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Fall Walkthroughs Highlight New Math Work

posted Sep 23, 2011, 9:06 AM by Elaine Smith   [ updated Sep 23, 2011, 6:42 PM ]
Dr. Steve McCammon led district leaders through a walkthrough of each of our schools this week. This series of walkthroughs had a focus on looking at the work our 
students are doing with our new district math adoption. We saw deep levels of engagement and learning happening in each of our buildings. 

Here's an excerpt from an email Dr. McCammon sent out to staff regarding what was experienced:

"We began our visits at the secondary level and it was very clear that we have such high academic expectations at all three of our secondary schools. I was particularly impressed with the use of technology that we are seeing used more and more as a critical instructional tool to engage students. We purposefully sought evidence of the implementation of our new math series. I was really proud of the great work being done at all three buildings in making this new series work for all of our students. I cannot express to you how special it is to have teachers such as Kirk Dodge who asks to have struggling students placed into his classroom so that he can make sure that they can catch up and keep up in critical skills in math. We are blessed with an abundance of such caring educators here in Fife.


Our visit to SLMS was special in that we were able to see the interactions and impact of our two new leaders at that building. I left very impressed with the focus on design and student work that is so very evident in the classrooms and on the walls.


We finished our series of walkthroughs with visits to our three elementary schools yesterday and today. I was further inspired by the great efforts being undertaken by our staff in implementing the new math series. I cannot recall a time where I saw such engagement and enthusiasm in math at our elementary level. I saw students very excited about their learning. I overheard some really nice comments from students such as:


"I wish we could keep doing math today"


"I am not sure exactly who you guys are, but I really like it when other people look at our work"


"Wow, you are really tall!" (This was said by a new favorite student of mine who looked up at me from her chair as I looked down at her work).


Finally, what I saw were dedicated teachers working really hard at their craft. In some cases they were working with a few more students than we would like and certainly in a few cases in some really challenging circumstances in very diverse settings. But in every case I saw people who really enjoy what they do and that take great pride in sharing the great work that they are doing. The Walls That Teach were great as well, especially those at the elementary schools that are reflecting the new math work being done by students.


Considering that we turned around a math adoption in less than one year and are implementing it in such a quality way because our students needed it is, quite frankly, very humbling to me as an educator. This would not happen in most places. I thank you all for that.


You know, with everything going on in education these days and everyone having an opinion about what we should teach, how we should teach, who we should teach and how we should determine if what we are doing is working, I simply wish I could have them all at my elbow during a walkthrough as we witness what you guys are doing with kids. I made the comment at the end of the last day that there was not one classroom that we visited that I would not be proud to have my own son learning in. That is a tall statement for sure.


Thank you all for the great work that you do and for the chance once again to see a little slice of it up close and personal."

Pictures from the walkthroughs can be found on our Facebook Page.