More Math for More People

Episode 3.7: Where Joel and Misty discuss pairing Wine and Cheese as well as revolutionizing High School Math Education with Dr. John Staley

July 25, 2023 CPM Podcast Season 3 Episode 7
More Math for More People
Episode 3.7: Where Joel and Misty discuss pairing Wine and Cheese as well as revolutionizing High School Math Education with Dr. John Staley
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Join Joel and Misty they celebrate National Wine and Cheese Day, sharing their personal favorites.

They they talk with a distinguished guest, Dr. John Staley, about his thoughts about revolutionizing high school mathematics. As a contributor to Catalyzing Change, he brings a wealth of knowledge on setting high standards for high school math, ensuring access for all students, and innovative teaching practices. They discuss the power of technology, the importance of reasoning, proof, and creating student-centered structures in high school math education. Be part of this insightful conversation and get ready to be inspired by Dr. Staley's revolutionary ideas on reshaping the way we teach math.

The More Math for More People Podcast is produced by CPM Educational Program.
Learn more at CPM.org
Twitter: @cpmmath
Facebook: CPMEducationalProgram
Email: cpmpodcast@cpm.org

Speaker 1:

This is episode seven of season three of the More Math for More People podcast, and it is the 25th of July 2023. Cheers.

Speaker 2:

Hello, there, I'm. Joel.

Speaker 1:

And I'm Misty.

Speaker 2:

And you're listening to the More Math for More People podcast, an outreach of CPM educational program.

Speaker 1:

We have a lot of conversations about math and math education on this podcast. We're passionate about continually improving the way math is taught and we hope that you learn something in every episode that helps you become better at what you do.

Speaker 2:

And we hope that you have some fun and laugh as well. That always makes things a little more interesting.

Speaker 1:

Yep, we're pretty passionate about having fun Joel.

Speaker 2:

So please have a listen and we think it'll be well worth it. Boom.

Speaker 1:

Alright, surprise me, joel, what day is it today?

Speaker 2:

Today is National Wine and Cheese Day.

Speaker 1:

Oh well, I like that day.

Speaker 2:

Well, good, I thought you liked all the days.

Speaker 1:

Well, I like all the days. Some of them I like more than others, that's all Gotcha, gotcha. Wine and Cheese Day. That's great. I like wine and cheese. I like them together.

Speaker 2:

They do go well together.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, they're nice. I really like wine tasting. When there's food, like wine pairings or little things, where you'll go and they'll have the different wines and then the little tiny bites of food to try with it and stuff like that, I think that's very fun.

Speaker 2:

That is fun, do you think? Food's kind of like a palate cleanser for wine?

Speaker 1:

Well, sometimes it's the when they do the pairings. A lot of times it's because the wine has a certain quality and then they'll pair it with a food that has a quality that will be salty or whatever and will bring out different flavors and things and notes and stuff in the wine. So if you go to ones that are like the ones I've gone to, that I really like, you taste the wine a little bit first and then they bring you whatever, some little tiny bite of food that's just pretty fancy and got all this cool things on it, and then you might nibble a little bit on that and then taste the wine again and then see how it tastes differently and then you know how the food kind of shifts and changes just what flavors it brings out and they accent each other. So I think cheeses are a similar kind of thing, particularly because there's certain kinds of cheeses that like really salty roqueforts and they have like strong flavors go with certain wines. The wines actually help bring the flavor down a little bit or mellow it out or smooth it.

Speaker 2:

So it's a science to it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, no it's very cool. It's very cool Because some wines it's always amazing to me, like some wines people drink that I'm like, wow, that is a really nice wine, but I want to have it with some food. Like it's meant to be with food. So the wines that I think are just. I can just drink this wine, but anyway, yes, wine and cheese, that sounds great.

Speaker 2:

I think I will celebrate this one Excellent. I think I will too.

Speaker 1:

What's your favorite kind of wine? Joel?

Speaker 2:

I don't know that I have a favorite. I'm not too much of a connoisseur. Back in my early college days, lune's Farm was a favorite.

Speaker 1:

I wouldn't suggest that with your wine jeez, oh, okay. I'm not saying don't, but yeah, that's right, that's right.

Speaker 2:

And now I do like wine. I don't know much about the tasting and things like that, but a red wine, a nice red blend, it's pretty good.

Speaker 1:

So if you're just going to go and have some, you're going to choose the red wine.

Speaker 2:

I'm going to choose the red.

Speaker 1:

Just the regular house red. Whatever they have is house red.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's fine, I'm all back, I think that's a good one. Yeah, yeah, how about you?

Speaker 1:

If I'm going to just drink a wine, probably a Riesling I'm more of a white wine person, unless I'm having the wine with something. There's a few red wines that I enjoy drinking just to drink, but they're like the lighter, fruitier ones that you don't find easily, like a Bouchelet or various other wines like that, that lighter and fruitier reds, and they're not the ones that usually people just love at the bar or wherever you are. So yeah, those are, but most red wines I think I want to have food with, but otherwise Riesling. That's my kind of go to Nice. So well, wine and cheese, that sounds great. It's pretty self-explanatory.

Speaker 2:

There's a lot to say. Do you have a favorite?

Speaker 1:

cheese.

Speaker 2:

Ooh, I like a good, like a Swiss, in that sort of variety, not too strong, right, and it's just nice, mellow, nice taste.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, Yep, I think that I definitely. I like all kinds of cheese. I like going to the deli part of the store and all the cheeses and then they often have the oh, these ones are really small and they just package them all up in the little small pieces and then just getting four or five different kinds.

Speaker 2:

That's fun too. Yeah, I like doing that, just tasting them.

Speaker 1:

So sometimes I'm like, nope, didn't really like that one, but that's fine, it's just a little small bit. So, yeah, I like just the different flavors of cheese. I'm not really really strong, the really strong moldy cheeses those are like. Sometimes those are a little too much because they just by themselves Again, they need something with them, right, they need to be paired with something Like yeah, I like soft cheeses, I like all kinds of different cheeses.

Speaker 2:

Nice.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, good stuff, all right. Well, hopefully you can find some wine and cheese where you are, if that is what you do, and you can celebrate National Wine and Cheese Day.

Speaker 2:

That's right. ["dreams of a Young Man"].

Speaker 1:

So we're here today with Dr John Staley, who has been involved in mathematics education for over 30 years as a secondary mathematics teacher, district leader and adjunct professor in schools and universities in Pennsylvania, virginia and Maryland. During his career, he has served on many committees and task forces. He's received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics and Science and served as president for NCSM. John currently serves on several advisory boards and is the past chair of the US National Commission on Mathematics Instruction, and, in addition, he was part of the writing team for Catalyzing Change in High School Mathematics, initiating Critical Conversations that was published by NCTM in 2018. And we've invited him here to talk with us about that today. So welcome, john. Thanks for joining us on the podcast.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, welcome. Oh well, thanks for having me, absolutely absolutely.

Speaker 1:

So what was tell us? What was the pathway? What was the main motivation behind your work on Catalyzing Change?

Speaker 3:

Well, catalyzing Change. I've happened to be one of the many writers that were on this resource. Matt Larson was president of NCTM and I believe Robert Berry was the incoming president, and they had a committee come together to reform the Catalyzing Change to High School version of the series. A big part of it related to think about timeframe. Common core had come out, tight set of standards around, hey, nice structure and everything there, and when it got to high school it had an algebra or an integrated or a flow to it and they really didn't write forces for it. They had some recommendations. They didn't write actual forces around it. So part of Catalyzing Change was okay, let's really think about it. And so having the right on that committee allowed us to really get into that space of thinking about not a new set of standards for high school math, but what's essential math that all high school students should have access to and to learn. When should they have a time to learn that, like in the first one or two years across the four years? And also what are some actual teaching practices and structures policies that need to be in place to support this work at high school?

Speaker 1:

So, taking all that, I remember when we were working on the books yeah, the high school was very different right, the standards were just. Here you go, here's the standards, right, Break it down and really taking those pieces and thinking about how they could translate into the classroom. So what came out of that? What are some of the key challenges and recommendations that were discussed in Catalyzing?

Speaker 3:

Change. So some of the recommendations that sort of came out of there was really thinking about the purposes of school mathematics. So when you think about the purposes of school mathematics, how do we look at why students should be in mathematics, especially in the high school setting, If there weren't recommendations that said, oh, they should have two years, three years or four years? So we didn't go for making those kind of suggestions. But, we recommended a core thing think about purposes. That thought was looking at expanding professional opportunity, help the students understand and critique the world, experience the wonder joy and be a mathematics, and then really looking at those multiple purposes mathematics and that was just one of the recommendations that sort of came. Other was around creating structures and structures that related to student tracking, teacher tracking and really this part you talk about tracking, distinguishing the differences between tracking and providing appropriate acceleration. So that second recommendation, a strong emphasis on what are some of the structures that plays. And the last piece that went along with it was around support for student success in high school. What supports are needed? Because what we as a team did not do was go under the assumption that all students come into high school mathematics having had these perfect learning and teaching experiences K to A or pre. So we understood that as a piece. So we knew there would need to be some supports and structures in place to help support students once they got in high school math. Another recommendation that came out was about implementing a restriction, and this really focused in on, I wanna say, not only just the actual math teaching practices, but let's think students center, student first. When I say student center, student first, this idea about how do we go about developing a positive mathematical identities for our students and their sense of agency. So that part right there is forward-facing, the importance of this work around our students, our students that come into an high school setting. What do we need to have them ready for? Their next, the part that related to math teaching practices. You have that part and then you have work around teachers coming together around Sports for effective math teaching practices and so what needs to happen in that space also. So that was a big part of those were the main pieces of that. Third recommendation was in Instruction and in the fourth one related to essential concepts in high school, thanks, and that really got at what are some of the big items, the focus areas, the essential concepts that relate to mainly three, four major areas essential concepts, a number essential concepts and algorithm functions. Essential concepts and statistics and probability. And essential concepts in geometry and measurement. And a big underlying piece of all this we know has to Technology plays a role in mathematics and understanding how technology plays hold in Essential concepts in the teaching learning of math. But also the importance in modeling and what modeling does is look at it from algebra to statistics, measurement, the importance, modeling in the space. So that's where work was there. We did some reasoning and proof in there. So you got reasoning, proof and modeling, big threads of what should be happening in the work that high school students are doing. But through those essential concepts parts there and we wrap up the book with organizing high school math. Just some thoughts, some ideas, integrated pathway, some ideas about possibly a especially if you're in a traditional setting geometry first and then out one or out right. So some ways to think about the redesigns of high school base for students.

Speaker 2:

So Very cool. What back back to the equitable structures and Equitable mathematics instruction a little bit. You're saying how students are coming into high school with different experiences, and so are there. Do you think of specific Big umbrella sort of things? Or to do the sites to the schools decide what those kind of things are as far as helping those students navigate?

Speaker 3:

so. So you said the support that you need to provide or just what different pathway students might come into high school with the support you provide, knowing that they're coming from different areas. Well, we in the book we didn't tease out different types of supports and structures that should be in place, but we Made the. The emphasis was on making sure that they are provided. So we didn't in this book, we didn't look to design those. But, we look to say that needs to be a part that's built into what's there and available for students. Because quite often what happens in many school systems is you get students landing in high school, you recognize any support, but what happens in high school? You start the credit game how many credit students need to earn each year and where is their space for providing additional support? Because support has to be, in some case extra, has to be added on to a student's opportunities and thus in in some spaces you only have a little bit of wiggle room With course opportunities that students can take. So if a student comes in the high school and has to take, say, six credits, eight credits, then Do you take away one of those credits? If you know any Support math, how much support do they need to math? What kind of support? Some students don't need support all year long, so you have to be thinking about those. So support structures, and in a part that goes along with support structures, I believe you have to also think about teacher preparation when it comes to providing support for students. Some supports you can do within your classroom and and and let's. Let's be honest about this idea of support. If you think about teaching high school math, especially teaching ninth grade, you should be ready as a ninth grade teacher to think what's the prerequisite knowledge that my students come with. It may have been exposed with that. I need to be ready to lift up, and how do I do that in the strategic?

Speaker 2:

manner how do.

Speaker 3:

I do that intentionally so that it's it's just in time support that's needed. So there's ways to do that as part of what you do In the regular teaching learning of mathematics for you in my great course that you're teaching Sure, which might not mean you need to add on extra time or find an extra class to put students in to do that. So there's, there's ways to do some. You have to be intentional about it. You can't repeat everything in middle school as if students have never learned, everything in middle school, as if students have never learned. And that's that's the part where sometimes teacher struggle and as your school teachers, that's. That's just because, if I don't know what they did in middle school, well, part of that, if I don't know what they did in middle school, should be me, as a high school teacher, learning about what they did in middle school, learning about what some of the experiences were, learning about the e sequence of math Topics that they should have taught. They should have learned, and also really learning about those that butt up against my units of instruction. So, for this unit. They really need to know this. Let me be ready with that Versus. They can't solve a one step equation. Wait, students have been doing one step equations since which grade?

Speaker 1:

That's a great point. So, in the five years since the publication of Catalyzing Change, where are you seeing progress being made? What are the kinds of things that you're seeing that we're able to move forward with?

Speaker 3:

So we're keeping this just a high school conversation, or it?

Speaker 1:

doesn't have to be.

Speaker 3:

And I ask that question because what happens of high schools is significantly impacted out of the pre-kated experiences. So we think about where do we see? Where do I think we see significant grounds being made? Nctm actually went back and teamed together to write a middle school version which is Catalyzing Change. Middle school mathematics and also in early childhood in elementary mathematics. Those two resources, those two documents help tell the story and help build significant foundations and understanding around what needs to happen in pre-kated age so that our students are prepared, have a stronger consistency of access and opportunity as they go across them. I know when you think about what's happened with high school catalyzing change, you've had different school systems, take on the challenge, the charge of detracking. And some schools have been at that work for a number of years and some of that work came out of as a part of states and school systems picking up the common core standards, or inversion thereof, and really trying to get at this how do we provide an equitable pathways for students coming out of middle school and those in middle school? And so some started with the detracking of math programs in different spaces, some as school systems, some as whole schools, depending on where you are and learning environment you're in. Different people pick that up at different levels. So you see some of that work going and I believe NCTM has a publication coming out I want to say it's going to be out in September, but I can't remember if it's this September or the following September which tells more of the stories of catalyzing change in action, what's been happening with it across the years. If you're on their website, they do have case studies up so they have some of the studies of school districts that have been going about doing this work and what it is is lessons learned. For those in the field that pick up the book and want to redesign K to 8, k to 12 pathway structures, want to redesign just what's happening in high school, want to redesign even just the instructional teaching practices that teacher look at. So they've got some case studies up that help lead, give people some insight as to what's happening and some some opportunities to learn from. Those have been about doing the work, learn some things that happen well and what to boy some things where this is what we try. We got a pause, we got it back up War. We built momentum, built momentum, built momentum and then here's what happened. So those, those are kind of things that have come at High school version, which really just over the last five years since it's come out, they think we've had a pandemic in the middle of that, yeah, yeah, um, which had people starting to really step back and think about some pieces. But I'm excited about where it's going next, because they've got a new release coming out and that's really gonna help people say, okay, here's what we read about in these books and in high school, here's what it looks like when people try to do an action. Very cool and that that was the critical thing.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think that Sometimes the things that are the biggest struggles are taking these very large, broad Initiatives and things that. That are the things we want to see and how do we bring them down to. I'm a teacher in my classroom. What do I do Right, like, how do I, how do I bring that into into action in my practice and in with my own students?

Speaker 3:

And I think that that really steps back to I Think about teaching as what's in my toolkit. And so if I think about a toolkit, you've got places where you put wrenches and screws, nails of different types of nails and Hammers and different types of screwdrivers, and they all have a purpose and they all have a function. And so when you think about your own toolkit as an as a teacher leader and I'll say that, but I see every teacher as a teacher leader what do I need to put into my toolkit? So how do I pick up the eight math teaching practice, this and and that will be side those the parallel nature of the Practices that go along with it. How do I put those in size so that I'm not just going down this rope? Oh, I've got the eight principle the eight teaching practice was from principles action, but I've embedded in there the actual teaching practices that come out the Decade 8 math identity book and what we did in catalyzing change, the high school version we actually Mirror. Both was together and we have a nice. Here's the eight teaching practice and how do you think about them from the actual teaching perspective? And so what I offer is that In the classroom, what I think about is what's my, do I need better at? What do I need to pick up if one of them is around, say just, for example, math discourse? Well, that's something that if I were in the classroom now, I'd be thinking what this discourse looked like in my class. How does I really elevate student voice in the class? How do I value all students, different voices, and what are some of these strategies that I need to work on? And then I go about studying about those strategies, listening to things like podcasts, podcasts, webinar videos, reading books around it and and doing any of those to learn about instructional strategies and processes that can help elevate my discourse tool kit, the part that, that part of my toolkit. If I've got discourse down, then maybe I'm on to something else, but I would offer that, if you think about the way that eight teaching practices come together, discourse plays a big part because you're questioning in there and so you could. You could spend a year working on your questioning. Or you're working on student voice and conversations and strategies and structures there. So it's it's wide open, but you have to really think about Any kind of initiative, be it elevating the work of cat-biting change or, if you're in a school system, implementation of your curriculum. It comes back to what I do in the classroom to the teacher on a daily basis Not just the writing and development of my lesson plans, but the implementation, the action of my lesson plans, and that's where you work on your craft.

Speaker 2:

I love that and I immediately think of, when you're talking about this, not being alone. Having colleagues that I can Work on that with would be a great exercise to build that toolkit that.

Speaker 3:

That, joel, you just said it right there. It still go down. This mindset of I got to do this myself. I need to do this alone. Give me my students, give me my class. Let me shut my door, then I believe you are in for the long haul of, I'm gonna say, a road of frustration, not only for you but for your students also. Yeah, but when you open up your door and say, hey, joel, misty, what's going on? Da, da, da, da, I'm trying this strategy. I know you teach third period or you're all second block, can you come on in as I set up this structure, as I use this, as I try this, and just give me some feedback on it? Or, hey, I'm gonna record today, I'm gonna watch it, reflect on it. Can you watch it and reflect on it, can listen to it? Because maybe it's not a video recording, but I used to use a I won't name a product, but it was a recording pen that when you would take notes on paper, it were to record and audio voice and everything, and basically I can outline or script out a lesson and then I would give that to the teacher With the recording that went along with it and when they listen to their Voice and they're all recording. They had to get over.

Speaker 2:

Everybody needs to get over that first part of hearing their own voice.

Speaker 3:

But when they really got behind what was there and really listened to it closely, they saw where, in some cases, confusion was happening in the classroom for students. Students got lost in the flow of the lesson. The questions that I thought I was asking weren't really the questions that I wanted to ask. Right and and when? Step back and do that own self reflection and then you also have a peer self-reflection so that y'all can Look at and listen to it and they can give you some some critical let's call it critical feedback critical friendly feedback. Right, when they give you that kind of feedback, it helps Increase your toolkit, it helps you and the road together. And really, when you're doing it with someone else, that's the only way as a teacher I grew I would. I would stop in and talk with my department chair on a regular basis and it wasn't there's preset. That's. It was like man, my kids really aren't they really struggling with this? Or here's what I'm trying. He popped his head. In a lot of times somebody can listen from outside the class and tell what's going on. Okay, kids are with you kids, oh no, just lost them. At what point did you lose them? Pose that question, that really was. You brought it out of nowhere. So what I do is I come back to you and say, hey, I've jotted down any your questions that you, you thinking, jot them, put them on the three by five card, carry that in the classroom. Which you got, your three, four main questions that you really want students to be able to answer. They're right out your car, great idea. So.

Speaker 1:

Well, and the journey doesn't end. And I would offer you were saying like, oh, I can work on discourse for this, while until, oh, I'm nailed discourse, I'm like, well, then your students are gonna change. So, guess what? You're gonna be working on discourse again. So there's this. It's always, we can concentrate on areas and focus on a space and then move and concentrate on a different skill and space for a while. And there's always, we can always just keep coming around and they're all connected.

Speaker 3:

They're all connected in this, all a cycle which, when you think, gotten into this one space, then you're ready for the next, then you're ready for the next, you're ready to take it to the next level. Or, like you said, your students change on you, or your demographics change on you, the needs of the students change on you. No one would have predicted pandemic hit us the way it hit us so thus, the needs of our students have changed. And so how do I go about thinking through some of the practices of what I used to do and I would still like to do, but how my students needs changed and what do I need to do to address those needs? And so do I need to learn a new school kid of skills? I think for years I'm not gonna say we, as in the math field, got us on some things, used to get a pass on some things Universal design for learning would be introduced in the school system. Quite often the introduction was through examples of literacy, examples of history, and when you ask for the math examples to help share with teachers, there were very few in little, and this was years ago. And so what happened? Schools would go after the Universal Design for Learning Initiative and say, okay, we'll pick it up on this side, but math y'all keep teaching them. We need to have a focus in there. Well, I would offer that Universal Design for Learning is a key resource, a key part of our toolkit that we need to build out Social emotional learning, social emotional academic learning. Therefore, not thinking about just social emotional learning, but social emotional academic development of students. And what does that mean when you think about helping students with management, helping students with self-regulation? What does that mean in the math classroom? How do we help through the math and do those kind of things? Of course, when initially I wanna say introduce a math teacher, sometimes look at things like that and say, oh, somebody else can pick that up, I just need to teach them procedure, structures, how to calculate, how to get an answer. Well, when you teach kids some of those other skills, they are a part of learning math and so maybe that's what needs to be added to it. So looking at how they integrate some of the social, emotional learning practices into your math classroom. And you don't have to go after trying all of them, but just think about your students, think about your needs and what I often suggest to teachers when you think about doing anything, especially when you try it and see how it impacts, think about two or three students in your classroom, two or three students. They fit into certain buckets, certain backgrounds, certain needs, and think about that strategy or that practice that you're doing and reflect on what's to impact on those two or three students, because for each of those two or three students, they have a bubble of kids around them. And if I can figure it out for two or three, test it, do it, test it, do it, adjust it, do it, adjust it, do it. Then, okay, now I've got this one. But when trying to do something for all, that's where we tie our hands and fold our hands and don't because we say, well, how can I meet the needs for all of my students? It begins with meeting the needs with our own and then you grow from there.

Speaker 1:

There's a lot there, thank you so much. There's a lot for people to think about and consider and all kinds of areas to keep growing, and I think that's we really thank you for coming on and talk about these really powerful and important things and giving people some structure to grapple with it and make it actionable. So thank you so much for coming on the podcast today.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, thank you, great suggestions.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, thank you for it.

Speaker 1:

So that's all we have time for on this episode of the More Math for More People podcast.

Speaker 2:

For more information and to stay connected, find CPM on Twitter and Facebook. You can find our handles in the podcast description.

Speaker 1:

The music for the podcast was created by Julius H and can be found on pixivaycom. Thanks, julius. Join us in two weeks for the next episode of More Math for More People. What day will that be, joel?

Speaker 2:

It will be August 8th, national Pickleball Day and this sport. I don't know much about this sport, but I know that there are many members on our professional learning team that are heavily involved with pickleball tournaments. They are given a handicap. There's all sorts of fun stories around pickleball. Just call any of us and we'll try and answer that for you. We'll push in the right direction. But just from looking at what pickleball is, it seems like it definitely would give you a chance to be active right, be onside, maybe have some family time, some friends time, maybe take it more seriously than that the competition, things like that and it definitely would give me a chance to learn something new. So I'm excited to take a look at, learn more about pickleball, the National Pickleball Day and we'll see you next time.

National Wine and Cheese Day!
Catalyzing Change in High School Mathematics