There are multiple opportunities for Shutesbury teachers to think about their
mathematics practice. We work together across grade levels, during staff meetings,
approximately once a month, to investigate the mathematics we teach. We do math
tasks together, look at student work, and think with colleagues about how to
provide access and challenge for all students.
Besides regular staff development on campus, Shutesbury teachers have been a part of a
larger network of professionals trying to improve the teaching and learning of
mathematics. Since 2011, we have been a part of the Western Massachusetts
Mathematics Partnership, or WMMP, a network of eight K-12 schools and ten
institutions of higher education working collaboratively to strengthen our ability to
teach the Common Core Standards of Mathematical Content and Practices. In the
spring of 2014 I co-facilitated a Professional Learning Community with my mentor and
colleague, Deborah Schifter, Principal Research Scientist at EDC based in Waltham
MA. The focus was on algebraic reasoning; we explored the behavior of the operations
beginning as early as kindergarten, extending into college. Our group of 25 teachers
ranged from 1st grade to college mathematics professors – by having teachers who span
these levels working together, we could examine as a group how the concepts develop.
Five teachers from Shutesbury joined the WMMP PLC! There was an article written
about our group in the Gazette on June 11th 2014.
Here is Andrea Darby, one of the Shutesbury teachers, working with a
retired mathematics professor from Mount Holyoke College, Harriet Pollatsek.