A Guide to Mathematics Coaching: Processes for Increasing Student Achievement


Discover how effective coaching relationships add up to improved mathematics teaching and learning!

Math coaches play a vital role in strengthening math instruction and learning in schools. However, without collegial relationships with the teachers they are trying to help, it is difficult to foster productive collaborations that lead to better teaching practices and increased student achievement. This resource helps coaches confidently clarify,...

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Discover how effective coaching relationships add up to improved mathematics teaching and learning!

Math coaches play a vital role in strengthening math instruction and learning in schools. However, without collegial relationships with the teachers they are trying to help, it is difficult to foster productive collaborations that lead to better teaching practices and increased student achievement. This resource helps coaches confidently clarify, define, and fulfill their role as influential mathematics leaders.

Based on principles established by NCTM and NCSM, this volume features a three-part process for engaging teachers in building high-quality, equitable mathematics programs. The chapters help coaches effectively

Collaborate with teachers to align and implement curriculum and positively impact student learning

Build trust and rapport with hesitant or resistant teachers

Develop collegial partnerships for planning, analyzing, and reflecting on instruction

Support and sustain individual and institutional change

Including realistic vignettes to illustrate coaching practices, and strategies to move teachers toward more effective instructional models, A Guide to Mathematics Coaching is an essential companion for transforming mathematics classrooms.

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Editorial Reviews

Diane J. Briars
"An extremely useful resource for new and experienced mathematics coaches and the individuals responsible for their professional development and ongoing support. It provides a detailed analysis of mathematics coaching along with a comprehensive model to guide coaches as they do their work. The model goes beyond simply describing the various components of coaching work; it provides a developmental, sequential process for engaging in mathematics coaching and situates the work of coaching in the larger district context. "
Emily S. Rash
"For those who work directly with classroom teachers, the authors provide a commonsense approach to support and improve teaching and learning. Easily read, this book lays out a simple plan for success as a mathematics coach and should be in the library of all who work with mathematics teachers. "
Lucille Sekara
"An effective coaching model can be a most valuable educational resource when it is used to enhance instructional goals, improve pedagogical practices, and improve student outcomes. "
Cathy Seeley
"A welcome resource for the many mathematics coaches who are looking for support in a challenging, often vaguely defined role. From a big picture view of the systems within which math coaches work, to advice about potential pitfalls, to guidance on facilitating change, the book takes on a wide range of topics to help math coaches understand the scope of their work and serve as leaders in whatever form their jobs may take. "
Miriam E. Melian
"The authors show how instructional coaches can be respectful of the teacher's professional status yet instrumental in providing the necessary support that changes teaching practice to yield positive student results. The authors have cracked the code for mathematics coaching by giving clear, concise guidance using self-reflective techniques as well as knowledge of content and teaching experience that translates into expert coaching and meets the diverse needs of classroom teachers. "
Nicole Miller
"Useful for those getting started and those refining their coaching practice. "
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412972642
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 7/1/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 151
  • Sales rank: 626,815
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Consulting Description

Ted H. Hull completed 32 years of service in public education before retiring and opening Hull Educational Consulting. He served as a mathematics teacher, K-12 mathematics coordinator, middle school principal, director of curriculum and instruction, and a project director for the Charles A. Dana Center at the University of Texas in Austin. While at the University of Texas, 2001 to 2005, he directed the research project “Transforming Schools: Moving from Low-Achieving to High Performing Learning Communities.” As part of the project, Hull worked directly with district leaders, school administrators, and teachers in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Texas to develop instructional leadership skills and implement effective mathematics instruction. Hull is a regular presenter at local, state, and national meetings. He has written numerous articles for the NCSM Newsletter, including "Understanding the Six Steps of Implementation: Engagement by an Internal or External Facilitator" (2005) and "Leadership Equity: Moving Professional Development into the Classroom " (2005), as well as "Manager to Instructional Leader " (2007) for the NCSM Journal of Mathematics Education Leadership. He has been published in the Texas Mathematics Teacher (2006), Teacher Input Into Classroom Visits: Customized Classroom Visit Form. Hull was also a contributing author for publications from the Charles A. Dana Center: Mathematics Standards in the Classroom: Resources for Grades 6–8 (2002) and Middle School Mathematics Assessments: Proportional Reasoning (2004). He is an active member of Texas Association of Supervisors of Mathematics (TASM) and served on the NCSM Board of Directors as regional director for Southern 2.

Consulting Description

Don S. Balka, Ph.D., is a noted mathematics educator who has presented more than 2,000 workshops on the use of math manipulatives with PK-12 students at national and regional conferences of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and at in-service trainings in school districts throughout the United States and the world.

He is Professor Emeritus in the Mathematics Department at Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana. He is the author or co-author of numerous books for K-12 teachers, including Developing Algebraic Thinking with Number Tiles, Hands-On Math and Literature with Math Start, Exploring Geometry with Geofix, Working with Algebra Tiles, and Mathematics with Unifix Cubes. Balka is also a co-author on the Macmillan K-5 series, Math Connects and co-author with Ted Hull and Ruth Harbin Miles on four books published by Corwin Press.

He has served as a director of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics. In addition, he is president of TODOS: Mathematics for All and president of the School Science and Mathematics Association.

Consulting Description

Ruth Harbin Miles coaches rural, suburban, and innercity school mathematics teachers. Her professional experience includes coordinating the K-12 Mathematics Teaching and Learning Program for the Olathe, Kansas Public Schools for over 25 years; teaching mathematics methods courses at Virginia’s Mary Baldwin College and Ottawa, Mid America Nazarene, St. Mary’s, and Fort Hays State universities in Kansas; and serving as president of the Kansas Association of Teachers of Mathematics. She represented eight midwestern states on the Board of Directors for the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics (NCSM) and has been a co-presenter for NCSM’s Leadership Professional Development National Conferences. Miles is the coauthor of Walkway to the Future: How to Implement the NCTM Standards (Jansen Publications, 1996), and is one of the writers for NCSM’s PRIME Leadership Framework (Solution Tree Publishers, 2008). As co-owner of Happy Mountain Learning, she specializes in developing teachers’ content knowledge and strategies for engaging students to achieve high standards in mathematics.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures viii

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xv

About the Authors xvi

Part I Preparing the Foundation 1

Chapter 1 Defining Mathematics Coaching 2

What Is a Mathematics Coach? 3

Stage 1 Defining Mathematics Coach 3

Stage 2 Identifying Responsibilities 5

Stage 3 Identifying Characteristics 6

Stage 4 Dispelling Negative Images 8

Critical Points 8

Chapter 2 Bridging From the Present to the Future 9

Goals, Procedures, and Shared Vision 9

The Present: Today's Mathematics Classrooms 11

The Future: Tomorrow's Mathematics Classrooms 16

Critical Points 21

Chapter 3 Building Rapport With Teachers 24

How to Build Rapport 24

Coaching Scenarios 27

Scenario 1 The Resistant Middle-Level Teacher 27

Scenario 2 The Fearful First-Year Teacher 31

Scenario 3 The High School Teacher Who Hid the Curriculum 34

Critical Points 38

Part II Mathematics Coaching Model 39

Chapter 4 Focusing on the Curriculum 40

Why Work Toward Curriculum Alignment? 41

Challenging Lessons Implement the Curriculum 42

Aligning the Curriculum 43

Critical Points 47

Chapter 5 Implementing the Curriculum as Designed 48

Providing Prompt, Accurate Feedback 48

Basics of Collecting Data 49

Using Data to Inform Instruction 50

Understanding and Producing Benchmark Assessments 51

Critical Points 55

Chapter 6 Planning and Coteaching Lessons 56

Isolation and Its Effects 56

Challenges Unique to Mathematics Coaches 57

Start With Planning 58

Entering the Classroom 61

Coteaching 62

Being a Valuable Resource 64

Emphasis on Inclusiveness 65

General Approaches 67

Specific Strategies 68

Critical Points 72

Chapter 7 Making Student Thinking Visible73

Characteristics of Visible Thinking 74

How the Traditional Model Falls Short 76

Constructing an Alternative to the Traditional Model 78

Effecting Change Over Time 83

Group Planning 84

Observation and Demonstration Teaching 84

Critical Points 86

Chapter 8 Analyzing and Reflecting on Lessons 87

Reflection 88

Process for Analysis and Reflection 89

Structures for Reflection 95

Critical Points 97

Chapter 9 Charting Long-Term Progress 98

Trend Data 98

Why Emphasize Trend Data? 99

Indicators of Success 102

Using Trend Data to Inform Teaching 103

Data Sources and Displays 105

Using Trend Data for Professional Development 106

Critical Points 107

Part III Continuing the Work 109

Chapter 10 Working Within the Education System 110

The Great Divide 111

Management Versus Leadership 112

Influence as Power 115

Understanding Everyone's Role 119

Synergy: The Power of Groups 123

Critical Points 126

Chapter 11 Sustaining Momentum 127

Managing Long-Term Change 128

Using C-BAM 128

Tipping Points and Breakthroughs 130

Staying Focused on What Matters 132

The Power of One 132

Resources 134

Resource A 134

Resource B 136

Resource C 140

Resource D 142

References 144

Index 147

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