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Math Solutions Case Study: Developing Teacher Knowledge

 

 

District Profile

Independent School District aligned with TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) and TAKS (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills)

More than 20,000 students

Title I campus where the majority of the children are economically disadvantaged

78 percent passing rate in 2000 on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAKS) to a 98 percent in 2002

Midland Independent School District
Midland, Texas

Henderson Elementary School in Midland Independent School District, a district serving more than 20,000 students, is a Title I campus where the majority of the children are economically disadvantaged. Lilia Nanez, former Principal at Henderson, involved her teachers in Math Solutions summer courses for three consecutive summers.

“I was surprised myself at how I came to understand concepts that I never knew I didn’t know. The fact that this inservice shows the concept and explains the why before the abstract is brought into the picture makes the difference. The conceptual way of teaching math is what I want all my staff members to do in the classroom.”

Lilia Nanez, former Principal
Henderson Elementary School

As a result of implementing Math Solutions instructional strategies at Henderson Elementary School in 2001 and 2002, Lilia reported, the school moved from a 78 percent passing rate in 2000 on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) to a 98 percent in 2002, and a 96.7 percent in 2003 on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS), the state’s new assessment. During the week of the five-day Math Solutions course About Teaching Mathematics I, Lilia observed that instructors effectively demonstrated the alignment of the Texas mathematics standards (TEKS) with the TAKS objectives. She said, “We saw evidence of this at the opening session and during breakout and grade-level sessions. On day one of the course, the instructors did a terrific job allowing teachers to offer input regarding grade-level needs. Those needs were addressed by a specific grade-level instructor throughout the week.” Lilia also feels that because of the instructors’ effective modeling of lessons, the strategies and approaches presented offered easy application in teachers’ classrooms. “Also, we participated as students; therefore, we had the opportunity to be the learners and communicate verbally our own strategies for problem solving,” Lilia stated. Now at South Elementary School, Lilia reports that she plans to utilize the strategies and approaches presented in the Math Solutions Professional Development courses with her staff at this campus.