A special opportunity for upper elementary teachers available online

SMI 2014

The SMI is a professional development program for teachers of grades 4-6 designed to strengthen knowledge of mathematics curriculum and the pedagogical knowledge needed to offer challenging but accessible mathematics courses. To make this program available to as many teachers in ESU 13 as possible, the SMI workshop will be offered online. To make this program available to as many teachers in ESU 13 as possible, the SMI workshop is being offered online in Spring 2015. Thanks to the support of the U.S. Department of Education’s Improving Teacher Quality grants, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is partnering with ESU 13 and Scottsbluff Public Schools to bring this opportunity to teachers in the ESU 13 service area. Applications are no longer being accepted at this time.

Participant information:

  • Ideal for teachers who enjoy teaching mathematics and seek to develop special strengths in teaching math.
  • Teachers can benefit from the flexibility of online learning and collaboration.
  • Teachers in the SMI program will earn a $100 stipend for each of five learning modules completed during the spring semester for a total of $500.
  • Help will be available both online and in person in Scottsbluff and in Rushville.
  • Workshops will be led by Mr. Shelby Aaberg, teacher at Scottsbluff High School and 2015 Nebraska Teacher of the Year.
  • Teachers will have the option of registering for the workshop as a course and earning graduate credit for completing the five modules.

Apply Now Graduate Credit Information FAQs

Participants Reflect

After taking the SMI course my perspective on teaching Mathematics has really broadened. It was great to have classroom ready materials that can be adjusted to many learning levels when we were finished. I would highly recommend this course to any teacher! Heather PearsonResource Teacher, Gordon-Rushville Middle School
The class will immediately benefit your classroom. I basically model my classroom off of what I have learned from this class. Randy HurlburtGordon-Rushville Middle School
These courses made me excited about teaching math! Arlene BarnesCommunity Christian Elementary

Program Objectives

The program objectives are to develop:

  • A deep understanding of the number system with special emphasis on fractions,
  • The "habits of mind of a mathematical thinker" as it relates to problem solving, including a focus on understanding mathematics as a language,
  • Skills in employing formative assessments to inform instruction for improved student understanding,
  • An understanding of the role of cognitive demand in an elementary setting, and
  • Pedagogical tools (such as "math talk") to increase student engagement.

Additionally, this professional development experience will encourage networking among teachers serviced by ESU 13 to support one another in the practice of teaching.

How to Apply

Applications are no longer being accepted at this time.

Contact Kathy Vandamme at kvandamme@esu13.org or UNL at nebraskamath@unl.edu with questions.

Meet the SMI Instructors and Leadership Team

  • Shana Dick, Mathematics Content Specialist for Scottsbluff Public Schools, 2007 Math in the Middle graduate
  • Kathy Vandamme, Professional Development Staff Developer at ESU 13 in Scottsbluff with a focus on supporting mathematics instruction in the Panhandle
  • Kacy Heiser, of Gordon-Rushville Public Schools, teaches Math 1, Pre-Algebra, Algebra 2 and College Algebra at the high school. Heiser is a 2008 graduate of UNL"s Math in the Middle progaram.
  • Shelby Aaberg, Mathematics Department Chair at Scottsbluff High School, is a NebraskaNOYCE Master Teaching Fellow, and a 2011 state finalist and 2013 winner of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math & Science Teaching.
  • Michelle Homp, the Principal Investigator of the SMI project, is a Research Assistant Professor at UNL in the Center for Science, Mathematics & Computer Education.
  • Stacie Lefler is a grades 7-8 mathematics teacher for Gordon-Rushville Public Schools and a 2006 graduate of Math in the Middle.

Ask a Participant

The following teachers have indicated their willingness to be a resource to ESU13 teachers considering applying to SMI. If you have difficulty making contact with one of these outstanding teachers, please contact us at nebraskamath@unl.edu