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The Center for Teaching and Learning Mathematics (CTLM) seeks to professionally develop Iowa's elementary teachers in the area of mathematics. As part of this goal, we have made our Making Sense Professional Development courses available across the state of Iowa. These courses deepen teachers' understanding of mathematical content and increase their ability to implement research-based best practices. The entire eight course series focuses on making sense of numbers, operations, geometry, measurement, algebraic thinking about operations, algebraic thinking about patterns and functions, data, and rational numbers. The courses are aligned with the Common Core State Standards, the Iowa Core Curriculum, and the Iowa Professional Development Model.

The CTLM also recognizes the importance of instructional leadership to teacher improvement and ultimately, to student achievement. In response, the CTLM develops and provides instructional leadership training to principals whose teachers are participating in our math professional development courses.

More than 40 teachers from Southwest Iowa are currently engaging in the Making Sense Professional Development courses, thanks in part to a Mathematics and Science Partnership Grant funded by the Iowa Department of Education. In addition, all of the teachers from seven selected elementary schools (a total of approximately 100 teachers) began the series of courses in the fall of 2011. The CTLM continues to support the teachers taking part in our courses through  face-to-face instructional sessions, interactive web-based modules, and classroom coaching.

The CTLM was alo recently awarded a Mathematics and Science Partnership Title IIB grant. The Title IIB grant, entitled Making Sense of Mathematics and Teaching: Learning and Leading (MSMT II), will provide ongoing funding for Making Sense of Mathematics and Teaching (MSMT) professional development courses.The Title IIB grant will support professional development over three years, beginning summer 2012. In collaboration with Heartland AEA, Prairie Lakes AEA, and Green Hills AEA, the CTLM will serve 50 elementary teachers in four school districts: Creston Community Schools, Saydel Community Schools, Fort Dodge Community Schools, and Waterloo Community Schools. Six MSMT professional development courses will be offered focusing on numbers, operations, geometry, measurement, algebraic thinking, and rational numbers. The courses are aligned to the Characteristics of Effective Instruction and the Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice. The MSMT professional development courses are designed to increase elementary teachers’ mathematical content knowledge for teaching, improve their instructional practices, and as a result, improve their student’s achievement in mathematics.

Additionally, the CTLM has partnered with the Waterloo Community Schools to provide instructional coaching in both Cunningham and Irving Elementary Schools through the 2013-2014 academic school year. With a focus on changing teachers’ beliefs and classroom practices, University faculty will collaborate with Building Interventionists and District Math Coaches, to provide intensive modeling, coaching, and professional development to the elementary teachers. The instructional focus will be on successful implementation of the newly adopted TERC Investigations series.

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