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FCR–STEMLearn: Foundations for Success in STEM

Foundations for Success in STEM lays the foundation for successful STEM learning by strengthening students’ mathematical understanding and problem-solving abilities in the early grades. Long-term, collaborative, inquiry-oriented professional development (PD) experiences for teachers are designed to shift the paradigm of K-5 mathematics teaching toward more emphasis on mathematical modeling and problem solving. The PD includes two major components:

Sustained, Job-embedded, Content-focused Professional Development. Each teacher is participating in at least 72 hours per year of formal professional development workshops, including five days in the summer and four days (two two-day sessions) during the school year. A subset of the K-2 grade-level teams also are participating in weekly grade-level team meetings held throughout the school year and supported by an external (project-supported) facilitator. The summer workshops are led by university faculty in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences in three different universities and by CGI trainers certified by Teachers Development Group.

CGI Leadership Program. The program sets a longer-term goal to create a cadre of experienced and highly knowledgeable CGI trainers, who will ultimately be certified to provide CGI PD to district teachers without the need for continued grant funding. These trainers will be recruited from the population of teachers participating in the Foundations for Success in STEM program.

Participants: A total of 300 elementary (K–5) teachers began the program in summer 2015 with follow-up during the 2015–2016 school year. Teachers who complete the first year were invited to continue through summer 2016 and the 2016–2017 school year. An additional 210 teachers began the first year of the program in summer 2016. Teachers were recruited from public elementary schools in 16 districts in north, central and south Florida.

Evaluation: The evaluation consists of two cluster randomized controlled trials: one for primary grades (K-2) with grade-level teacher teams as the unit of assignment and another for intermediate grades (3-5), with the individual teacher as the unit of assignment and one for intermediate grades (3-5) with individual teachers as the unit of assignment. The evaluation will investigate Fidelity of Implementation, impact on teacher knowledge and beliefs and impact on student achievement in mathematics.

Grades K-2: Grade-level teams are randomly assigned to one of two conditions: (1) an enhanced version of CGI that involves teachers in the 9-day-per-year program (Condition 1) or (2) the same program as Condition 1 with grade-level teams also participating in weekly, school-based team meetings following a structured protocol and led by an external facilitator (Condition 2). Eligible Grades K-2 teams not assigned to Condition 1 or 2 are enrolled in a wait-list control group, whereby they will continue their normal teaching practice during the first year of the program (2015–2016) and begin attending the CGI PD in summer 2016.

Grade 3–5: Grade 3–5 teachers are randomly assigned to begin the intermediate grades teacher program (9 days of workshops per year beginning in either summer 2015, or summer 2016). The target was a total of four to eight intermediate grades teachers from each participating school.

Principal Investigator

Robert C. Schoen, Ph.D.

FCR–STEM Associate Director

Co-Investigators

Amanda Tazaz, Ph.D., FCR–STEM

Monica Hurdal, Ph.D., Mathematics Department

Colleen Ganley, Ph.D., FCR–STEM and Psychology Department

Mark McClure, Ph.D., UNC-Asheville

Senior Project Team

  • Zachary Champagne, FCR–STEM
  • Charity Bauduin, FCR–STEM
  • Wendy Bray, Ph.D., FCR–STEM
  • Naomi, Iuhasz-Velez, FCR–STEM

District Partners

Bay District Schools

Broward County Public Schools

Florida State University Lab School

Holmes District School Board

Jackson County School Board

Leon County Schools

Okaloosa County School District

Orange County Public Schools

Panhandle Area Educational Consortium

Seminole County Public Schools

St. Johns County School District

Sumter District Schools

Taylor County School District

The School District of Palm Beach County

Volusia County Schools

Wakulla County School District

Walton County School District

Publications

Weekly Communities of Instructional Practice (CIP) Team Meetings Facilitator’s Guide

The What’s Next Collection

Counting and Cardinality Online PD Module

Conference Presentations (abbreviated list)

Gorham, Laura (2016). Guided Collaborative Learning. Paper presented at the Florida Council of Teachers of Mathematics (FCTM) Annual Meeting, Orlando, Fl. October 2016.

Greek, T & Lee, J. (2016). The Power of Solving Problems “My Own Way”. Paper presented at the Florida Council of Teachers of  Mathematics (FCTM) Annual Meeting, Orlando, Fl. October 2016.

 Dimery, G. & May, S.W. (2016). Digging Deeper into Fact Fluency. Paper presented at the Florida Council of Teachers of Mathematics (FCTM) Annual Meeting, Orlando, Fl. October 2016.

Epling, E. & Boyd-Marks, S. (2016). Using Open Number Lines to Promote Flexible Thinking for Addition and Subtraction. Paper presented at the Florida Council of Teachers of Mathematics (FCTM) Annual Meeting, Orlando, Fl. October 2016.

Laughrey, T. & McGlynn, S. (2016). Making Math a Just-Right Fit for Every Learner. Paper presented at the Florida Council of Teachers of Mathematics (FCTM) Annual Meeting, Orlando, Fl. October 2016.

Steel, L. & Corbin-Rankin, L. (2016). Kindergarteners Can! Paper presented at the Florida Council of Teachers of Mathematics (FCTM) Annual Meeting, Orlando, Fl. October 2016.

Bray, W., Tazaz A.M., Bauduin, C. (2015). Beyond addition and subtraction: Expanding problem-solving in the early grades. Paper presented at the FCR-STEM Meeting, Orlando, Fl. December 2015.

Dimery, G. & May, S.W. (2015) Foundations of Fractions: The Importance of Equal Sharing Problems. Paper presented at the FCR-STEM Meeting, Orlando, Fl. December 2015.

Roque, W., Tyler, R., & Wiltz, D. (2015) Introducing multiplication in the lower elementary grades. Paper presented at the FCR-STEM Meeting, Orlando, Fl. December 2015.

Bauduin, C., Schoen, R., Tazaz, A. (2015) Students’ interpretation of the Equal Sign. Paper presented at the Florida Council of Teachers of Mathematics (FCTM) Annual Meeting, Orlando, Fl. October 2015.

Roque, W., Tyler, R., & Wiltz, D. (2015) Introducing multiplication in the lower elementary grades. Paper presented at the Florida Council of Teachers of Mathematics (FCTM) Annual Meeting, Orlando, Fl. October 2015.

Whitacre, I., Schoen, R., & Champagne, Z. (2015) What’s the Difference? Thinking About Subtraction as Take Away and Distance. Paper presented at the Florida Council of Teachers of Mathematics (FCTM) Annual Meeting, Orlando, Fl. October 2015.

Dimery, G. & May, S.W. (2015) Foundations of Fractions: The Importance of Equal Sharing Problems. Paper presented at the Florida Council of Teachers of Mathematics (FCTM) Annual Meeting, Orlando, Fl. October 2015.

Presentation to District and State Math Supervisors

What FAMS members need to know about CGI implementation in Florida: What’s been happening and what’s next. Florida Association of Mathematics Supervisors Annual Meeting, Orlando, Florida. October 2016.

Foundations for Success in STEM. Florida Association of Mathematics Supervisors Annual Meeting, Orlando, Florida. October 2015.

Funding

Florida Department of Education through the U.S. Department of Education’s Math and Science Partnership program, $4.5M, 2014-2017 (grant award # 371-2355B-5C001, # 371-2356B-6C001, # 371-2357B-7C004)