GEAR UP mathematics teachers receive classroom coaching from TI specialist


Texas Instruments Implementation Specialist Doug Roberts explains a concept during Mrs. Grubis’ math class at Parker Intermediate Center. Roberts visits the classroom throughout the year as a component of Eastern Oklahoma State College’s GEAR UP grant.
WILBURTON, OK (Dec. 16, 2013) – Twenty-five area schools are participating in the Texas Instruments (TI) MathForward program sponsored by Eastern Oklahoma State College GEAR UP. TI MathForward focuses on student achievement and teacher efficacy.

By seamlessly integrating Texas Instruments technology and professional development into a school’s own curriculum, the program helps both educators and students achieve their mathematics goals.

“Eastern partnered with TI in 2011 to bring this exciting program to southeastern Oklahoma,” said GEAR UP Project Director Linda Morgan. “Each of our partner schools was given the opportunity to participate. Most of our cohort schools chose to embrace the program, and it’s still going strong.”

Participating schools received TI Navigator systems, complete with handhelds, for use in math classrooms. Teachers receive training from a TI Implementation Specialist at professional development workshops and individualized classroom coaching.

The program began when GEAR UP students were in the sixth and seventh grades. The initial year of implementation, 52 teachers participated in the program. GEAR UP students are currently in the eighth and ninth grades, and there are 62 teachers participating.

“As the students moved on to higher grades, the Navigator system and handhelds remained in the initial classroom,” Morgan explained. “The teacher continues to attend professional development and receives coaching. In this way, the program’s sustainability is enhanced through continued support. Students who are not in GEAR UP get the benefit of the technology.”

“Coaching is just part of the package,” continued Morgan. “Teachers and TI MathForward Implementation Specialists work together directly in the classroom. As a coach, the Implementation Specialist models instruction, provides co–teaching activities and observes classroom instruction. Professional development focuses on classroom best–practices, mathematics content knowledge and integration of TI technology into the school’s pre–algebra and algebra curricula.”

TI MathForward is integrated into a district’s own pre–algebra and algebra curricula; the program doesn’t replace district instructional materials. This technology–infused curriculum reaches students needing basic mathematical skills as well as those who are ready to deepen their current mathematics knowledge. The program also aligns with state and local standards and the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

During daily warm–up lessons, teachers can measure their students’ understanding and adjust instruction accordingly through formative and summative assessments.

In addition to receiving in–class coaching, teachers participating in TI MathForward can access online professional development resources at any time. Designed to improve teacher knowledge of mathematics content, these resources include research journal articles and videos of mathematicians teaching mathematical concepts. Teachers can also model their instruction from these videos.

The Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a federal initiative to increase the number of low–income students who enter and successfully transition into postsecondary education. Eastern will receive more than $12.6 million during a seven–year period to help students and educators in 30 partner schools.

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