Directed by Hilary Kreisberg, the Center for Mathematics Achievement (CMA) helps teachers, coaches, specialists, teacher leaders, and administrators to hone and deepen mathematics content knowledge through workshops, professional development, and consultation at school and district sites.

We can help you develop a mathematical growth mindset, so you can engage your students in mathematical discourse, and enhance their understanding of the Standards for Mathematical Practice, or habits of mind, of a mathematician.

We are a Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education-approved vendor for the provision of education improvement services supporting the Conditions for School Effectiveness aligned with Massachusetts Race to the Top efforts.

    Teachers working on math problems together around a table

    Professional Development

    Is your school or district looking for math professional development? We offer a variety of services that will increase student achievement and lead to improvement in student and teacher perceptions of mathematics. Explore our offerings, and contact us to discuss how we can help you.

    • Professional development on our Cambridge campus: we give workshops several times a year, covering a variety of topics, to boost skills and increase confidence.
    • Professional development on-site at schools or districts: we collaborate with you to offer personalized workshops, courses, or trainings for course credit or Professional Development Points (PDPs).
    • Coaching: we work with teachers, teacher leaders, and coaches to address students' opportunity and achievement gaps and better teaching and learning with protocols, investigation designs, content and pedagogy, and student work analysis.
    • Parent and community workshops: we provide hands-on sessions that allow participants to experience for themselves how students learn math today.

    Professional Development Topics

    Our topics include, but are not limited to:

    • Aligning Curriculum with Content Standards
    • Unpacking the Standards for Mathematical Practice
    • Incorporating Formative Assessment Strategies
    • Integrating Accommodations and Modifications to Reach All Learners
    • Incorporating Mathematical Discourse in the Classroom
    • Exploring Number Talks and Other Activators
    • Differentiating Math Instruction to Meet All Needs

    High-Impact Teaching Practices

    In our coaching model, we incorporate four practice strands. First, content planning focuses in improving mathematical understanding; developing learner-centered tasks; and constructing learning maps that ensure vertical and horizontal alignment.

    Second, formative assessment strategies enhance and improve instruction by assessing student learning. Third, instruction that models effective teaching strategies and routines. Fourth, classroom management helps develop a community of learners and a classroom culture that enables teachers to reach all learners.

    Proven Results

    Through external evaluation, our offerings have been shown to lead to an increase in student achievement and an improvement in student and teacher perception of mathematics.

    On average, teachers who take our courses show 88 percent growth in their knowledge of content, and their students’ state testing results indicate that they significantly out-perform their peers in both cross-sectional and longitudinal studies of teacher effects. 

    Read a 2018 evaluation of the Center's work.

    "I had the best math MCAS scores in the Holyoke district for grade 5 last year. You managed to transform a math-phobic teacher into one that enjoys teaching and learning everything I can about math."
    Dan, Teacher in Holyoke, Massachusetts

    Our School and District Collaborations

    We work with schools and districts to provide tailored courses and professional development workshops. These can be curriculum-specific, such as Everyday Mathematics; content-specific, such as rational numbers or proportional thinking; or pedagogy-specific, such as formative assessment strategies. The Center has partnered with numerous districts on Title IIA and Title IIB grants funded through the state to provide graduate credit math content courses to teachers. 

    Examples of District Partnerships:

    • A Rational Approach to Proficiency

      Holyoke, Easthampton, and West Springfield. This project, developed with a Massachusetts Math and Science Partnership grant, provides courses focused on fraction as number, fraction as ratio, and ratio and proportional reasoning. Teachers develop a deep understanding of rational numbers and strategies that will help their students better understand the importance of identifying the whole when discussing fractions as number. The partnership works with WGBH in videotaping classrooms that model excellence in teaching and learning.

    • STEM Standards Through Inquiry and Problem Solving

      Brockton and Weymouth. The goals of this project were to raise the level of proficiency in math content knowledge and effective teaching strategies for teachers, and that students experience interactive mathematics that are aligned to state standards, learn to become reflective learners, and can assess their own progress.

      The project combines the education of mathematics content courses aligned to the Massachusetts Frameworks with the development of District Determined Measures (DDMs) that track student growth in real-time while also providing responses to the growth with appropriate challenges and interventions.

    • Modeling Math Through the Mathematical Practices

      Springfield and Easthampton. Through a Massachusetts Math and Science Partnership grant, we provided professional development to teachers in four middle schools to develop and pilot District Determined Measures (DDMs). The grant also provided mathematics content courses and in-classroom coaching for participating teachers. Lesley taught nine mathematics content courses developed specifically to align with the new Mass State Frameworks, delving deeply into the mathematics teachers are expected to teach and emphasizing eight key mathematical practices.

    • Massachusetts Mathematics and Science Partnership Grants

      Through the Massachusetts Mathematics and Science Partnerships grants (MMSP), we work closely with many Massachusetts high-need school districts (as identified by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education) to improve teacher content knowledge and instruction and ultimately improve student academic achievement in mathematics.

      The goals of these partnerships are to:

      • develop meaningful instructional and conceptual synergy between mathematics content and state frameworks;
      • establish a consistent inquiry-based, problem-solving approach in mathematics built on strong pedagogical content knowledge;
      • develop a critical mass of teacher-leaders and teacher implementers to sustain an inquiry-based mode of instruction; and
      • improve academic achievement in mathematics of students in high-needs districts
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