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Alliance for Teaching Mathematics to Special Education Learners Strengthening Content Knowledge and Collaboration of General and Special Education Teachers

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Title: Alliance for Teaching Mathematics to Special Education Learners Strengthening Content Knowledge and Collaboration of General and Special Education Teachers


1
Alliance for Teaching Mathematics to Special
Education Learners Strengthening Content
Knowledge and Collaboration of General and
Special Education Teachers
  • Milwaukee Public Schools
  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Dr. DeAnn Huinker, University of
Wisconsin-Milwaukee Math and Science Partnership
Meeting Wisconsin Department of Public
Instruction November 8, 2011
huinker_at_uwm.edu
2
Vision
  • Improve mathematics performance for students in
    grades 48, particularly for students with
    special needs and for students who struggle in
    mathematics.
  • Support a school culture for collaboration of
    general and special education teachers on
    improving math learning for all students.

3
Milwaukee Public Schools
  • Largest Wisconsin School District (ranks 33rd in
    the US)
  • 81,000 students
  • 184 Schools 118 elementary, 8 middle, 18
    mid/high, 40 high
  • Poverty 77.4 (State 39.3)
  • Disabilities 19.5 (State 13.7)
  • ELL 10.0 (State 5.7)
  • Non-white 85.0 (State 25.6)

4
Milwaukee Public Schools, WCKE Mathematics (Nov
2010)
Math Gap 31.0 points 25.6 vs 56.6
5
Participants
Year 1 Participants Year 2 Participants Continuing from Year 1
Certification General Ed 13 19 68
Certification Special Ed 22 21 86
Total 35 40
Grade Level Elementary 12 12 83
Grade Level Middle 13 21 76
Grade Level Both 10 7 71
6
Goals
  • Strengthen the math content knowledge of general
    and special education teachers
  • Enhance math instruction and assessment, focusing
    on appropriate accommodations and modifications
    for special education and struggling students
  • Increase collaboration on math instruction of
    general and special education teachers.

7
Timeline
  Fall Spring Summer
Year 1 2009-2010 Recruitment Math Number, Operations, Algebraic Reasoning Education Development of Math Knowledge with Differentiation for Struggling Learners Math Number, Operations, Algebraic Reasoning Education Development of Math Knowledge with Differentiation for Struggling Learners
Year 2 2010-2011 Math Geometry Measurement   Education Teaching Math to All Learners Part 1 Math Geometry Measurement   Education Teaching Math to All Learners Part 1 Education Collaboration Planning for Math Differentiation
Year 3 2011-2012 Math Data Analysis, Statistics, Probability Education Teaching Math to All Learners Part 2 Math Data Analysis, Statistics, Probability Education Teaching Math to All Learners Part 2
8
Project Staff
  • UWM Mathematics
  • Kevin McLeod Patrick Hopfensperger
  • UWM Special Education
  • Judy Winn Mary Ann Fitzgerald
  • UWM Mathematics Education
  • DeAnn Huinker
  • District Teachers and Specialists
  • Chris Guthrie, Special Education Teacher
  • Beth Schefelker, Math Teaching Specialist
  • Melissa Hedges, Math Teaching Specialist
  • Mary Spidell, Special Education Supervisor

9
Strands
  • Mathematics Content

Year 1 Number, Operations, Algebraic
Reasoning Year 2 Geometry Measurement Year 3
Data Analysis, Statistics, Probability
Differentiated Instruction
Collaboration
10
Content Knowledge
Distributive Property and Area Model
  • I have learned how the distributive property
    moves through math from elementary to middle to
    high school. I now know the importance of using
    the area model and being able to use it and the
    distributive property method in multiplying. Ive
    used this in my class and it offers me
    opportunities to present more strategies to my
    students.
  • ---General Education Teacher

11
Content Knowledge
Alternative Algorithms
The biggest impact has been exploring 'how you
get there.' I remember doing a lot of memorizing
as a student. Going through the process from
addition to grouping to multiplication gave me
the words to explain more fully those
connections. The activities for multiplication,
as well as the different methods of getting an
answer have really enhanced my teaching.
---Special Education Teachers
12
MKT Number Operations
--- Special Education Teachers --- General
Education Teachers --- Combined Groups
Gain Effect Size Effect Size
Special Ed 0.55 0.76 large
General Ed 0.34 0.38 small
Combined 0.45 0.57 medium
13
Content Knowledge
Area as Covering Deriving Formulas
Meaning of p
  • I can say that when we discussed area as covering
    I became clearer in my understanding. Before this
    class when asked what is area, I would rattle off
    the formula.
  • ---General Education Teacher
  • I hold a deeper level of understanding of how the
    moving and combining principles can be applied
    for various shapes when determining areas.
  • ---Special Education Teacher

Another ah ha moment was when I found out that
you can measure to find the circumference and
that it would be approximately a little bit more
than 3 times the diameter always wondered why we
use pi to figure area of circles. ---General
Education Teacher
14
MKT Geometry Measurement
--- Special Education Teachers --- General
Education Teachers --- Combined Groups
Gain Effect Size Effect Size
Special Ed 0.39 0.70 large
General Ed 0.28 0.28 small
Combined 0.35 0.47 medium
15
Differentiated Instruction
One-size Doesnt Fit All
Repertoire of Strategies
  • Before this project, I taught to
    one-size-fits-all. Now in my practice, I am using
    the students input more as I have them discuss
    the math to construct knowledge. That knowledge
    comes in different layers and it is illuminating
    to see and hear what they are understanding. I
    also force myself to represent on the board
    different ways to solve things. Some students get
    the concepts easier in one format than another.
  • ---General Education Teacher

Since beginning this project, I use many, many
more hands-on activities in my teaching. I have a
larger bag of strategies to draw from when I
teach. I am much more confident teaching math
now. I incorporate more models of representations
to teach a particular skill to help enhance
understanding for different learners. I now use
multiple ways to teach multiplication and
division. I use more manipulatives and explain
the why behind the how. ---3 Special Education
Teachers
16
Differentiated Instruction
I am confident that I can Special Ed (n12) Special Ed (n12) General Ed (n9) General Ed (n9)
Baseline Year 2 Baseline Year 2
Differentiate instruction in the general education class so that students who struggle in math can profit from the instruction. 4.50 5.00 4.22 4.78
Provide explicit instruction for students who struggle that supports their conceptual understanding in math. 4.83 5.50 4.56 5.11
Provide separate small group or individual instruction for students who struggle with math that makes effective links to the general math curriculum. 5.00 5.42 4.78 5.22
17
Expectations for Student Learning
Discourse
Concept Focused
  • My expectations have increased. I now expect my
    students to explore different ways of solving
    math problems and I expect them to share their
    thinking on a regular basis with their
    classmates.
  • ---Special Education Teacher
  • Its not all about getting the right answer.
    Often its about the process and how/why. I
    expect my students to be better able to explain
    the process they went through and know multiple
    ways of solving a problem not just memorizing a
    formula.
  • ---General Education Teacher

I think that I now possess higher standards for
my students with disabilities than I did in the
past as a result of seeing first-hand their
ability to demonstrate mastering math on a deeper
level. I want to see all students demonstrate
true mastery of a skill through a conceptual
approach versus simply memorizing and applying
formulas that they often do not even
understand. ---Special Education Teacher
18
Collaboration
Special Ed (n12) Special Ed (n12) General Ed (n9) General Ed (n9)
Baseline Year 2 Baseline Year 2
I bring sufficient content knowledge to collaboration. 5.08 5.42 5.33 5.89
I bring sufficient knowledge of the challenges of students who struggle to collaboration. 5.33 5.50 4.76 5.33
So, Special Education teachers are making gains
in bringing content knowledge to collaboration,
whereas General Education teachers are making
gains in bringing more knowledge of the needs of
individual students.
19
Survey Item My students math learning has
increased because of my collaboration with the
general/special education teacher.
n Baseline Year 2 Change Effect Size Effect Size
Special Education 11 5.58 5.58 0.00 0.00 none
General Education 10 4.11 5.11 1.00 1.08 large
20
Challenges
  • Curriculum development
  • Literacy dominates special education, Limited
    guidance in math
  • Understand philosophical differences Inquiry
    Exploration vs Explicit Systematic Instruction
  • Collaborative planning and teaching
  • Time, teacher content pedagogical content
    knowledge (PCK)
  • Understanding each others roles, potential, and
    shifts in practice
  • Range of participants content knowledge
  • Substantial holes in math knowledge, lack of
    PCK (e.g., tools, models)
  • Being able to put change into practice harder for
    General Education
  • Meeting needs of both Special and General
    Education Teachers in one project (attrition)

21
What are some impacts?
  • General Education Teachers
  • Collaborating more with Special Education
    Teachers.
  • Putting more differentiated instruction into
    practice.
  • Increasing their expectations of the capabilities
    of students with special needs.
  • Thinking about when more explicitness is needed
  • Special Education Teachers
  • Putting more emphasis on concept-based learning
    (e.g., visual models, strategies, alternative
    algorithms, reasoning, problem solving).
  • Deepening their mathematics content knowledge.
  • Offering more in collaboration

22
Expectations for All Students to Get It
  • I really believe that I have high expectations
    for all of my students now. I think when I
    encountered a barrier previously it was easy to
    think that a particular student would just never
    get it. Now I know that I can find at least one
    strategy that will reach all students. My
    students are now more confident themselves. We
    have grown together.
  • ----Special Education Teacher
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