Algebra, Functions, and Data Analysis (AFDA)

Project Period:  March 2009 – September 2010

Target Audience:  High School Mathematics Teachers

Funding Source:  Mathematics and Science Partnership (MSP) Grant  (state MSP through VA Department of Education)

Funding Amount:  $125,145

Southside Virginia school divisions, Longwood University, and Longwood’s Institute for Teaching through Technology and Innovative Practices created AFDA to improve the knowledge skills of mathematics teachers in grades K-12. The new AFDA standards will provide opportunities to develop these skills for improved understanding. Southside Virginia school divisions, Longwood University, and Longwood’s ITTIP recognize that highly qualified Mathematics teachers are essential to the preparation of rural students for college and the 21st century workplace. The Southside Virginia K-12 schools’ declining enrollment in Algebra II is indicative of the need for improving algebraic understanding and confidence of students in order for them to progress to higher level math courses.

The new AFDA standards created by VDOE will provide opportunities to develop these skills for improved understanding of professional development activities that are necessary to not only enhance the content knowledge of teachers for this new course, but also to expand and refine pedagogical strategies of teachers and to improve technological knowledge and integration in instruction. School divisions in Southside Virginia, ITTIP, and Longwood University are committed to implementing sustained professional development activities and supporting a professional learning community of Math teachers.

Activities for this grant included a video-conference graduate summer course for content and pedagogical and technological knowledge; asynchronous, synchronous, and face-to-face training and classroom support in use of technology tools, lesson development, classroom implementation, and assessment practices during the course of the year; an online community of AFDA teachers to mentor and support each other; and quarterly meetings to share practices, concerns and artifacts. The AFDA course for high schools was developed by these teachers for implementation in 2010-11, and through this collaborative effort, resources and best practices were shared. MERC used formative and summative data to evaluate the impact on teachers and students.