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Every Student Counts Update

March 8, 2006

Every Student Counts (ESC) is in year two of a five-year Iowa Department of Education initiative to increase K-12 student achievement in mathematics by building teachers’ capacity to deliver mathematics instruction. Based on research on learning mathematics, two powerful strategies: distributed practice and problem-based instructional tasks, were selected as the foundation of the program. Distributed practice reinforces the retention of newly learned concepts and provides more opportunities to learn. Problem-based instructional tasks activate students’ prior knowledge and allow them to make connections to real world applications or other math ideas. Using these strategies enhances teaching for understanding and requires students to think and reason deeply about concepts and skills. Classroom implementation incorporates visual representation, modeling and developing justification and proof for mathematical ideas. All Area Education Agency math consultants in the state, selected educational consultants and Urban Eight Network teams are being trained in the strategies. At Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency, four math consultants and three educational consultants are receiving training. This team is responsible for delivering training in ESC to our area schools.

Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency is offering this training to multiple school building and district teams during the 2005-2006 school year. Training consists of five days per year for three years. Included in the training is theory, demonstration of strategies, practice and coaching and feedback. Each team meets periodically to collaborate in planning and teaching and to extend the training received. Readings and practice assignments help teachers to reflect and refine their teaching. As teachers improve their skills, achievement of all students is expected to increase. New teams may join this initiative beginning in school year 2006-2007.

For more information about Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency’s support of improvement of mathematics instruction, please contact:

Sandra Campie ( Elementary Math Consultant 344-6341

Linda Mannhardt ( Middle School Math Consultant 344- 6524

Sally Rigeman ( Secondary Math/Science Consultant 344-6562

Roger Roskens ( Secondary School Math Consultant 344-6419

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