Cypress, TX News – Summer Math Institute Boosts Teacher Strategies

Cypress, TX News (August 13, 2014) – Seventy-nine math teachers from six elementary campuses were immersed in the new Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) math curriculum during a five-day Summer Math Institute at Black Elementary School Aug. 4-8.

Math consultant Garland Linkenhoger presented the institute for K-5 teachers from Gleason, Matzke, Farney, Danish, Moore and Black elementary schools, who reviewed the new math TEKS and studied research-based practices for teaching mathematical concepts.

Teachers worked in small groups to review the new math TEKS and study research-based practices for teaching mathematical concepts at the Summer Math Institute.

Teachers worked in small groups to review the new math TEKS and study research-based practices for teaching mathematical concepts at the Summer Math Institute.

“We had a conversation in the fall, and we knew the changes in the math TEKS were going to be drastic,” said Josie Flores, Black Elementary math/science instructional specialist. “We talked about learning and unlearning our prior practices and what it would look like in the classroom. It’s one thing to have a K-5 or K-8 specialist unfold it, but with a K-12 specialist like Garland providing training, we knew their vertical understanding of math was going to be more impactful in the classroom.”

The seminar helped build teacher capacity to help them understand the “how” and the “why” behind mathematics, while increasing knowledge of math pedagogy.

“We want to eliminate misconceptions and reduce the gaps that our students have in mathematics as well as generate a love and passion for math in our students,” said principal Melissa LeDoux.

Flores said the impact of the Math Institute was felt immediately by the teachers.

“I heard many positive comments throughout the week, and teachers were excited because many of them had never learned math this way,” she said. “It has really sparked their learning and interest prior to the beginning of the school year. The parking lot is full because our teachers are here working hard and trying to get these concepts going. I am really excited for them and for how it’s going to transform the classroom.”