As a continuation of the series bringing you programming from the Deeper Learning Symposium: Empowering Your Math Superheroes, we share with you this panel discussion covering important and relavant topics for inspired educators who see the need for change in the way math is taught in schools today.
Panel moderator Greg Toppo is the author of the nationally renowned book, The Game Believes in You: How Digital Play Can Make Our Kids Smarter, an insightful commentary on how innovative teachers are using games to engage students in learning. After graduating from St. John’s College in New Mexico, he taught in both public and private schools for eight years before moving into journalism. Greg currently serves as the K-12 Education Reporter for USA Today. He has advocated for students and teachers through his efforts in journalism and prompted worthwhile investigation into important issues such as government propaganda and standardized test erasure.
Panelist Jill Diniz is Director of Mathematics at Great Minds where she directs the continued development of Eureka Math curriculum and its supporting products and services. From live professional development to digital resources, Jill leads teacher-writers and other professionals as they support implementation and extend curricular offerings. Before joining Great Minds, Jill spent 10 years teaching grades 6-12 and junior college, in fields such as mathematics, AP statistics and AP computer science. Jill served as Mathematics Department Chair and a high school math teacher at Saint Edward’s School in Florida. She also developed software for the NASA Space Shuttle program.
Panelist Barbara Haeffner is Director of Curriculum and Instructional Technology at Meriden Public Schools in Connecticut. She works with staff and students to integrate mobile devices and digital content in the K-12 curriculum. Prior to joining Meriden, Barbara provided technology professional development to educators throughout the state. She has also taught at the elementary and college level, and has presented at ISTE, AASA, FETC and CT Educators Computer Association.
Panelist Tricia Lopez is Senior Director of Special Programs for IDEA Public Schools of Texas. In addition to her experience as a special education teacher, Tricia’s role as a parent of a son with spastic quadriplegia has led her to dedicate her life to quality services for students in special education. She became one of the first IDEA Special Education teachers before assuming the role of interventionist. Through her work with ESL/Bilingual, RTI and other programs, Tricia believes that IDEA is changing lives for struggling students.
And finally, panelist Kathleen Leos is President and CEO of The Global Institute for Language and Literacy Development. She served a six-year presidential appointment as Assistant Deputy Secretary and Director to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of English Language Acquisition. As principal ELL education advisor to the U.S. Secretaries of Education, she advocated for policies and procedures to create a national education and accountability infrastructure that serves millions of English language learners across the U.S. Among the most notable was the initiative to provide communities and parents with effective education models that support high ELL academic achievement.
Together, these changemakers discuss a variety of topics on transforming classrooms and schools, including:
The importance of research to help teachers gather new ideas for innovative instructional models.
How to bring new instructional models to your schools or district and garner interest and support for change.
The need to change classrooms from teacher-led to student-driven learning environments.