There are educators all over the country bringing the LONG + LIVE + MATH Movement to life in their worlds. We'd like to introduce you to some of them.
Kohelet Yeshiva Middle School (KYMS) is “designed to promote curiosity and opportunities for discovery which, in turn, create deep and impactful learning.” This is its inaugural year, starting with 15 boys and 17 girls in grades 6 and 7. Students learn in a progressive, personalized, nurturing environment.
Bobbi Portnoy’s students learn math in a very different way than they have ever learned it before. 6th and 7th graders learn together in the same room, while Bobbi works to personalize instruction for each of them based on their particular skill level. She says, “I have provided a plan for each student that involves filling gaps in their skills, and also includes skills and concepts that help move all students forward in their personalized learning progression. I meet with them in small groups and individually, and they also complete independent assignments. Progress is tracked continually and lessons are always being adjusted to meet the needs of students.”
Bobbi is proud of transitioning from teaching larger classes of 30 students or more to this model, where she can pull together small groups of students to work together. “Although the number of students I am teaching has decreased, the planning I am doing is more intricate and purposeful. I love the energy a group of students give while I am floating around the room, teaching and guiding.”
Bobbi taught with the Carnegie Learning Middle School Math Solution textbook at her previous school. “Because I loved it and its ability to connect students to discussing math in real-world contexts, I brought the program to our new school,” she says.
She acts as a “guide on the side” in her instruction, helping her students to build their understanding, confidence, and ability to talk to each other about math. “For each new concept I want to teach, I pre-assess the students in multiple ways and then I create flexible groups. I unpack the textbooks, pulling from different levels and sections as needed, all staying true to one of my favorite tenets of helping the students learn to think for themselves about the math without me just telling them the answer.”
Bobbi is pleased with her students' progress and looks forward to their growth over the next three years as the first cohort at KYMS. “I have seen students begin to say that they enjoy math, more so than on the first day. I have seen their learning progression continue to increase towards mastery. I am confident that as we move through the three year cycle, the students will continue to make strides in math.”
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I love the energy a group of students give while I am floating around the room, teaching and guiding.
Bobbi Portnoy, Teacher, Kohelet Yeshiva Middle School