More than 60 educators from several school districts gathered in Columbia, Missouri on Wednesday to discuss and embrace various aspects of math success – from the value of productive struggle to the importance of data-driven instruction.
The reason for bringing educators together, some from as many as 3 hours away?
"We know that teachers are the ones that make a difference and we need to give them the resources to make that difference," explained Dana Hibbard, District Math Coordinator in Columbia Public Schools, at the start of the day.
Fortunately, many guests shared their favorite insights from the day on social media.
Importance of Data-Driven Education
Dr. Michael Murphy (@mdmstc), Superintendent of St. Clair R-XIII District, and a former math teacher, shared insights and the imperatives for data driven instruction. Murphy, marvelling at the robust technological tools available to educators today, urged action and engagement over a wait-and-see approach. "We are at a point of a pendulum with public schools, that will either guide directly to success or failure based on those who choose to wait, see and watch versus those who choose to reach out and do," he said.
But, it won't be easy, he cautioned. "Anything that educators do that is good for children ... is painstakingly difficult," said Murphy. "It's hard work. It comes with barriers of resistance."
Parents are ok with doing math the way it was done the past 50 years. Challenge the process #MOMATHSUMMIT
One way to help kids realize they can do math is to let them experience it as a game. Guests at the summit closed the day by playing with ST Math and exploring ways to provide students with a deeper conceptual understanding of sometimes tricky notions, like the number line and fractions.
Kids think a fraction is pizza. We need to use many more visual models to create a deeper understanding of the concept. #MOMATHSUMMIT