Challenge

Lynwood Unified School District approached the UCLA Curtis Center to support their secondary mathematics teachers in East Los Angeles. Lynwood Unified wanted to improve student learning in mathematics and support teacher engagement of students in inquiry based learning.

Action Plan

The Executive Director of the Curtis Center met with the Director and Assistant Director of Secondary Education to discuss the comprehensive needs for Lynwood Unified School District.  Curtis Center recommended the following action plan:

In the first year, the Curtis Center would host on-site professional development for secondary math teachers that would focus on developing teacher mathematic and pedagogical knowledge needed to teach mathematics for understanding and application.  The professional development would proceed each Lynwood trimester and would bring teachers together for a full day in grade-level teams. Sessions would include Curtis Center authored or curated model lessons designed to address the math content in the teachers’ next trimester of instruction to facilitate maximum implementation.

These “Just-in-Time” content and pedagogy sessions were paired with in-classroom support by a Curtis Center Specialist who would visit a Lynwood Unified high school and middle school campus.  The Specialist would support implementation of the model lesson by providing co-teaching, teaching assistance, or technical support during the lesson.  In addition, the Specialist would offer non-evaluative observational feedback using the Curtis Center Observation Protocol focused on student action relative to the Standards for Mathematical Practice.

The Curtis Center would additionally facilitate analysis of Lynwood’s Scope and Sequence documents with the aim of removing content superfluous to the Common Core Standards, adding in missing standards content, and reordering standards with an eye towards mathematical and pedagogical integrity.

To provide formative assessment for midcourse correction, the UCLA Curtis Center requested the services of third-party evaluator The Mark to measure the tangible impact of the work.

Results

A preliminary report from the third-party evaluator The Mark found the following:

  • Teacher outcomes:
    • Increased ability to identify and classify math concepts
    • Increased ability to make connections between math concepts in lessons
    • Increased ability to give better feedback to students
  • Implementation in the classroom feedback:
    • Appreciated the relevance of the activities to the classroom and enjoyed implementing them
  • Student outcomes:
    • Improved student interaction and engagement through the activities
    • Improved understanding of connections between math concepts through the activities
  • Overall feedback working with The Curtis Center:
    • Appreciated that presenters asked beforehand what upcoming concepts teachers would be covering in classrooms to make trainings were relevant
    • Found presenters to be professional and prepared
    • Appreciated feedback after observations
    • Found Curtis Center professional development to be more helpful than professional development in previous years
  • 65 out of 86 teachers said they loved the activities that the Curtis Center delivered.
  • The facilitated conversations around CAASPP data led to important realizations for teachers around current curriculum content gaps, such as rational exponents and embedded context.

Get in Touch

How can the UCLA Curtis Center for Mathematics and Teaching work with you to engage your students in creative reasoning and meaningful applications of mathematics?

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