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A Rockin’ Model for Accelerating Recovery in Algebra Readiness at Scale

Tuesday, June 8, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT

A Rockin’ Model for Accelerating Recovery in Algebra Readiness at Scale

Presented by Dr. Lana Israel, CEO and Founder, Muzology; Gary Petko, Mathematics Supervisor, Knox County Schools (TN); Shirley Forehand, Math Department Chair, Hall STEAM Magnet High School (AR); and Chris Blue, Season 12 Winner of The Voice
Moderated by Tom Whitby, Co-Founder of #Edchat

Sponsored by Muzology

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Closed captioning will be added to the recording within 2 weeks of the live presentation.

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Join this edLeader Panel to learn how you can accelerate recovery in algebra readiness. During the pandemic, learning loss in math was two times more pronounced than for any other subject; for students from challenged environments, learning loss was even more severe. However, students who used Muzology, a music-based approach to math instruction (used by students in grades 5-10), demonstrated gains in math proficiency.

This rockin’ panel, moderated by #Edchat Co-Founder Tom Whitby, will show you how to achieve the same results using this highly scalable, evidence-based model to math recovery. If you’ve ever noticed that students struggle with learning yet know every word to their favorite songs…that’s because music activates brain regions critical for successful learning.

This edLeader Panel brings together:

  • Dr. Lana Israel, a global learning expert and CEO of Muzology, to share the neuroscience and data behind music-based learning.
  • Hall STEAM Magnet High School (AR) Math Department Chair, Shirley Forehand, to show how middle and high school teachers can easily integrate this ESSER-aligned targeted intervention into their math instruction; her students achieved impressive two-to-three year increases in learning growth on NWEA MAP® Growth™ assessments during the pandemic.
  • Mathematics Supervisor for Knox County Schools (TN), Gary Petko, who assisted in writing the K-12 Tennessee Math Standards, to discuss ways to successfully implement music-based math instruction districtwide—for summer programs and during the academic year.
  • Special guest star Chris Blue, Season 12 Winner of The Voice, to provide unique insight into ways that music drives student engagement and motivation.

This edLeader Panel will be of interest to all leaders who are focusing on accelerating math recovery and developing programs to get ALL students algebra ready! 


Lana Israel

About the Presenters

Dr. Lana Israel is a globally recognized learning expert who founded her first company, Brain Power for Kids, Inc., and wrote her first book on learning at age 13. This launched Dr. Israel’s career, while a teenager, as an international speaker. During this time, Dr. Israel authored multiple books on educational interventions, consulted with school systems, and produced award-winning multimedia educational content. She has been recognized with numerous awards including the Nobel Prize Visit Award and the British Brain Trust’s Brain of the Year award for her contributions to global education. After completing her doctoral work, Dr. Israel gained two decades of business, strategic, and production-side experience in the music industry, working with some of today’s biggest artists, songwriters, and producers. Integrating her lifelong passions for music and memory, Dr. Israel founded Muzology, a digital music-based learning company. Dr. Israel is a Harvard- and Oxford-educated Rhodes Scholar whose scientific research on memory has been cited over 800 times.


Gary Petko

As a Knoxville native and a product of Knox County Schools, Gary Petko earned a B.S. in mathematics from the University of Tennessee and an M.S. in supervision and administration from Lincoln Memorial University. Gary is a United States Army Veteran and served in Operation Desert Storm. Gary was a classroom teacher for 14 years at Knoxville West High School and served as a numeracy coach for the school district. He is currently in his 13th year as the pre-K mathematics supervisor for Knox County Schools. Gary was a member of the Tennessee Mathematics Leadership Council and assisted in writing the K-12 Tennessee Math Standards. His work has always focused on growing students and improving mathematics education, and he believes that teamwork and commitment to students, teachers, and the community will ensure a culture of excellence and inclusion.


Shirley Forehand

Shirley Forehand has been a mathematics educator for 26 years, 15 of those in middle school math and 11 in high school math. She holds a bachelors’ degree in education and psychology and has completed 30 graduate hours in education. Shirley earned a secondary certificate for 7th – 12th grade and has taught pre-algebra through algebra II. She is actively involved in The Academies at Hall STEAM Magnet High School, a program that provides students a rigorous, 21st century education that will prepare students for college or career once they graduate. Having taught in one of the most economically disadvantaged urban schools in Little Rock, AR, Shirley believes strongly in inclusivity and that all students have the ability to reach their full potential regardless of race, gender, or socio-economic background.


Chris Blue

Chris Blue emerged as the Season 12 victor of The Voice on Team Alicia Keys. He captured the hearts of millions with his raw vocal talent, heartfelt honesty, and brave vulnerability. His rendition of Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic” and “Take Me To The King” proved showstopping, while a duet with Keys on “Diamonds and Pearls” brought the house down. Keys shared some invaluable wisdom with her team member. “Alicia looked at me and said, ‘Make sure you focus on being in the moment. Don’t try to do anything; BE IT. We’re human ‘beings’ not ‘do-ings.’” That stuck with Chris. “Now, when I get out there, I lose myself in that moment.” Following his victory, Chris inked a deal with Republic Records and entered the studio to work on his forthcoming full-length debut. Drawing on diverse influences, he artfully unites Motown, pop, and soul into a sound of his own. “The energy you feel, the message you hear, and the light you see comes from my faith regardless of the genre.” That honesty builds a lasting connection for Chris. “I want to give the world hope. I want people to walk away with hope in their relationships, their loved ones, and themselves. I want them to be inspired.”


Tom Whitby

About the Moderator

Tom Whitby is a lifelong educator, having spent over 34 years teaching in the K-12 classroom and over six years in higher education. In addition to being a co-founder of #Edchat (one of the first education-specific Twitter chats, now on its 13th year! Every Tuesday night at 7pm ET), he is an author (The Relevant Educator: How Connectedness Empowers Learning and The Educator’s Guide to Creating Connections, both by Corwin Publishing); a blogger (My Island View); and the host of #Edchat Radio for the Bam Radio Network. He also maintains multiple online groups including The Educators PLN on Ning and several LinkedIn Groups (Technology-Using Professors, Twitter-Using Educators, Educational Bloggers, Ning-Using Educators, NYSCATE Network, and Levittown, NY, Connections).


Join the Building Understanding in Mathematics community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, and receive invitations to upcoming edLeader Panels.


Muzology is a leading, nationally recognized, learning company dedicated to enhancing performance through the power of music. Founded by memory expert, Dr. Lana Israel, and Bob Doyle, longtime manager of Garth Brooks, Muzology’s high-engagement, evidence-based digital platform is the only math intervention developed by cognitive psychologists, learning experts and hit songwriters. Muzology accelerates learning recovery and makes learning math fast, fun and effective for ALL students.



Tuesday, June 8, 2021
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT
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