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Math Strategy
Math Strategy

Context    

The York Region District School Board (YRDSB) recognizes the importance of mathematics as a critical life skill for students. This key understanding aligns with the direction of the Ontario Ministry of Education’s Provincial Mathematics Action Plan. Staff members in YRDSB are eager to expand their mathematical professional learning. They recognize the critical role they play in ensuring that all students are equipped with the mathematical capabi​lities essential for participation in society. Students have indicated that the mathematics they learn in class needs to be relevant and useful for everyday life and connected to real-life problems. District, provincial and international assessment results in mathematics consistently indicate the need to focus on thinking, application and problem solving skills.
 
The Math Strategy provides direction for actions in classrooms, schools and the system to support students in becoming confident problem solvers who use mathematical knowledge, skills and processes essential for participation in a changing society.  
 
To support understanding of a specific school context visit YRDSB's Math Targe​ts​.

Foundational Practices Thinking Prompts​

The following three thinking prompts are designed to assist in fostering an equity, innovation and leadership mindset. While reviewing the contents of the Math Strategy, these questions provide a lens through which decisions should be filtered.
  1. How will we ensure that our diversity strengthens implementation of an action? How might we identify individual and community assets in order to address barriers, increase inclusion and foster equitable practices?
  2. Who might share leadership (formal leaders, informal leaders, student leaders, others) in implementing an action? How might implementing this action both engage and develop leadership skills more broadly?
  3. How might innovations in our practice (processes, technologies, resources) improve our implementation of an action? How might we consider local and global research in implementing this action?

Math Theory of Action

If we:
  • build our knowledge and capacity;
  • engage in deep learning, innovative teaching and sound assessment within a Comprehensive Math Program;
  • provide early and ongoing interventions; and
  • engage families and communities as partners in mathematics education,
then students will be confident problem solvers who use mathematical knowledge, skills and processes to be contributing members of a changing society. 

Actions

Visit the actions in the pillars below organized by system, school and classroom. 

 

Professional Learning

Continuous professional learning is a crucial part of board and school improvement processes. The following principles have been identified to support planning for professional learning.

Principles for Effective Professional Learning

Professional learning is effective when it is:

  • responsive to students’ identities, thinking, learning, achievement and well-being as evidenced by a range of data gathered from and about students, including perceptual, demographic, program and achievement;
  • developed through inquiry, as educators, facilitators, researchers, and/or partners engage in co-learning;
  • based on high-quality, evidence-based research;
  • built upon a collaborative culture of curiosity and risk-taking;
  • differentiated by the educator’s readiness and needs, recognizing that different people learn in different ways (e.g., experiential, social, formal) and through different modalities;
  • an iterative approach, informed by ongoing analysis, reflection and feedback; and 
  • focused on developing, deepening and connecting both content knowledge, pedagogy and pedagogical content knowledge.

Resources

Aligning resources effectively, purposefully and efficiently to focus on what matters most is a key leadership function. Resources have been identified to support the implementation of the Math Strategy.

They are organized into four categories:

  • Core Resources
  • Supporting Specialized Populations Resources
  • Parent/Guardian/Family Resources
  • Facilitation Resources

Monitoring

Monitoring is the ongoing gathering, reviewing and assessing of information to track and document progress towards goals. It is an integral part of board and school improvement processes. The following principles have been identified to support collective monitoring.

Principles of Effective Monitoring

Monitoring is effective when it is:
  • shared collaboratively by those who are implementing the improvement plan and who have agency to act upon the results;
  • reciprocal, involving a two-way flow of information across classroom, school and system to inform responsive action at all levels;
  • based on criteria against which evidence from multiple sources (e.g., conversations, observations, products) can be examined;
  • focused on the gathering and analysis of the evidence;
  • a continuous loop of action, analysis, reflection and response;
  • timely and ongoing while implementation is still in progress;
  • able to yield timely, precise and descriptive feedback to inform next steps; and
  • rooted in professional discourse in which questions are drivers for deeper understanding of what makes a difference for student achievement and well-being.

Targets 

Targets support the evaluation process. Clear identification and communication of the targets is key to board and school improvement planning. The following principles have been identified to support effective target setting.

Principles of Effective Target Setting

Targets are effective when they:
  • are established through a collaborative process;
  • are specific and based on identified needs;
  • align with the collective and strategic efforts within the system, school and classrooms;
  • identify the progress expected at specific checkpoints;
  • are ambitious and attainable predictions of intended results;
  • are motivational for continuous improvement; and
  • evaluate the impact of strategic actions on student achievement and well-being.

Three Types of Targets: Implementation, Perception, Achievement 

  • Implementation targets are established to measure whether strategic actions in the BIPSA are being implemented as intended.
  • Perception targets are established to measure the perceptions of students about their school environment with regard to their learning and well-being. Revised school climate survey questions will be implemented in 2017 to gather baseline data specific to the current BIPSA and to set targets for the mid-cycle and five year checkpoints.
  • Achievement targets are established to measure whether desired results are being realized with regard to student achievement.

Mathematics implementation, perception and achievement targets​​

 
 
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