Monday, May 30, 2016

A Pintermediate Classroom

A Pintermediate Classroom:

(Pinterest in the Intermediate Classroom)

Coming from an elementary school background, I have come to rely on fun and engaging ways to teach and have students 'do' math. Having hands-on and active math classes has worked tremendously well in my elementary and junior classrooms. One particular source for finding engaging and relevant activities, colourful and meaningful chart ideas, as well as many other teacher resources, has been Pinterest.

At first, I thought that students in an intermediate classroom were too old for this colourful, hands-on learning. Were they still interested in playing with manipulatives and having interesting colourful posters on their walls? Well, just today in the staff room a coworker noted that her son’s grade ten classroom was very ‘grey’ - the walls, the charts, the blackboard with white chalk, everything was monotone. She said he feels "tired" in class and that it's all just so "boring" - his words, not mine. This got me thinking, and the more I think about it, and the more I search Pinterest, the more I come to know that intermediate students need this splash of colour on the walls and fun in their math classes too!

I resolved right then that I would find at least five fun things on Pinterest that I could use in my intermediate classroom that would be relevant, engaging, colourful, and useful :)

Here are my five picks. Have you found any great posts on Pinterest??

Stained Glass Windows for Linear Relations!
I might add colour, but the idea is great!
Students already know which number goes where on the clock.
This just reinforces it :)

Who doesn't love a good #hashtag?

I will forever think of Selfie's differently now!

I don't think interactive notebooks ever go out of style ;)


Sunday, May 29, 2016


For those who have never heard of or used it, the CEMC is a great site for starting up a math club or for introducing problem solving and enrichment to your classes. It's also a go-to for math contests!

What is the CEMC?
The Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing. It's run through UWaterloo.

Problem Solving
One of my absolute favourite features of the CEMC is the Problem of the Week section. There are archives of past problems, but also problems that are updated weekly, for different grade levels. When we run Math Club (Thursdays at lunch) or Math Circle (Fridays after school), we often give students a Problem of the Week to solve. We often offer two different levels (mostly because we draw in a very strong crowd). Students will work away and then will share their solutions. Many friendly arguments have come from this - yes... kids arguing about math. Love it!
I tried some of these problems with my standard grade 11 class, and the grade 7/8 problem was a good level for them, as they haven't had much exposure to rich problems in their previous math classes. Now, some will try the grade 9/10 problem.

The CEMC offers tools for teaching grade 12 Calculus and Vectors, as well as Advanced Functions and Pre-Calculus. We often refer stronger students to these sources for independent learning (in Saskatchewan, we don't offer these courses, so those who are considering school in Ontario will often peruse this resource).

UWaterloo is known for the cornucopia of contests they run each year. A huge focus of our Math Club and Math Circle is preparing students for these contests, so we use previous contests for practice. We were actually asked by UWaterloo to host the Canadian Team Math Contest for all of Saskatoon schools, and we were able to bring out about 100 students.

Finally, the CEMC puts on a summer conference for math teachers (and one for comp sci teachers), which attracts people from all over the world. Definitely a great conference - worth checking out!

Math Stations

Last year, I was teaching grade 8 French Immersion. This was definitely out of my comfort zone, at the time. I trained at the P/J level, but then was hired to teach high school, and did so for two years, until I was moved to a grade 8 classroom for a year before being moved back to high school. That year was one of the most challenging years of my short teaching career. However, it was the year in which I probably grew the most as a teacher.

At first, I was struggling to keep my head above water. I was now teaching 10 different subjects a week, when I was initially told I'd be a multi-grade math specialist. Needless to say, many lessons became teacher-led lesson followed by practice. My lessons were boring and I was giving students a lot of work.

So once I got into the groove of things, I decided I wanted to do my entire geometry unit using student-centered stations, allowing me to work one-on-one with students and taking the entire teaching focus off of me. That was the scary part. I didn't do any formal teaching. I grew to love it and my students loved the independence.

So how did this work?

I started by taking my outcomes and grouping them into key ideas. I had five stations:

  1. Rectangular Prisms
  2. Triangular Prisms
  3. Cylinders
  4. Composite Figures
  5. Enrichment
At each station, I had six folders:
  1. Visual Explanation
  2. Written Explanation (in both English and in French)
  3. Video Explanation (often from YouTube)
  4. Game
  5. Practice #1
  6. Practice #2
Students could start at whatever station they wanted. Many started with "Rectangular Prisms." At each station, students had to show evidence of trying to learn the content in at least three different ways (of the six... I counted "Practice" as one of the ways of learning). Then, once they showed this evidence (using a tracking card), they could attempt a quiz. Quiz days were Tuesdays and Thursdays. They needed to get 100% on the quiz before moving on to another station. If they didn't get 100%, they had to go back and try another way of learning (even if it was a dumb calculation error... this way, many students would use one of the two practices for the initial three pieces of evidence). I would track their success with stickers. Since there were really four primary stations, we worked on this unit for four weeks. Students thus had four weeks, working at their own pace, before the unit test. 

What I noticed with this method was that students were initially more off-task (the first time I used the stations, they had more time, so many slacked off). However, by the time they got to the unit test, they were so much more confident and more consistent with their work. The class average was about 10% higher than units that were primarily teacher-centered. 

I know my system has flaws, but for a first-time trial, I'd say it was a huge success. I managed to do a stations-method unit for our numbers strand, too. Students loved this set-up and asked to keep using it throughout the year. 

Unfortunately, being given another teaching load this year of new courses, I haven't been able to try flipping my classroom or using these stations. But! I do get to teach the grade 11 math course again next year, so I have more time to think about where stations would fit in nicely (I'm thinking quadratics, for sure). 

Have you used stations in senior math courses? How did they go? Any tips or tricks?


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Flipped Classrooms

I always looking for new ways to reinvent the wheel, and in math this is especially true as we work hard to engage our students while covering the curriculum.  When I came across this blog regarding Flipped Classrooms and it made me think...could it be that simple?  Flipping the classroom is not a new idea as you can tell from the date on the blog, but it's new to me.  I like the idea of students taking on more responsibility for their learning experience outside of the classroom, and being able to focus on the application of their skills through in class activities and group work.  One of many benefits of implementing a flipped environment is how well it support a Mastery Learning Model.  This definitely helps when addressing the needs of both our fast and slow learners.  Has anyone else tried out a flipped environment?  How did it go?  If not, would anyone be interested in trying?  I'm curious to hear what people think.  Check out this link to see how the Algebros setup their Flipped Classroom.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Part Marks in Math

Part Marks in Math

I know some teachers who ask a question, leave a space for work, and then put an answer box at the bottom, and if the student doesn't get the right answer, they don't get any marks. I think that marking this way is wrong. This promotes students to just write answers, and not show their work, I think it also shows laziness from the teacher. Students should never get a zero, unless they don't do any work. I think if the student can draw a picture (if it applies to the question) they should be able to get some marks, even if they don't answer it right, or can't answer it. Being able to show the diagram says that they understand something.

I also know teachers who will say that they got the first step wrong, so everything is wrong after that, 0 marks. If a student is answering an algebraic expression, and gets the wrong answer to the first step but all their steps are correct and all the rest of their work is correct you should only take away part marks. In this case, yes the student should know how to do simple calculations, but this is not what you are testing, you are testing whether they follow BEDMAS properly or not.

I believe that part marks are an important part of assessment for learning. When students get zero's they think "I did nothing right, I'm never going to get it", but when students get part marks they are more inclined to see where they went wrong, and either figure out how to fix it themselves, or ask for help understanding.

What are your thoughts on assessment in math? Do you think that part marks are a necessary and beneficial part of student learning?

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Spiralling: the Way of the Future

Lately the new math buzzword has been about spiralling curriculum. At PD is keeps getting eluded to but I quite frankly had no idea what it meant. Using this platform to create an introductory blog into the topic seemed like the perfect idea.

Spiralling is basically the opposite approach to our standard idea of presenting material all regarding the same topic at once until that skill is mastered. Instead it revisits the same material several times during a semester and builds on it each time preventing the student from ‘losing it’ after not ‘using it’. Courtesy of the website there is a very comprehensive comparison of the two styles of delivery listed below.

  • No expectation of full comprehension the first time an idea is introduced
  • Minimal practice when an idea is initially introduced
  • Continual repetition of a concept over a long period of time
  • Avoids going in-depth into a topic until later grades
  • Students frequently change topics within the math curriculum
  • Good math choice for students looking to enter a non-mathematical career
  • Math ideas are introduced one at a time and build upon one another
  • Concepts are practiced until a child has learned them thoroughly
  • Each chapter generally has a short review section to help students remember and practice previously learned material
  • Some math topics are reserved until a child reaches a certain level of cognitive development
  • Good math choice for students interested in math, science, or engineering fields

As the last bullet points out spiralling may be the future for our at risk students. By revisiting a topic several times throughout a semester the teacher can use the first experience as a diagnostic approach and be able to have the time and resources planned out ahead of time to reach all learners for the remaining semester. Studies also done by the University of Chicago ( also confirms that standardized tests are not negatively affected with this type of teaching and that it can infact raise scores by constantly reviewing skills.
So there is the idea of spiralling in a nutshell. There are many additional blogs and studies being hosted right now on the subject, even from people in Ontario! Mr. Orr is a Geek ( has an entire semester laid out for people to follow along with if they are so interested and is currently in the middle of using his data to make some long term directional decisions for his own school. Hopefully this was a good introduction and now everyone can follow these ideas and links while directing their own personal development.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Where Did Practical Math Go?

There are some people out there who are doing a great job of trying to integrate math problems into real world scenarios. One of my favourite examples has been Dan Meyers with this simple photo.

Students may be quick to decide on one that they inherently believe will be the better deal and it can be a fun discussion to see where the tipping point to their beliefs may be with various other factors included (e.g. original price). Unfortunately this type of practical math is hard to come by in the Ontario curriculum and becomes even more obscure as they become seniors with Calculus and Trig being their primary options for the University streams (with the exception of the Financial math unit in grade 11).

As I continue down my path of becoming an adult I am always shocked at the conversations that I have in my personal life that indicate I have no clue how to properly calculate compound interest or mortgage rates anymore even though now is when I need it most. Even to scale is back to an intermediate level, why do we not teach students how to properly manage a budget? Yes it may get touched on here and there in superficial ways during cross-curricular activities but never in a meaningful way. Stereotypically a boy aged 13-15+ is just trying to get his hands on a car of his own and yet we do not give them the skills to learn how to budget and save for the car, or make them aware of costs related to owning a car and how those add up over time (gas, repairs, tires and let’s not even start with insurance).

Marc Sollinger wrote in a blog on Innovation Hub ( about why secondary math may look the way it does. Maybe it is time to reevaluate what we think is worth the time of our general population to learn and what may be actually beneficial to our society at large?

Top Math Conferences

Finding good PD is tough. I'm about to finish up my fourth year of teaching, and I've been to what feels like hundreds of sessions of professional development. As a teacher, we always have a million things on the go, so I hate wasting my time with PD that, quite frankly, sucks. It sucks even more when its forced upon us.

For example, yesterday I went to the second part of a workshop on anxiety, organized and forced upon us by our administrative team. With it being after school on a short day, right before an actual four-day weekend, nobody wanted to be there (as was obvious with about 1/3 of the staff present), and I was so bored that I was playing logic games on my phone (if you've never played LineSweeper, give it a go!). Now, I tried to have a good attitude, especially since I personally deal with anxiety and have had many panic attacks. I attempted to give my full attention. But it was all research. The presenter had a PPT with text so small, even with my glasses I couldn't read it. They kept making reference to these psychologists, but then wouldn't talk about what their research found. I felt like I should have brought a pile of marking, like many of the other teachers in the room.

Now, don't get me wrong. I am often a lot more attentive, and perhaps even more optimistic. Maybe it was the "let-me-out-of-here-so-I-can-start-my-long-weekend" syndrome (although I stayed at the school until 7pm, getting work done. But why is it so hard to make a workshop/session/whatever more interesting? Can it even be done?

Well, maybe because I'm a newer teacher and I know I still have a lot to learn, I am always looking for PD that might be relevant to me. I've gone to many summer PD sessions. I've paid hundreds of dollars for registrations and even for flights so that I could hopefully learn something that would help me in the classroom. I've gone to quite a few math conferences and feel like I've got a good list going of PD that is worth your time (and that I'll return to). Here are my top three, in no particular order:

NCTM Annual Conference
I went to the NCTM Annual Conference for the first time just this year. Honestly, I was mostly drawn to it because it was in San Francisco. Then I found out Dan Meyer would be there, and he's my math superhero... I've listened to him speak on three separate occasions, have had brief Twitter conversations with him, and have finally taken a selfie with this man who can divide by zero. So really, I initially went so that I could be a fangirl in San Fran.

So I flew to San Fran with a colleague and knew I wouldn't see Dan until Saturday. Which meant I had to fill up my time and decided to go to some sessions. Wowza! There were literally hundreds of sessions to choose from; I often had three options for each time slot, just in case a session was full or had to be cancelled.

I was honestly so overwhelmed by all the great minds coming together from all over the world to celebrate math. NCTM was definitely one of my favourite conferences. I've heard the smaller NCTM conferences aren't as worthwhile, but I need to experience one on my own before commenting further.

For the price of the conference registration and membership and for the price of round-trip flights, and also factoring in the costs of accommodations (we shared a condo that just so happened to be right across the street from a fundraiser with Hilary Clinton, hosted by George Clooney), I would do this all again in a heartbeat. It was definitely worth the money, especially based on location (we took the time to do all the tourist-y things, too). I know I'll go again. I even applied to present at next year's conference!

If you want to read more about the NCTM conference, I wrote another post for the Saskatchewan Math Teachers' Society, here (where you can also check out that selfie with Dan Meyer).

SMTS SUM Conference
My first ever math conference was the SUM Conference, put on by the Saskatchewan Math Teachers' Society (SMTS). This was when I first got to listen to Dan Meyer. I had already been familiar with his 3-Acts lessons and his interesting thinking. Listening to him really inspired me to change how I teach, even though I had only been teaching for a year. Check out his blog here and his bank of resources here.

I also had the opportunity to listen to Marian Small. Almost every teacher has heard this name before and almost automatically thinks she is amazing. However, in going to her session, I felt like she was talking down to us and I remember leaving this session feeling angry. Oh well. Can't win them all!

There were also many breakout sessions and I got to listen to the great ideas and collect resources from teachers all across Canada. Yes, that's right. Canada. There were lots of wonderful presenters, as they were all chosen by a committee of volunteer teachers.

After that great experience within my own province, I started to investigate how I could become involved with the SMTS. I co-run the math club at our school, so we bring students to the math challenges put on by SMTS. I went to a science conference last year because I heard that SMTS was involved in the planning. They offer a lot of great opportunities within the province. Finally, I was invited to be a Director of the SMTS and am now involved in the planning of the SUM Conference, as well as helping put together the monthly periodical, called The Vinculum.

Waterloo Math Teachers' Conference
Two summers ago, I signed up for a nominal fee of $150 and paid for a flight to come back home to Ontario, but so that I could attend the Waterloo Math Teachers' Conference (I also used this opportunity to meet up with my family after the conference). This is by far the best bang for your buck, as $150 covered all meals, accommodation, and workshops. Ian VanderBurgh is a problem-solving mastermind and his session for middle school problem solving was outstanding! I walked away with a bank of problems that I could immediately use in class. I did quite a bit of thinking at this conference, which is always nice. Getting to play with math instead of just listening was a nice change of pace, especially at the end of August.

People from all around the world come to this conference, and it's clear why. The University of Waterloo is well-known for their math and computer science programs, but also for the opportunities they provide for students (it seems like almost every math contest comes from UWaterloo!). The math that's offered is fun for students while also being challenging. But it's also fun and challenging for teachers!

I had such a great time, and I work so much with the resources from the CEMC (great materials for our math club and math contests, but also for enrichment). I brought the Canadian Team Math Challenge (CTMC) to Saskatchewan and was asked by UWaterloo to host the CTMC this past April for all schools in Saskatoon. I'm also heading back to this conference this summer, and am bringing two colleagues with me.

Some other conferences I want to check out:

  • Anja S. Greer Conference on Mathematics and Technology (link)
  • Exeter Mathematics Institute (link)
  • OAME Annual Conference (link) - I volunteered in 2011 in Windsor, but I need to attend!
  • Twitter Math Camp (link) - I'm heading to this in July!!
  • AMTE Annual Conference (link)
If you have any suggestions for conferences or any feedback, I'd love to hear it!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

ALEKS- A better way of learning

As time goes on, educators are constantly finding new ways to reach the minds of the students so that they are able to maximize the learning that takes place in mathematics. Perhaps one of the best experiences I have had is seeing ALEKS in action, on a day to day basis with students at my school. ALEKS stands for Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces and is a web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system. The program uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine what a student knows and does not know about a topic. 

ALEKS provides students, in all grade levels, the benefit of seeing the math that they are learning in more of a visual way. They are able to see the math, therefore they understand the math. Also important is the fact that teachers are able to view all of the students' progress and can set the rates for each specific student so that they are able to learn at their own speed. I have seen first hand how the students at my school benefit from using ALEKS, but don't just take my word for it. Here is what some other teachers had to say: 

“ALEKS makes me a better teacher and my students better learners! I have seen students progress more in one year with ALEKS than with any other program I have utilized in my 20 years of teaching.”
Kara Guiff, Teacher, Oak Hill Junior High School, IN

“Before we used ALEKS, some of our students scored toward the bottom on the math portion of the state assessment in our 21-school district. After we implemented ALEKS, the same students had the top scores in the entire district.”
- James Zwerican, Teacher, Haas Elementary School, MI

I would encourage anyone in the teaching profession to take a look at ALEKS because its benefits are astronomical. 

- - Chris Langlois 

Math Problem Solving: a training for life

Although problem solving is traditionally linked with math, I think there is a bigger idea that traverses all subjects and school.  Problem solving is the foundation of all mathematics and is a process required in everyday life.  This is a real world skill that will allow the students to be able to reason, communicate logically, think critically, and draw conclusions in all areas of their lives.  Math provides a foundation and background upon which students can practice problem solving skills as they are more likely to understand and incorporate the steps when seen in the context of math topics. As these skills are repeated, refined, and incorporated into one’s learning, students will more confident and able to apply them outside of math, to other subjects or areas of life because of the proficiency they developed.  All of life is just math in disguise.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016



A free game-based learning platform

Kahoot is a program that allows teachers to create fun learning games for any subject and all ages. There are three easy steps for teachers to follow in order to create a beneficial Kahoot based lesson. To begin, teachers will use any device (laptop, smartphone, tablet etc.) to create a fun learning game from a number of multiple choice questions. These games are also known as kahoots. Kahoot also allows teachers to add videos, images and diagrams to their kahoots to enhance the lesson. Once the learning game is created, it is then time to play! Each student will type in the PIN that was given by the teacher, this PIN directs each student to the learning game. Each student will use their devices to submit their answer, while the question is displayed on a shared screen, such as a projector. Once all of students have submitted their answers, Kahoot gives immediate feedback and allows the teacher and students to view the ratings. Kahoot is a fun and interactive way for students of all ages to learn!

Below, I have attached a video posted by Kahoot on their YouTube channel that shows how to play a game of Kahoot. The learning game chosen in the video is an example of a math Kahoot!

To learn more about kahoot visit:

Meeting the Needs of all Learners

As time goes on, we are always looking for ways to strengthen the learning that takes place in the classroom environment. Research shows that one of the most effective ways to do this in math class is through the use of differentiation. Differentiated instruction can be defined as effective instruction that is responsive to students' readiness, interests and learning preferences. All 3 of these categories are no doubt essential to the overall learning. A student's readiness refers to where they are with their learning. Some students may be a little behind, while others may be pushing ahead. As an educator, we need to establish where they are in their learning and design plans for them at that specific target. Obviously knowing students' interests is important because educators can use that to make the math more fun for the students. For example, if you know that a student likes hockey, try to incorporate that into their math problems. Lastly, learning preferences is essential because students like to learn in a variety of ways. Some students prefer the traditional textbook way because they simply already have grasped the concepts, while other students prefer and rely on a more hands on approach. 

There is no doubt that using differentiated instruction creates more work for educators, but research clearly shows that the students will benefit immensely. Research demonstrates positive results for full implementation of differentiated instruction in mixed-ability classrooms (Rock, Gregg, Ellis, & Gable, 2008). In one three-year study, Canadian scholars researched the application and effects of differentiated instruction in K–12 classrooms in Alberta. They found that differentiated instruction consistently yielded positive results across a broad range of targeted groups. Compared with the general student population, students with mild or severe learning disabilities received more benefits from differentiated and intensive support, especially when the differentiation was delivered in small groups or with targeted instruction (McQuarrie, McRae, & Stack-Cutler, 2008).

With this said, teachers need to continue to work together collaboratively to come up with new and effective ways to teach mathematics using differentiated instruction. 

Chris Langlois


Monday, May 16, 2016

How will this Ever be Useful in the Real World?!

Most (if not all) teachers have heard this question asked at some point during a lesson. As a math teacher, you might have heard it so many times over the years that you’re getting sick of it. Poor math. There seem to be so many topics that students question the relevance of, often because they really are curious (and maybe can’t make the connection), at times because they are frustrated, and at others simply because they want to stump the teacher in hopes of getting out of some work. Can we really blame them though?

After all, we encourage them to develop their voice and think critically. Why would anyone do something if they can’t see the point of doing it? I know that I certainly asked the question myself as a student and received a wide range of answers. These varied from the “you will need this because I say you will/to get the grade” type to others that were much more convincing.

‘Do well in school to get a good job’ certainly isn`t the motivator it used to be for a large percentage of students. Rather, it seems clear that students either need to be enjoying their experience in the classroom or they need to see the meaning and value in their learning (if not both).

On top of doing all we can to make lessons fun and relatable, I think all teachers should spend some time reflecting on this question (regardless of what subjects you teach). Hopefully you find that your reasoning for teaching the material is a lot stronger than “because it’s in the curriculum”!

I’m not saying there is anything wrong with explaining to students that completing this will improve their problem solving abilities or critical thinking skills. But at the same time, it seems to me that many students want more and more specific answers. Often they are looking for something practical and directly applicable. The more we reflect on “how could this lesson be useful in the real world?’, the more convincing our answers and examples will be. Then, just maybe, some of our students can shift their outlooks from a 'search for relevance' to an understanding of the importance/practicality of math.

How Youth Learn - NED's GR8 8

Here's a video that may make you stop and think about your teaching practices and how students learn.
The first 'thing' on Ned's list really resonated with me. Currently working at two different schools (as an LTO), I've noted that even though they're in the same district, they couldn't be more different in the needs of the students. My morning school is in an affluent part of town, whereas my afternoon school is in an area with subsidized housing and is noted as 'low income'. More students in my morning school come in clean clothes, having eaten breakfast, and are ready to learn. Students in my afternoon school are often wearing clothing with small tears, shoes that don't fit, or have improper winter clothing. Many have little in their lunches and are often hungry and tired by the time I get there. As often as allows, I make a pit stop in the breakfast club and bring some snacks with me to their class. It is on these days that I see the biggest improvement in the attention and motivation of students. I need to remind myself that if basic needs aren't met, it's not necessarily the student's fault that he can't pay attention.
I know we can't fix all of the problems that students face, but let's work on the ones that we can :)

*This isn't specifically Math related, but certainly benefits a Math classroom.


I have noticed while teaching applied and university high school level science classes that many students choose not to use manipulatives when presented with them, even those who would benefit from them. There have been multiple reasons why students choose not to use the manipulatives, some say that it is because it takes too long, they would rather not understand and rush through the assignment/task then take the time to understand. Two weeks ago I used beads and a template. I used this to be used to show Bohr-Rutherford diagrams and later how ions are formed. I did an example on the overhead and then asked the class to make four of their own. Many of the students didn't open the bags of beads at all instead they just drew what they thought was right. Tomorrow I will be using manipulatives again to teach balancing equations. I am hoping that this lesson goes better, but I was wondering if anybody had ways to make manipulatives more fun, and actually used for learning?

EQAO Scores

EQAO socres and especially math scores are always a hot topic.
In my area, the Hamilton Wentworth Catholic District School Board (HWCDSB) release on Sept. 18, 2013, stated that the EQAO literacy results continue to improve but the math scores have worsened in all the grades tested (grades 3, 6 and 9). These worsening EQAO math results are actually reflected throughout the province.
This always raises several questions and areas for reflection.
I have seen several opinions and discussions put forth as explanations. One suggestion I found interesting is the notion that the teacher’s own knowledge of math has become weaker over the years and this is reflected in the EQAO math scores. I think that in the past several years most boards have undertaken professional development in math, purchased new resources and manipulatives, and implemented identified best practices. If so, I think this underlies the point that there are many wonderful resources and aids available as we’ve seen but the bottom line is that the “teacher” still has to teach.
Another point to consider is a review of the math curriculum in general. Are we teaching to get good EQAO scores as this implies good knowledge and understanding? Are we teaching to develop life-long problem solving skills that will extend beyond math and help students in their future career? Are we doing both? Is that possible?