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Annual Report Overviews


Annual Overview

submitter: Indiana Mathematics Initiative
published: 01/06/1999
posted to site: 01/06/1999

Indiana Mathematics Initiative

Local Systemic Change

PI Annual Progress Report

(Reporting Period: November, 1997 — October, 1998)

Part I. Annual Overview

The Indiana Mathematics Initiative (IMI) is a collaborative project of the Indiana University Center for Mathematics Education, the Indiana Education Network, and ten urban school districts in Indiana. This curriculum-based professional development project is aimed at improving mathematics instruction and student learning in the middle grades (6-8) classrooms in all IMI districts and in selected high schools in four districts. The project is serving over 600 Indiana mathematics teachers. IMI is driven by the following twin goals:

  • Assist all IMI school districts, during the 1997-98 state-mandated textbook adoption year, to select from a limited number of standards-based reform mathematics curricula for the targeted grades; and
  • During the five-year life of the project, provide over 600 mathematics teachers at the targeted grade levels with well over 130 hours of professional development directed at the effective implementation of the newly adopted reform materials.

During the current reporting period IMI project activities and accomplishments have been driven by the following objectives:

  • To assist IMI districts finalize their decisions to adopt reform curricula and develop implementation plans;
  • To partner with IMI districts to develop and implement a comprehensive post-adoption professional development plan;
  • To increase the awareness of IMI building administrators, especially principals, to math reform and the work of IMI in their schools;
  • To provide professional development to assist IMI teachers become skilled in the use of the graphing calculator and how it supports reform curricula.

District Adoptions. All Indiana school corporations were mandated by the state to select mathematics textbooks for all grades during the academic year 1997-98. A major goal during the first year of the project was to assist districts adopt reform mathematics textbooks. During the period November 1997 — May 1998 project staff engaged in an intensive schedule of meetings and workshops with administrators, teachers, members of district adoption committees, union representatives, and parent groups who were involved in the selection of mathematics textbooks their district would use for the next seven years. Bringing textbook developers and publishers and these constituencies together was another related role of project staff during this period. In the spring ten IMI districts adopted reform textbooks.

Project Activities and Accomplishments. At the same time, during this reporting period, the project continued to offer the comprehensive professional development activities directed toward preparing teachers and teacher-leaders to implement a reform curriculum in their classrooms and districts. Before district adoption decisions were made the professional development activities for teachers were designed to support a wide range of reform curricula. Also, during the pre-adoption period, project activities offered to IMI teacher-leaders included components on the various district adoption processes and how lead teachers and others could support the selection of reform textbooks in their school corporations. After adoption decisions were made most IMI professional development activities were customized, when appropriate, to support the newly chosen reform curricula.

Professional Development Activities Become District Centered in Post Adoption Period. To minimize participant travel and prepare for the post-adoption period, an important project goal in its first year was to localize the delivery of the Introductory Seminars and other project activities. The project divided its districts (along with staff responsibilities) into four distinct regional service areas: i) Indianapolis; ii) Fort Wayne; iii) Hammond; and iv) Terre Haute. During the 1997-98 school year all IMI introductory seminars, which have been the project’s professional development backbone during its pre-adoption and pre-funded periods, were successfully offered in each of the four IMI regions. With IMI districts adopting different reform textbooks and implementation patterns it became clear to project staff that most professional development activities should now be delivered to a single district or to several districts having a common adoption and similarly aligned implementation patterns. In May districts agreed on a basic structure of an "IMI Post Adoption Professional Development Implementation Plan/Template" that includes: i) weeklong summer workshop experiences; ii) full or half day implementation workshops, occurring every 4-6 weeks and usually coinciding with unit-launchings of their new curricula; iii) weekly or bi-weekly building-level meetings led by IMI lead teachers; and iv) technical assistance/classroom support by project staff, curriculum resource teachers and lead teachers. In addition, the implementation plan provides for leadership training for IMI lead teachers and district coordinators through the following activities: a) fall and spring leadership team full-day workshops; and b) an intensive three day summer leadership institute. Each district developed a specific implementation plan based on this IMI template which is customized to its adoption decision, local culture and circumstances.

Graphing Calculator Workshops and Administrative Awareness Sessions. During this reporting period project staff, with significant funding support from the state of Indiana, established two programs which directly support IMI goals and objectives.

In the summer of 1998 a series of weeklong workshops were offered at each of the four IMI service areas (identified above) showing project teachers how technology, and, in particular, the graphing calculator, can be used to support reform curricula. In addition, to inform principals and other building administrators of the goals and objectives of math reform the work of IMI in their schools, an administrators awareness program was established. In this program project staff, together with experienced administrators from districts with relatively long histories of implementing reform curricula, delivered a series of workshops and conferences on the topic math reform and the principal’s role in making it work.

Wm. J. Frascella, PI/PD

Indiana Mathematics Initiative