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Preparing Virginia's Mathematics Specialist
Virginia Commonwealth University, in conjunction with the Virginia Mathematics and Science Coalition, two university core partners (Norfolk State University and the University of Virginia) and 5 school district core partners offers an NSF Institute to prepare K-5 middle school Mathematics Specialists. Two cohorts of 25 teachers each earn Masters Degrees in mathematics content and educational leadership, which encompass the proposed activities specified for licensure as a Mathematics Specialist by the Virginia Department of Education. Participants are recruited from participating school systems across the state, representing diverse populations, based on recommendations from school administrators. The school system agrees to assign teachers who complete the Masters Degree program to be licensed as Mathematics Specialists with sufficient non-classroom time to carry out their responsibilities as specified under the established Virginia description for Specialist.

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Project Contributions

Teaching About Scientific Inquiry And The Nature Of Science: Toward A More Complete View Of Science
"Science is more than a body of knowledge and a way of developing and validating that knowledge. Science is a social activity that reflects human values, including curiosity, creativity, integrity,…
External Evaluation of VMSC Workshop Series Designed for Principals of Elementary & Middle Schools
"In a 2010 case study of Virginia's MSP, the authors describe school principals as "the ultimate determiners of the work of the Mathematics Specialists in their school." To cultivate greater…
Mathematics Workshops for K-8 Principals
Posted by: Bill Haver. The report describes the creation and institutionalization of a mathematics Workshop series for K-8 principals that resulted as an unanticipated spin off from our MSP project.
The Characteristics Necessary For A Mathematics Specialist
"Since beginning this work in 1991, I have witnessed and read about heated discussions on the evils and wonders of this "new kind of math." From school board meetings to…
Breaking The Cycle: Integrating The Mathematics Specialist
"Most elementary teachers receive little or no training in the area of mathematics; much of their training is in language arts. Teachers teach mathematics the way they were taught, which…
A Day In The Life Of Two Mathematics Specialists: Bringing Math To The Forefront In Elementary Schools
"Math has become a focal point at both Beth's and Susan's schools as a result of their positions as Mathematics Specialists. Both of them analyze student data and assess teachers'…
Approaching Mathematics Utopia?
"Collaboration, co-teaching, and coaching can be very different, yet each of these aspects of cooperative teaching involves similar layers of negotiating, planning, listening, and reflecting on the instruction and student…
Beyond The Textbook: Lessons Learned From Two Years As A Mathematics Specialist
"The job of the Mathematics Specialist is a rewarding one. For every teacher, the moment when a struggling student's face lights up and he says, "Oh, I get it!" makes…
Trickle-Down Inspiration: From Mathematics Specialist To Teachers To Students
"As a Mathematics Specialist, there are several qualities that I strive to develop in my colleagues. I hope to help them develop mathematical patience. As teachers, we need to understand…
Mathematics Professional Development That Focuses On Student Achievement: A Parallel Case Example
"The creation of a PreK-8 Mathematics Specialist credential provides an unprecedented opportunity for Virginia school leaders to improve student achievement in mathematics. If this opportunity is to yield hoped for…
Virginia's Mathematics Specialist Institute Project: A Summary of Evaluation Findings
"Horizon Research, Inc. (HRI) serves as the external evaluator for the NSF Institute's "Preparing Virginia's Mathematics Specialists" project, described in a previous article. Participants in this project do coursework at…
Virginia House and Senate Resolution
The following resolution was adopted last week by the Virginia House and Senate, recognizing the important contributions of 2 MSP Projects: Preparing Virginia's Mathematics Specialist and …
A Methodology to Explain Teachers' Emerging Roles As K-5 Mathematics Specialists
This paper describes the emerging roles of two K-5 mathematics specialists who are or who will be serving in leadership roles at their respective school buildings. One of the two…
Mathematics Specialist Recognition/Appreciation Luncheon
Posted by: Jason Blake. The Mathematics Specialists who participated in the National Science Foundation supported research projects studying the impact of Mathematics Specialists were honored at a Recognition/Appreciation Luncheon on October 21, 2009. They…
K-5 Mathematics Specialists' Teaching and Learning About Fractions
"This paper describes the fraction-based mathematical activities of two teachers who are part of a Mathematics Specialist preparation program. Their work with fractions is traced from two perspectives: 1) their…
NCTM Meeting - Mathematics Specialists Sessions
Posted by: Jason Blake. A special strand of sessions on Mathematics Specialists / Coaches will be offered as part of the NCTM meeting to be held in Richmond, Virginia on October 11 & 12,...
New formula helps students learn math
Posted by: Jason Blake. An article describing the work of Mathematics Specialists in Stafford, Virginia was recently published in the Free-Lance Star on April 28, 2007. The article is titled "New Formula helps students...
NSF-MSP Summer Institutes 2005 & 2006 Photo Gallery
Posted by: Jason Blake. Photo Galleries have been assembled for the NSF-MSP Summer Institutes 2005 & 2006. Please click the link above to view these pages.
VMSC Statewide Masters Programs
Posted by: Jason Blake. Under the VMSC (Virginia Mathematics and Science Coalition) Statewide Masters Programs, participating universities collaborate to offer professional development opportunities leading to master's degrees...
NSF-MSP Summer Institute 2005 - Preparing Mathematics Specialists Masters Program offered by VCU, UVA & NSU
Posted by: Jason Blake. The 2005 session of the NSF/MSP Mathematics Specialist Institute was hosted by Virginia Commonwealth University. It was attended by 27 elementary school teachers preparing to be Mathematics Specialists....
NCTM Annual Meeting: Presentation on research conducted by three MSP Projects
Through the leadership of Joy Whitenack and the NSF Institute: Preparing Virginia's Mathematics Specialist partnership, a presentation will be made at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics 2006...
Journal of Mathematics and Science: Collaborative Explorations - Mathematics Specialist
Posted by: Jason Blake. The Virginia Mathematics and Science Coalition has published a special issue of the Journal of Mathematics and Science: Collaborative Explorations dedicated to the Mathematics Specialist role and issues...
Mathematics Specialist Resolution
Posted by: Bill Haver. Senator John Watkins has introduced a resolution in the Virginia Senate Requesting the Virginia Board of Education to include the mathematics specialist endorsement in the Licensure Regulations for School...
Definition of Mathematics Specialists
Posted by: Bill Haver. On December 3, 2004 the MSP partners agreed upon the following working definition of Mathematics Specialists: Mathematics Specialists are teacher leaders with strong preparation and background in mathematics...