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Jan Gillespie


Jan Gillespie, co-author of Every Day Counts, retired as a K-5 Title 1 math specialist in the Portland District after a thirty-three-year teaching career.

After many years team-teaching in a successful school-wide Title 1 math program at a Portland public school, she joined a project to work with three other Title 1 schools to replicate the program's strategies including the use of Every Day Counts.

Since retiring Jan has consulted with schools working to close the achievement gap in math. Most recently she has also divided her time between working on the site, volunteering at a Title 1 School, and establishing The Math Place on Fremont in her Portland neighborhood where she tutors and shares parent-child activities.

Jan is the recipient of the 2011 Oregon Council Teachers of Math Mildred Bennett Elementary Mathematics Education Award for her "commitment of time and energy to improve teaching."

Past history...
After graduating from Stanford University in 1970, Jan began teaching second and third grade in Oakland as an intern through the U.C. Berkeley Teaching the Educationally Disadvantaged Credential Program. After three years, she and her husband moved to Portland to be near family. She taught kindergarten and then math as a Title 1 resource teacher. Participating in NSF funded staff development through Oregon Math Leaders she became a math enthusiast. She worked with Mary Baratta-Lorton, Kathy Richardson, Robert Wirtz, and Jay Greenwood, all mentors whose ideas for helping children make sense of mathematics made teaching math a joyful experience. Jan headed up the Mathematics Their Way adoption for Portland, planning district-wide support. She earned her masters degree in education at Portland State University in 1982. Before coauthoring Every Day Counts, she had worked with hundreds of teachers in the northwest who participated in her Teaching Math For Understanding Workshops sponsored by the Math Learning Center, Portland State University, and Lewis and Clark College.

Meeting Patsy Kanter and creating Every Day Counts...
In 1988 Patsy invited Jan to come to New Orleans to lead a math workshop as part of Patsy's annual New Orleans Summer Math Institute held at the Newman School. Patsy came by Jan's workshop and saw the wall filled with Calendar Math elements geared up to address third grade concepts. That summer Patsy invented more bulletin board elements for grades four and five including the Daily Decimal, Depositors and Measurement. In the fall when Susan Rogalski, then math editor for D.C. Heath, visited Patsy's school, the math bulletin boards she saw up in classrooms piqued her curiosity. She thought they would be great to share with teachers beyond Patsy's and Jan's two schools. With Susan shepherding the project and giving the bulletin board math its name, Every Day Counts, the K-5 calendar math program came to be. Later Math Every Day (1996), a complete K-2 program, K-5 Partner Games, based on Every Day Counts , and Every Day in Pre-K:Math followed.

Finding a home with Great Source...
When D.C. Heath was purchased by Houghton Mifflin in 1997, Every Day Counts Calendar Math found a home with Great Source Education Group, a new Houghton Mifflin subdivision. In 2002, Jan and Patsy created Every Day in Pre-K to extend this daily concept and language building approach to preschool. Along the way, Andy Clark, K-12 math specialist, developed Calendar Math and Partner Games for grade 6. He became a major contributor to the Practice Counts series. In 2004, Beth Ardell joined Patsy and Jan as kindergarten coauthor of the new revised '05 edition of K-5 Every Day Counts Kits. Recently in 2011, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt introduced the first digital version of Every Day Counts Calendar Math for teachers using interactive white boards.

Jan Gillespie