Aim for Algebra professional development participants learn how to:
- Incorporate effective questioning strategies as you implement conceptually based mathematics lessons
- Orchestrate discourse to build an understanding of math concepts essential for success in algebra
- Participate in lessons to model effective implementation of the Aim for Algebra curriculum
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Aim for Algebra professional development institutes are held on your site with flexible dates for school or district teams.
The on-site institutes take place over three days: an initial two-day implementation seminar and a one-day follow-up later in the year.
Participants learn research-affirmed strategies to effectively implement the Aim for Algebra curriculum — a coherent set of materials, conceptual in nature, rather than a collection of individual worksheets on isolated topics.
Aim for Algebra, published by WestEd, has a modular format for easy implementation, flexible programming, and individualized student placement. Institute participants will learn about the following 12 content-specific modules, which can be accessed as a complete set, or individually, or as replacement materials, allowing teachers to provide students a variety of experiences in regular, intervention, or readiness algebra classes:
- Signed Number Operations
- Number Theory for Algebra
- Variables and Expressions
- Rational Numbers
- Equations and Formulas
- Ratios and Proportions
- Coordinate Plane
- Proportional Reasoning
- Data and Probability
Each module includes a lesson-by-lesson facilitator guide, student materials, pre/post-tests, answer keys, and appropriate manipulatives.
What Makes This Service Unique
Our professional development providers were part of the development of Aim for Algebra and are experts in its successful implementation and the instructional strategies to achieve success.
In the Aim for Algebra curriculum, WestEd researchers have identified and addressed specific areas that often become barriers to learning algebra. WestEd bases Aim for Algebra lessons on cognitive research and learning theory that optimizes understanding and retention and enables students to bridge the conceptual gaps created by traditional algebra curricula.
Aim for Algebra lessons and activities help students deeply understand underlying algebraic concepts, organize their thinking, work with multiple representations, and learn incrementally. The following seven principles guided the development of the curriculum and are discussed in detail during the institute:
Reflects connections to algebra with targeted curriculum
- Creates connections between prerequisite concepts and algebra, so students recognize what they will know and be able to do as they master the concepts and skills
- Uses algebraic expressions and models and carefully deconstructs the ideas to help students in their mathematical comprehension
Establishes conceptually based foundations for learning
- Uses links from prior knowledge of arithmetic operations to help students understand algebraic procedures
Embeds instruction and develops organizational skills
- Designs instruction to be interactive to help students stay focused and engaged in ongoing instruction
Guides organizing, displaying, and explaining the mathematics sequences and scaffolds ideas purposefully
- Uses careful scaffolding of essential ideas to increase access
- Provides sequencing of established, quality tasks that is essential to the program’s proven success with students, rather than isolated exercises
Uses mathematically precise language and concrete models
- Uses appropriate, precise mathematical vocabulary and terminology, helping students make connections to core texts and mandated tests
- Encourages use of manipulatives to create models, use multiple representations, and produce written responses
Embeds formative assessment
- Uses multiple checks for understanding through guided practice and error analysis
- Includes pre- and post-assessments with items from mandated tests
- Provides detailed lesson plans for facilitators that indicate higher-order thinking questions, assessments, and homework
Supports differentiated learning
- Allows for flexible implementation due to modular format
- Applicable for diverse student populations
The on-site institutes cost $15,000 per site, for up to 35 participants. The institutes can be extended as needed or desired for an additional cost.
On-site coaching and technical assistance services are also available.
As noted above, participants will learn research-affirmed strategies to implement the Aim for Algebra curriculum effectively. Participants can purchase the curriculum by contacting Karon Klipple.
To learn more, contact Karon Klipple or call 650.381.6456.
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