In 2016-17, the Ministry of Education launched the three-year Renewed Math Strategy (RMS), which refined the focus for WCDSB as we continue to engage educators in collaborative learning communities within mathematics. Targeted areas of the RMS reflected in our board improvement plan (BIPSA) include:
- Tiered and differentiated systems of support.
- Increasing mathematics content knowledge for teaching.
- Building leadership capacity in mathematics.
- Transitions planning.
- Technology-enabled learning.
The focus of teacher learning networks at the WCDSB has been on knowing the learner through assessment, building teacher mathematics content knowledge and knowledge for mathematics teaching. Teachers report that their increased understanding of mathematics content knowledge is supporting them in creating more precise learning opportunities for students.
In secondary schools, the focus has been on Grade 9 Applied Math. Teachers collaborated to plan for instruction with an intentional focus on identifying and closing gaps in learning. Responsive instruction was informed by the use of multiple sources of assessment data and moderated marking.
In elementary schools, lead teachers and their administrators deepened their understanding of mathematics content knowledge in spatial, algebraic or proportional reasoning. They also worked to develop their capacity to lead professional learning within their school.
Various cross-panel initiatives focussed on understanding pathways through secondary mathematics, developing a “What Does Grade 9 Math Look Like” brochure as well as a document aligning math concepts from Grade 8 to Grade 9. There were co-learning opportunities focussing on instruction & assessment practices, technology to engage learners, and participation in planning/observing/debriefing sessions.
Our Numeracy PD Day engaged educators in a variety of mathematics topics ranging from assessment, financial literacy and impact of counting principles to problem solving, use of technology, and digital mathematics learning. Schools’ math lead teachers helped facilitate professional learning within each school site.
The Technology Learning Fund – Mathematics (TLF-M) network bridged math curriculum learning and 21st century competencies spanning Grades 4-6. In this cross-school network, schools and teachers learned about mathematics content knowledge and big ideas within geometry through the use of math-tech resources. Teacher teams conducted in-class investigations of student work, co-planned lessons, collected student feedback and adopted innovative approaches for students to show their understanding of spatial concepts.