FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

THE PROJECT

THE MATERIALS

MATERIALS USE

THE PROJECT

What is the National Science Foundation’s Dev-TE@M?

The National Science Foundation’s Developing Teaching Expertise @ Mathematics (NSF’s Dev-TE@M) is a materials development project at the University of Michigan School of Education funded by the National Science Foundation. There are three DTE@Mathematics professional development modules for practicing elementary mathematics teachers available for use.

 

What are the goals of the project?

The overarching goal of the NSF’s Dev-TE@M project is to improve student learning in mathematics by improving the knowledge and skills of elementary mathematics teachers. We aim to do this by creating a system of high-quality professional development DTE@Mathematics modules that address two fundamental challenges:

  1. The need for teachers to develop core elements of professional knowledge and practice in ways that are usable in their work; and
  2. The need for a system that can support such professional learning at scale –– by many teachers, across contexts.

This system includes a series of modules focused on helping classroom teachers improve their teaching of elementary mathematics as well as a series focused on the development of mathematics leaders to work with classroom teachers on their practice.

 

THE MATERIALS

 

How much time does it take to implement a DTE@Mathematics module?

Each DTE@Mathematics module consists of ten 90-minute sessions. There is also between-session work that provides teachers with opportunities to practice and extend their learning, as well as try things out in their classroom. On average, it takes 1-2 hours for teachers to complete the work assigned between sessions.

 

On what content do the DTE@Mathematics modules focus?

The content of each DTE@Mathematics module integrates:

  • Mathematics geared to the demands of teaching
  • Teaching practices for diverse classrooms and contexts
  • Student thinking about mathematics
  • Protocols for systematically learning from and improving teaching

 

What kinds of materials are included in a DTE@Mathematics module?

DTE@Mathematics module materials integrate:

  • Videos of elementary classrooms
  • Work samples and curriculum examples from classrooms
  • Written descriptions that provide background for activities, and highlight connections with classroom teaching
  • Practice-based work between sessions
  • Professional readings

 

Are the DTE@Mathematics modules online courses?

Although the DTE@Mathematics materials are web-based, the current module design only allows for sessions to be facilitated by a professional developer working in real time with a group of teachers. This includes both face-to-face sessions as well as remote sessions that utilize conferencing technologies for real time conversations. The materials do not provide adequate support for teachers or teacher leaders to use them for “independent study” or in asynchronous online courses.

 

What assessment tools are available?

DTE@Mathematics modules include periodic checks for understanding and opportunities for formative assessments of teaching practice. Depending upon their purpose, assessments may be self-checking, responded to by peers, and/or appraised by facilitators. The formative performance assessments require teachers to collect records of their practice and generate reflections connected to the module content. Facilitators and teachers appraise the performances using available criteria.

 

What facilitator supports are available?

DTE@Mathematics materials include extensive supports for facilitators, including:

  • Resources integrated into the module content such as –
    • Video segments of an expert teacher educator facilitating parts of the professional development sessions; these can be used to help the facilitator prepare for his/her own sessions or actually played for teachers during sessions
    • Video segments of teachers engaging with the content of the professional development sessions that not only provide insight to facilitators but can also be used by facilitators to raise particular issues with their teachers that may not otherwise surface
  • Module orientation
  • Detailed facilitator guides for each session
  • Access to content experts
  • Participation in study groups with other module facilitators
  • Access to facilitator colleagues in study group and online community

 

What technology is needed?

Each site (facilitator) may access available module materials through the NSF’s Dev-TE@M’s course management site. If there is a learning management system (LMS) available at the facilitator’s own school site or institution (Moodle, Desire2Learn, Blackboard, Sakai, etc.) and the LMS supports Common Cartridge, NSF’s Dev-TE@M members will coordinate with the institution’s technology support staff to set up the course within their own LMS.

 

What DTE@Mathematics modules are currently available?

Geometric Measurement and Spatial Reasoning in Elementary Mathematics Teaching

The content of the module focuses on:

  • Mathematics: using mathematical reasoning, explanations, and language
  • Teaching practice: supporting mathematical practices in the classroom
  • Student thinking: examining ways students make sense of and explain mathematics
  • Learning from practice: studying the teaching and learning of mathematical practices through video workshop

Supporting Reasoning and Explanations in Elementary Mathematics Teaching

The content of the module focuses on:

  • The content of the module focuses on:
  • Mathematics: using mathematical reasoning, explanations, and language
  • Teaching practice: supporting mathematical practices in the classroom
  • Student thinking: examining ways students make sense of and explain mathematics
  • Learning from practice: studying the teaching and learning of mathematical practices through video workshop

Representing and Comparing Fractions in Elementary Mathematics Teaching

The content of the module focuses on:

  • Mathematics: representing and comparing fractions; equivalence
  • Teaching practice: using representations in classroom teaching
  • Student thinking: about representing and comparing fractions
  • Learning from practice: protocols for learning from images of blackboards and other public-space recordings

 

MATERIALS USE

 

In what contexts can the DTE@Mathematics modules be used?

DTE@Mathematics modules are designed for facilitated professional development with practicing elementary teachers. Teachers work with a facilitator in real time, either in-person or remotely.

The materials can be used in contexts such as:

  • University courses
  • Teacher institutes or workshops
  • School/district professional development
  • Teacher study groups
  • Other comparable settings

 

What uses of the DTE@Mathematics materials are not supported?

The DTE@Mathematics materials are:

  • Not available to be used as part of an asynchronous online course/experience
  • Not meant for teacher participants to go through on their own, without a facilitator working with them in real time
  • Not intended for pre-service teachers
  • Not meant to be used as a math course
  • Not meant to be used only partially (all ten sessions are meant to be used in sequence)
  • Not designed to be used as a short, intensive course without time between sessions to work on classroom practices and connections

 

How can I sign up to use the materials?