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The Math Pact, High School

The Math Pact, High School
Achieving Instructional Coherence Within and Across Grades

Foreword by Robert Q. Berry III and Matt Larson, Featuring Rules That Expire and Other Dos and Don'ts

October 2020 | 200 pages | Corwin

A schoolwide solution for students’ mathematics success!

Do you sometimes start to teach a mathematics concept and feel like you’re staring at a sea of bewildered faces? What happens when you discover students previously learned a calculation trick or a mnemonic that has muddied their long-term understanding? When “rules” seem to change from year to year, teacher to teacher, or school to school, mathematics can seem like a disconnected mystery for students. Clear up the confusion with a Mathematics Whole-School Agreement! 

Expanded from the highly popular “Rules that Expire” series of NCTM articles, this essential guide leads educators through the collaborative step-by-step process of establishing a coherent and consistent learner-centered and equitable approach to mathematics instruction. Through this work, you will identify, streamline, and become passionate about using clear and consistent mathematical language, notations, representations, rules, and generalizations within and across classrooms and grades. Importantly, you’ll learn to avoid “rules that expire”—tricks that may seem to help students in one grade but hurt in the long run. Features of this book include:

Abundant grade-specific examples
Effective working plans for sustainability
Barrier-busting tips, to-dos, and try-it-outs
Practical templates and checklists
PLC prompts and discussion points

When teachers unite across grades, students hit the ground running every year. Take the next step together as a team and help all your students build on existing understanding to find new success and most importantly, love learning and doing mathematics! 


Foreword by Matthew R. Larson, and Robert Q. Berry III
About the Authors
Chapter 1: Jumping on Board: What is the Mathematics Whole School Agreement?
Chapter 2: Watching What We Say! Correct and Consistent Language
Chapter 3: Symbol Sense is Foundational: Noting the Importance of Precise Notation
Chapter 4: Mental Images that Last: Cohesive and Consistent Representations
Chapter 5: Why was I Taught That? Evaluating Rules that Expire
Chapter 6: Building Generalizations: Developing Instructional Strategies the MWSA Way
Chapter 7: Embodying the MWSA in Every Lesson: No Teaching by Telling!
Chapter 8: Getting to the Nitty Gritty: Building and Enacting the MWSA
Chapter 9: Sharing Successes from the Field: MWSA Heroes Tell their Stories!

"Dougherty, Bush, and Karp are offering you their entire playbook for scaling effective teaching beyond individual teachers to an entire school. Their Math Pact will support everyone in a school, even people who wish they were more comfortable with math, to help students learn math in ways that make sense and endure across grades."

Dan Meyer

"This book brilliantly connects research-informed practices to empower stakeholders in engaging students in meaningful mathematics through
a vertically articulated Mathematics Whole School Agreement! Building on the impact of the
Rules That Expire series, the authors lay out an easy to implement approach to share, connect, and represent mathematical ideas across classrooms to intentionally and explicitly bring about change prior, during, and after instruction."

Farshid Safi
School of Teacher Education, University of Central Florida

"These books provide effective steps and strategies toward students being able to make powerful, purposeful connections across grade levels and across a wide variety of mathematical concepts."

Christine Koerner
Oklahoma State Department of Education

"How can you ensure you have equitable instruction that strengthens students’ beliefs that they can understand and use mathematics in a variety of contexts? A starting point is to have a Mathematics Whole School Agreement (MWSA) in which there is a unified approach to how mathematics is communicated in a consistent manner across grade levels and courses. With this collective approach, disjointed approaches that lead to confusion and gaps in conceptual understanding will be gone. The Math Pact: Achieving Instructional Coherence Within and Across Grades, High School is your guide to creating and implementing your own MWSA."

Fred Dillon
Strongsville, Ohio

"If you have anything to do with transforming mathematics teaching and learning at your school, then stop everything right now and read this book. Dougherty, Bush, and Karp’s The Math Pact strategically navigates the complex topic of creating and cultivating cohesive mathematics instruction by introducing readers to their Mathematics Whole School Agreement and specific elements that ensure schoolwide success. Building on their renowned Rules That Expire work, this book takes readers through the essential components of best practices of mathematics teaching. This should be a required read for any mathematics leadership program."

Hilary Kreisberg
Center for Mathematics Achievement, Lesley University

"This is a long-awaited publication that will help preservice teachers, educators, and administrators of all levels and curriculum coordinators abolish the use of tricks and magic in mathematics instruction. For years we have inadvertently led students down a dead-end street in their math instruction by teaching them expiring rules, tricks, and cutesy sayings that may help them perform short-term on a test but leave them conceptually damaged in the long run."

Julie Duford
Polson Middle School

"Finally, a practical guide to ensuring equitable, coherent instruction for all students in your school district! Broader than collaboration and more effective than a PLC, establishing a Mathematics Whole School Agreement (MWSA) is a common sense approach to taking the next step beyond having a common curriculum."

Laurie Boswell
Author, Consultant

"Maya Angelou said, 'Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.' The Math Pact is a practical guide that supports us in collectively taking responsibility for helping each and every one of our students to become problem solvers, critical thinkers, and capable and confident doers of mathematics. The detailed vignettes and suggestions are vivid guideposts for a journey of self reflection and collective decision making with colleagues about really critical components of mathematics instruction. It will leave you both 'knowing better' and collectively 'doing better' for your students. No matter your level of experience, there is something new to learn here! I think it would work beautifully with pre-service teachers, new teachers, and veteran teachers. I even picked up some new things on my read that I hadn’t really thought about in my nearly 30 years in the classroom."

Shawn Towle
Falmouth Middle School

"The Math Pact is the perfect resource for groups who are seeking to put students first and create cohesive, thoughtful agreements to support students’ learning of mathematics. The Math Pact leverages the NCTM Mathematics Teaching Practices to encourage mathematics teaching that is grounded in effectiveness and puts learning at the forefront of decision making. As a mathematics teacher educator, I appreciate the stress on the precision and consistency with mathematical vocabulary, notation, and meaning-making. The strategies stressed in The Math Pact align with the collaborative and professional nature of teaching—that is, teachers work best when they are working as a cohesive team. Sending the same message to students is appreciated by teachers, administrators, coaches, students, and parents.

The structure of The Math Pact offers opportunities for learning communities to reflect and foster change through learning, discourse, and action. From overarching ideas such as “no teaching by telling” to more intricate details, such as considering the frequency, purpose, and nature of homework assignments, The Math Pact provides insight into a myriad of mathematical issues that allow teams to construct Mathematics Whole School Agreements that consider the nature and needs of their students and promote efficiency and consistency."

Jessica Ivy
Bellarmine University

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ISBN: 9781544399607

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