During the 2005-2006 school year, RUSMP's Director in collaboration with the Houston Independent School District produced the cable television show, Action Algebra. Action Algebra, HISD's live, interactive, after-school math show appeared every Wednesday 3:45-4:45 p.m., on Warner cable, channel 18. On-air teachers presented a 15-20 minute lesson and then took calls from students.
RUSMP closely collaborates with the Aldine ISD Curriculum Department to develop and conduct professional development experiences that support the school district's vision for mathematics instruction. These have included short courses on problem solving, geometry, conic sections, and technology. In addition, RUSMP provides classroom and curricular planning support for mathematics teachers in their schools.
RUSMP in collaboration with the Houston Independent School District produced 23 videos on algebra for teachers. These videos are aired weekly on cable television in the Houston area and are designed to provide support for teachers as they plan instruction of important concepts in mathematics.
A unique follow-up program for the Alief ISD participants to the Summer Campus Program was the Mathematics Assessment Project, developed in partnership with SEDL. During July and August, after participation in the Summer 2000 Campus Program, teachers from Alief ISD developed an assessment document consisting of alternative assessment items and associated rubrics compiled from Learning Plans developed during the summer program. This document was refined, field-tested with students, and edited during the academic year. It includes mathematical assessments, answer keys and rubrics for grades 5-12. It also includes an annotated bibliography of assessment resources and a list of assessment related websites.
In summer 1996, RUSMP began collaborating with HISD on a district-wide Algebra Initiative. The Initiative was designed to improve students' understanding of algebra, to increase student scores on the Texas Algebra I End-of-Course Examination, and to increase the number of students successfully completing advanced mathematics courses. To achieve these goals, the Initiative provided time for building-level collaborative planning among teachers and provided professional development activities that support implementation of innovative, effective teaching strategies. RUSMP personnel were involved in developing the structure of the Initiative, writing the Algebra I Syllabus, designing a curriculum aligned to the NCTM Standards, and providing training and support for lead teachers in each school. The Algebra Initiative involved teachers district-wide with a new group of teachers phased in each year. The first year targeted Algebra I teachers; the second and third years included middle school teachers, with syllabi developed for grades 6, 7, and 8. In subsequent years, K-5 teachers were included. Appropriate curriculum resources for each level were developed.
To support the new curriculum, RUSMP in collaboration with HISD produced 23 videos on algebra for teachers. These videos are aired on cable television is the Houston area and are designed to provide support for teachers as they plan instruction of important concepts in mathematics. To further support the Algebra Initiative, during the 2005-2006 school year, RUSMP in collaboration with HISD produced the cable television show, Action Algebra. Action Algebra, HISD's live, interactive, after-school show appeared every Wednesday 345-4:45 p.m., on Warner cable, channel 18. On-air teachers presented a 15-20 minute lesson and then took calls from students.
More recently, RUSMP developed a video "Mathematics in Motion" (Best Practices in Algebra I), with Rice's Mathematics Leadership Institute lead teachers and HISD's Manager of Secondary Mathematics. This video was distributed to all HISD schools with Algebra I programs. Professional development through HISD supported its use. In 2009, this collaborative project was awarded the prestigious TSPRA Gold Star for excellence in school communications by the Texas School Public Relations Association Star Awards. Additional videos are planned.
In 2004, RUSMP designed a technology-focused program for HISD CATE teachers to assist them in supporting mathematics and science instruction at their schools. CATE teachers conducted mathematics experiments, discussed important mathematics concepts, and received technology support. The success of the initial June 2004 program led to the involvement of CATE teachers in other RUSMP programs and to the offering of a second CATE course during the summer of 2005, and a third course during the summer of 2006.
Building upon the success of the HISD Algebra Initiative, RUSMP collaborated with HISD to launch the district-wide Geometry Initiative in the spring of 2003. The vision behind the Geometry Initiative was to improve students' understanding of geometric concepts in grades PreK-12. Current research on how students learn geometric concepts was the foundation of this initiative. The Geometry Initiative had both curricular and professional development components. RUSMP also developed and is offering courses for elementary and middle school teachers and professional development support for high school mathematics teachers in geometry to support the implementation of the initiative.
As part of HISD's Ninth-Grade Success Initiative grant, RUSMP developed an intensive two-week summer program that focused on the curricular, pedagogical, cognitive, affective, and social goals that teachers working with at-risk ninth-grade students must address. Teachers from Community Education Partners, Contemporary Learning Center, Jordan, Ninth-Grade Academy, Reagan, Sam Houston, Sharpstown, and Yates completed the summer program in Summer 2000 and participated in four follow-up sessions during the 2000-2001 school year to further help them to meet the academic and social needs of their students.
RUSMP personnel led a PreK-5 curriculum development project for Humble ISD's Mathematics Department. The focus of the project was the development of a seamless conceptually-driven elementary mathematics curriculum for grades PreK-5. Model lessons that allow teachers to implement this new curriculum were developed under the direction of RUSMP personnel.
RUSMP personnel served as advisors for the Klein ISD Gifted and Talented Action Team in mathematics during 2003 and 2004. They crafted the vision for the mathematics education of gifted students and provided professional development and curricular support for the Action Team as they wrote the new curriculum. RUSMP personnel are assisting in the implementation of the new curriculum by providing professional development for the district's mathematics teachers.
Developing leaders in mathematics instruction at the elementary level was the focus of this collaborative program with the Lamar Consolidated Independent School District, funded through the district’s Academics 2000 grant. Teachers from targeted elementary schools worked with RUSMP to better understand the NCTM Principles and Standards for School Mathematics , their relationship to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, and their implementation in the classroom. Through analysis of case studies, role-playing exercises, presentations to colleagues and readings on motivation, leadership and systemic change, these leaders developed the skills necessary for them to assume leadership roles at the campus and district level. A second component of this grant involved the creation and implementation of an algebraic thinking seminar for the district’s elementary teachers during the academic year.
RUSMP began collaboration with Pearland ISD's Mathematics Department in 2005 to improve the instruction of Geometry. Through professional development incorporating RUSMP's Geometry Module, Pearland ISD's Geometry teachers used the van Hiele model of geometric thinking to inform the revision of their district's curriculum.
In 2004, RUSMP partnered with HISD's Pershing Middle School to increase student achievement in mathematics. The centerpiece of the initiative was an enrichment mathematics course, taught by the entire Pershing mathematics faculty. The course was designed to enhance and extend what students were learning in their mathematics classrooms by focusing on the development of problem-solving strategies. Other components included a mathematics laboratory to strengthen students' basic computational skills, Saturday tutorials to prepare for TAKS, and mathematics for all to develop logical thinking.