Common Questions About the LLAMA Project
Below are some answers to common questions about the Longitudinal Learning of Viable Argument in Mathematics for Adolescents (LLAMA) project.
Frequently Asked Questions
The project began in the winter of 2016 with a total of 63 participants across Washington, Idaho, and Montana. In the academic years 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 LLAMA Cohort 1 teachers will participate in LLAMA Professional Development including online courses and summer professional development at the University of Idaho. During the academic years 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 LLAMA Cohort 1 teachers will receive continued support from University of Idaho Mathematics Education faculty and LLAMA Cohort 2 will participate in LLAMA Professional Development.
The LLAMA Project is important for three major reasons. Viable argumentation is central to mathematics at all levels and within all disciplines. Developing logical claims supported by evidence is a skill needed across professions as well as for thoughtful civic participation on many issues affecting the nation. Secondly, research shows that when students justify their thinking through viable arguments they demonstrate more complex mathematical thinking and have greater achievement, they engage more deeply with the ideas, they clarify their thinking, and they develop their ability to communicate mathematics. When students justify their thinking they figure out why a process worked rather than having processes memorized. Finally, the Common Core created an emphasis on viable argument by including it in the practice standards. The practice standards are the ways that you engage in mathematics. Common Core Math Practice Standard Three states that students should “construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.” This means that in all grade levels, we should be focusing on helping students learn how to engage in mathematics by constructing viable arguments. The state assessments in Idaho, Montana, and Washington all assess students on their ability to develop viable arguments.
Schools and school districts throughout Washington, Idaho, and Montana, upon selection for the study, became valuable long-term participants in the LLAMA Project. Schools and Districts made the following commitments:
- Allow the LLAMA Project to work with participating teachers to support them in implementing LLAMA practices in their classroom
- Share student state assessment data with the LLAMA researchers
Teachers selected for the study receive the following benefits over the course of the four-year project:
- Professional development on mathematics content and LLAMA practices
- LLAMA intervention materials that align with their grade 8 curriculum
- Individual support from LLAMA coaches
- Compensation for their time spent on professional development and taking assessments
The LLAMA Project is focused on improving grade 8 math achievement. The project includes an intervention that has been designed to be included into any grade 8 math curriculum.
The LLAMA Research Team consists of mathematics professionals at the University of Idaho and RMC Research Corporation in Denver and Portland. Please see this page to learn more about the team.
Would you like to know more?
For additional information on the LLAMA Project, contact Dr. David Yopp, Principal Investigator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (208) 885-7780.