Category Archives: Professional Development Plans

Summer PD: Day 3 Empower Learners

Summer Literacy and Math Professional Learning
June 5-9, 2017
Day 3 – Empower Learners
Jill Gough and Becky Holden

I can empower learners to reach for the next independent level in their learning.

Learning target and pathway:

It is not easy, but we need to shift from being the givers of knowledge to becoming the facilitators of knowledge development.  (Flynn, 8 pag.)

UED: 8:45 – 11:15  / EED: 12:15 – 2:45


Slide deck


Summer PD: Day 2 Mathematical Flexibility

Summer Literacy and Mathematics Professional Learning
June 5-9, 2017
Day 2 – Mathematical Flexibility
Jill Gough and Becky Holden

Today’s focus and essential learning:

I can demonstrate mathematical flexibility to show what I know in more than one way.

(but , what if I can’t?)

Learning target and pathway:

Mathematics is a subject that allows for precise thinking, but when that precise thinking is combined with creativity, flexibility, and multiplicity of ideas, the mathematics comes alive for people (Boaler, 58 pag.)

…we know that what separates high achievers from low achievers is not that high achievers know more math, it is that they interact with numbers flexibly and low achievers don’t.  (Boaler, n. pag.)

UED: 8:45 – 11:15  / EED: 1:15 – 2:45

 Slide deck


Summer PD: Day 1 Make Sense; Persevere

Summer Literacy and Mathematics Professional Learning
June 5-9, 2017
Day 1 – Make Sense and Persevere
Jill Gough and Becky Holden

Today’s focus and essential learning:

We want all mathematicians to be able to say:

I can make sense of tasks
and persevere in solving them.

(but… what if I can’t?)

Great teachers lead us just far enough down a path so we can challenge for ourselves. They provide us just enough insight so we can work toward a solution that makes us, makes me want to jump up and shout out the solution to the world, makes me want to step to the next higher level.  Great teachers somehow make us want to ask the questions that they want us to answer, overcome the challenge that they, because they are our teacher, believe we need to overcome. (Lichtman, 20 pag.)

… designed to help students slow down and really think about problems rather than jumping right into solving them. In making this a routine approach to solving problems, she provided students with a lot of practice and helped them develop a habit of mind for reading and solving problems.  (Flynn, 19 pag.)

Screen Shot 2017-06-06 at 7.53.02 AM.png

Agenda and Tasks:

Slide deck:


Summer PD: Literacy and Numeracy

As part of our practice, we offer in-house summer professional learning around literacy and numeracy.

There are two strands that both focus on the workshop model and conferring with students in literacy and in math.  Tiffany Coleman (@TColemanReads)and Lisa Eickholdt (@LisaEickholdt) will each join us on June 5th and 6th, respectively, to further our work in conferring.  On June 7th, Marsha Harris (@MarshaMac74) will round out the literacy work with a session on differentiation.  Jill Gough (@jgough) and Becky Holden (@bholden86) will facilitate three days of interactive math learning so that it parallels the work in literacy.
Here’s the big picture view of the professional learning days:
 Our essential learnings are based on ALT’s goal for all faculty-learners:

Fall PD Opportunity: Embolden Your Inner Mathematician #TrinityLearns

How do we effectively lead mathematics education in the era of the digital age?  We commit to curation of best practices, connections between mathematical ideas, and communication to learn and share with a broad audience.  

To build confidence as well as a more visual approach to elementary mathematics learning and teaching, we have designed ongoing, early morning, job-embedded professional learning around teaching practices and current research. 


At the end of the semester, teacher-learners should be able to say:

  • I can exercise mathematical flexibility to show what I know in more than one way.
  • I can make sense of tasks and persevere in solving them.
  • I can work within NCTM’s Eight Mathematical Teaching Practices for strengthening the teaching and learning of mathematics.



The weekly schedule of topics are as follows:

If you are  interested in emboldening your inner mathematician and would like to join us, please contact us for additional details.

Jill Gough | Director of Teaching & Learning
Experiments in Learning by Doing | Jill Gough notes | @jgough

Trinity School |
4301 Northside Parkway | Atlanta, GA 30327
Phone 404.240.6220 | Fax 404.231.8111

Summer Learning 2017 – Choices and VTR – here’s the data

In a previous post, Summer Learning 2017 – Flyer and Choices, I describe our summer learning plans and choices.  We make a commitment to read and learn every summer.  This year, in addition to books and a stream of TED talks, Voices of Diversity, we offer the opportunity to read children’s literature and design learning intentions around character and values.

Here’s the data on what we selected to learn:

Another way to consider the data:

Throughout the year, the Academic Leadership Team has been working with teacher-teams in many ways in support of our team goal shown below.

We can design and implement a differentiated action plan across our  divisions to meet all learners where they are.

Tier 1 Differentiation: Learner Choice and Voice

Our plan involves using the Visible Thinking Routine Sentence-Phrase-Word across all selections to notice and note important, thought-provoking ideas.

Tier 2 Differentiation: Level Up Pathway to Success

To meet our expectations, learners should read, view, or plan closely using the Visible Thinking Routine Sentence-Phrase-Word when engaging with their selection.  To exceed our expectations, learners again have choice.  They can use both Sentence-Phrase-Word and Connect-Extend-Challenge for deeper, connected thinking. Or, learners can learn and share publicly using #TrinityLearns, #TrinityReads or posting comments on the connected blog pages for reading a book, viewing the TED talks, or using children’s literature to build character foundation.

Be together, not the same. Learn and share. Level up when you can.

Deep Practice: Building Conceptual Understanding in the Middle Grades

2017 NCSM Annual Conference
Deep Practice: Building Conceptual Understanding
in the Middle Grades
Jill Gough, Jennifer Wilson

How might we attend to comprehension, accuracy, flexibility, and then efficiency? What if we leverage technology to enhance our learners’ visual literacy and make connections between words, pictures, and numbers? We will look at new ways of using technology to help learners visualize, think about, connect and discuss mathematics. Let’s explore how we might help young learners productively struggle instead of thrashing around blindly.

Deep practice is built on a paradox: struggling in certain targeted ways — operating at the edges of your ability, where you make mistakes — makes you smarter. Or to put it a slightly different way, experiences where you’re forced to slow down, make errors, and correct them —as you would if you were walking up an ice-covered hill, slipping and stumbling as you go— end up making you swift and graceful without your realizing it. (Coyle, 18 pag.)

The second reason deep practice is a strange concept is that it takes events that we normally strive to avoid —namely, mistakes— and turns them into skills. (Coyle, 20 pag.)

This term productive struggle captures both elements we’re after: we want students challenged and learning. As long as learners are engaged in productive struggle, even if they are headed toward a dead end, we need to bite our tongues and let students figure it out. Otherwise, we rob them of their well-deserved, satisfying, wonderful feelings of accomplishment when they make sense of problems and persevere. (Zager, 128 pag.)

Coyle, Daniel. The Talent Code: Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How. (p. 18-20). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Zager, Tracy. Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You’d Had: Ideas and Strategies from Vibrant Classrooms. Portland, ME.: Stenhouse Publishers, 2017. (pp. 128-129) Print.