In early September of 2018, teachers at Caro Middle School came together for training on IEE’s Focused Instructional Model (FIM) for math. Teachers received two days of professional development and came away ready to implement the FIM with fidelity. After just one year of implementation, teachers have noticed changes in student behavior and attitude in math class and their scores have improved. Let’s take some time to celebrate the hard work and dedication of the math teachers at CMS and take a closer look at some of the gains made by students in each of the three grade levels.
Surpassed state proficiency
The Caro class of 2024 (current 8th graders) went from 31.1 percent proficient all the way to 41.0 percent proficient, a gain of 9.9%. Meanwhile, the same cohort of students across the state of Michigan only increased by 1.1%. This group of students at CMS performed 9 times better than their grade level peers across the state. They scored 5.3% above the state average in the spring of 2019.
Seeing grade level growth
In 2018, before implementing the FIM, 8th grade students at CMS took the M-STEP and scored 11.9% below the state average and 2.6% below the county average. In 2019, after one year of FIM implementation, 8th grade students at CMS took the PSAT and scored exactly equal to the state average and 4.3% above the county average.
Shelly Wiederhold teaches 8th grade math at Caro Middle School. She said, “FIM and Math Strengths and Stretches for intervention really give us a sense of direction. Kids are focusing on the concepts they need in order to be successful.” Shelly said her principal was hoping for 50% PSAT proficiency this year, but she’s shooting for 60% instead!
The class of 2025 making strides
The class of 2025 (current 7th graders) went from 24.6% proficient in 2018 to 30.0% proficient in 2019, an increase of 5.4%. The same cohort of students across the state of Michigan only increased by 0.8%. The county average decreased by 4.7%.
It takes persistence
The teachers at Caro Middle School have commented that their students are more willing to take risks and put forth effort when they’re faced with a difficult problem. Students understand that it takes persistence to master math concepts. They enjoy seeing their individual line graphs increase over time and they’re always eager to compare their own data to the class average data.
In the fall of 2019, six other teachers received training on IEE’s Math Strengths and Stretches intervention system and are currently implementing it in their classrooms. CMS has a 28-minute intervention block built into their schedule where students focus on math or ELA. The math teachers are hoping that MSS leads to even greater increased student achievement this school year. Teachers are helping students navigate through the “build-draw-solve” continuum of learning which helps solidify topics in the minds of students.
Written by Blake Pratt