Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Why we love Math Studios!

Four times every year, every math teacher at SCS comes together with 8-10 of their colleagues to watch a live math lesson and then spend the day talking about how that lesson is an example of excellent teaching and how it might be improved.  
Math Studio in session
We began this form of professional development four years ago, and can say that it has been the backbone of our student's tremendous growth in mathematical thinking and learning.  We just wrapped up our third set of these lessons - which we call Math Studio - and here are some interviews explaining the process.  First I asked our Math Coordinator John Madden to talk about why we do them.

Click here if you can't see Studio Leader Interview

I also talked with a student who took part in the studio in her math class - here is her interview:

Click here if you can't see Math Studio student interview

I also talked with one of the consulting teachers who attended the studio asking how the professional development day benefited her and her students:

Click here is you can't see Math Studio interview video

Here is an interview with Wendy Hallock, who had the courage to host ten teachers to watch her teach a great math lesson last week:

Click here if you can't see Studio Teacher Interview

This year we have also begun to expand our studio time beyond math - to have teachers watch and discuss lessons in literacy and science.  
Studying cell structure with Mrs. Morrill during Science Studio
This particular day last week was an afternoon science studio, watching a lesson that centered on cell structures examined through the lens of a sickle cell anemia case study.   It was a great model lesson built around the new standards and scientific processes defined in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).   Here is our CSSU Science Curriculum Leader talking about this lesson:

Click here if you can't see Science Studio Interview

So next time you hear a student comment about how they had a dozen adults in their room during a lesson, hopefully you can follow-up with by noting how lucky they were to be part of a studio lesson.   It's great work - and definitely something that we will be continuing over the coming years.  

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