Student working on math problem

WDMCS Professional Development 2020: Math Workshops

In summer 2019, building leadership teams across the West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) came together to determine what goals they’d like to set for the 2019-20 school year.

One building goal in particular, set by Fairmeadows Elementary, was putting an emphasis on increased student achievement in math as it relates to priority standards. Part of the learning toward that goal, said Erica Jaramillo, curriculum lead of K-6 math and science at WDMCS, was centered around a group study of “Math Workshop” by Jennifer Lempp.

“As the year has unfolded,” she said, “teachers have engaged in learning around the book and different types of Math Workshop structures.”

On Monday, Jan. 13—the first professional development day of 2020 for all WDMCS staff—the learning at Fairmeadows centered around small group differentiated instruction in math, specifically through that Math Workshop format.

“As part of this learning, we wanted to share and affirm great practices happening in our district around differentiated small group instruction in math,” Jaramillo said.

Starring Jordan Creek Elementary first-grade teacher Katie Francis and Westridge Elementary sixth-grade teacher Jody Nielson, the two discuss the importance of flexibly approaching planning and grouping of students, goal setting, establishing and maintaining success criteria, and more.

Watch the pair of five-minute explainer videos below:

WDMCS Math Workshops: Katie Francis

WDMCS Math Workshops: Jody Nielson