A special opportunity for ESU 13 teachers of primary grades

Primarily Math Cohort 3 West

New in Summer 2016: We are pleased to extend the program Strengthening Mathematics Instruction for Teachers of Primary Grades (SMI-Primary) to more teachers in the Nebraska Panhandle.

The SMI-Primary program is a professional development program for teachers of primary grades designed to strengthen knowledge of the mathematics and mathematics pedagogy needed to provide the best possible instruction for students. The SMI-Primary program brings courses from UNL's renowned Primarily Math program to teachers of grades K-3 in ESU 13. Primarily Math is a program that has been proven to make a difference in the effectiveness of teachers and in the achievement of the students they teach. The first cohort of teachers in the SMI-Primary program began in Summer 2015 and will complete two courses by Spring 2016.

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.

Benefits of participating in Summer 2016:

  • Ideal for teachers who seek to develop special strengths in the teaching of mathematics to children.
  • Teachers selected for the SMI–Primary program will complete one weeklong workshop in Summer 2016.
  • The summer workshop will be held at ESU 13 in Scottsbluff Monday-Friday, June 13–17 from 8am – 5pm. Lunch will be provided.
  • Teachers will receive a total of $500 in stipends for full participation ($100/day). Limited funds are available to provide travel support.
  • Teachers will have the option of registering for the workshops as courses and earning graduate credit for completing them.

Apply Now Graduate Credit Information

Program Objectives

The program objectives are to develop:

  • A deep understanding of place value, number and operation in the K-3 mathematics curriculum,
  • Strengthened conceptual knowledge of the base 10 number system and its role in algorithms for whole number operations and flexibility in computation,
  • A well-developed appreciation of the intuitive mathematical understandings that children bring to school,
  • An understanding of the role of cognitive demand in an elementary learning environment and leveraging this knowledge for improved classroom instruction, and
  • The acquisition of pedagogical tools (such as “talk moves”) to increase student engagement, and strategies to involve families and support diverse learners.

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
  • Nora Robinson, a kindergarten teacher for Kimball Public Schools, who earned the K-3 Math Specialist Certificate through UNL's Primarily Math program and her MA degree from UNL in 2014
  • Cindy Beaman, a Noyce Master Teaching Fellow and longtime elementary math coach for Grand Island Public Schools, who earned the K-3 Math Specialist Certificate through UNL's Primarily Math program and her MA degree from Doane College in 1997
  • Nan Kissler, a third grade teacher for Scottsbluff Public Schools, who is an alum of UNL's Primarily Math program where she earned the K-3 Math Specialist Certificate through UNL's Primarily Math program and her MA degree from UNL in 2013
  • Jess Anderson, a first grade teacher for Hay Springs Public Schools, earned the K-3 Math Specialist Certificate through UNL's Primarily Math program and her MA degree from UNL in 2014
  • Hortensia Soto-Johnson, Ph.D., of the University of Northern Colorado will be teaching the June 15-19 workshop and is a graduate of Morrill High School

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

How to Apply

Applications will be reviewed as early as March 16. Additional applications will be reviewed every two weeks until all positions are filled.

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

Apply Now