For more information on CaMSP projects, please visit Public Work's website.

CaMSP April 2015 Newsletter

CaMSP Evaluation News

pw croppedPublic Works of Pasadena has been selected by CDE as the state evaluator for the CaMSP initiative and is also coordinating local evaluation activities for Cohort 10 and Cohort 11 STEM projects.

Evaluation News for April:

Next up for Cohort 9 and 10 is the participating teacher survey! Look for an email from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to each project director with information about how to administer this survey in mid-April.

We are collecting summer institute dates for Cohort 10 and 11. If you have not done so yet, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with this information.

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San Rafael iTeams

Dozens of pictures of cartoon characters cover the tables at the San Rafael City Schools' District office boardroom. Groups of teachers are arranging the pictures to form a storyline according to inferences made from the pictures' details. Larry Horvath, Assistant Professor of Secondary Education at San Francisco State University (SFSU), explained, "Not all science has controlled experiments. Evolution and geology require claims from evidence and inferences from that evidence."

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Sacramento COE EMITS Project

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"It has been eye opening. I haven't thought of teaching proportion like this. I have always taught the way my books instructed. I can't wait to use the ideas we experienced here!"

"I loved it! And I can't wait to start. I almost wish school started sooner!"

These quotes are from grade 6 – 12 teachers sharing their experiences from Sacramento COE's Engineering and Mathematics Inspiring Thinking and Solutions (EMITS) summer institute.

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Manipulatives: The Missing Link in High School Math

Using manipulatives will teach concrete understanding to the abstract math process, especially when the student is struggling or does not understand the skill. We often see manipulatives in the elementary school and some at the junior high level, but rarely, if at all, at the high school level.

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Kiddie Algebra

Students' algebraic thinking starts early, much earlier than the formal introduction to algebra. Having students extend their thinking into a generalization helps them to start incorporating algebra into the math concept. This concept of integrating this way of thinking into every math concept and into every grade, including kindergarten, is very new to teachers and parents. "Algebra'fying" math concepts helps students carry forward ideas throughout each grade and does not leave algebra as a standalone math class with which students struggle.

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Does our approach to teaching math fail even the smartest kids?

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STEM careers require a good foundation in mathematics, one with problem solving and multi-faceted problems where the right approach isn't always apparent. Rote memorization of algorithms do not give students an adequate foundation of math concepts, just how to quickly get an answer. Fostering a love of math for younger students and preparing kids to be better thinkers will better prepare them for collegiate level STEM and careers.

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