Big Shoulders Fund Math Initiative
The goal of BSFMI is to establish a community of parochial schools and teachers who work together on improving mathematics instruction and seek joint solutions to commonly held problems involving the teaching and learning of mathematics. The project strives to develop dynamic and effective mathematics leadership teams, comprised of teacher leaders and administrators.
Support for over twenty high-need Catholic schools through coaching and sustained professional development.
This project impacts over 100 teachers and 2000 students each year.
Building Math Leadership Teams (BMLT) in Chicago Public Schools
The goal of BMLT is to work with school-based math leadership teams comprised of teacher leaders and administrators to strengthen school capacity to promote, support, and sustain improvements in mathematics teaching that will lead to improvements in students’ mathematical learning. Needs assessments, goal-setting, strategic planning, and peer collaboration are important program elements.
An overwhelming majority of program participants report the following outcomes:
- Increased understanding of high-quality math instruction
- Increased confidence as math leaders
- Improved collaboration in their schools around mathematics
- Progress toward the school-based math goals they set as part of the project
Lloyd A. Fry Foundation
Since 2013, UChicago STEM Education has supported teachers in Chicago Public Schools as they transition to the Next Generation Science Standards. Through this collaboration with CPS, Loyola University Chicago, DePaul University, and the Big Shoulders Fund, we have been building and expanding capacity to implement the NGSS in school systems, participating Networks, schools, and classrooms. Supports provided each year include quarterly Teacher Leader Institute and Professional Learning Community sessions, Study Groups focused on topics of particular interest to participants, and classroom coaching and school-based supports for teacher leaders in a subset of schools.
Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust
Elementary Mathematics Specialists in Illinois
The goal of the Elementary Mathematics Specialist project is to develop and offer a course sequence designed to provide elementary school teachers with deep knowledge, confidence, and tools for teaching mathematics.
A sequence of 7 courses blending content and pedagogy has been developed and implemented. The tuition-free coursework has been provided to two cohorts of Chicago teachers. A state-level Elementary Mathematics Endorsement has been proposed to ISBE.
CME Group Foundation
DePaul University, University of Illinois at Chicago
Summer Math and STEM Camps
The goals of the Summer Math and STEM Camps are to provide a platform for children entering grades 4, 5, and 6 to build passion and confidence in STEM through a deep dive into targeted STEM content and foster growth mindset ideals.
The program includes a 2-week experience with for rising 4th-6th graders. Hundreds of students have the opportunity to attend full-day and half-day camp sessions that are offered in the Chicago Public Schools, Champaign Unit 4 Schools and Chicago Parochial Schools.
The University of Chicago Women’s Board, Sasser Family Holdings, Big Shoulders Fund, Champaign Unit 4 School District and Department of Education
Activating public spaces to support early math learning.
The goal of Math Talk is to foster increased community and family efficacy, agency, and engagement related to early math learning using “MathScapes” installations in the everyday environment and a paired MathTalk App.
Multiple community co-design sessions including local businesses, families, and schools have taken place in Boston and Cambridge, with more than 8 MathScapes installations. New funding has recently been awarded, and work is underway to expand the project to Chicago.
NSF and the Heising-Simons Foundation in partnership with MathTalk, McCormick Foundation
Ready, Set, STEM!
A summer and school-year STEM program for young children and their families.
The goal of Ready, Set, STEM! is to develop parents’ and children’s confidence and enthusiasm for STEM. The program includes a free 5-week STEM summer program for rising kindergarten students, school-year STEM curriculum projects for PreK and kindergarten classrooms, and various family-focused supports, including home activities and a family website.
The following are some outcomes from the year 1 project evaluation:
- 74% of children in the summer program improved their numeric and/or spatial skills during the program.
- All of the summer program teachers and assistant teachers increased their knowledge, confidence, positive attitudes, and expectations related to STEM for young children.
- 500 adults and children attended Ready, Set, STEM Family STEM Events over the course of the 2018-19 school year.
- 84% of parents attending the spring Family STEM Event “agree” or “strongly agree” that they know more about their young child’s STEM learning than they did before the school year and program started.
The Boeing Company
Science Companion and Activate Learning Prime
A research-based Pre-K through Grade 6 elementary science curriculum.
The goal of professional development and implementation support for the Activate Learning Prime and Science Companion curricula is to help teachers use these curricula effectively to balance hands-on experiences, guided discovery, and teacher-directed instruction to promote elementary school students’ excitement about and learning of science.
UChicago STEM Education has developed and implemented professional development--including workshops, coaching, and implementation resources--for hundreds of teachers who use Science Companion and Activate Learning Prime.
The goal of Teacher University is to provide intensive, high-quality mathematics professional development focused on how students learn mathematics. Laboratory classrooms provide real time application.
Teachers throughout the Champaign Unit 4 School District have participated in Level 1 and Level 2 of Teacher University.
MSAP Grant from Department of Education
Getting On Track
An early childhood mathematics formative assessment and instructional toolkit
The goal of Getting On Track implementation support is to help early childhood educators implement and use an objective, valid, and instructionally relevant formative assessment system for preschool mathematics that was developed at University of Chicago through a collaborative partnership between the Department of Psychology and the UChicago STEM Education early childhood team.
Assessment includes one-on-one game-like tasks measuring numerical and spatial skills that predict later academic achievement. RCT results from teachers using the system show a statistically significant increase in the numerical learning of preschoolers whose teachers used the assessment (.28 SD effect size).
P12 Math Collaborative
The goal of the Chicago P12 Math Collaborative is to improve math teaching, learning, and leadership in Chicago Public Schools by developing communities of practitioners and providing sustained, coherent, and content-focused professional learning opportunities.
Teachers, administrators and school-based leadership teams have participated in long-term professional development, classroom coaching visits, and leadership team meetings.
CME Group Foundation
Becoming a Math Family
A website supporting parents in helping their children learn and enjoy math.
The goal of Becoming a Math Family is to bridge research and practice by providing free, research-based activities, findings, and ideas for parents to help children ages 3-6 learn and enjoy math.
The website has more than 40 research-based activities for ages 3-6 and numerous practical videos for parents on current research in math education and psychology.
National Science Foundation
Virtual Learning Community
An online professional learning community for elementary mathematics educators
The goal of the Virtual Learning Community is to provide and research how to improve professional learning experiences for STEM teachers in an online space.
The VLC currently has 53,000+ online community members with 1200+ curated professional learning resources for math educators.
National Science Foundation
Engineering is Elementary
The goal of Engineering is Elementary professional development is to help bring engineering education to elementary school students by providing high-quality workshops, coaching, and other supports to teachers using the Engineering is Elementary curriculum. UChicago STEM Education is an endorsed member of the Engineering is Elementary extended network of providers.
Since becoming members of the EiE Extended Network of Providers (ENOP), UChicago STEM Education has trained and supported almost 100 teachers with EiE, thereby building their knowledge, skills, confidence, and enthusiasm for implementing high-quality engineering instruction with their elementary school students.
Principal and Teacher Leadership Institute
The goal of the Principal and Teacher Leadership Institute is to provide training, mentoring, support, and collaboration opportunities for teams of elementary and middle school mathematics teacher leaders and their administrators. The leadership teams work together as a cohort to develop a shared vision for high-quality mathematics and design, implement, and refine ways to promote and support classroom teaching and learning that aligns with their vision.
Leadership teams of administrators and teacher leaders from 12 Chicago schools received ongoing professional development and received in-school mentoring and support.
The Illinois Board of Higher Education
The goal of the Math Coaching Academy is to support school and district math leaders in developing coaching capacity around high-quality teaching and learning of mathematics. Participants also focus on how to develop and support leadership structures that promote engaging classroom teaching and learning that aligns with your district’s vision for mathematics.
Over 100 teachers, administrators, and educational leaders have participated in the Math Coaching Academy
LEARN Network Professional Development
The LEARN Network customized professional development program is a multi-year ongoing partnership with UChicago STEM that includes instructional coaching, school-level and network-wide professional development, sustained instructional coaching, the development of school leadership teams.
Now in its tenth year, our partnership continues to support teachers and administrators in schools across the LEARN Network.
Notre Dame Catholic School
Our partnership with Notre Dame Catholic School, Milwaukee includes sustained instructional coaching and the development and support of a leadership team focused on high-quality teaching and learning of mathematics. In addition to individual coaching, mathematics teacher leader development, peer-to-peer collaborative coaching, family math nights, and other activities focused on strengthening teacher and family relationships are included.
Teachers in grades pre-kindergarten through sixth grade, across two school campuses receive monthly classroom coaching support and professional development. Over the three year partnership with NDSM, the number of students achieving math proficiency on the state exam (FORWARD) has doubled.