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
2019 Singapore Math Inc. NCTM booth featuring students from the series

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:

At NCEA...
... 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:

Scridb filter

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!Scridb filter

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