Professional Learning Within the School Day: Lab Classrooms
Teaching and learning often happen in isolation. To refine our practice, we need a consistent structure to learn within the classroom. Lab classes empower teachers, encourage collaboration and put students at the forefront of instructional decisions. The Math Lab is designed to support teachers to build their understanding and skills as teachers who center mathematics instruction on students’ ideas, empowering students to meaningfully engage in learning mathematics. For classrooms to be equitable, teachers cannot only receive professional learning a few times a year, outside of the classroom context. To improve teacher knowledge, they must be continually immersed in learning experiences. Experiences where they can plan based on what each student knows and is able to do. Lab classrooms provide this space for math coaches, teachers, and administrators to collectively learn with and from one another.
As part of a collaboration between the Seaford School District and the University of Delaware School Success Center, we have significant collective expertise on professional learning and educational research.
Amy Christofano is the quintessential early elementary leader. As a Mathematics Instructional Specialist, she brings 26 years of excellence, energy, and passion in early childhood and elementary education to her partnerships with districts, schools, and teachers through the School Success Center. She believes that our youngest students can and should be masters of their own learning and she works to support teachers and administrators to see and build on the brilliance of young minds. Amy is interested in designing, facilitating, and sustaining professional learning opportunities that build the capacity for schools and districts to serve the neediest learners with the enthusiasm and energy they deserve.
Kristin is a nationally board certified math teacher and coach of 22 years who currently is the Executive Director, Math Suite at Amplify. Most recently she was the Director of K-5 Curriculum and Professional Learning at Illustrative Mathematics, leading the development of the IM K-5 Math Curriculum. Prior to that, she was a content developer and facilitator of K–8 Professional Learning at Illustrative Mathematics. As a teacher, colleague, presenter, and learner, Kristin continuously shares the value of curiosity around student thinking in her planning and instruction. She was the 2014 Presidential Awardee for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and Teaching Channel Laureate.