Classroom Visits/Saturday Workshop—Orleans Parish Schools (OPSB), New Orleans, LA

Each quarter, the Southern Initiative Algebra Project (SIAP) conducted classroom visits of OPSB teachers at Mary McLeod Bethune (PK-8), Benjamin Franklin (PK-8), Mahalia Jackson (PK-8), and McDonogh 35 (9-12)–assisting teachers and students and meeting with teachers to determine in what areas students were having difficulty. Trainers Jessie Cooper-Gibbs, Sharon Spencer, and Bill Crombie (AP/SIAP) visited classrooms. Each set of classroom visits is followed by a Saturday Workshop facilitated by Jessie Cooper-Gibbs, Sharon L. Spencer, Staffas Broussard, and Bill Crombie.

On October 28, 2017, SIAP facilitated the first Saturday Workshop for Orleans Parish Schools (OPSB) teachers, with new teachers joining this professional development workshop who had not participated in the summer institute. Additionally, Xavier students attended the Saturday Workshop. The workshop continued its focus on the 5-Step Curricular Process and mathematics concepts for different grade levels for OPSB.

SIAP’s second Saturday Workshop for OPSB teachers was held on December 2. Also attending the Saturday workshop were Xavier University students, a Xavier faculty member, a high school administrator, a high school curriculum leader, and an additional SIAP staff member. This Saturday workshop engaged the participants in problem solving using models and pictures. Teams shared their teams’ solutions to see the different ways the problems were approached.

SIAP’s Saturday Workshop was held on February 24; OPSB teachers from all four schools attended and engaged in solving The Man Who Counted problem using breadsticks and coins to model their solutions. This problem requires them to solve a seemingly simple problem and to justify a seemingly absurd solution. The focus continued to be on problem solving—representing problems with models or pictures and collaborating to solve those problems.

SIAP’s Saturday Workshop, held on March 24, 2018, provided opportunities for teachers to solve problems without applying memorized rules, but rather working together to make sense of the mathematics. One teacher also shared her students’ work on The Man Who Counted problem (a problem introduced in SIAP’s Saturday Workshop for teachers in February 2018). Attending the workshop were teachers from all four OPSB schools, a Higgins High School teacher (formerly at McDonogh 35) and Xavier student teachers. Also present were SIAP’s Executive Director, SIAP’s Board Chair, an additional Board member, two local SIAP organizers, and a representative from the Office of the Mayor of Jackson MS. Trainers facilitating the Workshop were Jessie Cooper-Gibbs, Sharon Spencer, Bill Crombie, and Staffas Broussard.

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