California State University
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Strengthening Mathematics Instruction (SMI):
Professional Development for Secondary School Mathematics Departments

CSU faculty, K-12 Math teachers, and state curriculum specialists have developed a math curriculum, Strengthening Mathematics Instruction (SMI), designed to present a variety of strategies for teaching students how to solve complex mathematical problems. The curriculum includes instruction on developing cognitively complex problems, analyzing student misconceptions, and understanding college readiness.

Included in the curriculum are teaching strategies to:

  • Promote mathematical and numeric flexibility
  • Incorporate multiple representations
  • Help students extend procedures and emphasize structures.

The focus of the program is on providing support for teachers to be able to increase student capacity to meet the CSU college readiness standards. The curriculum also supports student performance on CSTs, the EAP, SATs and ACTs, AP exams, and other tests.


Intended Outcomes of SMI

The EAP Mathematics Professional Development Committee has developed the SMI program with the intent of supporting teachers in their efforts to meet the needs of students and the higher education and work worlds into which they will move after high school. We hope that your participation with your colleagues in the professional development opportunity we provide will indeed bring professional growth to you and greater engagement and competency to the students in your school.

Estimates from the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning (2007) suggest that between 2007 and 2017, California will need 33,000 new secondary school mathematics and science teachers, all of whom need high level mathematics skills. What may come as a surprise to both students and educators is that many of these high growth fields that require sophisticated mathematics skills do not require four-year degrees; rather they require technical education. This point validates the need for high level mathematics skills even for students who do not plan on acquiring a university education.


The Professional Development

The professional development is designed for math departments to attend as vertical and horizontal teams with at least an Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, and Precalculus teacher. District teams are also acceptable, with at least 4 participants from each school, preferably within different areas.

The professional development consists of:

  • Approximately 16-24 hours of training broken into small modules that can be delivered in an all-day or half-day format, or in shorter segments over time with teacher practice between sessions
  • Materials and training for teachers of Algebra I through Precalculus
  • A bank of standards-based and curriculum-related problems for use in classrooms
  • A bank of sample lesson plans that highlights the instructional strategies and mathematics content of the modules

Below is a brief presentation that can be shared with colleagues, math departments, district curriculum specialists, and parents on the contents of SMI.

For more information and to register for the program, please visit the EAP Math page.

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