In The Sewanhaka Central High School District, located in Western Nassau County on Long Island (NY), Magma Math is a prominent platform in all classrooms. The collaboration between the district and Magma Math has been a great example of how we can work in partnership to make math more engaging for all learners.
The Superintendent of The Sewanhaka Central High School District, Dr. James Grossane, was introduced to the platform in November 2022. Several aspects caught his attention about Magma, including the unique ability of students being able to show their thinking digitally in combination with teachers being able to analyze all solutions in the classroom. Dr. Grossane introduced Magma Math internally to math leaders and they decided to adopt Magma Math across all schools within the district. This initiative was motivated by the desire to enhance mathematical discourse within all classrooms and to provide teachers with an effective tool to respond to the needs of all their learners.
My math people were really very impressed with it. And, you know, math teachers are hard to impress - Superintendent Dr. Grossane
The Sewanhaka Central High School District is a diverse district that includes five high schools and approximately 8,000 students. The schools have adapted to a digital learning environment, with a focus on paperless instruction. Sewanhaka provides 1-1 iPads to all students. Their learning model encourages creativity, active student participation and exploration in learning. The digital learning environment has also created the opportunity for new innovative methods of instruction from the teachers. Sewanhaka is recognized as an Apple Distinguished district, and the teachers are proficient in using both the devices and accompanying learning applications.
Magma Math combines a lot of what we as teachers are always looking for. In a classroom of potentially 32 students, you can’t always see what every single student is doing, but if they're working on Magma Math we're able to see it all on a screen and we can make quicker decisions and address those needs as needed - Mrs. Kimyagarov
Before on-site implementation began in Sewanhaka, Magma Math’s content team aligned the curriculum on the platform for teachers to access relevant HS content and in a format they are most familiar with. For example, the HS problem bank was tailored according to the scope and sequence documents of Sewanhaka high schools’ math courses. Additionally, Magma Math’s content team added advanced math topics. These additions were possible through clear communication and collaboration with the math chairs of all the schools and the District Coordinator of Mathematics. Magma Math and Sewanhaka’s team felt the customization would guarantee that teachers were more successful in accessing relevant content and continuing on pace with their courses.
The Magma team was very responsive to whatever questions we had. It was just a very great experience having Magma support the content that the teachers needed” - Mrs. Kimyagarov
Mrs. Irina Kimyagarov, the District Coordinator of Mathematics, was responsible for the implementation of Magma Math across all the schools in the district. The success of the collaboration and implementation had a lot to do with her passion and commitment to ensure all teachers felt proficient enough to use the platform. During the onboarding, teachers were fully immersed in using Magma Math effectively. Magma Math’s team showed teachers how the platform could enable profound math discourse inside the classroom.
The onboarding was divided into three major parts:
- Break-out sessions, in which teachers experienced the teacher and student side of the platform and could explore the various functions of Magma Math
- Professional Development with Dr. Leslie Nielsen on “Meaningful Mathematical Discourse with Magma Math”
- Workshop on analyzing student data in Magma Math and differentiating accordingly
An evaluation of the onboarding showed that it was very well received by teachers as they understood more deeply how to implement Magma Math and the best practices involved from an instructional standpoint.
They went above and beyond with our onboarding and were available in every step of the process, whether it was during the onboarding or the support that followed shortly after - Mrs. Kimyagarov
We had the training and the next day they were using it. So that was phenomenal, that never happens - Superintendent Dr. Grossane
A few weeks after the implementation day and professional development, Magma Math team members visited classrooms in the district to follow up on the onboarding and to address any questions or concerns. The team conducted 40 classroom visits to get feedback on how Magma Math supported productive math discourse inside the classroom. During these visits, the team received valuable input regarding how to modify and further develop the platform so that it meets the needs of teachers and students in the best possible way. To be able to have this partnership and collaboration with Sewanhaka Central High School District has been truly rewarding.
Superintendent Dr. Grossane and one of the math teachers, Ms. Rebecca Vilchez, have noted that Magma Math has had a significant impact on the district's math education. Ms. Vilchez has seen improved test results and a renewed enthusiasm for her math lessons. Her students demonstrated a greater willingness to show their work and the classroom environment has become more student-centered. Classrooms are lively and talkative, and students are expressing their approaches to math creatively. Dr. Grossane has also observed change in the classroom since the use of Magma Math began.
What we've seen for sure is an increase in student to student conversation regarding mathematics. But it's not just a formal observation, when chair people and principals go around and look they see students using it much more frequently than they've seen anything else used. - Superintendent Dr. Grossane
When looking at the implementation of Magma Math in The Sewanhaka Central High School District, it has been a great success powered by the mutual efforts made. By introducing Magma Math to teachers, the district has been able to increase focus on mathematical discourse in classrooms and offer differentiated instruction that meets the needs of all learners. What has left a huge mark on the whole team from Magma Math is the district's passion and commitment to increase their mathematical discourse and to develop their students' thinking. To be partnered with such a dedicated group of people is something we’ll always be very proud of.
In this video you get to meet the Superintendent, Math Coordinator and Math teacher from Sewanhaka in person and hear them talk more about the implementation.