Mathematics

Pam Buffington

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Pam Buffington

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Pam

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Buffington

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Pam Buffington provides technical support in evidence based policy development and decisionmaking to state and local education agencies and is a project leader in the development and management of multiple professional development initiatives. She is an expert in technology integration in education with extensive work in the areas of mathematics and science, and has designed and implemented online and face-to-face professional development materials. As Co-Director of the Science and Mathematics Programs Unit, she leads a team of researchers, instructional designers, and professional developers in investigating and implementing strategies to improve students' learning outcomes.

Buffington is EDC's co-Principal Investigator (co-PI) of the National Science Foundation-funded Research and Practice Collaboratory, an initiative focused on equity-oriented STEM education improvement. In this work, she leads a partnership with the Auburn, Maine School Department to improve student learning of mathematics in the early grades through the integration of interactive mobile technologies such as iPads. She has presented this work extensively at convenings such as the 13th annual International Congress on Mathematical Education and the conferences of organizations such as the National Rural Educators Association, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics.

As the co-PI of EDC's Visual Access to Mathematics study, Buffington is working with Mark Driscoll and Johannah Nikula to develop and study a blended-learning professional development program that will address the critical need to support middle-grades mathematics teachers in enhancing English learners' mathematics learning and promoting their college and career readiness. She also serves as a State Liaison and Northeast Rural Districts Research Alliance Facilitator for the Institute of Education Sciences (IES)-funded REL Northeast & Islands and a STEM technical assistance provider for Investing in Innovation Fund (i3) program grantees.

Buffington was the PI of the IES-funded Eliciting Mathematics Misconceptions: A Cognitive Diagnostic Assessment System, an initiative that developed and validated diagnostic formative assessments in the content area of rational numbers. She was also the Project Director for several initiatives, including the Maine Impact Study of Technology in Mathematics Intervention; the Enhancing and Extending the National Library of Virtual Manipulatives Project; SELECT Math Professional Development Intervention, Boston; and District Level Consultation–Standards-Based Mathematics Instruction. She also served as lead mathematics specialist in support of Maine’s Learning Technology Initiative.

In 2016, Buffington was selected to be the Richard H. Balomenos Lecturer by the Association of Teachers of Mathematics in New England (ATMNE) and presented the keynote “Strategic Use of Mobile Technologies as an Equity Move” at the ATMNE Conference. She also published her work extensively in 2016. She is a co-author of the chapter “Partnership-Based Research Approaches” in Rural Education Research: State of the Science and Emerging Directions, and co-authored the article “Enhancing Use of Learning Sciences Research in Planning for and Supporting Educational Change: Leveraging and Building Social Networks” (Journal of Educational Change). Through her work on the R+P Collaboratory, she has co-authored a series of briefs and reports on the role that interactive technology can play in enhancing mathematics learning, including Preliminary Guidelines for Using Interactive Mobile Technologies in Early Elementary Mathematics, Supporting Equity Through Co-Investigation: Sharing Student Videos, and Research+Practice Partnerships: Fostering Equitable Collaborations.

Before joining EDC, Buffington was the Director of Technology and Assessment Development for Learning Effects in Falmouth, Maine; a Project Director at TERC in Cambridge; and an adjunct faculty member at the Graduate School of Education, Instructional Technology Program, at Bridgewater State College. She has worked as a mathematics teacher and technology coordinator.

Buffington received a BS in secondary education and mathematics with a minor in Physics from University of Maine at Farmington, an MA in curriculum and instruction from Lesley College, and a PhD in education (integrating multicultural education, technology, and educational practice) from the Union Institute.

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Non-Staff Profile

Job title: 

Co-Director

Program: 

Science and Mathematics Programs

Mailing Address: 

36 Brunswick Avenue
Gardiner, Maine 04345

Telephone: 

207-588-5022

Online Algebra Can Broaden Access to Grade 8 Students

Student using calculator

The Institute of Education Sciences has published the Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast and Islands multiyear study “Access to Algebra I: The Effects of Online Mathematics for Grade 8 Students,” which found that offering an online Algebra I course to algebra-ready grade 8 students who had no access to formal Algebra I positively affects achievement and high school course-taking patterns.

Descriptors (Bodies of Work): 

Access to Algebra I: The Effects of Online Mathematics for Grade 8 Students

Tue, 12/13/2011

Author(s): 

Jessica B. Heppen, Kirk Walters, Margaret Clements, Ann-Marie Faria, Cheryl Tobey, Nicholas Sorensen, Katherine McMillan Culp

EDC researchers and partner colleagues in the Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast and Islands set out to learn what would happen if algebra-ready grade 8 students without access to Algebra I were offered it through an online course. Would it affect the students’ math achievement and the kinds of courses they take in high school?

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Connecting Arithmetic to Algebra: Strategies for Building Algebraic Thinking in the Elementary Grades

Tue, 10/25/2011

Author(s): 

Susan Jo Russell, Deborah Schifter, Virginia Bastable

EDC's Deborah Schifter is coauthor of a book inviting readers to learn about a crucial component of algebraic thinking: investigating the behavior of the operations.

Book cover

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176 pp.

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Math for All: Participants Book Grades 3–5

Tue, 09/13/2011

Author(s): 

Babette Moeller, Barbara Dubitsky, Marvin Cohen, Karen Marschke-Tobier, Hal Melnick, Linda Metnetsky

Babette Moeller with colleagues from Bank Street College is the author of Math for All: Participants Book Grades 3–5, which supports the Math for All professional development program and introduces teachers to a process for collaborative lesson planning to make math lessons accessible to all students, including those with disabilities.

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Mathematics

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When students face a problem, they must be able to analyze it, stick with it even when they are stumped, and wisely weigh and choose solutions. EDC helps make sure that all students acquire a toolkit of problem-solving skills in mathematics class—logic, persistence, critical thinking—that prepares them for success in solving problems in the workplace and in life. With teachers as our partners in change, our goal is to make sure all students enjoy, and gain a deep understanding of and proficiency in, mathematics.

Emily Fagan

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Emily Fagan

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Emily

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Fagan

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Emily Fagan develops innovative middle-grades mathematics curriculum and professional development materials that support teachers’ and schools’ efforts to improve math teaching and learning. In addition to designing online and face-to-face courses and workshops for teachers and students, she is an experienced facilitator and teacher.

Fagan is a co-author of the 2015 book, Bringing Math Students into the Formative Assessment Equation, and contributed to the development of the approach to formative assessment that is described in the book. She also played a key role as a developer for EDC’s Differentiated Professional Development Project, which created a hybrid professional development experience for building teachers’ math content knowledge, diagnostic skills and instructional strategies for supporting struggling math learners. Together with colleagues Amy Brodesky and Cheryl Rose Tobey, Fagan published “Targeting Instruction with Formative Assessment Probes,” an article in the 2016 Focus Issue of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics journal, Teaching Children Mathematics.  She continues her work focusing on struggling learners with the recently funded NSF project, Strengthening Mathematics Intervention.

Fagan was the Director of EDC’s MathScape Curriculum Center and led the revision of the MathScape: Seeing and Thinking Mathematically middle-grades curriculum. She was also a collaborator with the NSF-funded Show-Me Center at the University of Missouri and a developer of the Mathematics Improvement Toolkit, in collaboration with the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform.

In 2014, Fagan co-authored two books published by Corwin: Uncovering Student Thinking About Mathematics in the Common Core (Grades K–2 and Grades 3–5). Previously, she contributed to Perspectives on the Design and Development of School Mathematics Curricula and A Decade of Middle School Mathematics Curriculum Implementation: Lessons Learned from the Show-Me Project. In addition, she has developed modules in the PBS Teacherline series and units of online courses for students in the National Repository for Online Courses.

Before joining EDC, Fagan taught mathematics and science in Brookline and Salem, Massachusetts, and mathematics and social studies in Philadelphia. As a teacher, Fagan was chosen for the Massachusetts Faculty of the Coalition of Essential Schools and served as a mentor teacher.

Fagan received an AB from Harvard University.

 

 

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Job title: 

Senior Curriculum/Instructional Design Associate

Program: 

Leadership for Learning Innovation

Mailing Address: 

43 Foundry Avenue
Waltham, Massachusetts 02453-8313

Telephone: 

508-314-0558

Amy Brodesky

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Amy Brodesky

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Amy

Last name: 

Brodesky

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Amy Brodesky, a mathematics curriculum developer and professional development specialist, focuses on improving mathematics instruction for struggling learners with and without disabilities. She has led six related National Science Foundation (NSF)–funded projects, including her current project, Strengthening Mathematics Intervention Classes: Identifying and Addressing Challenges to Improve Instruction for Struggling Learners (SMI), that advance knowledge in this key aspect of mathematics learning and teaching.  The SMI project is studying current math intervention practices in the middle grades in order to create professional development (PD) and resources for teachers aimed at strengthening intervention and support for students.

Brodesky was the lead developer of an innovative model to differentiate PD to address teachers’ wide range of prior knowledge and experiences, using an approach described in “Moving Beyond One-Size-Fits-All PD: Differentiating Professional Learning for Teachers”. Using this differentiated model, the project team created three blended PD courses for teachers on fractions, decimal, and integer concepts from the Common Core State Standards. Brodesky co-authored an article, “Targeting Instruction with Formative Assessment Probes”, describing their approach to building teachers’ diagnostic approaches for identifying and addressing the mathematics learning needs of struggling learners.

Previously, Brodesky was the study leader and coauthor of “Math Education Practices for Students with Disabilities and Struggling Learners: Case Studies of Six Schools from Two Northeast States” and "Performance Patterns for Students with Disabilities in Grade 4 Mathematics Education in New York State" along with a similar study for Massachusetts.

Brodesky has extensive experience developing mathematics education materials, including the NSF-funded middle-grades program MathScape and the IBM-supported, technology-intensive program Measurement, Time, and Money for elementary children. She is the lead author of the article, "A Model for Collaboration" (Educational Leadership) and the coauthor of Digging into Data with TinkerPlots, a book of data analysis lessons for the middle grades.

Before coming to EDC, she was an educational software writer with Tom Snyder Productions.

Brodesky received her EdM in technology in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Staff: 

Non-Staff Profile

Job title: 

Project Director

Program: 

Leadership for Learning Innovation

Mailing Address: 

43 Foundry Avenue
Waltham, Massachusetts 02453-8313

Telephone: 

617-618-2518

Al Cuoco

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Al Cuoco

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Al

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Cuoco

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Al Cuoco is the lead author of CME Project, a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded high school curriculum published by Pearson. Recently, he served as part of a team that revised the Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences (CBMS) recommendations for teacher preparation and professional development.

Cuoco is carrying out several professional development streams of work devoted to the implementation of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM) Standards for Mathematical Practice, including EDC’s Mathematical Practice Institute (MPI). Through the MPI, he and his colleagues have launched a new course for teachers and facilitators, Developing Mathematical Practice in High School.

He co-directs Focus on Mathematics, a partnership among universities, school districts, and EDC that has established a community of mathematical practice involving mathematicians, teachers, and mathematics educators. The partnership evolved from his 25-year collaboration with Glenn Stevens on Boston University’s PROMYS for Teachers, a professional development program for teachers based on an immersion experience in mathematics. He also co-directs the development of the course for secondary teachers in the Institute for Advanced Study program at the Park City Mathematics Institute.

Cuoco is a co-author of three books published by the American Mathematical Society: Famous Functions in Number Theory, Applications of Algebra and Geometry to the Work of Teaching, and Probability through Algebra. In 2013, Cuoco and colleague Joseph J. Rotman co-authored the book, Learning Modern Algebra: From Early Attempts to Prove Fermat's Last Theorem (published by the Mathematical Association of America—MAA). Other recent books include Mathematical Connections: A Companion for Teachers and Others (also published by the MAA), Reasoning and Sense Making in Algebra (co-authored with Karen Graham and Gwen Zimmermann, published by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics). His favorite publication is a 1991 paper in the American Mathematical Monthly, described by his wife as “an attempt to explain a number system that no one understands with a picture that no one can see.”

Recently, Cuoco was elected to the Board of Directors for Math for America-Boston and to the Advisory Board for the mathematics department at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. Previous advisory roles included membership on the Massachusetts Board of Education’s Mathematics and Science Advisory Council and participation in the team that provided background research to the PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) Content Frameworks for high school mathematics. Cuoco also provided background research to the writers of the CCSSM and the PARCC Content Frameworks for high school mathematics.

Prior to joining EDC, Cuoco taught high school mathematics to a wide range of students in the Woburn, Massachusetts public schools from 1969 until 1993. He draws constantly on his experience both as a mathematician and a teacher in his work in curriculum development, professional development, and education policy. 

A student of Ralph Greenberg, he holds a PhD in mathematics from Brandeis, with a thesis and publications in Iwasawa theory.

Staff: 

Non-Staff Profile

Job title: 

Distinguished Scholar/Advisor

Program: 

Science and Mathematics Programs

Mailing Address: 

43 Foundry Avenue
Waltham, Massachusetts 02453-8313

Telephone: 

617-618-2563

Kristen Reed

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Kristen Reed

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Kristen

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Reed

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Kristen Reed leads studies that provide new insights into early childhood education and early mathematics learning and teaching, with a focus on the link between teacher professional development and student outcomes. Her work reflects her commitment to designing resources and professional development that make mathematics fun, challenging, and engaging for children and teachers. She is an experienced teacher, professional development facilitator, and researcher.

Reed is the co-Principal Investigator (PI), with Jessica Young, of a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded study, Games for Young Mathematicians, which examines the relation between a teacher professional development intervention and low-income preschool children’s school readiness skills and mathematics learning. The intervention gives preschool teachers effective strategies, using mathematics games and activities, to support children’s growth mindset and persistence. (Read a related blog post by Reed.)

She is also co-PI, with Young and Heidi Rosenberg, of two Heising-Simons Foundation-funded projects, Family Engagement in Early Mathematics and the Teacher Practices Observation Study. These projects examine how a professional development model can support teachers in engaging families in early mathematics activities through at-home games and mathematics mini-books that align with the mathematics games teachers are using in the classroom. Reed and colleagues are investigating the potential of this model for enhancing teachers’ mathematics instruction and improving children’s mathematics learning and school-readiness skills.

Reed contributed to the development of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers (PARCC) K–2 formative assessment tasks. These tasks are engaging for children, informative for teachers—tasks include detailed observation checklists that help teachers gain insight into student understanding—and serve as examples of how to engage children with the Common Core State Standards, with a particular focus on the Standards for Mathematical Practice.

Reed is also leading mixed data analysis and contributing to the design and implementation of the Mathematics Instructional Materials project. Funded by NSF, this longitudinal study is examining school districts’ implementation of elementary mathematics instructional materials (Everyday Mathematics or Investigations in Number, Data, and Space). Reed is studying the relation between district and school support for implementation, the school’s level of use of the materials, and the effects on student outcomes.  

Reed has coauthored publications on mathematics education and on teacher professional development, including “Play Games, Learn Math! Explore Numbers and Counting with Dot Card and Finger Games,”Mastery Motivation: Persistence and Problem Solving in Preschool,” “Designing K–12 Formative Assessment Tasks,” and “Mathematical Structure and Error in Kindergarten.” In addition, Reed and her colleagues have created resources for teachers and parents that are available on the Young Mathematicians website.

Before joining EDC, Reed taught 4th and 5th grade at a pilot school in Boston during the years when the Boston Public Schools were scaling up the implementation of Investigations in Number, Data, and Space. She has a BA in anthropology and a master’s degree in international comparative education from Stanford University, and an MEd in elementary education from Lesley University.

Staff: 

Non-Staff Profile

Job title: 

Research Scientist

Program: 

Science and Mathematics Programs

Mailing Address: 

43 Foundry Avenue
Waltham, Massachusetts 02453-8313

Telephone: 

617-618-2913

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