Responsive Math Teaching (RMT) is an NSF-funded research project focused on improving mathematics instruction in a network of elementary schools through a research-practice partnership between Penn GSE and the School District of Philadelphia. The RMT project is built around five core components:

Responsive Math Teaching Logo
University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education Logo

What is Responsive Math Teaching?

 

Responsive math teaching (RMT) is instruction where the teacher continuously elicits information about what students currently know and understand and responds in ways that move them forward in relation to developmental and grade-level mathematical goals. This occurs throughout the instructional cycle, which includes:

A simple model shows Launch (whole group), Facilitate Productive Struggle (individual/small groups), Discuss Learner Thinking (whole group), Return to Mathematical Goal, Reflect (teacher preparation), and Plan. A cog in the center of the graphic shows Learner, Mathematical Goal, Community.

  • Selecting and launching cognitively demanding tasks that are open to multiple entry points and solution strategies;
  • Engaging students in productive struggle, discourse, and collaboration;
  • Having students share strategies and defend their solutions;
  • Building connections and deeper and more sophisticated understanding of core concepts, strategies, and procedures;
  • Collecting formative assessment information to inform instruction.

Recognizing what students know and are able to do and leveraging that to move towards higher level reasoning and problem solving ensures equity and access to mathematics for all students. When the teacher responds simultaneously to student thinking and a mathematical goal, each and every student is recognized as a capable learner who can develop deep, meaningful, and flexible understandings.

Professional Development

The professional development program begins with the Experience year in which participants experience RMT as learners to reflect on and develop new teaching practices. In the second year, participants practice and refine responsive teaching skills while engaging in cross-school lesson design cycles. Finally, in year three, participants develop their leadership skills, learning how to support other teachers to adopt and refine Responsive Mathematics Teaching practices.

Experience to Teach, Teach to Lead ArrowsExperience Responsive Math Teaching as a learner, reflect on that experience in order to understand how to teach responsively, and begin to make adjustments to math instruction (Math Circle).

Teach. Analyze and rehearse Responsive Math Teaching skills, then collaboratively plan, enact, and reflect on the implementation of Responsive Math lessons with peer partners (Collaborative Lesson Design).

Lead by facilitation professional development and supporting other teachers across the network as they adopt and refine Responsive Math Teaching practices (Mentoring, Leading PD).

Cross-School Collaborative Lesson Design

The collaborative lesson design cycle is Plan (RMT lessons collaboratively), Enact Lesson (in own school), Debrief (using artifacts). The Teach PD cycles is Analyze (videos of practice) and Rehearse (RMT practices).

Teachers with one or more years of RMT experience participate in Collaborative Lesson Design cycles with teachers from across the network working at the same grade level. In these cross-school planning teams, teachers and leaders engage in planning, enacting, and debriefing RMT lessons. The goal of Collaborative Lesson Design is for teachers to improve their ability to plan and enact responsive math lessons.

 

Building Sustainable Leadership Capacity

The phasing in of school involvement allows for expertise to grow across the network over time and for schools to serve as resources for one another.

NSF Funding brackets; Year 0: 2017-18, Year 1: 2018-19, Year 2: 2019-20, Year 3: 2020-21, Year 4: 2021-2022; Cohort 1: Anderson, Cassidy, Overbrook ES; Cohort 2: Gompers, Hamilton, Locke, Penn Alexander, Powel; Cohort 3; Cohort 4; Experience, Teach, Lead Apprentice, Lead School, Lead Network Arrows

Participants in a professional development activity.

Partners


School District of Philadelphia Logo

We are partnering with elementary schools in Learning Network 2 of the School District of Philadelphia to provide school-based support for mathematics instructional leadership, strategic planning, and professional development.

Team & Contact

 

For inquiries and general information:
RMTproject@gse.upenn.edu

 

Principal Investigator
Caroline B. Ebby
cbe@upenn.edu

Co-Principal Investigator
Caroline Watts
wattsca@upenn.edu 

Brittany Hess
brhess@gse.upenn.edu

Jennifer Valerio
valerioj@upenn.edu

Joy Anderson Davis
joyous@upenn.edu

Lindsay Goldsmith-Markey
litho@gse.upenn.edu

Lizzy Pecora
lpecora@upenn.edu

 

This project is funded by the National Science Foundation (DRK12 1813048)
National Science Foundation Logo