FSI Math!

Math is a school wide focus of FSI’s EL Education work plan this year. We all use math in data analysis, goal-setting, and in application to solve real-world problems. For teachers and administrators, that means:

  • forming and supporting data teams that meet regularly to analyze interim assessments and adjust instruction;
  • consistently and effectively analyzing assessment data to drive instruction.  

Our professional development on inquiry-based math instruction is designed to enable teachers and leaders to track student progress more precisely.

Teachers are using formative and summative assessment data to adjust curriculum and instruction effectively in support of student achievement in all subject areas.  

Modeling Growth Mindset in math is imperative! I recently had the honor of attending the EL Education National Conference , where I was challenged to think and learn deeply about the importance of developing a school culture that not only celebrates math, but also creates opportunities for teachers and administrators to demonstrate growth mindset. See Two Rivers Public Charter School’s story below: 


One initiative for shifting from fixed mindsets, exemplified in this summary statement:

“I just don’t have a math brain!”

to growth mindsets:

I am not afraid to try to solve a problem.  I learn from my mistakes,”

is to celebrate mathematical thinking and problem-solving across the curriculum, from art and science, to social studies and language arts, as well as in data analysis for teaching/learning.

Math is in everything!


FSI’s Math Faculty Crew updates on innovative teaching/learning:

9th & 10th graders in Mr. Byan’s Math I, II, and Coding classes are asked to grapple with a challenging math puzzle at the start of class, designed to get them thinking critically and creatively. After a few minutes, students share their problem-solving process, and sometimes solutions.  Mr. Byan also regularly posts math grapples for the whole FSI community on his Innovation MATH website.

Students are engaged in problem-solving and self-reflection daily.  They use Learning Targets, based on national math standards, to assess their own understanding of a specific math concept, operation, formula, or strategy. This checking-for-understanding allows learners to  determine:

  1. I am ready to move ahead to deeper and more independent problem-solving, including applied math & project-based learning, or…
  2. I would first like to get some extra     support at THE INQUIRY TABLE.

The Inquiry Table is a designated location where students ask great questions about their problem-solving, and get support in reviewing concepts, operations, formulas, and strategies, before they move ahead with homework, problem-solving, or project-based learning.

Peggy Altman’s 8th graders are involved in project-based math that requires them to track their own progress in mastery of Learning Targets as they create a final product that documents math in our world.

Mr. Antone’s 7th graders are cycling through stations that offer multiple ways of grappling with math challenges.

Mr. Keller takes 6th graders into the real world to explore how we use math to understand climate, altitude, longitude and latitude, mapping, and measurement. Currently, the 6th grade is applying mathematical thinking, problem-solving and design in “Building FSI.”


The Franklin School of Innovation is intent on fostering truly innovative critical/creative problem-solving leaders who value service and compassion, craftsmanship and fitness, including mathematicians, scientists, social scientists, writers, artists, humanitarians, teachers, engineers, designers, planners, and everything in between.
Integral to its EL Education whole school work plan and, thus, in everything from Professional Development, data assessment, and student-engaged learning, are Growth Mindset, and a sense of adventure!




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