Giving Thanks – 2019 Year in Review

As December brings a break for holidays and the start of a new year, we appreciate the opportunity to spend quality time with friends and family. During this pause, I also reflect on our past year working with schools and teachers and plan for the year ahead.

Reflecting on 2019, I am reminded of my great good fortune to have discovered my calling. Last year, I celebrated my 12th year as a mathematics trainer/coach/consultant and 17th year working with Singapore Mathematics programs. I am so grateful for the opportunity to champion elementary math education AND to be able to spend time so much time in classrooms with teachers and students.  I TRULY LOVE my job.

I say this every year, and it continues to be true: I am humbled and honored that schools seek out our services year after year. We extend our sincere thanks to schools that hired us in 2019 and each of the 200+ clients we have served over the past dozen years.

Before everyone returns to their daily routine, we wanted to share with you some highlights and achievements that Math Champions celebrated in 2019.

Training/Coaching/Consulting

Over the past year, we worked with schools from coast-to-coast (and abroad) in all manner of roles: overseeing new curriculum adoptions, coaching teachers, coaching coaches, advising administration, and more. We also developed hybrid programs, crafted to meet the particular needs of schools seeking a custom solution.

In 2019:

  • 38 schools hired Math Champions to help improve their math instruction.
  • 28 of those schools (more than 73%) were repeat clients.
  • We visited schools in 15 States as well as several schools abroad (more on these below).
  • Language immersion and Singapore Math were a great match! We worked with Mandarin, Spanish, French, German, and Italian immersion schools.

Although we love to visit schools on any occasion, it is especially gratifying when we have the opportunity to observe the significant progress that schools make on return visits!

International Training

We began 2019 in Guam, completing our first teacher training assignment under a multi-year contract with the Department of Education. Collectively, we spent more than a month on the island in January and May helping more than 400 teachers and DOE staff learn about the Singapore approach to math instruction. We look forward to returning in 2020.

Math is Everywhere: With a Tangram at Lianzhuang Metro Station in Hangzhou
Arriving at Ningbo Railway Station!

Twenty-nineteen also featured a training trip to China.  We returned (for a fourth time!) to Hangzhou International School and made our first visit to Georgia School of Ningbo. In China, as a non-Mandarin speaker, getting there is half the fun. It seemed like we spent an hour trying to find the ticket office at Hangzhou East Railway Station. But why worry, as inter-city trains depart every 15 minutes! When finally aboard, the high-speed rail ride between Hangzhou and Ningbo, with speeds exceeding 300 km/h, was thrilling.

In 2019, Math Champions was awarded its second contract in three years to assist the Republic of Palau’s Ministry of Education with its Singapore Math program. In January 2020, we will return to Palau to spend two weeks with more than 200 of the nation’s teachers.

Dimensions Math in the Wild!

In 2018, we celebrated the launch of Dimensions Math, a new Pre-K to Grade 5 series based on the pedagogy and methodology of math education in Singapore.

With Dimensions Math Teacher’s Guides
With Dimensions Math Teacher’s Guides

As the lead author of Dimensions Math Teacher’s Guides for K-5, it was super exciting and gratifying to work with schools using Dimensions in 2019. I look forward to the completion of the Dimensions Math series in 2020.

Jumpstart Your Singapore Math Instruction

Jumpstart is our two-day interactive, introductory workshop on how to best use the Singapore Math approach. In 2019, we finally realized the goal of offering Jumpstart in locations from coast-to-coast. Hundreds of teachers (including several from abroad) attended sessions presented in Virginia, Arizona, Minnesota, Colorado and California.

Attendees at the sold-out (!) Jumpstart Colorado workshop

Presentations at National Educator Conferences

Again in 2019, we were busy attending annual conferences for math educators (our continuing education). In addition, we were honored to present at the following conferences:

... and NCTM...
... and NCTM...
...and CMC-S
  • National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)
  • National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics (NCSM)
  • National Catholic Educators Association (NCEA)
  • Minnesota Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM)
  • California Mathematics Council-South (CMC-S)

MILE-stones

According to TripIt, I established a new record with 151,045 miles flown in 2019. In addition, I topped 1 million miles for the period from 2008-present. [OK, I admit that there are some personal trips counted here. Still…].

And I read 60 books while on those flights, too!

Looking ahead

Whew. What a year!

What does 2020 hold in store? Here are some of the things we’re looking forward to in the year ahead:

  • Working with returning and new school clients. Did I say that I LOVE spending time in classrooms with teachers and students?
  • Presenting Jumpstart Your Singapore Math workshops across the USA and (new in 2020) Canada.
  • Presenting at and attending NCTM, NCSM, MCTM, CMC and other educator conferences.

Finally, I want to extend special thanks to our favorite partners/friends:

And thank you to our fabulous Jumpstart 2019 host schools:

Celebrating 10 Years: Giving Thanks and 2018 In Review

In the spring of 2008, armed with tons of enthusiasm (and considerably less experience), I traveled to Bozeman, Montana, for my first-ever solo school training job.

At that time, I was already a huge fan of the Singapore Math program. I had taught it in several grade levels and collaborated with two teaching partners to write a 40-hour training program that was submitted to the State of California. I even traveled to Singapore on a week-long learning adventure to see the curriculum at its source. That trip was a life-changing experience.

Despite being nervous (OK, terrified), the school was pleased with my work. Over that summer, I visited another dozen schools and came to the delightful realization: I had discovered my life’s work.

Ten years on, my passion for mathematics education is as strong as ever; I’m so grateful for the opportunity to work with teachers in their classrooms on a regular basis.

By any measure, 2018 was a super successful year for me and Beth Curran, Math Champions’ trainer extraordinaire.  Over the past year, we worked with teachers at dozens of schools and presented at several educator conferences. We won international contracts and hosted highly-praised workshops.

This year will always be special for another exciting reason. (Drum roll, please!)

Dimensions Math Launched

It was an honor to be invited to join the core team writing Dimensions Math in 2016, and difficult to keep quiet about my role as reviewer and lead author of the Teacher’s Guides for K-5. Beth joined the Dimensions team in 2017 and is the co-author of the Kindergarten Teacher’s Guides.

   

 

All our hard work with Dimensions Math came to fruition in 2018. Dimensions Math was launched in April at the NCTM Annual National Conference to plenty of fanfare. I was thrilled to see the fruits of our labor; teachers’ positive reactions to DM was icing on the cake. To learn more about Dimensions Math, visit this page.

Making Math Make Sense

Thanks to all of our school clients who have put their trust in us. Partnering with teachers and schools is our core service and favorite role. Here’s what 2018 looked like in numbers (and we’re all about numbers, you know):

38 – Schools/districts/nations chose us to help improve their math instruction

24 – Repeat clients

15 – States visited

3 – Countries visited

2 – International Contracts Won through competitive RFP processes; we’re training teachers for Guam’s Department of Education and the Ministry of Education in the Republic of Palau!

When teachers tell us things like this about their time with us, we know we’ve found our calling:

 Beth -Thank you for your patience and understanding! I have so much confidence in our new program and have a new love for math! This truly was the most productive training I have been to in years.

-Kami Orbin, 2nd Grade, Mid-Valley Elementary School, Throop, PA

Cassy made training a joy! She had endless energy, sprinkles in lots of humor, and has so much knowledge of the material. She had endless resources and suggestions, offered help when needed. So approachable and patient. I like math now!

-Julie Bas, Director of the Lower Grades, Carden Hall, Newport Beach, CA

Jumpstart Your Singapore Math

Math Champions hosted Jumpstart your Singapore Math Workshops in four cities: Charlottesville, VA; Tulsa, OK; Fort Collins, CO; Saint Paul, MN. Teachers from 18 states attended these two-day workshops on how to best get started using the Singapore Math approach.

 

We are thrilled by the praise teachers have given this program:

 I have been in education for over a decade, and this has been one of the most engaging, practical, and meaningful Professional Development opportunities of my career. Thank you to these amazingly bright and helpful experts!

-Keith Griffin, 1st and 2nd grade Math Specialist, City Academy School, St. Louis, MO

This is the best training I’ve been to. Every minute was enjoyable and educational. I feel better going into the school year and am excited to teach the Singapore way. It was life-changing and mind-blowing!

-Jen Irish, 3rd Grade Teacher, Terra Academy, Vernal UT

Presentations at National Educator Conferences

We love to share what we’ve learned with our colleagues. We were honored that speaker proposals were selected and we gave presentions at the following conferences:

California Mathematics Council – South

We want to hear from you! Share your success stories or challenges and let us know how we can help you.

We’re busy planning for 2019. Much more in store next year…

  • Jumpstart in July: 5 venues planned for this popular summer introduction program.
  • Coaches Academy! Save the date: December 2-6, 2019.

An extra special thanks to our exceptional friends…

Happy New Year!

Giving Thanks – Reflecting on An Amazing 2017!

Regular readers might know that I like to pause and take stock at this time of year. I broke that stride in 2016, but I’m doubly grateful to be back on track, with twice as much to share.

This year, I’m celebrating my 10th year as an independent Mathematics trainer/coach/consultant and 15th year working with Singapore Mathematics.

Thank you.

I say this every year, but it continues to be true: I am so grateful for the opportunity to champion elementary math education and to be able to spend time so much time in classrooms with teachers and students.  I extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone who has played a part in making the past two years so special.

I am humbled and honored by the demand for my coaching and training services that have been growing year after year. For some time, I’ve known that I could not personally meet the needs of all the schools seeking help. Despite that reality, I wasn’t about to expand without the perfect partner: someone who shares my passion for math education, someone with a deep understanding of teachers, students, math, and years of classroom teaching experience.

Beth Curran

Fortunately, I found that person in Beth Curran, my fabulous colleague. In June 2016, I was thrilled when Beth took a leap of faith and agreed to join Math Champions Professional Development. Before she joined Math Champions, Beth was an award-winning classroom teacher, department chair, and lead math teacher, specializing in the Singapore math approach.

Beth jumped right in as Math Champions’ Lead Trainer and Instructional Coach, visiting several dozen schools in more than a dozen states in her first year on the job. Beth’s knowledge, expertise and ability to relate to the varying demands of classroom teachers earned rave reviews (and LOTS of repeat visits to) from school clients. She is also my trusted confidant, coach, and advisor. I am so thankful to have found someone so dynamic as Beth.

Schools, Roles, and Curricula 

Of course, We’re extremely thankful for our clients. In the last 18 months, Beth and I have worked with 55 schools/clients in 20 states as well as Germany, China, England and Canada. We’ve had all manner of roles; overseeing new curriculum adoptions, coaching teachers, coaching coaches, and advising administration. We’ve worked with all varieties of Singapore curricula, including:

  • Elementary programs (Primary Mathematics, Math in Focus, Math Works, Eureka Math, Engage NY, Inspire Maths and Maths No Problem);
  • Middle school programs (Dimensions Math, Math in Focus, and New Elementary Math)

We’ve even developed hybrid programs, crafted to meet the particular needs of schools seeking a solution unavailable from off-the-shelf materials.

Jumpstart Your Singapore Math Instruction

In July 2017, Beth and I hosted Jumpstart your Singapore Math Instruction, our inaugural public workshop in St. Paul, MN. We were delighted by the overwhelmingly positive response to the program and plan to offer Jumpstart again in Minnesota (July 30 & 31) as well as other markets. We’re also planning other programs in 2018 (sign-up here to get on our notification list). Thanks to those who attended Jumpstart and to our host, Mounds Park Academy, for their superb facility and hospitality.

Regional, National, and International Presentations

I’m a big believer in continuing education and for many years have attended math educator conferences to learn from my teaching colleagues. Additionally, We’re truly thankful for speaking opportunities at so many of these gatherings. 2016 was especially remarkable; I presented at:

  • Keynote, Oxford University Press, International Forum on Singapore Math (Oxford)
  • researchED, Maths and Science Conference (Oxford)
  • researchEd Washington, DC
  • NCTM Annual Meeting
  • NCSM Annual Conference
  • National Conference on Singapore Math Strategies
  • NCTM Innov8
  • Colorado Council of Teachers of Mathematics
  • California Mathematics Council (South)

Beth has quickly become a crowd favorite at conferences. Here’s a selection of our speaking gigs in 2017:

Beth

  • NCSM Annual Conference
  • National Catholic Educational Association
  • California Mathematics Council (North)
  • California Mathematics Council (South)

Cassy

  • NCTM Annual Meeting
  • National Conference on Teaching Math
  • NCTM Regional Meeting
  • National Catholic Educational Association
  • California Mathematics Council (South)
  • Association of Mathematics Teachers of New York State

Looking Ahead!

2018 promises to be even more busy and exciting. We arere looking forward to:

  • Partnering with a growing number of schools interested in long-term projects.
  • New and improved website!
  • Presenting at the April 2018 meetings of:
  • Jumpstart Your Singapore Math in MN, CO, CA (?) and an east coast venue that has yet to be determined.
  • Sharing news about the successes achieved by some of the schools we’re working with — please let us know if you want to be a part of this series.
  • Opportunities that are, as yet, unknown. We can’t wait to see what the new year will bring!

Finally, we are eagerly anticipating sharing some big news this spring about a project that’s been in the works…

Personally,

2017 has been gratifying for Cassy as:

  • Sons continue to grow into fine young men – one is expected to graduate from Colorado State University this spring with his Mathematics degree!
  • I once again surpassed my goal of reading 50 books in the year, by reading 57 books (but there’s still l time to add to that!)

And also for Beth as she has:

  • Spent time with her two grown children and grandchild.
  • Enjoyed traveling and cashing in on all those newly found frequent flyer miles!
  • Moved just outside of Roanoke, Virginia and is embracing the small town culture.

Special Thanks this year to…

Once again, our sincerest thanks to clients, colleagues, and partners for making 2016 and 2017 such wonderful years. If we may be of service at any time, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

As passionate as ever about Singapore Mathematics,

-Cassy & Beth

 

 

Giving Thanks – Reflecting on An Outstanding 2015

TEXT (1)I don’t know about you, but 2015 has come and gone in a flash. Exciting things are happening here in 2016 as this company grows and adds some fabulous training and coaching consultants. But you’ll have to wait to hear about 2016…

First, it’s important to take stock and reflect on the past year, both personally and professionally. (Past Giving Thanks reflections are here: 20142013, 2012 and 2011)

As I enter my ninth year as a Singapore Math® trainer, consultant, and coach, I am still humbled by the wonderful opportunities that continue to come my way.

I say this every year, but it continues to be true: I am so grateful to champion elementary math education and spend time in classrooms with teachers and students.  I extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone who has played a part in making the year so special.

Travel Stats 2015 2015 has been my year busiest ever. I’ve spent more than 35 weeks traveling across North American (and to England!) to work with schools and present seminars. I love to travel, especially when the end result is helping teachers making more competent and confident math students. (I could do without the bedbugs, though.)

2015 Highlights

Again this year, more schools were repeat and long-term clients where my role was that of an advisor and instructional coach.  That said, I really loved visiting and working with teachers at 20 schools for the first time. Best of all: schools I’m working with are achieving remarkable results, even on the new Common Core-aligned testing.

Highlights from 2015 include:

Meeting my personal “continuing education” goals by attending:

Special Thanks

My sincere thanks to administrators, teachers and support staff at all of the schools I worked with in 2015. I so appreciate your trust and confidence. My sincere thanks, too, to several other long-time partners and supporters:

Singapore Math Source

Now in its eighth year, SingaporeMathSource.com continues to be an authoritative resource for those seeking information about the curriculum. This year, we added many printable games and activities for teachers to use in the classroom. Bookmark the page: Favorite Printable Math Resources as we’re adding materials all the time.

Me & mom in kenya

Maybe not the best photo of me, but mom looks good!

Personal

2015 has been personally gratifying as:

  • We spent two weeks visiting my mother, who lives in Diani Beach, Kenya.
  • I once again surpassed my goal of reading 50 books in the year, by reading 62 books!
  • I continue to serve on the Board of the Middle School Math Institute, a non-profit dedicated to helping students succeed at algebra.

Looking ahead

2016 promises to be even more busy and exciting. I’m looking forward to:

Once again, my sincerest thanks to clients, colleagues, and partners for making 2015 such a wonderful year. If I may be of service at any time, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.

As passionate as ever about Singapore Mathematics.

-Cassy

Giving Thanks — Looking Back on 2014

TEXT (4)I’ve just returned from my tenth consecutive week of travel and welcome the arrival of Thanksgiving. A brief break from out-of-town training and coaching jobs affords the opportunity to once again take stock and reflect on the past year, both personally and professionally. (Past Giving Thanks posts are here: 2013, 2012 and 2011)

As I enter my eight year as a Singapore Math® trainer, consultant and coach, I continue to be amazed by the wonderful opportunities that continue to come my way.

I say this every year, but it continues to be true: I am so grateful to be able to champion elementary math education and GET PAID to spend time in classrooms with teachers and students.  I extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone who has played a part in making the year so special.

2014 has been my busiest year ever. I’ve spent more than 30 weeks traveling across North American (and Germany for a week)Cassy Trip-it 2014 to work with schools and present seminars. I’ve been to Denver International Airport so much that Google recognizes it as my office. Don’t get me wrong: I love to travel, especially when the end result is helping teachers hone their skills to make students more competent and confident math learners.

Changing Role and 2014 Highlights

This year, more than half of the schools I visited were repeat and long-term clients where my role often was that of an instructional coach. I still love to present introductory workshops and lead implementation trainings (the Ah Ha! moments are truly priceless), but it’s been especially rewarding to spend time with teachers working at a deeper level.  At these schools, I’ve also hosted lots of parent education events, including hands-on bootcamps, to help ensure that Singaporean methods are reinforced at home. Best of all schools are achieving remarkable results (more on that to come).

There are many highlights from 2014, including:

  • Working with 28 school clients in 9 states and Germany, where I had the opportunity to work with teachers at the International School of Hamburg!
  • Acceptance of proposals to present at the 2015 Annual Conferences at Annual Conferences of both the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM, for the second time!) and NCSM (for the first time). Lauri Susi of Conceptua Math is my co-presenter;
  • Presenting Singapore Math Workshops for the Bureau of Education of Research (for the sixth consecutive year!);
  • Presenting  at the Tennessee Conference on Singapore Math Strategies hosted by SDE.
  • Meeting my personal “continuing education” goals by attending:
    • Annual conferences of NCTM and NCSM (for the 6th consecutive year);
    • The National Charter Schools Conference (for the first time);
    • SDE’s National Conference on Singapore Math Strategies (for the second consecutive year); and
  • Earning A-list Preferred status on Southwest Airlines (didn’t I say I love to travel!).
Singapore Math Trainer Cassandra Turner at the International School in Hamburg

Cassy (2nd from L) with teachers and staff at the International School of Hamburg

2014 by the Numbers


2

Continents visited (I’ve now conducted trainings on four continents; c’mon South America and Asia…I’d love to visit there, too)



9

States visited to work with school clients


19

States visited to conduct Singapore Math seminars or trainings


20+

Singapore Math presentations conducted for parents


25

Seminars presented for BER


97+

Days working directly with teachers


Hundreds

of inquiries from teachers, administrators and parents with questions about Singapore Math curriculum responded to


103,448 and counting 

Miles flown 

 

Special Thanks

My sincere thanks to all the administrators, teachers and support staff I worked with in 2014. ( You know who you are!) I so appreciate your dedication to students and your trust and confidence in me!  A hearty thank you as well to my other long-time partners and supporters:

      • Singapore Math Inc.
      • Bureau of Education of Research (BER)
      • EAI Education
      • Staff Development for Educators (SDE)
One of my favorite evaluations from 2014

One of my favorite evaluations from 2014

Singapore Math Source

Now in its seventh year, SingaporeMathSource.com continues to be an authoritative resource for those seeking information about the curriculum. This year, I completed a long-planned, thorough comparison of the two leading Singapore Math® curricula available in the US: Primary Mathematics and Math in Focus. (Quite a few of my school clients are using Math in Focus). I also updated my popular page on Singapore math iPad apps.

Personal

2014 has been personally gratifying as:

  • We celebrated our youngest son’s high school graduation. It’s hard to believe we have two students at Colorado State University. It’s not hard to believe one is a math major!
  • I once again reached my goal of reading 50 books in the year. As of this date, I am at 89!
  • I continue to serve on the Board of the Middle School Math Institute, a non-profit dedicated to helping students succeed at algebra.
  • I continue to serve on the District Accountability Committee for the Poudre School District.

Looking ahead

2015 promises to be just as busy and exciting. I’m really looking forward to:

  • Continuing to work with many schools that have retained me on a long-term basis;
  • Visiting teachers, administrators and parents at schools that hire me for the first time (believe it or not, my fall 2015 schedule is starting to fill up);
  • Presenting at the 2015 Annual Conferences of NCTM and NCSM in Boston (and hopefully other events);
  • Presenting BER workshops for a seventh consecutive year;
  • Sharing news about the successes some of the schools I work with are achieving — please let me know if you want to be a part of this series; and
  • Other opportunities that are, as yet, unknown. I can’t wait to see what is ahead!

Once again, my sincerest thanks to my clients, colleagues and partners for making 2014 such a wonderful year. If I may be of service at any time, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.

As passionate as ever about Singapore Mathematics!

-Cassy

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