Professional Learning Partnerships

TK-2 Partnership Header

The heart of the partnership with three area schools was to introduce teachers to three components of pedagogy and to empower them to utilize these components in their classrooms. The three components are (1) a constructivist learning theory, (2) a research-driven mathematical learning progression, and (3) the art of professional noticing.

Constructivist Learning Theory

We encourage teachers to think about learning with these two fundamental understandings:

  • Knowledge is actively built up by the learner rather than being passively received.

  • Gaining knowledge is a process of adapting as learners experience, organize, and make sense of their world.

Learning Progression

The research-driven progression of how students come to understand number concepts is a powerful tool for teachers. It informs and empowers the teacher to make strategic decisions based on what they observe in students’ interactions. While continuing to hold Common Core State Math Standards as a target, teachers utilized the learning progression to inform how they differentiated their whole class and small group lessons.

Professional Noticing

The cycle of professional noticing includes eliciting, attending, interpreting and deciding. The project engaged teachers in the art of professional noticing by using purposeful activities to elicit student thinking, attend to the evidence of student thinking, interpret the evidence and decide how to meaningfully differentiate instruction.


My teaching practices have changed entirely. The students’ thinking drives my instruction. I guide, probe, suggest, and provide opportunities for students to stretch themselves.
— First Grade Teacher