I just read an interesting article from Education Week, “Study: Give Weak Teachers Good Lesson Plans instead of Professional Development.” The study found that the use of inquiry based lesson plans had an effect on learning “about the same as moving from an average-performing teacher to one at the 80th percentile.” I might take some issue with their contention that inquiry based lesson plans are most helpful to weak teachers. In my experience, most if not all teachers can improve with better lesson plans.
I found the timing of this article serendipitous. You see, Ascend Math has just introduced forty new Compasses (Teacher Guides for Ascend Math Explorations). Compasses direct teachers on how to best use the inquiry based Explorations found in Ascend Math. They are perfect as a group instruction and/or blended learning resource providing questions to check for understanding, knowledge of vocabulary, as well as additional hands on activities.