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

 

 

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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

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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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2013 in Review: Celebrating an Amazing Year!

In each of the past few years, I’ve taken some time to reflect on the wonderful opportunities I’ve experienced during the preceding 12 months (Here are Giving Thanks reflections from 2012 and 2011).

I seem to say this every year, but it bears repeating: It is so gratifying to have the opportunity to champion elementary math education and GET PAID to spend time in classrooms with teachers and students. I want to extend heartfelt thanks to everyone who has played a part in making the year so special.

Singapore Math Trainer, Coach and Consultant

Blue=School Training; Yellow=BER Event; Green=School Trainings and BER Event; Red=SDE Conference

Blue=School Trainings; Green=School Trainings and BER Event; Yellow=BER Event; Red=SDE Conference

2013 marked my sixth year working with schools using the Singapore Math curriculum, and it was my busiest year to date! I spent much of the year in classrooms helping teachers and administrators learn about Singapore mathematics so that they can use the curriculum successfully. In 2013, I:

  • visited Ghana, Canada and 21 U.S. states;
  • worked with more than two dozen schools using Math from Singapore. While many of these are in the first year or two of their adoption, others are long-time users. I’m happy and proud to report that almost half of my 2013 schools were repeat clients (thank you!); and
  • entered into and/or continued long-term training, coaching and consulting arrangements with some of the most distinguished schools in North America (and Ghana).

Over the past six years, I’ve had the pleasure of introducing Singapore Mathematics to teachers, administrators and parents in 40 U.S. states plus Canada, Mexico, Ghana and Palau. More than more than 60 schools have asked me to help them implement and/or improve their use of the curriculum. Amazing!

Presenting and Learning

2013 brought some truly amazing opportunities to share information about the Singapore curriculum and what makes it work so well. Last year, I:

  • Singapore Math conference Las Vegas 2013presented at SDE’s National Conference on Singapore Math Strategies, the leading annual event devoted to Singaporean Math strategies;
  • was invited to speak at the 2013 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Regional Conference and Exposition in Baltimore (Thanks, Lori!);
  • was invited to present at SDE Conferences on Singapore Math Strategies in Hawaii and Tennessee (the latter is in 2014);
  • ber logopresented at six two-day “Helping Students Succeed in Math” Conferences for grade 3-5 mathematics educators organized by the Bureau of Education & Research (BER);
  • through BER, presented both of my full-day Singapore Mathematics seminars at cities across the United States; and
  • for 5th straight year, attended annual conferences of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and NCSM.

Community

Despite a travel schedule that is often very hectic, I’m very proud to have found time to devote to several causes that are very important.

  • In June, I completed a three-year term as member of Board of Directors of Liberty Common School, an award-winning K-12 Charter School in Fort Collins, Colorado. In 2013:
    • Liberty celebrated its first class of high school graduates, and
    • for the second consecutive year, Liberty’s juniors earned the highest scores in Colorado on the ACT test (my younger son Cody is a member of this high achieving class of seniors).
  • psd_logo_pmanIn July, I was appointed to the District Accountability Committee (DAC) of Poudre School District (which serves more than 26,000 students). The DAC is a statutory committee that makes recommendations to the School Board on spending priorities, performance and improvement plans, and charter school applications (among other responsibilities).
  • In January, I was appointed to Board of Directors of Middle School Mathematics Institute (MSMI), a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation whose mission is to help teachers, schools and parents ensure that students succeed at algebra.
  • For the 8th year running, I organized an after-school math enrichment club for 3rd & 4th grade students who love playing games while boosting their math skills. Special thanks to several dedicated parent volunteers who helped run the club during my travels.

Singapore Math Source

header_480I’m proud to host SingaporeMathSource.com, which is now in its sixth year providing news, information, resources and more regarding the world’s best elementary math curriculum. 2013 saw some design changes and the introduction of new features, such as a page that lists Singapore Math® teaching and tutoring jobs (admittedly, this is still in Beta). For 2013, the site:

  • logged more than 300,000 page views;
  • attracted nearly 80,000 visits (more than 75% new visitors); and
  • is among most highly ranked sites on the internet for inquiries concerning Singapore Math® news, resources, teaching and training.

What will 2014 bring?

Looking ahead, I’m as excited as ever by the opportunities that the new year promises:

  • 2014 begins with more school training dates booked than ever. I look forward to working with teachers, administrators and parents dedicated who share my goal of making every child in every classroom a competent and confident mathematics student.
  • 2014 will be my sixth year as a featured presenter for BER, with my two workshops scheduled from Coast to Coast (and even a stop in the middle of the Pacific).
  • NCTM_R_LogoandName4C_LIn Feb. 2014, I will be a featured presenter at SDE’s Tennessee Conference on Singapore Math Strategies.
  • In April, I’ll be in New Orleans for my favorite learning opportunity, ncsm logoattending the NCTM and NCSM conferences.

Last year, I was very fortunate to accommodate almost every school that wanted to hire me. That might not be the case in 2014 as demand has grown by 50-100% for the past few years. This leads to two requests:

  • First, I urge schools interested in training to contact me as soon as possible to have the best opportunity for desired dates (submit a training inquiry here).
  • Second, I invite exceptional, experienced teachers who have worked with the curriculum and may have an interest in working as a trainer to contact me. Be forewarned: for consideration, you MUST share my passion for the Singapore Math® program and have experience teaching it successfully in the classroom.

Once again, my sincerest thanks to my clients, colleagues and partners for making 2013 such a wonderful year. If I may be of service at any time, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.

More passionate than ever about Singapore Mathematics.

-Cassy

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Giving Thanks – Wow: What an Amazing 2012!

This Thanksgiving, as is my custom, I’m again taking time to reflect on the amazing experiences that I have enjoyed over the past 12 months. It is so gratifying to have the opportunity to champion elementary math education and GET PAID to spend time in classrooms with teachers and students.  I want to extend heartfelt thanks to everyone who has played a part in making the year so special.

In my “Giving Thanks” message last year, I confessed that 2011 would be difficult to beat. Well…beat it I did. In 2012, my math training and consulting business more than doubled and I enjoyed some amazing professional opportunities… Where to start?

Training and learning on four continents

Singapore Math Teacher, trainer and consultant with teachers in the Republic of Palau

Cassy Turner with teachers in the Republic of Palau

How about Palau? In May, I was awarded a contract by the Republic of Palau to assist the Ministry of Education (MOE) with the implementation of the Singapore Math® Curriculum. I visited Palau twice in 2012, providing training and professional development for teachers and MOE Staff.

Singapore Math teacher, trainer and consultant Cassandra Turner with teachers at the Association International School

Cassy Turner with teachers at AIS, Ghana

Then there’s Ghana. The Association International School in Accra, Ghana, hired me to help teachers adopt Singapore Math®. I spent a week working at AIS in September 2012.

Singapore Math teacher, trainer and consultant Cassandra Turner with Teachers at ICME-12

Cassy Turner with Korean Teachers at ICME-12

And Korea. I attended the Olympic Games of Mathematics Education, otherwise known as the International Congress on Mathematical Education (ICME), in Seoul, Korea. Held only once every four years, ICME-12 attracted 5,000 participants from more than 150 countries.

These life-changing experiences in the summer of 2012 included mathematics teaching, training and learning on four continents. All told, I logged more than 60,000 miles. Incredible!

School Clients and BER

While international clients are energizing, I am extremely grateful to provide professional development services on a regular basis for more than a dozen North American Schools that are using Singapore Math®, the world’s best elementary math curriculum.

I truly appreciate my relationship with the Bureau of Education & Research (BER), now in its third year. Through BER, I presented more than 30 Singapore Mathematics seminars for teachers across North America in 2012. I’m very grateful that BER invited me to present at their “Helping Students Succeed in Math” conferences in the coming months.

Learning and Presenting

For the 4th consecutive year, my personal learning included attendance and participation at the 2012 annual conferences of both the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and NCSM. At NCTM, I was a speaker, presenting a session with Lauri Susi of Conceptua Math entitled, “Technology + Singapore Strategies = Number Sense” to a large audience of Math Educators.

Singapore Math teacher, trainer and consultant Cassandra Turner has collected many badges over the past four years

Cassy’s badges from Math Educator conferences

I continue to conduct peer reviews of articles submitted for publication in NCTM journals and met my personal goal of reading at least 50 books for the third straight year.

Community Service

Despite a very busy work and travel schedule, I made time this year to serve several causes that are very important to me.

I’m entering my 3rd and final year as a member of the Board of Directors of Liberty Common School, an award-winning K-12 Charter School in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Congratulations are in order for Liberty’s first high school class which graduates in May. This group of seniors earned the highest composite ACT test score of any school in the state. And the Elementary school was the first in the nation to be re-certified as a Core Knowledge Official School through the Analysis of Curriculum and Practices (ACAP) process recently developed by the Core Knowledge Foundation.

I’m proud that my after-school math club continues to be wildly popular with kids who have great fun while building math skills that last a lifetime. Special thanks to parents who help oversee the club when I can’t be there.

I’m also wrapping up my 4th year as an advisor to students in the award-winning International Baccalaureate (IB) program at Poudre High School.

Personal

Of course I’m most thankful for my wonderful family, which has also enjoyed a memorable year. As also is my custom, I’ll spare readers more details.

Once again, my sincerest thanks to clients, colleagues, partners and students for a wonderful year.

 

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