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For Math Teachers by Math Teachers

Archive for July, 2015

RUSMP SCP Participants Build Relationships Vertically

July 6th, 2015 by Alice Fisher

RUSMP just completed its 29th annual Summer Campus Program! View photos of the program here. Eighty teacher participants were divided among 4 classes based on grade-level bands: Elementary, Intermediate, Middle School, and High School. Teachers spent the majority of their time with those in the same class. However, for the past 3 years including this one, teachers were given opportunities to interact with teachers from different grade levels. How?

Each teacher was assigned to one of twenty vertical teams, each team of 4 teachers consisting of a participant from every grade-level band. Team members were introduced to one another at the RUSMP SCP Math Summit held during the second day of the program on the Rice University campus. During the Math Summit, teachers discussed the Mathematical Process Standards that span Kindergarten through High School TEKS. The teams of teachers also set out on a mathematical quest outdoors to photograph objects around campus and create short videos discussing the mathematics at the different grade levels in their photos. Watch a short video of one of the vertical team’s ideas here.

2015 scp vertical teams photo

After the Math Summit, each vertical team was assigned to a book study discussion group for which they read messages from Cathy Seeley’s Faster Isn’t Smarter. Vertical teams took turns facilitating discussion for the different messages.

We conclude with a couple quotes from teacher participants about the vertical team experience:

“As a high school teacher, I am interested in understanding the challenges and successes they have achieved so I can gain better insight into my students and their past experiences through elementary, intermediate, and middle school. I really want to get a different perspective of teaching outside my little bubble of 9th grade Algebra. I was able to gain valuable tools from my fellow teachers in the lower grades that I can use in my classroom – after all, as much as students change as they get older, some things stay the same for our kids.”
– High school teacher

“I was fortunate to come to this program last year, and it was through my experience of working in vertical groups that I was enlightened. Working in vertical teams again allowed me to gain a deeper knowledge of of my content and teaching strategies of mathematics. I love learning from other teachers in my field because iron sharpens iron. I will again be able to take effective and successful ideas back to my campus that will benefit all the students in mathematics.”
– Intermediate teacher