Elementary teachers worked with a visiting math coach to increase their efficacy in math instruction during the week leading up to Chuseok break. Mrs. Gynelle Gaskell, an instructional coach with Singapore American School, visited YISS for four days to work with homeroom, SLS, and ELL teachers.
Gaskell focused mainly on helping teachers better understand how to incorporate Problem-Based Interactive Lessons (PBIL) and Number Talks into their lessons. Deb Biersteker, 3A teacher, said that the “practical suggestions on how to do PBILs and Number Talks” were one of the highlights of the training.
During Friday’s in-service day, Gaskell was able to coach grade teams through the planning process for their math units. “Having time with my teammates to plan future lessons and discuss how we will implement the new lesson structure” was helpful, according to Stacy Trevino, 5D teacher.
On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, Gaskell had the opportunity to model PBILs in each grade level. After each lesson, the grade level team debriefed with Gaskell, which included discussing why she made certain decisions. “These discussions modeled the types of discussions that we want our teachers to be having during their Professional Learning Community (PLC) meetings with their grade team,” said Brian Marshall, principal.
Mandy Falgout, 3D teacher, summed up what many teachers said when she commented, “I love when Gynelle comes and shares with us. I always feel much more confident in what I am doing in math after her visits.” Ultimately, students will be helped most by the training as the PBILs help students learn to be more self-directed learners and better problem solvers.