#MOMathSummit Educates and Enlightens Missouri Educators

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."


Murphy and and co-presenter Markie Lampkin (@CoachLampkin) shared their full presentation online.

The Value of Productive Struggle and Growth Mindset in Math

From there, the conversation turned to the importance of productive struggle -- the practice of persisting and learning through failure -- not just for students, but for teachers, too.



Getting Hands-On

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.


Dana Hibbard, who opened the conference in the morning, posed this thought-provoking question to close the day:

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Calli Wright

About the Author

Calli Wright was the Marketing Manager at MIND Research Institute. She loves playing and designing board games, which she often talks about on twitter @CalliWrights.


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