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Idaho Math Initiative: Investing in Idaho’s Teachers. Idaho Math Initiative Goals The goal of the Idaho Math Initiative is to raise student achievement in mathematics by: Offering professional development for educators, Improving assessments, and

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why a math initiative class

Idaho Math Initiative Goals

  • The goal of the Idaho Math Initiative is to raise student achievement in mathematics by:
    • Offering professional development for educators,
    • Improving assessments, and
    • Providing intervention tools for students who struggle in mathematics and need remediation as well as those who excel and need advanced opportunities

Why a Math Initiative Class?

why a math initiative class1

Why a Math Initiative Class?

  • Why the Mathematical Thinking for Instruction Course?
  • The most important factor in a student's academic success is the quality of the teacher in the classroom.
  • The Mathematical Thinking for Instruction (MTI) Course gives Idaho teachers and administrators the best practices and teaching strategies they need to help all students succeed in math.
why a math initiative class2

Why a Math Initiative Class?

  • Teaching Mathematics
  • “One important purpose of mathematics education is to prepare students to incorporate mathematical reasoning and communication into their everyday lives. However, conventional pedagogy has often persuaded students to consider school mathematics as a subject divorced from their everyday experiences and from their attempts to make sense of their world.”
      • Tate, William F. Race, retrenchment, and the reform of school mathematics. Phi Delta Kappan. 1994
why a math initiative class3

Goal of Professional Development

Why a Math Initiative Class?

Teachers must know the formalism of mathematics as well as the informal and generative process of students’ mathematical ideas and how to encourage fluid growth of these ideas.


Developing Mathematical Thinking

Take Students’ Ideas Seriously

Focus on the Structure of the Mathematics

Encourage Multiple Strategies


Press Students


Address Misconceptions

three classes developed

Three MTI Courses

  • After receiving feedback from Idaho educators, three courses have been developed. Participants choose one course that best fits his/her current position.
    • K-3 Number and Operation
    • 4-8 Rational Number
    • 6-12 Algebraic Thinking

Three Classes Developed

who must take the class

Who Has to Take MTI?

  • Public School teachers and administrators who fit the following criteria must take the class:
  • Teachers holding an Early Childhood/Early Childhood Special Education Blended Certificate (Birth- Grade 3) who are employed in an elementary classroom (multi-subject classroom, K-8)
  • Teachers holding a Standard Elementary Certificate (K-8)
  • Each teacher holding a Standard Secondary Certificate (6-12) teaching in a math content classroom (grade six through grade twelve) including Title I classrooms
  • Each teacher holding a Standard Exceptional Child Certificate (K-12)
  • Each school administrator holding an Administrator Certificate (PreK-12)
  • Submitted to State Board for approval in August 2009

Who must take the class?

mti instructors

MTI Instructors

  • Who Teaches the MTI Course?
  • Currently, we have fifteen MTI instructors teachingindependently during the summer of 2009. Those instructors include staff from the IDMT, regional specialists, and various Idaho educators.
  • Instructors must be certified by the State Department of Education after meeting the designated qualifications.
mti schedule

MTI Schedule

  • When Can I Take the MTI Course?
    • The schedule of MTI classes is listed on the SDE website under the “Idaho Math Initiative” link.
    • Courses are offered each fall, spring, and summer in every region.
    • Our goal is 2,000 educators each year to meet the capacity.
    • The SDE has contracted with the Institute of Developing Mathematical Thinking at Boise State to schedule classes
role of regional specialists

Role of Regional Specialists

  • Who Can I Contact in My Region?
  • Regional Specialists are being hired in each region to teach the MTI course and provide support and professional development for educators who have already completed the MTI course.
  • Each regional specialist will be working with district personnel to ensure a full implementation of the MTI strategies and practices.
who are the regional specialists

Who are the Regional Specialists?

Region I: Abe Wallin

Region II: Christina Tondevold

Region III: Kim Bunning

Region IV: Kim Bunning

Region V: Karin Moscon

Region VI: Karin Moscon

Who are the Regional Specialists?

comments from mti participants

Comments from MTI participants

  • Comments from MTI Participants
  • “I loved you showing the steps of how students think mathematically on a developmental scale. That really helped break things down for me and see where my students are at.”
  • “I enjoyed learning about all of the different types of addition, subtraction, multiplication & division. This has caused me to use a wider variety of problems in my classroom.”
  • Mathematical ‘a-has’ were division of fractions. The concepts of finding fractional groups from a dividend, especially with context, helps me see the importance of context.
mti comment from participant

MTI comment from participant

Additional Comments

“We took the Math ISATs last week and I had 100% Proficient or Advanced!!! …. I am pretty excited! I threw my class into contextual math and that is pretty much all we did all year! Great results and they are all so excited about doing math!!! I LOVE it, as well. Thanks for your support, knowledge and instruction. I appreciate learning from someone that has such a depth of knowledge in the subject! The classes I took with you were the best I have taken in 10 years! I am still on a steep learning curve, but lovin’ it!!” 4th grade teacher

task force vision statement


Contact Information

Jonathan Brendefur, MTI Director


Cindy Johnstone, Mathematics Coordinator