Thursday, August 9, 2012

Wisconsin Statewide Mathematics Initiative.

I had the opportunity to participate in a week long training this summer on the Common Core Domain of Ratios and Proportional Reasoning.  It was sponsored by the Wisconsin Statewide Mathematics Initiative and funded by the Brookhill Foundation.  I would say it was the most meaningful and challenging professional development I have ever experienced.  Our instructors were wonderful and the pacing was great.  I felt challenged most of the week, but not too overwhelmed.

It was a week long institute and we were divided by grade bands:

  • K-2 Operations and Algebraic Thinking
  • 3-6 Number Operations-Fractions
  • 6-8 Ratio and Proportional Reasoning
  • 9-12 Modeling with Statistics and Probability
I was obviously in the 6-8 group.  It was so great to collaborate with teachers in nearby districts.  Everyone in my group was amazing and I really enjoyed getting to know some teachers that teach in nearby districts.  I even found out that one of the teachers has followed me on Pinterest and been to my blog here.  Hello Erica if you are reading!

We spent the week really going through the 6th and 7th grade Common Core Standards on Ratio and Proportional Reasoning as well as the Standards for Mathematical Practice.  I think one of the aspects of the training I found most helpful was that we would solve the same problems using multiple strategies.  Rather than just always setting up a table, equation, or proportion to solve problems we were challenged to use double double number lines and tape diagrams.  I had used double number lines a bit in my Carnegie training, but I was completely unfamiliar with the tape diagram method (which is basically like the Singapore Bar Model).  What an amazing strategy!  We were really pushed to use it with all different types of ratio and proportion problems we encountered.

I will do some more detailed posts about these methods as I use them with my students this fall.  My first two chapters in Carnegie are on Ratio and Proportional Reasoning and I feel this training gave me a much better depth of understanding of the concepts I will be teaching my students.  

The goals of this institute were to:
  • Broaden teachers' mathematical understanding and pedagogical practices of ratios and proportional relationships.
  • Study meaningful tasks that increase students' understanding of ratios and proportional relationships.
  • Critically examine student misconceptions when reasoning with ratios and proportional relationships in order to make informed instructional decisions.
  • Study the mathematical progression that students pass through as they become proficient at reasoning with ratios and proportional relationships.
I am going to share two of the anchor charts my group made.  

We looked at the language, strategies, and applications of Ratios and Proportional Relationshi
Solving a problem with multiple representations
If anyone reading this blog was at any of the WSMI summer institutes I would love to hear from you about how your training went.  If you remember me from training then say hi!


  1. Hi Sherrie-
    I found your blog from pintrest (LOVE!) and I, too, got to attend the WSMI week of CCSS in Ratio and Proportions. I went to the one in Menomonee Falls with Jenn and Doug - the other trainers were also there, Marie (from Green Bay) and Jan (from Clayton). I felt exactly how you did - one of the most valuable trainings I've ever been to. Never heard of a tape diagram either (I've been a 7th grade math teacher for 6 years) but what a great strategy for visualizing ratio relationships. The whole week gave me a new perspective on teaching number SENSE instead of just teaching algorithms. Thanks for sharing about your experience - can't wait to read more of your blog :)

    1. Hi Amy
      Jenn was such a great presenter. I love her. Imagine having her as a college professor. Are you on twitter at all? I am @luvbcd and would love to connect with you. Where do you teach? There were a group of teachers from Mequon in mu session. Hope to see you comment again.

  2. I found your blog over the summer through Pinterest. I love it! I teach 7th grade Math in Louisiana, and I find it so neat that I can look and relate to what your going through all the way in WI. That is what is so awesome about common core. Our district just went through two days of training on the first three units. Your posts have been very helpful. Keep 'em coming!
    I'd love to hear about those new strategies. Good luck at the start of school. We start Monday:)

    1. Feel free to share anything you are doing in LA in your math class. I love to get new ideas. It's always interesting to hear what others are doing for common core.

  3. The great thing about Common Core is all the states will be doing similar things. It's awesome. We just had Summer Institute as well and our facilitator DEMANDED that we use double number lines as well. That was about 3 weeks ago and I forgot already! Lol...

    1. I know what you mean. A week after training I was looking through all my notes and work samples and thought maybe I should have made more specific notes on things. LOL

  4. Funny that I just now came across your blog post on ratio tables-we just started them today. My 6th graders, who are all below grade level, will need lots more practice!! :)



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