Ohio School District sees improved test scores & improved student perseverance after refocusing their math action plan.

We first shared their story a few weeks ago on the podcast.

Here’s an update.

Michael and Morgan are the two math coordinators/coaches from West Carrollton in Ohio.

It’s just the two of them supporting their 6 schools. 

They were struggling with…

  • teacher engagement in PD
  • inconsistent or non-existent use of effective instructional strategies like the 8 effective teaching practices from NCTM
  • knowing what actions to take to gain traction
  • finding time to focus on what matters
  • not understanding what really matters in effective coaching or effective PD

This led to … 

  • student behaviour issues in the classroom;
  • low student engagement.
  • students continuing to experience a “sit and get” math learning experience. 
  • declining student test scores year after year.

The problem … 

  • they were focusing on the wrong things to gain traction with teachers
  • they were focusing on too many things which caused confusion
  • they did not have a vision or goals for what they wanted to achieve. 
  • they were not fully optimizing available channels (PLCs, coaching, large group sessions, ect). 

Why did they want to work with us?

  • they wanted a trusted system to strengthen their program from the inside
  • they didn’t want to waste more time throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks
  • they wanted a guide and community to steer them down a pathway that will get results

What changes did we make?  

#1 – We clarified the top three objectives to focus on so teachers didn’t feel like something new was being added to their plate. 

#2 – We refocused their efforts and provided them resources to implement a successful & sustainable program that targets all 4 levels of PD support.

#3 – We built content capacity and strengthened the mathematical proficiency of the two coaches so they can build capacity with their teachers in each and every teacher-coach interaction. 

#4 – We redesigned trainings and pd sessions for teachers and administrators to follow an “ALL-IN” approach which inspires shifts in mindsets around mathematics. 

** These were just some the changes we helped implement over the two years West Carrollton has been part of the Make Math Moments District Improvement Program. 

Since those changes …. 

  • Michael describes the shift as “night and day” when it comes to direction, focus, and his action planning. 
  • the district has reported that students have been more resilient when it comes to problem solving, and especially sticking with problems longer on the state assessments compared to past years. 

We’re so proud of the work that Michael, Morgan, the teachers, and students have accomplished these last two years at WCSD.  

What you can do: 

  1. You can enroll in our webinar and grab our workbook on how to implement our 4 stage process. 
  2. If you need help in deciding what your objectives should be take our 12 minute district program assessment and get your free report. 
  3. Book a free call with us and during our meeting we will give you actionable steps to move forward with your planning. 

Focus Your Math Professional Development On What Matters


Free Training + Planning Workbook


Each lesson consists of:

Each Make Math Moments Problem Based Lesson consists of a Teacher Guide to lead you step-by-step through the planning process to ensure your lesson runs without a hitch!

Each Teacher Guide consists of:

  • Intentionality of the lesson;
  • A step-by-step walk through of each phase of the lesson;
  • Visuals, animations, and videos unpacking big ideas, strategies, and models we intend to emerge during the lesson;
  • Sample student approaches to assist in anticipating what your students might do;
  • Resources and downloads including Keynote, Powerpoint, Media Files, and Teacher Guide printable PDF; and,
  • Much more!

Each Make Math Moments Problem Based Lesson begins with a story, visual, video, or other method to Spark Curiosity through context.

Students will often Notice and Wonder before making an estimate to draw them in and invest in the problem.

After student voice has been heard and acknowledged, we will set students off on a Productive Struggle via a prompt related to the Spark context.

These prompts are given each lesson with the following conditions:

  • No calculators are to be used; and,
  • Students are to focus on how they can convince their math community that their solution is valid.

Students are left to engage in a productive struggle as the facilitator circulates to observe and engage in conversation as a means of assessing formatively.

The facilitator is instructed through the Teacher Guide on what specific strategies and models could be used to make connections and consolidate the learning from the lesson.

Often times, animations and walk through videos are provided in the Teacher Guide to assist with planning and delivering the consolidation.

A review image, video, or animation is provided as a conclusion to the task from the lesson.

While this might feel like a natural ending to the context students have been exploring, it is just the beginning as we look to leverage this context via extensions and additional lessons to dig deeper.

At the end of each lesson, consolidation prompts and/or extensions are crafted for students to purposefully practice and demonstrate their current understanding. 

Facilitators are encouraged to collect these consolidation prompts as a means to engage in the assessment process and inform next moves for instruction.

In multi-day units of study, Math Talks are crafted to help build on the thinking from the previous day and build towards the next step in the developmental progression of the concept(s) we are exploring.

Each Math Talk is constructed as a string of related problems that build with intentionality to emerge specific big ideas, strategies, and mathematical models. 

Make Math Moments Problem Based Lessons and Day 1 Teacher Guides are openly available for you to leverage and use with your students without becoming a Make Math Moments Academy Member.

Use our OPEN ACCESS multi-day problem based units!

Make Math Moments Problem Based Lessons and Day 1 Teacher Guides are openly available for you to leverage and use with your students without becoming a Make Math Moments Academy Member.

MMM Unit - Snack Time Fractions Unit


Partitive Division Resulting in a Fraction

Shot Put Multi Day Problem Based Unit - Algebraic Substitution


Equivalence and Algebraic Substitution

Wooly Worm Race - Representing and Adding Fractions


Fractions and Metric Units


Scavenger Hunt - Data Management and Finding The Mean


Represent Categorical Data & Explore Mean

Downloadable resources including blackline mastershandouts, printable Tips Sheetsslide shows, and media files do require a Make Math Moments Academy Membership.

Use our OPEN ACCESS multi-day problem based units!