In San Luis Obispo County, a group of 4th and 7th grade teachers from multiple districts has been working together over the past few months to deepen their understanding of the math standards and conceptual shifts. Each participating teacher will assess their student achievement and identify areas of strength and need. As a team, and with support from SLOCOE math expert Terri Gibbs-Burke, they determine instructional strategies that will be most effective in teaching a particular standard or concept. Each teacher returns to their district committed to implement these strategies and use formative assessments to gauge progress. At their next meeting, the group will reflect on implementation and student results. The cycle of collaborative inquiry begins anew every 6 weeks.
Michael Fullan, in his book Coherence, identifies this type of process as a promising practice in supporting collaborative cultures. As we continue to see success with this model, we will explore expanding it to other grade levels and include more districts.