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Each month, math coaches provided teachers with professional development in new math strategies, pedagogy, and remediation techniques. Every two months, teachers were provided with unit and benchmark assessments aligned to the pacing. Additionally, they were trained in developing grade level appropriate weekly formative assessments.
The administrative coaches met with principals individually in November of 2006 to establish a clear set of achievable math goals such as doubling the number of students proficient in math by May of 2007. Each principal had to determine and to gain staff agreement about the percentage of students they expected to become proficient in math by testing time. A monitoring system to ensure that agreed upon next steps between the principal and coach was established. Coaches and principals discussed common assessment timelines, how to use assessments to improve instruction, and how to conduct assessment conferences with individual teachers. Additionally, a schedule for monthly walkthroughs with the administrative coaches and each principal was developed.
The purpose of this paper is to answer the following questions: 1) What components of the model were used by each school? 2) To what degree did each school implement the components? and 3) What are the teacher perceptions about the math model and student achievement?
To help determine the extent to which aspects of the RM ^{2} model were implemented, surveys were distributed in the fall of 2008. One survey was sent to principals and another to 40 teachers. Of the 40 teachers, 31 responded. Of the three principals, two returned the completed survey. It should be noted that one principal has been a principal for 5 years; all five at the same site. The other principal has 30 plus years with the last six in the building.
The teacher survey consisted of 33 multiple choice questions and two open-ended questions, while the principal survey consisted of 33 open ended questions and two selected response questions. The questions were designed to answer questions about which aspects of the math model teachers were using, the frequency with which they were using them, and which aspects the teachers felt were having the most impact on students’ success. The surveys were hand delivered to each site and were returned anonymously in an envelope.
Two sets of questions asked about the frequency with which teachers were using instructional strategies from RM ^{2} (see Table 2). All teachers indicate they were using problem of the day (POD) word problems, clearly stated and posted objectives, comprehensible and visual vocabulary, comprehensible modeled input, structured guided practice, independent practice, student collaboration and student presentations at least “sometimes.” Responses show that the most frequently used of these components are posting clearly stated objectives, using comprehensible and visual vocabulary, using modeled output, using structured guided practice and using independent practice. Student presentations are used the least.
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