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Moments in Mathematics Coaching


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Table of Contents

Preface Acknowledgments About the Author Part I. The Coach's Work 1. What Is Coaching? Case: Coaching in Action, Ann, Grade 5 Taking a Closer Look Research-Based Models of Coaching Keys to Developing a Coaching Model Questions for Reflecting and Linking to Practice 2. Starting the School Year Making Introductions Establishing Trust Deciding Who to Coach Deciding Who Not to Coach . . . Then What? Getting Organized Communicating With Administrators Keys to Getting Started Questions for Reflecting and Linking to Practice 3. The Coaching Cycle Case: Decision Making in the Coaching Cycle, Fiona, Kindergarten Taking a Closer Look Defining the Focus Coach's Role, Teacher's Role Fiona's Case, Continued Taking a Closer Look The Need for Variations in the Coaching Cycle Keys to the Coaching Cycle Questions for Reflecting and Linking to Practice Part II. Tools for Coaching 4. Using Curriculum Defining the Meaning of Curriculum Case: Talking About Curriculum, Sue, Grade 2 Taking a Closer Look Using the Curriculum as a Coaching Tool Keys to Coaching With Curriculum Questions for Reflecting and Linking to Practice 5. The Role of Questioning Case: Different Questions for Different Purposes, Nancy, Grade 1 Taking a Closer Look Case: Planning the Questions, Rick, Grade 4 Taking a Closer Look Case: When Open-Ended Questions Aren't Enough, Carolyn, Grade 1 Taking a Closer Look Keys to Questioning Questions for Reflecting and Linking to Practice 6. Being Explicit Case: Making Explicit Moves, Keith, Grade 4 Taking a Closer Look Keys to Being Explicit Questions for Reflecting and Linking to Practice 7. Using Data Case: Creating Urgency Through Data, Peggy, Grade 5 Taking a Closer Look Tools to Facilitate the Use of Data Developing Student-Focused Action Plans Keys to Using Data Final Thoughts About Data Questions for Reflecting and Linking to Practice Part III. Coaching Dilemmas 8. Confronting Classroom Errors Case: Keeping the Mathematics in Mind, Holly, Grade 3 Taking a Closer Look Case: Deciding When to Address an Error, Maggie, Grade 5 Taking a Closer Look Being Proactive: Discussing How to Address an Error Being Proactive: Building Mathematical Knowledge to Avoid Errors Keys to Confronting Errors Questions for Reflecting and Linking to Practice 9. Transforming the Demonstration Lesson Case: To Demo or Not to Demo? Janet, Kindergarten Taking a Closer Look Keys to Transforming the Demo Lesson Questions for Reflecting and Linking to Practice 10. The Coach as a Learner Case: Doing the Math, Lisa, Grade 5 Taking a Closer Look Permission to Be a Learner Keeping the Teacher in Mind Keys to Being Coach AND Learner Questions for Reflecting and Linking to Practice Part IV. Growing the Coach 11. Professional Development for the Coach Identifying What Coaches Need to Know Moving From Research to Practice Coaching Simulations Journaling as a Tool for Learning Belonging to a Coaching Community Keys to Professional Development for the Coach Questions for Reflecting and Linking to Practice Conclusion Resource A. Resources to Develop Mathematical and Pedagogical Content knowledge Resource B. Sources of Math Coach Professional Development References Index

About the Author

Kristine Woleck is the K-5 mathematics coordinator for the New Canaan Public Schools in New Canaan, Connecticut. Prior to this position, she served as a K-8 staff developer, math coach/specialist, and mathematics consultant in both public and private schools in New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. She began her career as a first-grade teacher in Connecticut. Kris' graduate studies in the Bank Street College of Education Mathematics Leadership Program sparked her interest in teacher leadership in mathematics and pushed her to pursue her study of staff development and ultimately coaching. With a sixth-year diploma in educational leadership and administration from the University of Connecticut, she is interested in examining how school administrators can most effectively bring principles of coaching into their supervision of teachers. Kris has authored several articles in professional journals based on her classroom teaching experiences, coaching work, and her experience as a facilitator of online coaching seminars in conjunction with the Education Alliance at Brown University. Her work has been published in Teaching Children Mathematics, the 2001 Yearbook of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), and the Journal of Staff Development. Most recently, she was selected as a 2009-2010 Classroom Teaching Fellow in the United States Department of Education Teaching Ambassador Fellowship program to include practitioner perspectives and voice in the development of educational policy.


"Woleck provides an instructive and insightful analysis of what makes coaching a powerful and capacity-building resource for schools dedicated to ensuring excellence in teaching and learning. This is a highly engaging and informative account of how effective coaching skills develop and become refined through research-based study, daily practice, and ongoing reflection. What makes this book stand out is that Woleck treats mind-set and principle-based understanding as core dimension that develop and promote expertise. The author's melding of research, practice, and reflection is done artfully, enhancing the appeal and usefulness of the book as both a personal resource for educators and a tool for ongoing, collaborative study in text-based professional development." -- Mary Monroe Kolek, Deputy Superintendent
"A must-read for all mathematics teacher coaches. Woleck brings us into her coaching life by sharing these cases from her work. Through the engaging details of these personal stories, she skillfully leads us into considering various coaching models, essential coaching skills, and effective coaching practices. Focus questions at the end of each chapter add an incentive for readers to deepen their own practice and use this book as the basis for study groups." -- Euthecia Hancewicz, Mathematics Teacher Support Specialist
"For the times when working as a math coach can make us feel unsure and shaky, Woleck's book offers some steady, solid ground. The wisdom she has gained through years of coaching is evident. She has melded and adapted several models of coaching for her practice in ways that make good sense. In her telling of actual classroom cases, we can appreciate just how adaptable and flexible coaching requires us to be in taking a range of coaching stances and in filling a variety of roles. Woleck has not shied away from addressing the dilemmas coaches face in their practice nor simplified the complexity of the decisions coaches must regularly make. This book is replete with usable resources to help us develop and refine our coaching practices." -- Meredith Melvin Adelfio, Math Coordinator
"This book stands out as one that gives a full picture of the role of the coach while being extremely specific. Beyond the obvious tasks of getting started and planning with teachers, the book discusses aspects of the job that are rarely covered in coaching books. Cases ground the reader in the important features of the job and are used to point out links to research. I recommend this as a handbook for all math coaches." -- Barbara Dubitsky, Director of Mathematics Leadership

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