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Additional Evidence

Secondary Education - Mathematical Studies (B.A./RITE)

This report is designed to include additional information not already included in SPA reports. Begin your program review with the latter.

FIELD EXPERIENCES

The Secondary Education program at Rhode Island College contains a variety of field experiences prior to the capstone student teaching experience. Expectations for teacher candidates increase developmentally from early field experiences to the student teaching semester. Field experiences are aligned with educational theory courses and candidates are required to take them in a progressive order.

FNED 346: Schooling in a Democratic Society (4 cr.):  In this initial course in the professional sequence, which takes place prior to admission to the program, potential candidates observe best practices in a mathematics classroom and tutor students for 20 hours. Many placements are arranged through the Volunteers in Providence Schools (VIPS) program and take place in urban, very diverse schools.  A goal of the experience is for teacher candidates to develop an understanding of working with adolescent learners and how social, economic and cultural factors affect teaching and learning. Course instructors require written feedback from teacher candidates, in which they describe and analyze what they are seeing and experiencing in light of their course content.

SED 406: Instructional Methods, Design, and Technology (2 cr.*):  In this initial course after admission into the program, taken concurrently with the theory course CEP 315 Educational Psychology, teacher candidates learn fundamentals of lesson design and methods for integrating instructional technology to enhance content area teaching and learning and observe outstanding mathematics teachers in area public schools for a total of four hours. They write reflections on their observations and make connections to classroom content. Teacher candidates also design and micro-teach two lessons with peer groups; lessons are taped and evaluated in consultations with their course instructor.  
* 3 cr. as of Fall 2010.
SED 407: Instructional Methods, Design, and Literacy (2 cr.*):   Within the 10-hour field component of this initial Practicum course, teacher candidates explore research-based reading and writing strategies for the mathematics classroom and apply these strategies when they design and present literacy instruction in a field-based setting. Teacher candidates observe, consult with the classroom teacher (clinical instructor), and prepare and teach one reading lesson and one writing lesson in mathematics.  The teacher candidates are evaluated by the clinical instructor.
* 3 cr. as of Fall 2010.
SED 410: Practicum in Secondary Education (5 cr.**):  Teacher candidates study principles, methods, and curriculum in their teaching area, including global perspectives and health issues. In the field, teacher candidates prepare and deliver lessons and work with individual students, small groups, and classes in grades 7-12. Each content area has its own section of this course.  The secondary education - mathematics Practicum meets for 14 weeks, 10 hours per week.  All teacher candidates and the supervisor remain together as a group during both field placements, one each in a middle and high school.  A clinical instructor works with a group of 2 or 3 teacher candidates.  Teacher candidates initially observe their clinical instructor and learn about the students in their class before they begin their own teaching. The lessons are observed and evaluated by both the clinical instructor and the college supervisor.  Teacher candidates also write reflections on their lessons and observations, and their ability to apply teaching concepts is assessed. During both three- to four-week placements, the RIC mathematics education faculty member (usually the same person assumes the roles of Practicum course instructor and college supervisor in the field) is on-site whenever teacher candidates are in the schools. At least one placement takes place in an urban school with a diverse population; typically the other is either a suburban or urban core district within a short distance of the College. The field component is approximately half the total hours, 10 hours per week for six- to seven- weeks, a total of about 60 – 70 hours.
** As of Fall 2010 this course is replaced by two courses:  SED 411 Content and Pedagogy in Secondary Education (4 cr.) and SED 412 Field Practicum in Secondary Education-Math (2 cr.).
SED 421: Student Teaching in the Secondary School (10 cr.):  For their capstone field experience, teacher candidates are placed in a secondary setting full-time five days per week for the fifteen-week semester under the supervision of a cooperating teacher and a college supervisor.  After a week or so of observation, teacher candidates begin teaching their first class.  Other courses are added after the teacher candidate demonstrates competence with the initial course.  It is expected that teacher candidates will teach three different courses for at least four weeks of the student teaching experience. Teacher candidates who wish to add a middle level endorsement to their secondary certificate divide their student teaching between the high school and middle school. Teacher candidates are observed at least three times each by the cooperating teacher and the college supervisor; each prepares a written evaluation.  In addition, candidates meet on campus with their college supervisor for a weekly 2-hour Seminar.
Field Placements
The Feinstein School of Education and Human Development (FSEHD)has established formal partnerships with 26 RI school districts and 1 charter school. Partnership Agreements, which are renewable upon the end of the three-year term, delineate, among other items, criteria for selecting cooperating schools, clinical instructors, and cooperating teachers. Generally field experiences and student teaching assignments are made in partnership school districts.
Clinical instructors and cooperating teachers complete training in the RI Professional Teaching Standards, offered by the Office of Partnerships and Placements (OPP). As of Fall 2010, cooperating teachers will be required to complete a professional development course offered by Rhode Island College during the semester that he/she serves as a cooperating teacher (to be renewed every four years).
Upon recommendation made by the practicum instructor/college supervisor, the Dean of the OPP is responsible for placement of teacher candidates in Practicum in Secondary Education (SED 412, formerly SED 410) and Student Teaching (SED 421).  Prior to Student Teaching, all teacher candidates must present evidence of having completed 25 hours of community service. 
Criteria for personnel
All clinical instructors for the Practicum in Secondary Education and cooperating teachers for Student Teaching are certified to teach mathematics at the level they teach, that is middle school and/or high school.  Cooperating teachers for Student Teaching must have three years successful teaching experience with at least one year in the current assignment. The three full-time mathematics education faculty who hold joint appointments in the FSEHD and FAS and serve as practicum instructors and college supervisors maintain a private list of ‘best' practitioners who constitute the first ones contacted to be cooperating teachers.  They also collaborate on placement sites for SED 410 Practicum. 
Most years, the college supervisor for student teaching is usually the same instructor from SED 411/412 (formerly SED 410) Practicum, providing the opportunity to view growth in the teacher candidates over an academic year. This same individual is also the instructor in the Seminar course (SED 422) that is taken concurrently with Student Teaching (SED 421). Occasionally, when the number of student teaching placements is greater than 18, a retired mathematics education faculty member with similar credentials and experience assists with supervision of student teachers. 
Identifying and selecting sites
When selecting sites for Practicum, the instructor contacts either the principal or department chairperson in the spring prior to Practicum to determine their capacity to host 10-15 teacher candidates.  Staff changes in schools may limit the number of eligible teachers and the goal is to place no more than three candidates with a clinical instructor, Once the site is selected, the instructor forwards the information to the Office of Partnerships and Placements and requests are processed and confirmed. 
During Practicum, the instructor sets up sites for student teaching.  Some districts do not want Practicum instructors to have any contact with department chairs/teachers; all requests go through their central office.  In other districts where we can talk with department chairs/teachers to ascertain willingness to have a student teacher and we submit a request for a specific teacher, a confirmed placement is received for a different cooperating teacher.  The assigned person may be one with whom we do not wish to place a student, which creates a very awkward situation.  In other situations, requests for placements are denied at the central office level. 
Working with field site clinical instructors and cooperating teachers
Early in the fall semester, the instructor arranges meetings with principals and teachers at the selected Practicum sites. In those meetings the dates are set around the school schedule, and the instructor outlines expectations for the clinical instructors.  Instructors ask clinical instructors to look at a candidate's lesson plan prior to the lesson, observe the lesson and give feedback.  At least one lesson has a formal evaluation using the Observation and Progress Report form for Practicum.  Clinical instructors are asked to provide an overall readiness of the candidates for student teaching.
Details for the Practicum placement at Lincoln High School in Fall 2010 are provided here: Instructor met with principal of Lincoln High School on October 21 at 10:00 at his office.   We discussed the RIC program and scheduling (no handouts).  The instructor emailed the three Clinical Instructors (one graduated from our program six years ago; one served as a cooperating teacher for a split placement three years ago) but a meeting prior to the first session on November 12 could not be coordinated.   The instructor provided each Clinical Instructor with a packet of observation forms for each on the first day.  The instructor personally explained the forms and the program to each Clinical Instructor on- site. (see pdf:  EMAIL_LINCOLN_1 and EMAIL_LINCOLN_2).  The Instructor had teams and schedules prepared for all Clinical Instructors (see pdf:  LHS CALENDAR SAMPLE).  The process was similar at Slater Jr. High School. 
The college supervisor for student teaching arranges an on-campus session for cooperating teachers and student teachers in the Mathematics and Computer Science Department.  This may take place prior to the start of student teaching, and thus is  is an opportunity for each candidate to meet her/his cooperating teacher in person, or during the first seminar session in mid or late January.  In addition to an overview via a Powerpoint presentation, materials are distributed including requirements for the Teacher Candidate Work Sample, the Observation and Progress Report, information from the Office of Field Partnerships and Placements about submission of data online, suggestions for pacing when candidates begin teaching their first class and add additional classes. Assessment criteria are thoroughly discussed. By the end of the session, the expectations of the program are clear to both cooperating and student teachers.  Every effort is made to ensure prepare cooperating teachers to assess student teachers in a manner that is consistent with the program (Student teachers have familiarity with assessment criteria from their Practicum semester experience.).  If a cooperating teacher is not present, the PPT and other materials are emailed; the college supervisor follows up to ensure understanding.
Evaluations of field supervisors, cooperating teachers and clinical instructors
The data are collected and analyzed by the Office of Partnerships and Placements.  No additional data are collected by mathematics education faculty, though anecdotal information is shared.
Changes in field personal
We are fortunate that there have been few situations in which a cooperating teacher or clinical instructor does not offer the type of experience we seek for our candidates.  In Practicum, as one would expect with three different instructors who rotate through the year that includes Practicum and Student Teaching, there is some variation in placement sites and preferred Clinical Instructors.

CONSISTENCY OF ASSESSMENT DECISIONS

All major mathematics education program assessments not scored by machine (Algebra-Trigonometry exam, Content Portfolio, mini-TCWS and TCWS) are scored by two faculty members. Where there are major differences, faculty meet, discuss differences, and come to consensus.  Through this process, faculty members have learned about each other's practice and beliefs and have been enriched by the discussion.  We do not maintain data on inter-rater reliability, however. The consistency that exists among mathematics education faculty benefits teacher candidates, who are aware that two faculty members score work.
Nowhere is this consistency more valuable as when the Practicum professor has concerns about a teacher candidate in the field experiences.  A decision to counsel a candidate out of the program during Practicum is very difficult, and Practicum professors do not make such decisions easily. Through examination of materials the candidate has produced, reading observation notes of the Practicum professor and the Clinical Instructor, and discussing behaviors that may reveal unsuitability for classroom teaching, faculty can jointly develop and implement a plan of action.  In cases where teacher candidates have been counseled out of the program in the final year, candidates know that the decision was not made by an individual faculty member.
Every effort is made for consistency of assessment in field placements during Practicum.  In addition to the observation forms required by the FSEHD and debrief sessions that include the Clinical Instructor, teacher candidate and Practicum instructor, Practicum instructors may ask Clinical Instructors to complete an additional summary that highlights the unique classroom expertise of the middle or high school practitioner (see pdf SUMMARY).  Practicum faculty and clinical faculty collaborate on assessment ratings to ensure that the lens through which both assess the candidate's performance consistently reflects content and professional standards.

There is a similar process with Cooperating Teachers during student teaching, but it is embedded into each post-observation visit.

DIVERSITY

The mathematics Teacher Candidate is introduced to the significance of unequal educational outcomes and the importance of addressing the needs of all students from their very first class in the professional sequence. That understanding is a cornerstone of the program, and as the teacher candidate progresses through their professional sequence they deepen and build upon this understanding. They explore ways to better meet the needs of all students in schools, develop and teach lessons that have this as a central objective, and reflect upon their successes and challenges as they continue to adapt their lessons.

FNED 346: Prior to enrollment in FSEHD, students take FNED 346: Schooling in a Democratic Society. The course examines the historical roots of inequality in U.S. society, how schools have contributed to unequal outcomes, and how educators can work to ensure that all students have opportunities to succeed in schools. Catalog Description, FNED 346: The social and cultural forces that affect schools are examined.  Fifteen hours of field-based experience is required.

Students, as part of their experience, spend 15 + hours tutoring in urban diverse schools.  They research data available online (e.g., NECAP scores, Infoworks data on ELLs, free lunch as a proxy for social class etc.) on the schools and communities they will be tutoring in, in order to better understand their students. Students are asked to reflect, journal, and blog on their readings and classroom experiences, and to relate what they are learning in the classroom to what they are observing and experiencing in the schools. Educational practices that address the needs of all students are examined through readings, films, school experiences etc. Students also attend Promising Practices, a conference for educators and teacher candidates held annually at Rhode Island College, which offers a keynote speaker, workshops, and a media and curriculum fair that focus on making schools and teachers more responsive to the needs of all students.

RITER Cultural Competency Assessment Tool. FNED 346 instructors are piloting the introduction and integration of aspects of the RITER Cultural Competency Assessment Tool (which was developed by a RITER grant and involved participants from all universities in RI with teacher preparation programs) into their classes. The Cultural Competency Assessment Tool, which is used for formative purposes, is intended to assist the Teacher Candidate to understand, develop, and ultimately practice what constitutes culturally competent teaching.

This formative instrument was designed as a means of assessing whether the teacher candidate … is able to incorporate culturally competent teaching practices into his or her teaching experience…. The instrument is broken down into five areas or categories (Planning and Instruction; Assessment; Professional Behavior; Collaboration; Communication).  These categories have been generally accepted by researchers and clinical practitioners as embodying the scope of culturally competent teaching.  The term “sociocultural” is used to represent differences in ethnicity, race, gender, class, language, ability, sexual orientation, social class and religion. (RITER Cultural Competency Assessment Tool)
SED 406: Instructional Methods, Design and Technology. Teacher Candidates are introduced to basic lesson planning and design, and in the process examine educational practices that address the needs of diverse learners. Topics for instance include Universal Design for Learning, building community in the classroom, RIPTS, and the use of technology to maximize learning. They also spend 4 hours in their content area observing in two different schools, one of which is ideally in an urban or urban-ring setting.
SED 407: Instructional Methods, Design and Literacy. Several of the course outcomes specifically address aspects of diversity, for instance:

  • Develop lesson plans that … engage all learners, scaffold and differentiate instruction, incorporate student interests and literacy practices, assess student learning in multiple ways…
  • (Implement two lesson plans that) draw upon students' funds of knowledge and literacy practices to engage in academic learning in meaningful and authentic ways.
  • Explore current political and philosophical issues surrounding secondary schools, teachers and students.

Course topics/themes include Differentiated Instruction; English Language Learners' Needs; and Multiple Forms of Assessment. Teacher candidates spend 10 hours in public school classrooms, observing initially and then teaching the two literacy-based lessons they developed. Teacher Candidates identify how their lessons differentiate instruction for all learners, and how they address standards such as WIDA; they also utilize strategies that work effectively with second language learners (addressed in the Zwiers text that students use).

SED 411: Content and Pedagogy In Secondary Education and SED 412: Field Practicum In Secondary Education (Formerly SED 410)

SED 411: Students examine principles, methods, content, and curriculum in the content area and prepare lessons and units that incorporate the needs of diverse learners and effective assessment strategies.
SED 412: Teacher candidates, under the supervision of college and clinical instructors, plan, develop, and implement lesson plans within middle/secondary clinical settings, drawing on content developed in SED 411.

Objectives and Assignments. Several objectives and assignments address aspects of teaching with diverse populations in mind:

Plan lessons and units appropriate for secondary mathematics instruction in a variety of student populations and school environments. (RIPTS 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3; FSEHD CF: Knowledge, Pedagogy, Diversity; Assignments: Implemented lesson plan (mini-TCWS), Unit Plan (mini-TCWS).)
Develop a variety of lesson modes that acknowledge different ability levels, cultural and language backgrounds, and interest levels as well as different learning needs and learning styles: formal presentation, investigative lesson, activity or lab lesson, and/or problem solving lesson. (RIPTS 2.4, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 4.2; FSEHD CF:  Pedagogy, Diversity; Assignments: Implemented lesson plan (mini-TCWS), Unit Plan (mini-TCWS).)
Develop effective strategies to motivate all students to become involved in learning mathematics. (RIPTS 2.5, 4.2, 5.3, 5.5; FSEHD CF: Knowledge, Diversity; Assignments: Implemented lesson plan (mini-TCWS), Unit Plan (mini-TCWS).)

Field Settings. Teacher Candidates spend about seven weeks total (two periods of approximately 3.5 weeks each) in two different school settings, one middle level and one high school, one of which must be in an urban setting. Here they design, teach, and reflect on classroom lessons under the guidance of a Clinical Instructor and their college Practicum professor. They research data available online (e.g., NECAP scores, InfoWorks data on ELLs, free lunch as a proxy for social class etc.) on the schools and communities they will be working in to better understand their students and the larger community when designing and teaching lessons.

Teacher Candidate Mini-Work Sample.  As part of their Teacher Candidate Mini-Work Sample, they develop a minimum of two lessons that are assessed (with a rubric) on the following points relevant to meeting the needs of all students:

  • How your lesson differentiates instruction so that all learners are challenged and can succeed, including ELLs, students with disabilities, resistant learners, Gifted and Talented, and students who have diverse learning styles
  • How you plan to assess student learning during and/or following the lesson/task (i.e., formative assessment)
  • Classroom climate: Explain how you will create a supportive learning environment that encourages appropriate standards of behavior, positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation for all students.

Observation and Progress Report. Teacher Candidates are formally observed twice by the Clinical Instructor and Practicum professor (once at each site) using the Observation and Progress Report.  The TC is assessed on his/her ability to design, implement, and reflect upon meeting the needs of diverse students:

  • The content of the lesson is appropriate for the developmental levels of the students in this class
  • High quality implementation of all indicators (Planning, Action, Reflection): The candidate knows and consistently demonstrates the methods, skills, and strategies needed to meet students' diverse needs and interests.

Exit Interview. An Exit Interview also asks the Teacher Candidate to reflect upon their successes and challenges in meeting the needs of all students.

SED 421/422 Student Teaching and Student Teaching Seminar 
Teacher Candidates continue and expand upon practices and assessments introduced in SED 411/412.
Teacher Candidate Work Sample. Student Teachers develop a contextual framework for their student teaching setting, which incorporates the following:
Process 1:  Contextual Factors
The candidate uses information about the learning-teaching context and student individual differences to set learning goals, plan instruction and assess learning.

  • Demonstrates knowledge of district, community, school, and classroom factors
  • Presents knowledge of characteristics of class members
  • Describes knowledge of students' skills and prior learning
  • Demonstrates knowledge of characteristics of specific students and approaches to differentiate learning
  • Includes implications for instructional planning and assessment

They also assess student learning, and subsequently adapt their lessons to better meet the needs of their students:

Process 5:  Instructional Decision-Making
The candidate uses ongoing analysis of student learning to make instructional decisions.
  • Rethinks plans for a group of students
  • Modifies plans for a group of students based on analysis of student learning
  • Explains the modifications made for a group of students (re: learning goals & unit objectives)
  • Rethinks plans for an individual student
  • Modifies plans for an individual student based on analysis of student learning
  • Explains the modifications made for an individual student (re: learning goals & unit objectives)

Observation and Progress Report. Student Teachers are formally observed at least three times by the College Supervisor and three times by their Cooperating Teacher, using the Observation and Progress Report.  The Student Teacher is assessed on their ability to design, implement, and reflect upon meeting the needs of diverse students:

  • The content of the lesson is appropriate for the developmental levels of the students in this class
  • High quality implementation of all indicators (Planning, Action, Reflection): The candidate knows and consistently demonstrates the methods, skills, and strategies needed to meet students' diverse needs and interests.

Seminar Reflections. Student Teaching Seminar integrates current educational debates into the class discussions and blogs; these typically raise issues around unequal educational outcomes and proposals to address them.

TECHNOLOGY

Technology is a way of life for students at Rhode Island College.  The College uses RIConnect, a Peoplesoft portal, for all official communication with students.  Students manage considerable part of their college business online, e.g. registration, checking grades.  All students are expected to read their RIC email accounts and are accountable for communications sent to them.  Faculty are urged to communicate with students through College accounts as well.  To ensure that teacher candidates have basic technology skills prior to beginning their professional sequence, they must take and pass either a Technology Competency Exam or take and pass INST 251 with a C or better as part of their admission process.
Technology is infused throughout content and pedagogy courses.  Graphing calculators, spreadsheets, subject software such as Geometer's Sketchpad, Fathom and Minitab, and comprehensive mathematics software, namely Maple, are tools for learning mathematics, and they are used extensively in the program's mathematics courses.  Additionally, faculty use web-based assignment systems that accompany textbook and course management systems extensively, which utilize computer skills to upload files, use word-processing software, and collaborate with group members on projects.
Content Portfolio
The Secondary Mathematics Content Portfolio, which is submitted to the instructor during SED 411 (410) Practicum in the semester prior to student teaching, contains artifacts in six categories of mathematics in which candidates showcase their knowledge of and best work in mathematics from their undergraduate program.  One section specifically addresses use of technology in learning mathematics.
Instruction for Section 3.  Include an example of a mathematics problem that illustrates use of the graphing calculator or computer in the solution selected from technology assignments in the Calculus sequence (MATH 213, 314), Linear Algebra (MATH 315) or Geometry (MATH 324) and scored by the instructor.
NCTM Indicators:
2.4 Select and use various types of reasoning and methods of proof.
6.1 Use knowledge of mathematics to select and use appropriate technological tools, such as but not limited to, spreadsheets, dynamic graphing tools, computer algebra systems, dynamic statistical packages, graphing calculators, data-collection devices, and presentation software.
10.5 Use technological tools to explore algebraic ideas and representations of information and in solving problems.
11.7 Use concrete models, drawings, and dynamic geometric software to explore geometric ideas and their applications in real-world contexts.
12.4 Use technological tools to explore and represent fundamental concepts of calculus.
15.2 Apply appropriate techniques, tools, and formulas to determine measurements and their application in a variety of contexts.
Initial (Generic) Methods Courses
Teacher candidates take SED 406: Instructional Design, Methods, and Technology as their first course in the professional sequence and are introduced to the potential of technology to enhance student learning and motivation.
(Catalog Description) Students learn the fundamentals of lesson design and methods for integrating instructional technology to enhance content area teaching and learning. Students design and present model lessons in a laboratory setting. 

Teacher candidates in SED 406 utilize the Web for resources and teaching strategies (blogs, web design etc.); evaluate online resources; explore how to integrate various technologies into different forms of instruction (direct, inquiry-based etc.); and develop and teach mini-lessons to their peers that are assessed in part on their integration of appropriate technology into the lesson. The expectation that they will utilize technology in their teaching carries through into SED 407: Instructional Design, Methods, and Content Literacy and subsequently the content methods/ practicum and student teaching experience.
Technology in Practicum and Student Teaching 
Practicum instructors use technology in their own instruction, so candidates experience its use as a normal circumstance.  Use of the internet to gather ideas for lessons, to find engaging games or puzzles, and to show a video clip to grab attention are all illustrated for teacher candidates, and the expectation exists that teacher candidates will also use the internet in similar ways.  Teacher candidates are attuned to that expectation, and they bring examples of their use of technology in the field to share with peers.  The collaborative sharing process is professional behavior that is fostered during Practicum and Student Teaching.
Some faculty have incorporated the Online Mentoring Program offered through the Math Forum into their Practicum sections.  In this program, teacher candidates take an online course in which they learn to become mentors to students who submit online solutions to the Math Forum's Problems of the Week.  The course professor also completes the course, usually in the semester before Practicum.  Upon completion of the course, teacher candidates mentor students who submit online solutions to problems; the Practicum professor mentors the teacher candidates through the process of giving feedback to the submitters of the solution.  The experience offers teacher candidates unique, authentic student work to analyze, synthesize, and provide feedback on.
Among the lessons that teacher candidates teach during SED 411, at least one must demonstrate the use of technology.  During Student Teaching the unit that candidates implement must incorporate technology and at least one lesson that includes technology must be observed by the College supervisor or cooperating teacher. During Student Teaching, course wikis are established for candidates to share ‘best' lessons of the previous week; candidates are expected to read them and offer feedback and suggestions to peers. 
A sample graphing calculator activity from Practicum is attached (see pdf  CALCUMITES). 

Teacher Candidate Mini-Work Sample Components

From lessons taught during Practicum, candidates include an implemented lesson plan that demonstrates use of technology in their mini-TCWS.  The Practicum College Supervisor utilizes the Observation and Progress Report to rate the candidate's use of technology in lesson planning and delivery on a 0 – 6 scale (see Observation and Progress Report for rating descriptions) on the indicators below:      

LESSON PLANNING The instructional strategies, activities and technical resources (e.g. manipulatives, adaptive or assistive technologies, electronic technology) in this lesson plan demonstrate attention to students' experience, preparedness, and/or learning styles.  The instructional strategies, activities and technical resources (e.g. manipulatives, adaptive or assistive technologies, electronic technology) in this lesson plan demonstrate attention to issues of access, equity, and diversity for students. ACTION The teacher candidate designs or adapts relevant learning experiences that incorporate digital tools and resources (e.g. manipulatives, adaptive or assistive technologies, electronic technology) to promote student learning and creativity. The teacher candidate customizes and personalizes learning activities using digital tools and resources (e.g. manipulatives, adaptive or assistive technologies, electronic technology).

They also include a lesson in the unit plan they construct for the mini-TCWS that relates specifically to technology on which they are evaluated. The instruction and rating scale that appears below.:

      • Technology:  Describe how you will use technology in your planning and/or instruction.  If you do not plan to use any form of technology, provide a clear rationale for its omission AND how planning and/or instruction could be enhanced with the use of technology. (Technology is defined as any high tech or low tech mechanical aid that makes learning more inclusive and effective for all students.  Technology is not limited to the use of the computer.)

Use of Technology
(RIPTS 2)

     (Unacceptable)
Technology is inappropriately used OR candidate does not use technology or provide a rationale for its omission.
A description of how planning and/or instruction could be enhanced with the use of technology is absent.

      (Acceptable)
Candidate uses technology appropriately. Technology contributes to teaching and learning.
OR
Candidate provides a clear rationale for omission of technology AND describes how planning and/or instruction could be enhanced with the use of technology.

        (Target)
Candidate consistently integrates appropriate technology.
Use of technology makes a significant contribution to teaching and learning.

Student Teaching Observations and Teacher Candidate Work Sample (SED 421 & 422)
Teacher candidates are observed by both the College supervisor and the cooperating teacher (three observations each).  They evaluate the teacher candidate's use of technology in specific lessons that they observe, giving them a rating from 0 – 6 (see Observation and Progress Report for rating descriptions) on the indicators below:           

LESSON PLANNING
3. The instructional strategies, activities and technical resources (e.g. manipulatives, adaptive or assistive technologies, electronic technology) in this lesson plan demonstrate attention to students' experience, preparedness, and/or learning styles.     

5. The instructional strategies, activities and technical resources (e.g. manipulatives, adaptive or assistive technologies, electronic technology) in this lesson plan demonstrate attention to issues of access, equity, and diversity for students.

ACTION           

3. The teacher candidate designs or adapts relevant learning experiences that incorporate digital tools and resources (e.g. manipulatives, adaptive or assistive technologies, electronic technology) to promote student learning and creativity.
5. The teacher candidate customizes and personalizes learning activities using digital tools and resources (e.g. manipulatives, adaptive or assistive technologies, electronic technology).

In addition, cooperating teachers rate student teachers on their “ongoing” utilization of technology in their lessons.  The indicators and rating scale utilized are below:


Technology Indicators

Rating

  • The teacher candidate designs or adapts relevant learning experiences that incorporate digital tools and resources (e.g. manipulatives, adaptive or assistive technologies, electronic technology) to promote student learning and creativity.

 

____

  • The teacher candidate develops technology-enriched learning environments that enable all students to pursue their individual curiosities and become active participants in setting their own educational goals, managing their own learning, and assessing their own progress.

 

____

  • The teacher candidate customizes and personalizes learning activities using digital tools and resources (e.g. manipulatives, adaptive or assistive technologies, electronic technology).

 

____

  • The teacher candidate demonstrates fluency with available technology systems.

____

  • The teacher candidate communicates relevant information and ideas effectively to students, parents, and peers using a variety of digital-age media and formats.

____

  • The teacher candidate models and facilitates effective use of current and emerging digital tools to locate, analyze, evaluate, and use information resources to support research and learning.

 

____

Use the following rating scale to rate the Technology Indicators (below).


0
Unacceptable

1-2
Developing

3-4
Acceptable

5-6
Target

Not present.
The candidate does not include the indicator in his/her planning, action, or reflection.

Elements of the indicator are clearly present but are partially or ineffectively carried out.
The candidate is developing an awareness and may be beginning to meet the knowledge, skills, and competencies needed to meet the needs of some learners.

Elements of the indicator are of good quality, but there is room for improvement.
The candidate knows and demonstrates the methods, skills, and strategies needed to meet the needs of most learners.

High quality implementation of indicator.
The candidate knows and consistently demonstrates the methods, skills, and strategies needed to meet students' diverse needs and interests.

Teacher Candidate Work Sample Components
Student Teachers develop and implement a unit plan; as part of that project they provide lesson plans taught during the unit that reflect a variety of instructional strategies/techniques.  The instruction and rating calculations are similar to that from the mini-TCWS.

      • Technology:  Describe how you will use technology in your planning and/or instruction.  If you do not plan to use any form of technology, provide a clear rationale for its omission AND how planning and/or instruction could be enhanced with the use of technology.  (Technology is defined as any high tech or low tech mechanical aid that makes learning more inclusive and effective for all students.  Technology is not limited to the use of the computer.)

Use of Technology
(RIPTS 2)

     (Unacceptable)
Technology is inappropriately used OR candidate does not use technology or provide a rationale for its omission.
A description of how planning and/or instruction could be enhanced with the use of technology is absent.

      (Acceptable)
Candidate uses technology appropriately.
Technology contributes to teaching and learning.
OR
Candidate provides a clear rationale for omission of technology AND describes how planning and/or instruction could be enhanced with the use of technology.

        (Target)
Candidate consistently integrates appropriate technology.
Use of technology makes a significant contribution to teaching and learning.

Electronic Portfolios
Finally, students model technology design skills through construction of an electronic portfolio on Chalk and Wire.  Candidates upload their Mathematics Content Portfolio, their mini-TCWS and their TCWS to their electronic portfolio.  The electronic portfolios provides an opportunity for teacher candidates to reflect on their growth over their final year in the program and throughout their teacher career.

K-12 STANDARDS and STATE INITIATIVES

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (PSSM) is a major course resource in Practicum and Student Teaching.  Various activities support candidate's becoming familiar with the standards movement and the document; examples from the document often appear in early lessons that candidates prepare.  As candidates compare standards from it with the Rhode Island GLEs and GSEs, they note the organizational and structural differences.  With the adoption of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) by Rhode Island, they have been incorporated into Practicum this fall.  Candidates examine the three sets of standards for similarities and differences.  Candidates are expected to include the content standards they are addressing in all lesson and unit plans.
The following statements about content standards introduce the section on curriculum in Practicum:

  • Standards provide the essential components, the “what,” to be included in curriculum, but they are not the curriculum;
  • Standards don't provide the scope and sequence of the curriculum; the text is not the curriculum.
  • Standards provide the framework for assessment.

When informed that district personnel develop the curriculum, candidates realize that curriculum development is likely to be part of their professional life.  They examine typical texts used in Rhode Island schools for presence of the standards. Other resource materials published by NCTM and available online offer suggestions for planning rich engaging lesson that are not text dependent. Examination of common texts provides an introduction to scope and sequence of topics.
The statement that standards provide the framework for assessment leads to discussion of the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP).  Candidates examine released questions and identify the standard(s) being assessed.  They also examine question for cognitive level using both Webb's Depth of Knowledge and Bloom's Taxonomy. Teacher candidates learn that with the adoption of the CCSS in Rhode Island, the state assessment system will be changing. This fall, candidates learned of the connection of the CCSS to the state's Race to the Top proposal.  They know that the state is partnering with Achieve, one of two groups to win Race to the Top funds to develop assessments based on the CCSS, and understand that RI has an influential voice in the decisions made with respect to assessment due to their involvement with the PARCC.
Teacher evaluation, though not a course objective, is discussed as a timely issue that will affect their future.  Because all candidates joint NCTM and the Rhode Island Mathematics Teachers Association (RIMTA) and attend RIMTA meetings, they have had the opportunity this fall to hear presentations on both the CCSS and proposed teacher evaluation system from RIDE personnel.  Candidates also attend the fall Association of Teachers of Mathematics in New England Conference whenever feasible.  In some years, former student teachers have made presentation with their RIC professor.

Candidates learn about Performance Based Graduation Requirements and other initiatives related to graduation and assessment during Student Teaching from cooperating teachers. Some district use the common assessment tasks developed by Rhode Island Skills Commission and students placed in those districts bring the tasks to Seminar sessions to share with their peers.

POST-GRADUATION

There is no formal procedure in the Mathematics and Computer Science Department for maintaining contact with graduates.  A May 2009 graduate suggested to his College supervisor that an effective way to know what graduates are doing would be to follow them on Facebook as ‘friends.'  With assistance of that teacher candidate the instructor set up a Facebook site, and upon Graduation, became ‘friends' with that semester's student teachers.  Several years have passed and knowledge of those graduates is known (Of the eight candidates who completed student teaching that spring, one is finishing graduate school in mathematics and embarking on his teaching career, one has left teaching, and six are teaching in Rhode Island Schools.)
Informally, faculty learn of graduate's activities through emails or their returning to Rhode Island College for graduate study in mathematics.  One recent email is attached (see:  EmailGraduate.docx; most are deleted by faculty for reasons of space). Through the MA program in Mathematical Studies, Mathematics for the Professions Option, program graduates return to continue their education.  Three former graduates enrolled in courses in 2010 (spring and summer).  All are currently teaching in Rhode Island high schools.

Discussion is ongoing within the department to develop and implement a mentoring program for new teachers (years 1-3).

OTHER

The mathematics educators in the Mathematics and Computer Science Department have created a content certificate program in elementary mathematics, entitled ‘Elementary Mathematics Specialist.'  It consists of 15 graduate credit hours in mathematics that would be useful to an elementary mathematics coach or specialist teacher.  The first course is currently being offered (Fall 2010) and has 12 students enrolled.  Courses will be offered one per semester, and teacher-participants can enroll in any semester. Completion of the five-course sequence leads to the Certificate..

Mathematics education is represented on the Mathematics Education Leadership Council, the Science Education Leadership Council, and the Presidential Award Committee that are organized by RIDE.  One mathematics educator was a member of the writing team for the revised Race to the Top proposal that the state won.  We continue to develop our relationship with RIDE by having field trips there for Practicum students (in Fall 2010 – for NECAP test item development info and Common Core State Standards), having representatives from RIDE serve on the RI STEM Center Advisory Committee (two math educators hold leadership roles in the RI STEM Center), and participating in meetings at RIDE on the issue of elementary mathematics specialists in Rhode Island.

Faculty Accomplishments

Donna Christy
Honors & Awards
2007: Third Highest-Rated professor in the U.S. in RateMyProfessors.com ranking
2005: Recipient, Paul Maixner Distinguished Teaching Award, Rhode Island College
2005: Recipient, 2005 Rhode Island College Alumni Honor Roll Award: Mathematics
Publications
(2010, in press).   “The Math Wizard in OZ”.  Teaching Children Mathematics , to appear 8/2011.
(April, 2008). ”Alice in Numberland: Through the Standards in Wonderland “. Teaching Children Mathematics, Vol. 14 No. 8, 436-446. 
(2007).”Rumors and Flu and New Products, Oh My!  Logistic Modeling to the Rescue!”.  The Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics.  Pearson Education, Inc.
(February, 2006).  ”The Whimsical Path to Math: Implementing the Navigations Series”.  Teaching Children Mathematics, Vol. 12,  No. 6, 323-331.
(2006).  ”Descartes Visits Wall Street and Meets the TI-84+SE: A Financial Journey”.  The Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics.  Pearson Education, Inc., 35-39.
Presentations
More than 8 NCTM Regional Meetings and other invited presentations since 2006.
Grants
Co-Principal Investigator:   “Lesson Study and the RI STEM Center at RI College: A Model for Professional Development in Mathematics,”  Spring 2010/Fall 2010, funded by Project RITER (with A. Goodrow).
Higher Education Grant Partner Participant:  “PRIMETIME (Partnerships & Research Investigations by Mathematicians and Educators To   Improve Mathematics Education), ” 2004-2006, Mathematics Coach for Slater Jr. High School, Pawtucket, RI.
Miscellaneous
Co- Assistant Director, RI STEM Center at Rhode Island College
Invited Presenter:  National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Illuminations Summer Institute, 2010, Reston, VA

Vivian LaFerla
Publications
La Ferla, V., Olkun, S., Akkurt, Z. & Toptas, V. (2010). A Cross-Cultural Study: Assessing and Improving Spatial Thinking Of Pre-Service Teachers. Proceedings of EDULEARN10 Conference, ISBN:978-84-613-9386-2, pp.6671-6676. International Conference on Education and New Technologies, Barcelona (Spain)-5th-7th July, 2010.
La Ferla, V., Olkun, S., Akkurt, Z. et al. (2009). An International Comparison of the Effect of Using Computer Manipulatives on Pre-service and Middle Grades Students' Understanding of Three-dimensional Buildings.Proceeding of  9thInternational Conference on Technology in Mathematics Teaching(ICTMT-9), Metz (France)- July, 2009. 
La Ferla, V., Olkun,  S. , Gonsulates, F.  and Ceylan.M.  A Multicultural Look at Mathematics with (S.)  in Proceedings of the 11th International Congress of Mathematics Education(ICME-11), Monterrey, Mexico, 2008.
Presentations
NCTM regional conference (Fall 2009), Association of Teachers of Mathematics in New England (Fall 2008, Fall 2007)
Leadership:
Achieve, American Diploma Project:  item reviewer & data analyst for Algebra I and Algebra II end-of-course national exams
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics: Reviewer for Mathematics Teacher (2006-2010)

Mary M. Sullivan
Degree earned
MS Statistics, University of Rhode Island, August, 2008.  Thesis:  Developing a Model of Lyme Disease in Rhode Island.
Publications
(February, 2005).  "Counting Sheep." Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, Vol. 10, No. 6.
(March, 2005). "Taxed to the Max!" Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, Vol. 10, No. 7.
(May, 2005). "Whats Your Chance?" Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, Vol. 10, No. 9.
(Summer 2005)."Teaching Mathematics to College students with Mathematics-Related Learning Disabilities: Report from the Classroom," Learning Disability Quarterly, Vol. 28, No. 3.
Presentations
More than 10 invited presentations since 2007.
Grants
Co-Principal Investigator:  Problem Solving and Critical Thinking with Discrete Mathematics, Rhode Island Education Partnership Grants, January1 - December 31, 2005; with Dr. C. Teixeira, in partnership with Rutgers University, Providence and East Providence Schools, and East Bay Collaborative ($69,719).
Co-Principal Investigator:  Problem Solving and Critical Thinking with Discrete Mathematics, Rhode Island Education Partnership Grants, January1 - December 31, 2006; with Dr. C. Teixeira, in partnership with Rutgers University, Providence and East Providence Schools, and East Bay Collaborative ($69,632).
Principal Investigator:  Problem Solving and Critical Thinking with Discrete Mathematics, Rhode Island Education Partnership Grants, 2010 - 2010;  in partnership with Rhode Island College Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Feinstein School of Education and Human Development, RI STEM Center, Cranston Public Schools, and West Bay and Southern RI Collaboratives ($53,891 Year 1).
Partner (as Director, RI STEM Center):  RI Dept of Labor Workforce Development Grant, 2011 – 2014, with SENEDIA, Town of Middletown, Tech Collective, and Chambers of Commerce, ($22,000 Year 1).
Leadership
American Statistical Association: 

  • Chairperson of the Committee on Statistics in Two-Year Colleges;
  • Reviewer team member for the statistics portion of the CCSS;
  • Reviewer team leader for the Statistics Pathway (STATWAY) project, sponsored by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Dana Center;
  • Invited author for online materials to be published for the STATWAY project;
  • Advisory Board member of the Statistical Content Helping to Empower Mathematicians at Two-Year Colleges (SCHEMATYC) project, funded by the NSF, designed to develop the background of mathematics faculty in two-year colleges who teach statistics.

Rhode Island Mathematics Teachers Association: board member since 2006
Miscellaneous:
Director, RI STEM Center at Rhode Island College

Rhode Island higher education representative (mathematics) to the PARCC (Partnership to Assess Readiness in the Common Core)
   
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics: Reviewer for Mathematics Teacher (2006-2010)

Mary M. Sullivan
Degree earned
MS Statistics, University of Rhode Island, August, 2008.  Thesis:  Developing a Model of Lyme Disease in Rhode Island.
Publications
(February, 2005).  "Counting Sheep." Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, Vol. 10, No. 6.
(March, 2005). "Taxed to the Max!" Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, Vol. 10, No. 7.
(May, 2005). "Whats Your Chance?" Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, Vol. 10, No. 9.
(Summer 2005)."Teaching Mathematics to College students with Mathematics-Related Learning Disabilities: Report from the Classroom," Learning Disability Quarterly, Vol. 28, No. 3.
Presentations
More than 10 invited presentations since 2007.
Grants
Co-Principal Investigator:  Problem Solving and Critical Thinking with Discrete Mathematics, Rhode Island Education Partnership Grants, January1 - December 31, 2005; with Dr. C. Teixeira, in partnership with Rutgers University, Providence and East Providence Schools, and East Bay Collaborative ($69,719).
Co-Principal Investigator:  Problem Solving and Critical Thinking with Discrete Mathematics, Rhode Island Education Partnership Grants, January1 - December 31, 2006; with Dr. C. Teixeira, in partnership with Rutgers University, Providence and East Providence Schools, and East Bay Collaborative ($69,632).
Principal Investigator:  Problem Solving and Critical Thinking with Discrete Mathematics, Rhode Island Education Partnership Grants, 2010 - 2010;  in partnership with Rhode Island College Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Feinstein School of Education and Human Development, RI STEM Center, Cranston Public Schools, and West Bay and Southern RI Collaboratives ($53,891 Year 1).
Partner (as Director, RI STEM Center):  RI Dept of Labor Workforce Development Grant, 2011 – 2014, with SENEDIA, Town of Middletown, Tech Collective, and Chambers of Commerce, ($22,000 Year 1).
Leadership
American Statistical Association: 

Rhode Island Mathematics Teachers Association: board member since 2006
Miscellaneous:
Director, RI STEM Center at Rhode Island College

Rhode Island higher education representative (mathematics) to the PARCC (Partnership to Assess Readiness in the Common Core)