.
That has been our struggle locally, even with the districts that are really doing a great job of holding data reviews. We just need to ensure that the interventions are aligned to student needs.

Action Option 5: Create secondary/elementary partnerships (tmaynard)
Within districts, require secondary math staff to partner with an elementary staff member. (elem. principals can target those staff members that need the content training) Provide time to meet throughout the school year to help each other better understand the math content as well as different delivery options.

Action Option 6: Ease in accessing resources and information (amctigue)
I would like to develop a table of effective resources and processes that schools/districts can ultimately access to help inform decision making and practice.
C: What features would be in this table? Grade-level, subject area, assessment pieces, etc.?? More detail please.

Action Option 7: Increase the quantity and quality of both pre-service and current teachers with professional learning communities (gdmoney)
This is focused on better PD by using professional learning communities for both pre-service and current teachers.
C: Would you want pre-service and current teachers together in PD or will they be kept in separate PLC's?

Action Option 8: Increase the use of data to inform formative assessment (gdmoney)
This reflects the continuing need for more data use to inform instruction at the classroom level.

Action Option 9: Improve math learning opportunities by expanding classroom time for math instruction (laurasnowbird)
This action item is about the value we place on math instruction - increasing focus on math outcomes as we have for reading proficiency.

Action Option 10: Provide research based curriculum and assessment resources to all schools with professional development to help buildings implement and sustain quality instruction and assessment (mklavon)
In our original map, we discussed all teachers having access to research based instructional and assessment resources and professional development aligned to classroom needs. We also discussed the lack of resources and professional development as a barrier. I believe that this action step can overcome the above barrier and get us to what we "ought" to do so that all students learn math.
C: Please provide more. What suggestions do you have for overcoming the lack or resources?
R: I am hoping that we (MI)^2 may be able to locate, or redirect, some financial resources to help offset some of the cost of purchasing new textbooks.
C: If we can't actually prove the research based curriculum, we can at least provide informatio to people on the best curriculum
out there and the necessary implementation features to make maximum use of them. That would help districts inform other decisions when they do make changes or review curriculum.
R: I think that is a great way to provide greater support with limited resources.

Action Option 11: Adopt a cross-grade teaching framework (laurasnowbird)
That would allow students to learn at their attained competency level as opposed to grade level.
C: Laura: Would you mind offering a longer explanation of your idea in case it is not yet clear to all the other members of the group.
They will have a chance to ask questions for clarification of meaning when Round 2 starts tomorrow morning, of course.
C: Hi Laura - Is your intent here that students would learn (and be tested) at the level of proficiency that they are working at?
R: Anna, Yes, that would be the ideal scenario, while preserving access to the general curriculum.
R: I'm thinking along the lines of the K-12 communities that we've discussed for teachers - students would benefit from being a "community of learners", which would be far more flexible than the current grade level system which assumes a certain proficiency level

Action Option 12: Form a Michigan bank of good instructional and assessment resources tied to state expectations. (thallendan)
Have a website, wiki, whatever with a framework of the state expectations. Under each expectation teachers, principals, parents, etc. can post good instructional ideas, great formative assessment ideas and documents, and links to summative assessment banks.
This would be similar yet more expansive to Ottawa Area ISD's ELAR (Electronic Learning Assessment Resource) at
C: I like this idea---and would add the learner as a critical stakeholder. This would be an excellent way for them to suggest how to support other learners--and make recommendations for how teachers can better support them.
C: Question: Would learners be included as stakeholders in this type website? [Revision of initial value judgment above]
C: Thank you Theresa. We are waiting for the answer by the author. I hope he has been monitoring his contribution and has been notified.
R: Learners could definitely be included in this process. That is a great suggestion (ahem...I mean "clarification"), Theresa!
C: Thank you thallendan. Appreciate your participation in the discussion for clarification.
C: This is a great idea and there are examples from other states and initiatives that we could use to get started on ours (we might even be able to "borrow" some of their stuff....)
Anything with video exemplars is very helpful. It would also be nice if the site included protocols for having very focused meetings in schools or districts on certain issues...

Action Option 13: Collaboration by all involved (DougMcCall)
I've said this before regarding the importance of collaboration among like minded entities. Until a concerted effort is made to entice all interested parties (folks who have a vested interest in mathematics education) into collaborating on this subject, there will be a lot of spinning of wheels.
C: Could you provide examples of the folks who have vested interest for me or at least what groups you are including? Are you referring to all the professional organizations as well?
C: This is similar to my leadership/ institutes and planning processes (although you may be thinking of an even more diverse group?)

Action Option 14: Create a website or wiki that could be the repository for curriculum resources for higher ed instructors of math (laurasnowbird)

This is currently being done as it relates to gathering resources for preparation of personnel who intend to serve the birth to three populations.

Action Option 15: Community and parental partnerships (amctigue)
Many grants are now asking for cost-share or public “fund matching”. We should think about ways to develop parental and community groups as partners in the effort of accessible math instruction– they could provide match funding in certain cases

Action Option 16: Video exemplars to change beliefs (amctigue)
Beliefs are often changed most easily by illustrating that something is possible. “Seeing is believing”. It would be nice to have video repository of exemplars.

Action Option 17: Process for district leadership Institutes (amctigue)
Leadership institutes and planning processes for district/ISD regarding preparation and implementation for accessible mathematics need to be developed or implemented

Action Option 18: Develop or refine a statewide overarching guidance website/document (amctigue)
There is a need for an overarching guidance doc/site etc that can link teachers, schools and districts to PD and examples for best practice.
What does Michigan have in this way currently and where are the overlaps with our vision and what are missing pieces that need work?

Action Option 19: Have a periodic Michigan math conference to form common vision. (thallendan)
Annually (perhaps) a conference could rotate locations from GR, Detroit, Northern MI in which a common math vision is set, and then district administrators, non-profits, etc. sub-meet to form common and cohesive policies.
C: To address the multiple organizations that influence math instruction, content, etc., this type of math PLC conference could/should include reps from all groups.
C: Is this a question or a comment? Make sure pleas that you do not make value judgments about other participants' contributions. But you are more than welcomed to ask questions of clarifications or comments about the meanings as long as they are constructive.
C: Thanks for the reminder Aleco. I have left all value judgments I believe, forgetting the intent.
C: Would this conference change as it moved to different locations or just be repeated at the different places?
C: Could we somehow link it to the MCTM conference?

Action Option 20: Provide pacing and assessment guides to all schools with professional development so that all students will have access to a guaranteed and viable curriculum that is aligned to state and national standards. (mklavon)

We discussed the need for all students to have access to a G & V curriculum so that all students can learn mathematics. Specific pacing and assessment guides that support the various instructional and assessment resources in all schools will guide teachers in lesson planning so that the intended classroom instruction has a greater chance to match the implemented instruction.
C: Mike, would this curriculum have guidelines or alternate pacing guides for team-taught and/or resource classes?
C: Math teachers, how do you think this would be received by your colleagues?
C: Mike and Keith, The guide would also have to modified for school working under the confines of block scheduling. Doug, I am not sure that some math teachers would be receptive, but most of us would like some guidance. We have spent a lot of time coming up with our own pacing and assesment guides and they have to be revised every year. A little consistency across the state might be welcome.
C: This is the perfect time to do it, with the Common Core Standards on the way.

Action Option 21: Math teacher should use a CoLab process in classrooms. (thallendan)

Math teachers should make students important stakeholders in their classrooms by using a CoLab process. Students could be asked triggering questions such as "What ought to be done in this classroom to help you learn to your best potential?". Students would give ideas, without criticism, and further explore those ideas by using the categorizing, prioritizing, and organizing process used in our CoLabs.
C: Thank you Keith for understanding what I was talking about and making a contribution along this idea.
C: Interesting concept, I would like to see this in action.

Action Option 22: Create student businesses within math departments. (thallendan)
This idea would be a Big Hairy Audacious Goal. A math department could pilot (with a grant) a student business in which students apply mathematics to running an actual business. Money generated could go to sustaining the business and funding further technology purchases for the math department. Inspiration: Teach a Man to Fish

Action Option 23: Aleco clone in every classroom. (thallendan)
Or a clone of Animal from the muppets to yell "QUIET!"
C: Thank you for the compliment. What will I do other than yelling "Quiet?"
C: You are on a roll with great action items, Keith! I agree with the Aleco muppet with one request, it must have commanding body language and a great democratic mind.
R: Good additions, Theresa. Aleco, I think your example of helping those that are rarely heard, repressed or a minority to be able to get their voice out is good for the classroom. It is a reminder in every situation to allow our students to be heard too.