Thursday, December 18, 2014

Parent U Math: Higher Level Reasoning Explained

Almost 200 parents met at Frostwood Elementary recently to learn from district leaders in math curriculum and instruction and campus leaders, known as iCoaches, how a new, more rigorous Texas math curriculum is being taught to Spring Branch ISD elementary students.

A separate Spanish language program on the same topics was offered on the same evening, Dec. 2, at Woodview Elementary School.

The SBISD team, led by Lead Elementary Math Coach Susan Saied, presented an overview on the shift on state standards, including the new elementary Math TEKS, and a new resource, called Math in Focus, which includes research-based student best practices that support teaching and learning for all.

Parents were also given tips on how to support their children’s learning and work at home. After the overview session, parents split up into three grade-level areas: first and second grades; third and fourth grades; and fourth and fifth grades. Each grade level group was introduced to the strategies that align with the new TEKS.

Under the new state math curriculum, students learn some concepts several years earlier than in the past. The Math in Focus research focuses, in part, on problem solving skills and visualization techniques that help students “see” solutions and answers. Traditional math operations and skills are also taught.

State education officials adopted revised standards in math almost two years ago after a curriculum review revealed a need to better prepare many students for the high school and college years. The new requirements include advanced concepts that promote mathematical reasoning needed for higher education or in technical training across many fields.

District Lead Math Coaches Susan Saied and Amy Houser spoke to fifth-grade parents.  Other grade-level sessions were supported by these SBISD educators: Margie Moerbe of Memorial Drive Elementary; Trish Schappell of Rummel Creek Elementary; Ashley Simmons of Meadow Wood Elementary; Irma Garner of Treasure Forest Elementary; and Sarah Salas of Edgewood Elementary.

Presenters at the bilingual meeting were Johanna Carsi of Bunker Hill Elementary, Ana Medrano of Valley Oaks Elementary and Olga Miles of Westwood Elementary.

The special meeting was designed to foster partnership between the school and home. A similar program is planned in January.

SBISD Teaching and Learning, Curriculum & Teacher Development and Community Relations Depts. supported the Dec. 2 Parent U Math meeting.


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