Standard A1 - SAS teachers will demonstrate knowledge of content and pedagogy
Standard A2 - SAS teachers will demonstrate knowledge of students
Standard A3 - SAS teachers will demonstrate effective planning and organization

Standard A1

SAS teachers will demonstrate knowledge of content and pedagogy
Benchmarks that a teacher has successfully met this standard:

1. Displays relevant content knowledge

Earning my National Board Certification in 2004 has made me a better teacher by expanding not only my knowledge of mathematics, but also my knowledge of teaching middle school age students. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards set rigorous standards which I met through intensive study, expert evaluation, self-assessment and peer review.

2. Connects curriculum and real world in a variety of ways

Making math something more than crunching numbers is essential for middle school students to be successful in mathematics. Through every unit of study, students work through Problem of the Weeks (POW Curriculum Map) where they solve real world problems related to the topic we are studying at the time. Students also completed real world projects each semester which helped them apply their knowledge of mathematics across all parts of the curriculum. Further examples include:
The Graphic Art project allowed students to make unique artistic designs using equations in slope-intercept form.

The Mandala Project allowed students to link their knowledge of math to Humanities by studying the religious and spiritual components of mathematical designs. Sherry, an 8th grade student, reported her findings in a reflection on her blog:
"Three characteristics of a mandala are that they are in the shape of a circle and have a circle-shaped center, that they are in some way symmetrical or balanced, and that the mandala expresses a certain meaning to the artist, especially one of wholeness or the unknown (i.e. a religious mandala). This can be seen in a mandala that I admire:"

3. Demonstrates pedagogy that reflects current research on best practices

My teaching practices reflect current research for middle school age children. Each class begins with warm up questions that consist of additonal practice of difficult homework problems or of questions to invoke prior knowledge that leads into a new lesson. My teaching style includes direct instruction, but also includes children working in groups to discover mathematical algorithms. Technology supports my instruction by allowing my students to see information through varied means. The technology I use in my classroom includes daily (example:algebra_6-2.ppt) PowerPoints on the Smartboard where we save work from warm-ups, teacher directed examples and student directed examples. I save the new PowerPoint at the end of each lesson and post them to Edline, allowing students to revisit them at a later time.

Standard A2

SAS teachers will demonstrate knowledge of students
Benchmarks that a teacher has successfully met this standard:

1. Allows for flexible adjustments based on students'/class needs
Part of my teaching responsibility is to meet the needs of all students in my classroom. To help me better understand what my students know before beginning instruction I give them a pretest. The pretest allows me to identify individual student strengths and weaknesses. For the high achieving students, I place them on a Learning Contract where they receive alternate projects as homework after they have proven their mastery of standards and benchmarks. For students that show a below grade level knowledge of the standards and benchmarks, I adjust for the process in which they learn by using cooperative learning techniques through Teams, Games and Tournaments and adjust their product by the number of practice problems they do as well as they type they submit for grade.

2. Chooses content and assessment that appropriately reflects students' knowledge, experience, and developmental needs where appropriate
The math curriculum at Shanghai American School spirals and students continuously building upon prior knowledge. I help the students build on their prior knowledge through daily warm-ups in class and also give long term projects which give them the opportunity to reflect upon their newly acquired knowledge.
The Jigsaw Project in the second semester reflected student knowledge by giving them the opportunity to display their knowledge in a different format. The Jigsaw Project allowed them to revisit second semester topics in order to prepare for the final exam.

The assessments in my class are balanced between formative and summative assessments. Students are given the opportunity to reflect on their learning in each unit of study through Problem of the Weeks and through Proofs of Knowledge. Students use a Math Problem Solving Reflection Rubric to score their own work as well as score their peers work in order to provide feedback in the problem solving areas of Conceptual Understanding, Processes and Strategies, Verification, Communication and Accuracy.

3. Utilizes assessments to improve knowledge of students
After each unit exam, students complete a Proof Of Knowledge where they correct each problem, explain what went wrong with each problem, evaluate their performance and plan for next steps, and finally make an appointment with their parents to convince them that they now understand all of their errors on the exam. The parents complete the process by writing a reflection of their own that gives their view on their child's progress. This reflection process has been very powerful by developing student meta-cognition skills. Additionally, I gain a tremendous insight in my students study habits outside of the classroom and their parents views on how their child is progressing through the year.

Standard A3

SAS teachers will demonstrate effective planning and organizatation
Benchmarks that a teacher has successfully met this standard:

1. Designs instruction based on SAS standards and benchmarks
2. Designs coherent instruction
3. Demonstrates knowledge of resources
4. Utilizes assessments to guide instructional planning
5. Participates in collaborative plan

I can say with confidence that achieved all of the above benchmarks this school year. My ATLAS map shows how the SAS math standards and benchmarks are woven through each lesson. Daily lesson plans are included in the ATLAS map in the resources section where I include a Powerpoint for each lesson taught throughout the school year. My math teaching partner and I collaborated like a band collaborates in that seperately we were good teachers, but together we were exceptional because of our achievements.