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  1. Anne Papakonstantinou
  2. Director RUSMP
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Rice University School Mathematics Project
  1. Adem Ekmekci
  2. Director of Research for RUSMP
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Rice University School Mathematics Project
  1. Carolyn White
  2. Director of Math Programs
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Rice University School Mathematics Project

Rice University Robert Noyce Teaching Fellowship Program

NSF Awards: 1556006

2021 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12

The COVID-19 pandemic did not stop the Rice University School Mathematics Project (RUSMP) from offering its highly popular Summer Campus Program (SCP) for precollege teachers. The camp went virtual and successfully ran June 8–18, with the enlisted help of the Rice/NSF Robert Noyce Master Teaching Fellows (Grant #1556006) to co-teach.

Teachers from the Greater Houston area and beyond enrolled in the SCP and were placed into three cohorts: elementary grades 2–5, middle school grades 6–8 or high school geometry-calculus. Each cohort convened on Zoom for three hours each morning and worked individually or virtually in groups for three hours each afternoon. A variety of technologies and websites were used.

The SCP camp has been running for 33 years and all the activities it offers transitioned seamlessly to an online environment: readings and discussions, independent and group work, lesson development, integrated math and art activities in the elementary and middle school cohorts, and colloquium talk in the high school cohort.

The Noyce Master Teaching Fellows also jumped in to plan, facilitate, and present during the RUSMP Fall 2020 Networking Conference and the RUSMP Spring 2021 Networking Conference. Nearly 150 educators attended the webinar to gain on the important issues of today’s virtual teaching:

  • Planning and setting up your online classroom
  • Creating an inviting environment
  • Techniques to actively engage your students in an online community of practice
  • Technology that works
  • Effective formative assessments

This video describes the professional development during the pandemic – the technology, the content, the challenges, and the successes.

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Discussion from the 2021 STEM For All Video Showcase (27 posts)
  • Icon for: Anne Papakonstantinou

    Anne Papakonstantinou

    Lead Presenter
    Director RUSMP
    May 10, 2021 | 05:43 p.m.

    Thank you for visiting our video showcase “Noyce Master Teaching Fellows Take Charge during COVID-19.” During the summer of 2020 in the midst of the pandemic, we decided to take our highly successful 33-year professional development program for K-12 mathematics teachers virtual with the help of the Rice/NSF Robert Noyce Master Teaching Fellows (Grant #1556006). 

    Our video outlines the important role that our Noyce Master Teacher Fellows played and lessons learned in the move completely to remote learning. We learned so much and grew very close during this intensive summer experience. We focused on building communities of practice; we focused on developing conceptual understanding; we used a variety of technologies that could also transfer to classrooms post-pandemic times.

    Our K-12 teacher participants felt better equipped, energized, and ready to tackle the challenges of online learning in the fall with their own students.

    We would greatly appreciate your feedback and suggestions. We would also like to learn about your own experiences with remote learning, your favorite technologies, and ways you assessed learning.

     
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    Kirstin Milks
  • Icon for: Carolyn White

    Carolyn White

    Co-Presenter
    Director of Math Programs
    May 11, 2021 | 08:41 a.m.

    The Noyce fellows played a wonderful role in the  virtual RUSMP Summer Campus Program 2020.  

    Carolyn White

  • Icon for: Anne Papakonstantinou

    Anne Papakonstantinou

    Lead Presenter
    Director RUSMP
    May 11, 2021 | 09:27 a.m.

    The Rice University School Mathematics Project (RUSMP) and the Houston Independent School District have richly benefitted from the expertise of the Noyce Fellows. Other districts are requesting RUSMP support to develop Noyce Master Teaching Fellows.

  • Icon for: Kirstin Milks

    Kirstin Milks

    Facilitator
    Science Teacher
    May 11, 2021 | 12:20 p.m.

    Hi there, RUSMP team and collaborators! I'm a high school science teacher, and I love playful PD that's grounded in curriculum and community - this looks like great fun :)

    I'm curious about a source/measurement of impact I don't see mentioned -- the impact on the Noyce teachers themselves and their students. Have you collected, or do you plan to collect, data on their experiences and their learning as facilitators? I facilitate a fair bit of professional development, and one of the overlooked sources of data, I feel, is how facilitators see their *own* learning grow as a result of participating in an experience like the one your presentation highlights!

  • Icon for: Adem Ekmekci

    Adem Ekmekci

    Co-Presenter
    Director of Research for RUSMP
    May 11, 2021 | 12:57 p.m.

    Hi Kristin, thanks for this great question. We wanted to focus on work done during 2020 summer campus program (SCP)in or video. We do collect data and look into the impact of our program on our Master Teaching Fellows (MTFs). We had planned to look into the student data by comparing 2020 standardized test results to that of 2021 (last year of the grant); however, 2020 standardized tests were dropped due to the pandemic. 

    Other data collected included MTFs' specialized content knowledge (SCK), admin and colleagues' perceptions of MTF's leadership skills, and focus groups. Results indicate improvement of MTF in their SCK, leadership skills, andragogical practices, and their understanding and addressing of diversity and inclusion issues. Some of these results shared through the following products:

    Ekmekci, A. (2019, July). The Rice University Master Teaching Fellowship Program midpoint results: Progress in development of teacher leaders in high-need urban schools. Poster presented at the 2019 Noyce Summit, Washington, D.C.

    McCoy, A. (2020, December). Evaluation of the Rice University Robert Noyce Master Teaching Fellowship Program. Houston, TX: Evaluation and Data Management Services, Inc.

    McCoy, A. (2019, November). The Rice University Robert Noyce Master Teaching Fellowship Program (RU-MTF) Year 4: 2019 Report (RUSMP DN:19-01). Houston, TX: Evaluation and Data Management Services, Inc.

     

     
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    Kirstin Milks
  • Icon for: Anne Papakonstantinou

    Anne Papakonstantinou

    Lead Presenter
    Director RUSMP
    May 11, 2021 | 12:31 p.m.

    Our Director of Research and External Evaluator are collecting this data (both qualitative and quantitative).

     
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    Kirstin Milks
  • Icon for: Cynthia Carson

    Cynthia Carson

    Academic Program Coordinator
    May 11, 2021 | 12:40 p.m.

    Can you tell us about some of the experiences or projects your fellows undertook in their own classrooms/districts during this past year, especially related to building their communities of practice?

     

  • Icon for: Adem Ekmekci

    Adem Ekmekci

    Co-Presenter
    Director of Research for RUSMP
    May 11, 2021 | 01:11 p.m.

    Adding on to Anne's reply below, I wanted to share summary finding we obtained from our focus groups through responses to the following two questions:

    1.What leadership roles have you assumed on your campus, in your community since RUMTF?

    Changed from closed/individual to collaborative style; learned about every aspect of organizing a workshop/program

    2. How important is community connectedness for your work? 

    Parent and stakeholder involvement is vital; community engagement supports education 

     
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    Kirstin Milks
  • Icon for: Anne Papakonstantinou

    Anne Papakonstantinou

    Lead Presenter
    Director RUSMP
    May 11, 2021 | 12:46 p.m.

    Noyce Fellows worked with their teachers, parents, school communities, and the school district... modeling, encouraging, supporting, guiding... Their positive can-do spirit resulted in colleagues trying new ways to actively involve students to participate in online classes. Constant communication with families minimized the number who fell through the cracks...

  • Icon for: Cynthia Carson

    Cynthia Carson

    Academic Program Coordinator
    May 11, 2021 | 12:50 p.m.

    I noticed in your description that you also had fellows presenting at local conferences.  This is something we have been discussing for our project as well.  Do you have any advice for us as we encourage our fellows to develop proposals and share their work at conferences?

  • Icon for: Adem Ekmekci

    Adem Ekmekci

    Co-Presenter
    Director of Research for RUSMP
    May 11, 2021 | 01:06 p.m.

    Yes, Cynthia, this is a great experience for our fellows so far. Specific to Noyce, in addition to what Anne mentioned below, regional Noyce conferences are great opportunities. Some of these conferences even provide travel funds, which can be incentivizing. We always encourage conference presentations/publications in our conversations as a type of leadership activity. If they participate in conferences, we also count their time towards their academic or summer work. 

     
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    Kirstin Milks
  • Icon for: Anne Papakonstantinou

    Anne Papakonstantinou

    Lead Presenter
    Director RUSMP
    May 11, 2021 | 12:57 p.m.

    In the school district, the curriculum department has mini-conferences throughout the year. Our Noyce fellows present at those. Local conferences, including our our own RUSMP spring and fall networking conferences, provide opportunities for our Noyce Fellows to share what they are doing. Also other universities in the area tap our Noyce Fellows as speakers. Noyce fellows have so much to share. You could encourage them to present in pairs if they have never done this before.

  • Icon for: Lisa Lamb

    Lisa Lamb

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 11, 2021 | 02:14 p.m.

    What an ambitious and long-running Summer Campus Program you have! I think that you integrated the Noyce MTFs as leaders in the Summer Campus Program -- is that correct? If so, I am curious how you brought them into this program. Congratulations!

  • Icon for: Adem Ekmekci

    Adem Ekmekci

    Co-Presenter
    Director of Research for RUSMP
    May 11, 2021 | 02:36 p.m.

    Lisa, yes, MTFs were involved in SCP as leaders. They are required to complete certain hours related to leadership during the academic year and the summer. SCP comes in as a great advantage for them, especially if they can't find any work that would qualify as leadership activity during the summer. 

     
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    Kirstin Milks
  • Icon for: Rosio Bugarin Pedroso

    Rosio Bugarin Pedroso

    Facilitator
    Principal
    May 11, 2021 | 02:26 p.m.

    This summer professional development program seems incredible. I would like to know what were your lessons learned about bringing a traditional face-to-face program online.  What made it work and what obstacles did you overcome. Also, I am interested in knowing of those teachers for whom this was their first time participating in an online program, how did it compare to other experiences. Similarly, for those who may have participated in an online prof dev program before yours, how did it compare. You may not have collected this data but it sure would be interesting to know as online or virtual teaching and trainings are here to stay, at least for the near future.

    Look forward to reading your response.

  • Icon for: Adem Ekmekci

    Adem Ekmekci

    Co-Presenter
    Director of Research for RUSMP
    May 11, 2021 | 02:49 p.m.

    I am sure my colleagues will also respond to this but I will share the things that stood out for me the most. First of all, it was challenging, very challenging to make the switch to online in a very short period of time. We are usually done with our planning and ordering of materials for SCP early Spring. If I recall correctly, we made the call to switch to online late April, which left us only a few weeks to plan for and get ready.

    One lesson is: we have been always a proponent of hands-on approach and human interaction in learning. At first we thought, the affordances of face-to-face could never be achieved by a virtual program. It still can't be a total replacement but it wasn't actually that bad, either. I think what made the virtual effective is we had a big team (help of MTFs) and effective planning. Also mailing the materials teachers needed was a great solution.

     
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    Kirstin Milks
    Sarah Haavind
  • Icon for: Adem Ekmekci

    Adem Ekmekci

    Co-Presenter
    Director of Research for RUSMP
    May 11, 2021 | 02:59 p.m.

    Also, none of us was really equipped in utilizing the online technologies for a virtual PD. So, we had to learn it and learn it quickly so that SCP would be a success and also we would share what we learn with teachers so that they could take a few things for their teaching in the Fall. In our planning meetings, we shared what we learned as we learned and thought of ways about how to make best use of what we learn. So, those were the challenges worth noting.

    On the other hand, we were able to go out of our physicals boundaries and able to reach to teachers who otherwise could not participate. 

     
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    Kirstin Milks
  • Icon for: Adem Ekmekci

    Adem Ekmekci

    Co-Presenter
    Director of Research for RUSMP
    May 11, 2021 | 03:03 p.m.

    We did not collect data about how our first-ever virtual SCP compare to other online PD programs or to our regular face-to-face programs but it would be really interesting to look at.

     

     
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    Kirstin Milks
  • Icon for: Sarah Haavind

    Sarah Haavind

    Facilitator
    Senior Research Project Manager
    May 11, 2021 | 10:58 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing your experience with pivoting your SCP to an online workshop. I'm curious to hear more about what Anne mentions above in her opening welcome post, that "we used a variety of technologies that could also transfer to classrooms post-pandemic times." Can you share a few examples of how your virtual experience might influence or enhance future in-person SCPs? 

  • Icon for: Anne Papakonstantinou

    Anne Papakonstantinou

    Lead Presenter
    Director RUSMP
    May 12, 2021 | 08:05 a.m.

    These are some of the technologies that we used that can easily transfer to face-to-face instruction.

    • document cameras served as web cams,
    • laptops for modeling hands-on activities,
    • Virtual Manipulatives,
    • GeoGebra Geometry (used before the Pandemic)
    • Pear Deck, Numberphile, and RUSMP Symbaloos (un the RUSMP website http://rusmp.rice.edu under resources)
    • Teachers submitted responses and interacted using Nearpod, Kahoot!, Padlet, Flipgrid, Whiteboard.fi, and via email.

    We tried whatever we could find to ensure no one was invisible!

     
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    Sarah Haavind
    Kirstin Milks
  • Icon for: Adem Ekmekci

    Adem Ekmekci

    Co-Presenter
    Director of Research for RUSMP
    May 12, 2021 | 10:08 a.m.

    My favorites are Flipgrid and Whiteboard.fi. They are great to engage ALL students rather than giving opportunity to only a few students at a time for contribution to a discussion. I actually used Whiteboard.fi with my calculus students. It was great to be able to see everyone's responses (anonymous if wanted)  - great formative assessment tool, and make a lot more richer discussions based on these responses than you would in a typical calculus class.

    And, yes, RUSMP Symbaloo includes variety of other digital tools that can be utilized in in-person classes: https://rusmp.rice.edu/resources/symbaloo

     
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    Sarah Haavind
    Kirstin Milks
  • May 12, 2021 | 09:58 a.m.

    Great video! My question builds on those above - I am wondering what specific technologies for teaching math content (e.g., GeoGebra) you felt teachers responded best to, and had the most success with, and which ones were more of a struggle. This is something I've been thinking so much about when training teachers over the past year. Thank for for all of your insights in the video and in the posts!

  • Icon for: Carolyn White

    Carolyn White

    Co-Presenter
    Director of Math Programs
    May 12, 2021 | 11:14 a.m.

    One online resource that we used K-5  was The Math Learning Center free APPS. (https://www.mathlearningcenter.org/apps)  The sharing APPS were beneficial in that educators can pose a problem using a code or link.  The participants could return their thinking using the code or link.  The codes or links are good for 18 months.  During the academic year, educators stated they that continued to use Whiteborad.fi for exit tickets, formative assessments, and for students to submit a photo of assignments.  Working with virtual educators during  the academic year, I used Whiteborad.fi for educators to upload student work  samples for discussions in PLC meetings.

     
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    Kirstin Milks
  • Icon for: Anne Papakonstantinou

    Anne Papakonstantinou

    Lead Presenter
    Director RUSMP
    May 12, 2021 | 10:22 a.m.

    Since our programs were K-12, different technologies were more appropriate at the different levels. GeoGebra was used more frequently with the high school group. Padlet, Flipgrid, Whiteboard.fi were popular with all groups. Please check out our Symbaloos, as they were used extensively by all groups too.

     
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    Kirstin Milks
  • Icon for: Anne Papakonstantinou

    Anne Papakonstantinou

    Lead Presenter
    Director RUSMP
    May 12, 2021 | 11:28 a.m.

    We showcased all the technologies used during Summer 2020 at our Fall and Spring Networking Conferences this year. Our entire teacher network and others around the globe who attended these virtual conferences benefitted from these sessions and left with ideas on how to use them in post-pandemic times.

     
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    Kirstin Milks
  • Icon for: Kirstin Milks

    Kirstin Milks

    Facilitator
    Science Teacher
    May 15, 2021 | 05:55 p.m.

    Thanks again for this description of how your program went virtual! Having a continuity of a successful professional development program is such a boon to participating teachers and developing community :)

  • Icon for: Anne Papakonstantinou

    Anne Papakonstantinou

    Lead Presenter
    Director RUSMP
    May 15, 2021 | 06:03 p.m.

    We have an amazing teacher network at RUSMP. Everyone steps up to help and offer suggestions. We don't claim to have all the answers but we can find them in our very talented group of educators. This is our 35th Anniversary (our center was started with NSF TE funding in 1987). Our team appreciates the community's trust in our work and we are committed to live up to this.

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