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Teachers Increase Math Content Knowledge with NCCAT

“Math Foundations” program at NCCAT provided strategies for finding a new love of mathematics when students are allowed to reason about the math rather than just “do” the math.

CULLOWHEE—North Carolina teachers joined the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching for “Math Foundations” to look at the foundational knowledge needed to provide all students with appropriate mathematics instruction.

The five-day professional development program was led by Dr. Chris Cain, a professor at Mars Hill University. It is part of the offerings from NCCAT, a recognized national leader in professional development programming for teachers.

The method uses evidence-based instructional strategies, assessments to guide instruction, appropriate selection of direct instruction programs and progress monitoring of students. This program helps teachers understand how to make strong mathematical connections to explain the procedures used in mathematics. It will ensure teachers are able to help students demystify and conceptualize mathematics. The program works to help students find a new love of mathematics while allowing them to reason about the math rather than just “do” the math.

“It was incredible,” said Lisa Maccaferri, a teacher at Torrence Creek Elementary School in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. “I had a fixed mindset in math, and this has opened my eyes to a whole new world of math. Our presenter showed the importance of vocabulary. I’m going to go back to the kindergarten students and work with them to be certain we have a great foundation. It is important to have that great foundation to build for the future grades.”



Increasing teacher effectiveness is fundamental to improving public education. NCCAT provides teachers with new knowledge, skills, teaching methods, best practices and information to take back to their classrooms. For more information about NCCAT’s professional development programs, visit or call 828-293-5202.

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