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Supporting our Bullpup Mathematicians

Thursday, December 16, 2021 Volume 16 Issue 13

Meet Our Bullpup’s Math Specialist, Donna Duarte!

Hello, TM Families! ​ Math is alive and booming at Thurgood Marshall Elementary (TM). Deep, rich math conversations can be heard in every classroom, as our TM Mathematicians are taking on new challenges and learning to persevere. Mathematical participation and enthusiasm is growing. Students know that their ideas matter and that diverse perspectives, thoughts and strategies are valued and welcomed. ​ I’m Donna Duarte, the Math Specialist and Levy Coordinator for Thurgood Marshall. I love teaching and am passionate about math education.

Too often, I hear students say they are not good at math. Many students’ negative math identities have been solidified at such an early age. My goal is to help all students realize that they CAN do math and SUCCEED at it. My hope is that all our learners see themselves as CAPABLE and COMPETENT mathematicians and experience JOY in math. ​ Math Philosophy

At Thurgood Marshall, we value mathematical thinking and reasoning, as well as accuracy. We provide thought-provoking activities where students can explore and discover mathematical principles. As students share their strategies and logic, they begin to notice patterns. These patterns help them figure out the steps and the origin of math “rules” to solve math problems. In essence, we are guiding our learners to think critically and to make sense of math--as opposed to rote memorization. One of my favorite quotes is from Albert Einstein. He said, “Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.” ​ Math Interviews TM staff are listening to how students approach math. We meet one-on-one with every student to hear and “see” students’ mathematical thinking and launch into meaningful conversations that goes beyond identifying accuracy. This special time, devoted to each child, offers tremendous insight. It helps teachers understand what students know and what students are close to understanding. Teachers use this invaluable information to tailor their lessons and instruction to meet the mathematical needs of each student, as well as deepen the teacher/student bond. ​ Math T-Shirts All TM students and staff received a free math t-shirt last month. The front of the shirt says, “Proud to be a TM Mathematician.” This aligns with the TM Math philosophy that everyone is a successful mathematician. The back of the shirt reads, “Math may not teach us how to add love or subtract hate but it gives us hope that every PROBLEM has a solution.” Math is not an isolated subject. It is woven in and through all areas. This quote melds Thurgood Marshall Elementary’s social justice stance with mathematic principles. ​ Math Trainings I participate in a variety of math professional developments and workshops to further my knowledge and learn about best teaching practices to share with our staff. I also meet regularly with Katie May, TM Principal; Dr. Lenges, Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington; Bryan Street, Seattle Public Schools Math Coach; and SPS Math Department to bring quality math professional development trainings to the TM staff. Once a month, our teachers come together to grow their math practice. Our focus is on math identity, understanding the development of students’ mathematical ideas and implementing teaching strategies that allows students to be heard and flourish. ​ TM Family Math Totes Last week, every classroom received a purple TM Family Math Tote filled with math games and activities that allow students to “play” math at home. Every student can “check out” their class math tote for one week at a time. The games and activities provide fun opportunities to develop stronger mathematical reasoning, discover new strategies to solve problems, increase computational fluency, deepen conceptual understanding of mathematical principles and boost his/her/their self-confidence and math identity. ​ Math and the Future Math is all around us and a part of any job. Studies have proven that math education impacts equity and opportunities for success. It is an honor to work with your students and the TM staff to help ensure that all “doors” stay open for your students, allowing your children to achieve their goals.



We did it!

I am happy to announce that our recent Donors Choose PE project has been completely funded in just over 2 weeks!! I am in awe of the generosity that so many have shown by donating to this project. We had local donors as well as donors from all over the country. It’s wonderful to witness such an outpouring of love and support dedicated to the health and well-being of our students. I can’t wait to get the new tumbling mats and volleyball poles delivered and see the students’ excitement. It brightens my days to see the little things that bring joy to their faces. Last week we used some new rubber frogs, pigs, and fish during our Blizzard Tag game and they were ecstatic. Again, thank you for your donations and continuous support. What a wond

erful way to end the year!! Ana

Ana Litton she/her/hers PE/Health Specialist Thurgood Marshall Elementary Twitter: Litton22PE Instagram:


As part of our school's Title 1 requirement, we are asking families to fill out the Parent-Teacher-Student Compact, linked here: TM_Title1_ParentCompact.docx . The purpose of the compact is for parents, teachers and students to make a commitment to learning behaviors that will set our students up for success this school year. Return the compact to your child’s teacher. Please let us know if you would like a hard copy.


K-5 Math Adoption Materials Ready for Your Review

Students, families, and community are invited to review the math materials being considered for the K-5 math adoption for 2022-23 school year.

It has been eight years since Seattle Public Schools updated its elementary math instructional materials. Seattle Public Schools initiated a new adoption process for instructional materials to support math instruction in grades K-5 for the 2022-23 school year. The process is now in the first phase where the proposed materials are being reviewed. During this phase, students, families, and other stakeholders are invited to review the math materials online and provide their opinion. ​ The district's adoption committee is currently reviewing several different materials, and invites SPS families and students give your opinion. The adoption committee will consider your input when choosing 2-3 finalists to field test in January. Families can preview the materials on our website and review them using the survey link provided on the page. ​ Review the Math Materials Under Consideration. ​ The SPS Math Department thanks you for sharing your thoughts about what will best meet the needs of our students. If you have any questions or concerns, email them to ​



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