Challenge

 

Stamford American International School is a high performing, International Baccalaureate school located in Singapore. Because Stamford is an International Baccalaureate school, they place a high priority on the process of inquiry in all subjects. As a result, they requested support incorporating the new definition of mathematical rigor, a balance between procedural fluency, conceptual understanding and application, into their already successful inquiry-driven mathematics program. They were also interested in exploring how to place a stronger emphasis on applied mathematical thinking into instruction and assessment.

 

 

Solution

Callahan Consulting supported Stamford American International School remotely and on site in the areas of instruction, curriculum, and assessment. Through peer-observations, model lessons, and professional development, teachers refined instructional practices to allow all students to engage more authentically with the AERO Process Standards. Teachers embraced the idea that balancing procedural content fluency with conceptual understanding and application had value for their students and worked to design and incorporate rich mathematical tasks into their instruction. We also worked closely with SAIS teachers to prioritize content standards and map them into units. These conversations occurred within each grade level team, but also vertically, so that all teachers could understand the coherence and flow of the content standards and student expectations regarding Process Standards. Furthermore, we collaborated with teachers to redesign and focus their quarterly assessments to collect evidence of content knowledge, conceptual understanding, and application.

 

 

Results

  • Teachers at Stamford American International School have a deeper understanding of the content that they teach and how to balance their instruction to include an emphasis on problem solving, communicating reasoning, and making connections.

  • Teachers also have a more versatile collection of resources to pull from when looking for classroom activities and assessment items that can meet the needs of all students.

  • SAIS teachers and leadership work collaboratively to develop assessments that measure student content knowledge and achievement of the process standards.
 

Our work with the Callahan team has enriched the whole community’s understanding of ‘What it means to be good at math.’ Through a combination of important professional dialogue and very practical work with the new AERO standards and rich mathematical tasks, we are well on our way to ensuring an engaging, real-world and rigorous approach to mathematics that supports learning to high levels for all students.
— Christie Powell / Director of Curriculum