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December Teacher Scan

December Teacher Scan


As we are wrapping up the first 4 months of this school year we thought we should conduct a scan of how teachers are progressing with our school goal of “building community through mathematics”. Teachers who were comfortable with being in a group worked shared their progress and those who were not, answered the questions independently.

We posed three questions:

  • What is going well?
  • What are you noticing?
  • What questions do you have?


We have 8 classroom teachers who are part of an innovation grant that focuses on the book “Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics” and the others are using other strategies. The innovation group meets once a month to share what they have done in class. Below are some of the results from the teacher scan questions.


What is going well?


  • Students have been able to connect math with what they are learning in the outdoor classroom **specific examples
  • They are spending more time in groups working through problems. Some teachers are integrating this into their morning routines. They are continuing to use the Marian Small “Open Ended Questions” book for small group consolidation of a concept
  • As part of the book “Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics” students are put into random groups and they complete their math problem solving standing up at a whiteboard. This allows for more sharing of ideas between different groups as well as helping everyone to be active members of the process
  • Teachers are rethinking how their classrooms are set up – some are removing the “front” of the class and learning to teach from various spots
  • They are finding students are more engaged when they are working in groups and standing up.


What are you noticing?


  • Teachers are noticing students are being more creative when given open ended questions and this helps to build their confidence when they cooperate with each other. They are also finding and creating new friendships. As well, teachers have noticed that some of their ELL learners are expressing more oral language.
  • Students are also becoming more open to trying new ways of problem solving/approaching mathematical thinking.


What questions do you have?

  • Although many aspects of the goals are going well, teachers still have many questions and they are all on different parts of the continuum.
  • How can we provide extra support for students who need it? How do we involve our ELL learners when they may have limited English or how do we support students who may have processing difficulties?
  • How do we balance converting the whole classroom into a whiteboard when there are many other areas of learning?
  • Balancing (learning how) to cover the curriculum as well as incorporating the strategies taught in Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics
  • Learning how to support our youngest learners. Sharing a pen, learning vocabulary and supporting on task learning is challenging.
  • How can our resource team apply these concepts in a way that supports students who struggle?


We are just at the beginning of this journey and through continued professional conversations we will begin to incorporate more fully. Our next steps are going to be to scan the students to see how they are feeling as math learners.


Updated: Tuesday, April 12, 2022