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Information for Administrators

TRIAD = Technology-enhanced, Research-based, Instruction, Assessment, and professional Development

TRIAD is based on teaching for understanding using developmental guidelines, or learning trajectories, and technologies at multiple levels (e.g., for children, teachers, and for the research).

Funded by the U.S. Dept. of Education's Institute of Instructional Sciences (IES) through the Inteagency Educational Research Initiative (IERI, a combination of the IES, National Science Foundation, which supported the first waves of research, and the NIH)

Approved by the Research Foundation's Institutional Review Board (i.e., "Human Subjects”)

Guided by administrators at every level of development.


Goals of the TRIAD Research Project

  • To effectively improve achievement in early mathematics, including narrowing the achievement gap.
    • Government reports show that many schools are not reaching their AYP, and most are not because of inadequate progress in mathematics.
    • The more mathematics, the earlier, the better
  • To provide a transferable, sustainable model for successful, systemic, scaled up instruction, assessment and professional development.
  • Professional development for coaches and mentors, with materials

Components of TRIAD

  • TRIAD provides Building Blocks pre-kindergarten mathematics curriculum, including print materials for children, teachers, and families; software for children; and a software management and reporting system for teachers.
  • The school district provides on-site classroom support from school-based coaches and mentors
  • TRIAD provides professional development and materials for coaches and mentors.
  • TRIAD provides professional development distance education course and materials for teachers
  • TRIAD provides innovative, interactive professional development TRIAD-Web site with extensive support for teaching based on learning trajectories (for Pre-K teachers and, in one experimental group, K-1 teachers)
  • TRIAD provides aligned child assessments
  • TRIAD provides a family component with letters and home activities.
  • TRIAD provides Building Blocks software supplement for follow-up in K-3, including a software management and reporting system for teachers.
  • TRIAD provides research tools for research collaborators, including teacher and administrator questionnaires and university-based support and data analysis.

Philosophy and Approach of the Building Blocks Curriculum

  • The basic approach is finding the mathematics in, and developing mathematics from, children's activity.
  • The software helps children extend and mathematize their everyday activities, from building blocks to art to songs and stories to puzzles.
  • Based on years of research, this is a "tried and true" curriculum that evaluations have shown effectively increases the mathematics achievement of young children.
  • These materials emphasize meaningful mathematical problems and depth rather than exposure.
  • See more in the "Links" section, below.

Administrator Involvement

  • Support for staggered adoption of the mathematics curriculum
  • Leadership and support for successful implementation
  • Facilitation of math professional development for teachers, coaches andmentors
  • Ensuring access to manipulative materials and internet-accessible computers
  • Providing duplication where needed
  • For collaborators in research:
    • Acceptance of random assignment of pre-kindergarten teachers to one of 3 groups: experimental, experimental with follow-through, and comparison
    • Support for assessment of “fidelity of implementation”
    • Support for follow-up on pre-k children as they go through Kndg. and 1st grade
    • Support for data collection and provision of space for assessments
    • Completion of administrator's questionnaire
    • Support for and facilitation of parent questionnaires