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Improving Teacher Quality

Strategic Alliance II

Grant Number: 10-704

Grant Award: $480,847

Duration of Project: Thursday, September 30, 2010 - Monday, September 01, 2014

Project Subject Areas: Mathematics

Grade Band: k-8th

Institutes of Higher Education:

  • University of California, Davis

Local Education Agencies:

  • Robla Elementary, Sacramento
  • Sacramento County Office of Education, Mather

Number of teachers/principals/highly qualified paraprofessionals participating in the project:



  1. Promote Robla students’ understanding of mathematics, particularly among ELLs
  2. Extend the existing K-2 Mathematics Professional Learning Community to include teachers in grades 3 – 6 and build collective efficacy
  3. Increase teachers’ knowledge of mathematics concepts and children’s mathematical thinking
  4. Develop teachers’ abilities to explain the mathematics concepts they are teaching and make it accessible to ELLs
  5. Develop teachers’ abilities to elicit their students’ explanations of solution strategies and mathematical concepts


In monthly meetings all teachers will analyze videotapes of Robla students solving mathematics problems. In addition they will listen to audio-recordings of students’ mathematical explanations collected during classroom activities. Teachers new to the Alliance will conduct problem-solving interviews with their students twice a year and participate in two days of “embedded” training, with intense focus on students’ explanations generated during a single math lesson. Summer meetings will provide teachers an opportunity to reflect on their students’ learning and to extend their own mathematical thinking.

Anticipated Outcomes:

Teachers will have a deeper understanding of the mathematics they teach and be able to explain it in ways that are accessible to ELLs. They will elicit explanations from their students, supporting and extending their students’ thinking when possible. Their students will have learned more mathematics than children whose teachers have not been in the Alliance. Alliance teachers’ self-efficacy for mathematics instruction will grow, as will their sense of collective efficacy, and their confidence in their colleagues’ abilities to teach mathematics.


Project: Heather Martin, Research Director,
Institute of Higher Education: Rebecca Ambrose, Project Director,
Institute of Higher Education: Robert Bayley, Co-Director,
Local Education Agency: Cindy Zettel, LEA Co-Director,

Questions, Comments, Corrections?

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