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Curriculum Connections

Curriculum Connections

September 2019

By Liesel Steines

Supervisor of Curriculum, Instruction, & Professional Development

 
Math System for Learning & Understanding

 

In response to the District’s 2018-19 Mathematics Programming Evaluation, we are now positioned to take the first steps forward to improve our system for Math learning and understanding such that it supports ALL learners  to engage with mathematics, deeply understand, and apply it. Toward this end, the next few years of professional work in K-8 mathematics will focus on the following long-term objectives:

  • Engage students in deep mathematics learning and understanding.
  • Build capacity and equip educators to hold ALL students to high expectations.
  • Partner with and equip families to support student success.

Our plan for improvement in math focuses on system-wide efforts across a number of critical areas.  As depicted in the graphic above, these include:

    1. Philosophy/ Standards - Our mathematics philosophy for learning will be examined to emphasize deep learning and application of mathematics, development of 21st century competencies and character qualities.
    2. Teacher Contributions - Teachers of mathematics will engage in professional learning focused on practices that support deep learning of the NJ Student Learning Standards/ Mathematical Practices.  Student engagement, equity and access to rigorous standards for diverse learners will serve as focal points for professional collaboration and articulation.
    3. Curriculum & Curricular Resource - Over the course of the next two academic years, the K-8 mathematics curriculum will be revised and a new curricular resource, enVision 2.0 (6-8) or enVision 2020 (K-5)  will be rolled out with the intention of better supporting teachers as they engage diverse students in mathematics learning that is well-aligned to the NJSLS for Mathematics.  The Grades 5-8 curriculum/ resource will be implemented this school year. Grades K-4 will be implemented next school year.
    4. Student Contributions - A visible sign that students are engaged includes their active efforts to monitor their own learning.  Teachers of mathematics will incorporate opportunities to develop pro-learning habits including self-monitoring to become more independent learners.  This will be accomplished through an emphasis on learning environments that value the importance of positive mathematics identities via investment of time and effort in helping students clearly understand the intentions of math lessons.  From this, students will be able to evaluate their understanding and/ or proactively seek resources to improve or extend learning, thereby building the resilience to learn from mistakes, identify helpful resources, and problem-solve.
    5. Home supports - The new math resource provides parents/ guardians with many more options to help students practice via review of concepts/ skills learned at school.  The resource, coupled with instruction that emphasizes student contributions to improve individual learning, better positions students and their families to learn outside of school hours - regardless of the availability, consistency, or strength of out-of-school support.
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The Office of Curriculum and Instruction

Twitter: @FLPS_Curriculum

 

Dr. Gayle Strauss, Interim Superintendent of Schools

Ms. Liesel Steines, Supervisor of Curriculum, Instruction, & Professional Development

Ms. Kathleen DeRosa, Supervisor of Curriculum & Instruction

Ms. Kristen Emmel, Mathematics Staff Developer

 

The Office of Curriculum and Instruction manages the instructional program and resources for the District in collaboration with administrators, teachers, and the Board of Education.  This work is ongoing and updates on progress are posted periodically.  For more specific information on the District's curriculum please see individual links to each curriculum content area on the righthand sidebar.

FLPS Educators: Advancing Expertise

The Department of Curriculum and Instruction Supports Professional Development

 

Image of the cover of Profesional Learning in The Learning Profession Status ReportResearch on Professional Development

Much research is done on the benefits of teacher professional development and the best practices for its implementation.  Click on the graphic to the left to see a recent study done by Stanford University and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  It outlines the key findings on what effective professional development looks like and its effect on student learning.  We can be confident that, unlike many programs in the U.S., Franklin Lakes implements many of the best practices noted in this study.

 

 

FLPS Educators: Advancing Expertise

The Franklin Lakes Public Schools proudly celebrate our educators who give back to the profession in an effort to support student achievement and educator improvement and innovation beyond the walls of their own classrooms.   Our District's Advancing Expertise newsletter recognizes the contributions of our certified staff members who take on leadership roles in the area of professional development and learning.

 

Advancing Expertise 6.21.18

Advancing Expertise 2.28.17

Advancing Expertise 1.5.16

Advancing Expertise 6.22.16

 

K-8 Mathematics Programming Evaluation Report - May 2019

The K-8 Math Evaluation Programing Report is the product of over a year of collaborative work collecting and analyzing quantitative and qualitative data across the District.  Moving forward, the findings, conclusions from this report will frame the development of short- and long- term plans for the next level of work in Mathematics, which will include recommendations for systemic improvements in support of deeper mathematics learning and understanding. 

 

Read the full report or review the slideshow.

 

Overview: Curriculum, Standards, Instruction, Assessment, & Professional Development

Overview: Curriculum, Standards, Instruction, Assessment, & Professional Development

 

Curriculum describes (in writing) the most important outcomes of the schooling process; thus, the curriculum is a document in which resides the district’s “collected wisdom” about what is most important to teach … Curriculum is based on standards; as a result, curriculum and standards are linked. Curriculum specifies how standards are met. Standards are not curriculum. Rather, standards provide a vision of the appropriate content and processes (usually for a subject area, such as mathematics) of what students should know and be able to do across a range of grade levels.

 

…A curriculum is a plan that focuses and guides classroom instruction and assessment … Assessments answer the question of how much knowledge and skill are good enough to meet the standards aligned in a unit. Teachers use assessments to determine how good is good enough. Classroom assessment is inexorably linked to curriculum.

(Squires, D. 2004. Aligning and Balancing the Standards-Based Curriculum).

 

"Differentiating instruction is an approach to teaching that advocates active planning for and attention to student differences in classrooms, in the context of high quality curriculums." – Carol Tomlinson, Ed. D.

 

Differentiation of Instruction

  

Professional development is the link between the design and implementation of education reforms and the ultimate success of reform efforts in schools.

According to the research, high-quality professional learning opportunities for teachers contain the following five characteristics:

- Aligns with school goals, state and district standards and assessments, and other professional-learning activities
- Focuses on core content and modeling of teaching strategies for the content
- Includes opportunities for active learning of new teaching strategies
- Provides the chance for teachers to collaborate
- Includes follow-up and continuous feedback

(DeMonte, J. 2013. High Quality Professional Development for Teachers)