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Email responses of interview questions

1.
What grade do you teach? first

What math do you teach if you are single subject? What are your memories of
math growing up? (Do you remember specific things you did? Doing a lot of
worksheets? Projects? Did you like or hate math? Were you good at it?)

I liked math and was pretty good at it - did advanced classes in high school; I
remember liking statistics and trig and figuring out the puzzle of putting what
formulas into the problems.


Do you think those experiences have played any part in how you teach math
now?

Probably. I like math and get excited about it so the kids get excited about it. I try
to show how we use math in everyday life and have the kids do projects with
math.


What professional development for math have you had? Has it been valuable to
you?

I'm on the Math Common Core Committee; I have a business/finance degree;
worked in banking and taught accounting at Delta.


Is mathematical discourse part of your day? Do you get your kids talking and
discussing math daily?
yup


Do you feel your math curriculum is effective? Do you have to supplement?

I mostly use EnVisions.... But try to include hands on activities


How do you engage students?

Activities and being excited about it myself




How do you feel about teaching math?

I like it

How do your students feel about math? Do they seem to be frustrated? Do they
get excited to get started? Are they doing well?

I get more "4s"than "3s & 2s"; My kids are mostly the bell curve because that is
the class make-up: the smart kids get it and the lower kids struggle... But I think
they all like the fun activities.

2.
What grade do you teach?

1st

What math do you teach if you are single subject?

What are your memories of math growing up? (Do you remember specific things
you did? Doing a lot of worksheets? Projects? Did you like or hate math? Were
you good at it?

I hated HS math Geometry. Loved third grade math multiplications. No
worksheets always book paper pencil.



Do you think those experiences have played any part in how you teach math
now?

Not really. I do what the district says to do and add daily so they understand it.


What professional development for math have you had? Has it been valuable to
you?

Math land, math their way, envision, others but I can't remember there names.
Sorry.


Is mathematical discourse part of your day? Do you get your kids talking and
discussing math daily?

Every day. I tell them they will use it daily their whole entire life.


Do you feel your math curriculum is effective? Do you have to supplement?

It is okay and yes I use supplements also daily.


How do you engage students?

Have it relate to them. Their way of thinking.


How do you feel about teaching math?

Love it. I tell them clues to help them remember how steps go In Math.

How do your students feel about math? Do they seem to be frustrated? Do they
get excited to get started? Are they doing well?

They are usually excited. We are excited about everything because we are first
grade. We love school.


3.
What grade do you teach? 1st

What math do you teach if you are single subject?

What are your memories of math growing up? (Do you remember specific things
you did? Doing a lot of worksheets? Projects? Did you like or hate math? Were
you good at it?)

I don't remember the format of learning, i.e. worksheets vs. projects. I think it
was just "open to page ___ and do the odd/even numbered problems." Looking
back, I don't think math instruction was very engaging. I wasn't interested in
learning math, but was fairly good at it... always in the honors/AP classes, but
never at the very top of the class. The problems of "One train leaves station A at
___ time at ___ MPH..." still haunt me!


Do you think those experiences have played any part in how you teach math
now? I definitely try to make math fun to try to relate it to the students' lives.


What professional development for math have you had? Has it been valuable to
you?

In SUSD, I remember enjoying Kim Sutton trainings because we learned
inventive ways of teaching math. We also received literature books to help teach
the lessons and there were lots of "make and take" workshops. I would like to
take "Making Math Real" in LUSD, but the timing of the workshops have not
worked with my schedule.


Is mathematical discourse part of your day? Do you get your kids talking and
discussing math daily?

Yes---they talk and explain every day. I also have guided students to be peer
teachers when their friends are struggling with the math lesson. It's important for
the more advanced students to explain and have the opportunity to teach.

Do you feel your math curriculum is effective? Do you have to supplement?

I feel enVisions is the weakest of the 4 math programs that I have taught in my
teaching career. I always have to supplement to make the math more appealing
to the kids. The program is not teacher or student or parent friendly. It moves
too quickly from topic to topic, lesson to lesson, and there isn't time to
review. There isn't any remedial opportunities for our weaker students. It
assumes that all the students have the same basic skills at the beginning of the
year and the majority of students struggle to learn the most basic topics. It also
assumes that all students are able to read the math problems. I wish I had
permission to throw out the math lessons. My students would feel more
successful if I taught math without enVisions. I could go on and on and on.

How do you engage students?

I read literature books related to the lesson. I try to make it a game or telling
interesting stories of why the lesson is important. We also let kids work together.

How do you feel about teaching math?

I used to love teaching math before enVisions. Now, it's dry, difficult, boring, and
not achieving the results I want.

How do your students feel about math? Do they seem to be frustrated? Do they
get excited to get started? Are they doing well?

We are managing... My low students are frustrated, but luckily I have lots of
parent help to carry them along. I'm not sure they are learning the enVisions'
concepts because they lack basic number sense to begin with. EnVisions is far
above their understanding. My high kids are doing well, but I am supplementing
with other materials to challenge them. My middle kids are learning, but
enVisions by itself is not fun. Supplement, supplement, supplement!


4.
What grade do you teach?

Third

What math do you teach if you are single subject?

What are your memories of math growing up? (Do you remember specific things
you did? Doing a lot of worksheets? Projects? Did you like or hate math? Were
you good at it?)

Loved math until I didn't understand it in high school and college. I especially
loved my math class in middle school. It was Algebra 1 spread over 2
years. Our teacher loved what he was doing and it showed.



Do you think those experiences have played any part in how you teach math
now?

I try to not only frequently tell my class that I love math, but I try to show them
that as well.




What professional development for math have you had? Has it been valuable to
you?

Although I enjoyed the years of Math Matters training, it has
been the Making Math Real training that I have consistently used and found the
most success with.




Is mathematical discourse part of your day? Do you get your kids talking and
discussing math daily?

We have math journals for the Problem of the Day. They love being able to put
their journal on the ELMO and explain their thinking.



Do you feel your math curriculum is effective? Do you have to
supplement?

Definitely supplement with Making Math Real.


How do you engage students?

They seem to like tracking their progress, be it in MFIF or 9 Lines or journals.


How do you feel about teaching math?

Would like to do it all day!


How do your students feel about math? Do they seem to be frustrated? Do they
get excited to get started? Are they doing well? Mixed bag. Couple of the girls
seem soooo confused all the time. Really hate to see that. Three of the students
still haven't passed addition levels of MFIF, which I find to be quite concerning. I
am trying to make word problems and multi-step problems our focus, but they still
need to get their basic
facts memorized.
5.
What grade do you teach?

3rd

What math do you teach if you are single subject?

What are your memories of math growing up? (Do you remember specific things
you did? Doing a lot of worksheets? Projects? Did you like or hate math? Were
you good at it?)

I really only remember worksheets, drill and kill, and sitting there trying to get it. I
do not remember any projects
etc. I hated math and I struggled the whole time, until college.


Do you think those experiences have played any part in how you teach math
now?

Yes, I always remember how lost I felt. I think I really teach the academic
language but I also try to use conversational language and fun activities to
cement the concept.




What professional development for math have you had? Has it been valuable to
you?

This year not so much. Last year was the one with Satindeer and I
loved that as it focused on building that conceptual knowledge. In the past, I have
also taken making Math Real and that was fantastic and I still use that.




Is mathematical discourse part of your day? Do you get your kids talking and
discussing math daily?

It is and we do talk about it quite a bit.



Do you feel your math curriculum is effective? Do you have to supplement?

I like parts of it but I do not think it is a complete program. Yes, I supplement with
Making Math Real, things I create, I use on-line sources a lot.


How do you engage students?

Making math fun and having a catch. Really it is not hard to engage them as they
tend to enjoy math.


How do you feel about teaching math?

I really enjoy it.


How do your students feel about math? Do they seem to be frustrated? Do they
get excited to get started? Are they doing well?

They do seem excited and overall I think it is one of their favorite subjects. Yes,
of course some are frustrated. Those are typically the students functioning at the
kinder and 1st grade level. In terms of doing well, there are levels in my class.

6. What grade do you teach? 5
th


What math do you teach if you are single subject?

What are your memories of math growing up? (Do you remember specific things
you did? Doing a lot of worksheets? Projects? Did you like or hate math? Were
you good at it?)

I wasn’t very good at math. I remember doing worksheets and always needing
help. I really disliked it.

Do you think those experiences have played any part in how you teach math
now?

I think they do. I’ve never felt very confident about teaching math.


What professional development for math have you had? Has it been valuable to
you?

I have had Envision and some Making Math Real training. This year we have had
a district training for 5
th
grade and it has been really helpful.

Is mathematical discourse part of your day? Do you get your kids talking and
discussing math daily?

I have the students talk about math and it helps me understand how they solve
problems differently. It helps me learn new ways to explain the math.

Do you feel your math curriculum is effective? Do you have to supplement?

I use it to teach from. I am learning 5
th
grade math, so it helps to have the manual.
Sometimes other teachers give me materials they find.

How do you engage students?

I try and get them to talk about the math and work with each other. They like to
teach each other.

How do you feel about teaching math?

I still don’t feel confident in my math. I try and do my best and follow the
curriculum, but I am learning as I am going.


How do your students feel about math? Do they seem to be frustrated? Do they
get excited to get started? Are they doing well?


My students seem to like math. There are all different levels in my class. Some
do better than others.


7.
What grade do you teach? High School

What math do you teach if you are single subject? Pre-Algebra, IMP 2, Algebra
2

What are your memories of math growing up? (Do you remember specific things
you did? Doing a lot of worksheets? Projects? Did you like or hate math? Were
you good at it?)

I loved math, mostly because I felt like I was really good at it. I think it helped
that it seemed that my teachers always liked math and had a passion for the
subject they were teaching and for teaching in general. I was very
fortunate. Otherwise, I had a pretty "traditional" math education.



Do you think those experiences have played any part in how you teach math
now?

I think that on days when I need to use direct instruction, my past math
experiences have been useful. I do, however, try to use other methods where
students are asked to "think for themselves" and utilize more problem solving.


What professional development for math have you had? Has it been valuable to
you?

I took part in the LAMP grant. I did three weeks of training in the IMP 1 and 2
curriculums. I also participated in a WestEd grant for Teaching and Learning
Linear Functions. Each of these trainings has been very valuable to me and I am
constantly thinking of ways to implement the different things that I learned.


Is mathematical discourse part of your day? Do you get your kids talking and
discussing math daily?

Yes. Students are expected to present on a daily basis and they are to explain
their reasoning and try to explain the reasoning of others.



Do you feel your math curriculum is effective? Do you have to supplement?

I feel like some of my curriculum is effective, but every course that I am
teaching this year has needed supplementation to help it to be more effective.


How do you engage students?

This is always the hardest thing for me. Some lessons are easier to engage
students that others. If we have a hands on activity, engagement is
easy. Otherwise, we usually start with a warm-up or review of the work from the
day/night before. I try to interject "stories" when I can. I ask a LOT of questions
during my lessons to try to keep students involved in the lesson (when doing
direct instruction). Other times we use group interaction and problem solving to
engage them.

How do you feel about teaching math?

I LOVE IT!!

How do your students feel about math? Do they seem to be frustrated? Do they
get excited to get started? Are they doing well?

This is a complicated question for me since I teach all levels of
mathematics. Some of my students have grown to hate math over the years.
Somewhere along the line they came to believe that they were "not good at
math" and they developed a dislike for the subject. Others of my students love
math. Some find it boring, some are excited. Some are doing well, some are
not. Looking at the spectrum of levels that I teach, you can see that my courses
are pretty representative of our student population... You will always have
students who like a subject, or don't... Who like you or don't... All we can do is
our very best to reach each of them.