Differentiation in Mathematics
by David Suarez
We know maximum learning occurs at a sweet spot between the overly simple and exceedingly complex, that our students’ natural curiosities are fragile, and that while content prompts interest, curiosity is only maintained under the right cognitive conditions. We know that what is developmentally appropriate is largely contingent on prior learning experiences, and that within diverse international school math classrooms, the teaching challenge can feel daunting.
During this packed experiential workshop, we’ll explore how teachers of mathematics, from elementary through high school, can support the engagement and growth of all students in mixed readiness math classrooms.
Our learning will be guided by the following questions:
• What does it mean to do and learn mathematics?
• What are specific needs of struggling and advanced math learners?
• With these needs in mind, what strategies can we employ to facilitate productive learning experiences for all students?
• How can we assess and report in ways that are compatible with the principles we espouse and supportive of the practices we employ?
We’ll explore these questions through examples and simulations of classroom learning.
Session 1 The nature of math learning and the differing needs of diverse learners.
Session 2 Characteristics of high quality math instruction
Session 3 Tiered instruction and assessment
Session 4 Assessment, grading, and reporting in a tiered math class
About the Presenter
David’s work on math differentiation draws on seventeen years of teaching experience in schools spanning the socioeconomic spectrum. He’s particularly interested in the question of how math teachers can create environments that maximally support the growth of extremely diverse learners. His work has been featured in Educational Leadership, ASCD’s Challenging the Whole Child: Reflections on Best Practices in Learning, Teaching, and Leadership, and Making the Difference: Differentiation in International Schools. David has presented on the topic of differentiated instruction at schools and conferences across Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. He holds degrees in Operations Engineering (M.S.) and Economics (B.A.) from the University of Michigan, and he currently teaches middle school math at the Jakarta Intercultural School.
by Jennifer Chang
This one day workshop will discuss the tenets of concept-based curriculum and instruction with a focus on mathematics. The morning sessions will look at our changing world and new paradigms for education. The afternoon session will look at crafting statements of conceptual understandings.
The answers to the following questions will be covered in this pre conference workshop:
- How is knowledge structured and how can we utilize that structure to develop the intellect?
- How can we move to a three-dimensional curriculum and instruction model that allows us to compact the overloaded curriculum, and teach both factual and conceptual knowledge with greater depth and rigour?
- How can we design instruction to achieve synergistic thinking between the factual and conceptual levels of knowledge and understanding?
- How do we scaffold thinking to deeper levels?
About the Presenter
Jennifer Chang-Wathall is an independent consultant, author, faculty chair of mathematics at Island School and honorary faculty adviser and part time instructor for the University of Hong Kong.
With over 20 years experience in the education field, Jennifer has worked in several international schools including South Island School, Hong Kong and The United Nations International School, New York and Island School, Hong Kong.
In the international arena she has presented workshops and given talks about the use of instructional media and how to effectively integrate a 1:1 program into the mathematics classroom.
As a qualified International Baccalaureate workshop leader (“Mathematics, Concepts and Inquiry in the Diploma Program and Approaches to Teaching and Learning”) Jennifer has delivered numerous workshops in the Asia Pacific region. Her role as a field representative for the IB Asia Pacific serves as part of the quality assurance framework. In 2014 she was invited to deliver a talk at the IB Asia Pacific Conference titled “Using Inquiry in the IB Mathematics Classroom” and in July, 2015 Jennifer she presented “Concept-Based Mathematics” at the IB Americas annual conference.
She is a certified trainer in the DISCtm behavior assessment tool and she is a certified independent consultant in “Concept Based Curriculum Design” by Dr H. Lynn Erickson. Jennifer works as a consultant helping math departments and schools transition to concept-based curriculum and instruction. She utilizes her skills as a certified Performance Coach to facilitate transition and change.
For 2014 to 2019 she will be part of the external curriculum review group for IB Diploma Mathematics based in The Hague.
Her book titled “Concept-Based Mathematics: Teaching for Deep Understanding in Secondary Schools” was released in February, 2016.
In her spare time she teaches yoga and spinning.