Mathematics Education Project

Let the Mathematics Education Project (MEP) bring research-based professional development to your district or enroll in a workshop on UW Campus.

Site-based: MEP offers a variety of programs in either an intensive summer format or conveniently scheduled sessions throughout the school year. Programs provide opportunities for educators to engage with both the mathematical content and practices of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM). MEP is committed to providing mathematical experiences of teaching and learning that are consistent with the CCSSM. Click here for a list of programs MEP can offer in your district.

Summer workshops at UW: Enroll now in professional development programs designed to increase your understanding of mathematics and pedagogy to improve student learning. Click here for information and registration details of the workshops offered this summer.
Districts interested in partnering with the Mathematics Education Project should contact:

Julie Kang
Director, Mathematics Education Project
jkang@PCE.UW.EDU

The Mathematics Education Project (MEP) is a professional development resource for educators who are committed to transforming K-12 mathematics teaching and learning so all students develop accurate, reliable and flexible strategies and a robust understanding of mathematical concepts.

The Mathematics Education Project is the outgrowth of two projects funded by the National Science Foundation – Creating a Community of Mathematics Learners and Expanding a Community of Mathematics Learners. Through these projects, a community of educators from K-12 schools and the University of Washington gained extensive knowledge of research-based professional development resources, the art of facilitation, teacher leadership development, strategies for working with administrators and parents, and factors that contribute to sustainability of change. Through the MEP, this mathematics community and other colleagues in mathematics education at the UW intend to reach out to districts in the state of Washington and other states in the region.

Ruth Balf

Ruth Balf

Ruth is a former elementary school teacher, with 17 years of teaching experience, who is now working with the Mathematics Education Project as a professional educator full time. She has experience teaching mathematics methods courses for elementary school teachers and leading professional development for practicing teachers. Through her work with teachers, she hopes to build leadership capacity within schools and systems and help foster professional communities that focus on understanding students' mathematical thinking and experiences in classroom.

sunshine campbell

Sunshine Campbell

Sunshine Campbell is a faculty member at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. She is a former middle and high school mathematics teacher and has taught here in Washington state as well as overseas in Kathmandu, Nepal. She also spent two years as a middle school mathematics coach in the Seattle Public Schools. Her research and teaching interests include supporting novice and practicing teachers as they learn to enact equity-oriented and high-leverage teaching practices in their mathematics classrooms. She is also interested in ways teachers can bring social justice concepts into their mathematics classrooms as a way to empower their students.

Allison Hintz

Allison Hintz

Allison is an assistant professor in the Education Program at University of Washington, Bothell. Her teaching and research interests are in the areas of student learning, elementary mathematics, classroom discourse, and teacher development. Her current research focuses on the mathematical and interactional demands students experience during discussion with care for supporting all children through mathematically productive and socially supportive discourse.

Lisa Jilk

Lisa Jilk

Lisa Jilk is currently a Research Associate in the College of Education and an Instructional Coach with Seattle Public Schools. Lisa taught high school mathematics for ten years before pursuing doctoral studies at Michigan State University. Lisa supports secondary math teachers to use Complex Instruction strategies to create classroom communities that promote equitable student participation. Her research focuses on the ways in which mathematics classrooms that use Complex Instruction provide opportunities for students to use their salient identities as cultural tools for learning mathematics.

Elham Kazemi

Elham Kazemi

Elham is an associate professor of Curriculum and Instruction. Her teaching and research interests include sociocultural analyses of learning and change, teacher education, and school reform initiatives. Her work centers on mathematics education, and she is particularly interested in how teachers interpret and make use of research-based frameworks on the development of children's mathematical thinking. Her work situates teacher learning and professional growth within broader school cultures.

Megan Kelley-Petersen

Megan Kelley-Petersen

As a former elementary teacher and math coach in Seattle Public Schools, Megan found herself seeking to further her own learning and interest in supporting and improving elementary math education. This led her to completing her PhD in Curriculum & Instruction (with a focus in elementary math education) at the University of Washington in June, 2010. She continues to support research projects at the College of Education at the UW, in addition to teaching in the Teacher Education Program as an adjunct professor. Her strongest interests, however, remain in supporting practicing teachers reflect on and learn from their own practice, so her work in facilitating professional development through the Mathematics Education Project offers opportunities to continually learn from and and with practicing elementary teachers.

Anita Lenges

Anita Lenges

Anita is a member of faculty in the Masters in Teaching program at The Evergreen State College. Her research and professional development focus is teacher preparation that supports racially, culturally, and linguistically diverse students to thrive in mathematically rich environments.

Rosemary Sheffield

Rosemary Sheffield

Rosemary Sheffield is director of Center Connect, the College of Education's outreach unit, and senior director in UW Educational Outreach. She coordinates the development and offering of content-focused professional development for educators. Most recently, she has been project director for Creating a Community of Mathematics Learners and Expanding a Community of Mathematics Learners, two projects funded by the National Science Foundation and focused on professional development in mathematics education for elementary, middle and high school teachers in six districts. Currently, she directs the Mathematics Education Project, which partners with districts to offer content-focused, site-based professional development.

Virginia Stimpson

Virginia Stimpson

Gini is a teaching associate within the College of Education, former high school mathematics teacher for the Mercer Island School District, and former chair of the Research Advisory Council of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. She works to bridge the worlds of math education research and those directly responsible for the teaching and learning of mathematics within schools by supporting districts with a long-term vision for systemic change. Most recently Gini has been involved in researching Leadership Content Knowledge as a result of her work as the internal evaluator of Lenses on Learning Secondary.

The Mathematics Education Project (MEP) strives to provide opportunities for mathematics teachers to participate in a community of mathematics learners that identifies, examines and addresses emerging issues related to improving student learning in mathematics.

MEP aims to …

With the expected outcomes …

Teachers

Teacher Leaders/Coaches/Mentors

Principals

Parents

The Mathematics Education Project draws on research-based resources to increase educators' knowledge of mathematics and pedagogy to improve student learning. Programs focus on content and processes emphasized in Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM).

MEP has the capacity to offer the following programs in your district for the following educators:

Teachers of Grades K-8

Content Immersion Workshops: Understanding CCSSM through Content Strands and Mathematical Practices

Teachers engage in mathematical activities to develop mathematical knowledge for teaching and gain experience with selected mathematical practices. With videos and cases, they are able to make connections between mathematical practices and content. They investigate learning progressions to see the development of topics across grade levels.

The workshops’ attention to discourse, student thinking, formative assessment, and cognitively challenging mathematical tasks builds on promising practices in mathematics instruction.

Grade-Level Workshops:

K – 2nd: Counting and Cardinality – Numbers and Operations in Base Ten
3rd – 6th: Numbers and Operations – Fractions
6th – 8th: Ratios and Proportional Reasoning – Algebraic Thinking

Developing Mathematical Ideas: A curriculum designed to help teachers think through major ideas of K-7 mathematics and examine how children develop those ideas. Modules include: Building a System of Tens; Making Meaning for Operations; Geometry: Examining Features of Shape; Geometry: Measuring Space in One, Two and Three Dimensions; Working with Data; Reasoning Algebraically about Operations; and Patterns, Functions, and Change.

Cognitively Guided Instruction: A K-5 professional development program that provides a framework for teachers to understand the development of children's computational fluency.

Young Mathematicians at Work: Video-based materials for K-8 teachers through which participants follow an instructional sequence over several lessons. Content: number sense, number system, place value, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, percents, ratios, mathematical models, and algebra.

Teachers of Grades K-12

Math Labs: Provides opportunities for teachers to cooperatively plan mathematical tasks, observe the tasks being enacted, enact the tasks themselves and then debrief the entire experience. Teachers engage in mathematics themselves as they consider instructional activities to try out with a given group of elementary students (one of the participants' actual class of students). Administrators, instructional assistants, and teacher leaders often participate in Math Labs.

Teachers of Middle and High School

Designing Effective Groupwork in Mathematics: Participants learn the principles and practices of Complex Instruction in middle and high school mathematics, an effective group-based pedagogy grounded in research. Participants gain tools and strategies to ensure that ALL students, regardless of their ethnic, language, socio-economic, and/or achievement backgrounds, have equal-status participation in small groups and are held accountable for learning rigorous mathematics.

In this five-day course participants will:

Re-Culturing Math Departments for Excellence and Equity: A program designed to support individual teachers develop the necessary skills, knowledge and dispositions to implement Complex Instruction (CI) pedagogies and whole math departments to create strong learning communities steeped in inquiry-based practices that effectively advocate for, protect, and sustain their new CI classrooms. Department members participate in six different and connected professional development activities that are long-term and job embedded: summer course and retreats, in-class support, peer reciprocal observations, common planning, video club, teacher and facilitator development.

Algebraic Thinking and Effective Teaching Practices: Designed for middle and high school mathematics teachers and focused on algebraic thinking, this workshop emphasizes effective teaching practices for working with diverse learners with a focus on algebraic thinking. Participants will explore specific algebraic concepts and processes that are foundational for long-term success in algebra and examine where and how those ideas can be developed within their existing curriculum. Using their understanding of the trajectory of the development of algebraic thinking that begins in middle school and continues into high school, participants will consider strategies that advance the skills and understanding of those who struggle with these algebraic concepts.

Fostering Algebraic Thinking Toolkit: Teachers in grades 6-10 identify, describe, and foster algebraic thinking in their students. A core belief underlying the program is that good mathematics teaching begins with understanding how mathematics is learned. Activities include hands-on investigations, language for talking and thinking about algebraic thinking, collecting data and analyzing students' mathematical thinking, and mathematics problems that elicit and develop algebraic thinking.

Fostering Geometric Thinking Toolkit: Hands-on opportunities to develop teachers' new understandings of grades 6-10 geometric thinking, broaden and express their own geometric thinking by solving rich problems, observe students' thinking and problem solving through in-the-classroom footage, practice analyzing student work and apply all they've learned in the sessions to engage students' thinking more effectively.

High Leverage Mathematics Teaching Practices: Participants will explore and prepare to implement research-based teaching practices designed to help students learn and retain mathematics. Teachers will consider what they can do to shift students' beliefs in themselves and each other that affect their ability to learn mathematics. The workshop includes strategies that are effective for all students, including those who receive ELL services and those who have historically struggled with mathematics. Participants will experience lessons that model High Leverage Practices and then use their own curriculum to design lessons that incorporate those practices.

Administrators, Teacher Leaders and Coaches

Implementing CCSSM: Building Understanding for K-5 Principals: Participants will experience the Standards for Mathematical Practices through exploration of various K-5 mathematical content. Activities and videos will give principals a view of what teachers need to understand in order to implement CCSSM and what to look for when doing classroom observations. An examination of progression documents will help principals see the development of topics across grade levels. (District leaders, math coaches, and teacher leaders are also encouraged to attend.)

Developing Mathematical Ideas Facilitation Institute: The Institute is designed to increase teacher leaders' ability to influence conversations and decisions about mathematics teaching and learning. Participants experience the complexity of preparing and facilitating a DMI seminar and recognize the importance of having clear goals for their work yet the flexibility to respond to participants' emerging understandings and issues. Participants identify mathematical content, mathematical process, and community building goals for each session of DMI: Building a System of Ten; develop strategies for making progress toward these goals; explore issues that arise when facilitating adult learners; prepare for a practice facilitation DMI seminar; co-facilitate a math activity and case discussion; and develop rationale for responding to participants' writing.

Lenses on LearningClassroom Observation and Teacher Supervision in Elementary Mathematics: An opportunity for administrators and teacher leaders to think through ideas that underlie standards-based reform in mathematics teaching and learning.

Lenses on LearningSecondary: Offers school and district leaders experiences designed to deepen their understanding of mathematics teaching, learning and assessment to evaluate site-specific data related to current practices, and to strategically plan how to impact current practices in order to increase deep learning of mathematics for all students.

Designing Effective Groupwork in Mathematics: A Workshop for Middle and High School Teachers

June 25, 26, 27 & June 30, July 1
8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Participants learn the principles and practices of Complex Instruction, an effective group-based pedagogy grounded in research. Participants gain tools and strategies to ensure that ALL students, regardless of their ethnic, language, socio-economic, and/or achievement backgrounds, have equal-status participation in small groups and are held accountable for learning rigorous mathematics.

For more information or to register, please download the 2014 course flier (pdf).

CANCELED: Designing MORE Effective Groupwork in Mathematics: A Workshop for Middle and High School Teachers

August 11 – 14, 2014
8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

This course is intended for those who have completed Designing Effective Groupwork in Mathematics and have at least one year of experience teaching with Complex Instruction (CI). In this course we will make connections to current brain research to further understand how Complex Instruction supports learning rigorous mathematics. Additionally, we will move beyond groupworthy tasks and focus on developing a multiple-ability math Curriculum, including lesson plans and assessments. Participants will expand their abilities to hear, see and name different ways in which students are “smart” as evidenced in student work and video, develop and practice new participation structures that promote equitable engagement, and consider the systems that support teachers to sustain CI in their classrooms and departments. This course is intended for middle and high school math teachers. Participants must register as part of a course or grade level team.

Download the 2014 course flier (pdf).

Research-based Resources

The Mathematics Education Project (MEP) draws on research-based resources to increase educators' knowledge of mathematics and pedagogy to improve student learning. The content-based site-based professional development focuses on mathematical content and practices of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. Examples of resources that MEP uses in site-based professional development follow:

Developing Mathematical Ideas: A curriculum designed to help teachers think through major ideas of K-7 mathematics and examine how children develop those ideas.

Cognitively Guided Instruction: A K-5 professional development program that provides a framework for teachers to understand the development of children's computational fluency.

Young Mathematicians at Work: Uses video-based materials for K-6 teachers through which participants follow an instructional sequence over several lessons.

Working with Parents and the Public: A series to help parents and the public learn to recognize and support quality mathematics programs in schools.

Lenses on Learning – Classroom Observation and Teacher Supervision in Elementary/Secondary Mathematics: An opportunity for administrators and teacher leaders to think through ideas that underlie standards-based reform in mathematics teaching and learning.

Connecting Mathematical Ideas: Uses video cases of mathematics teaching at the middle school level, and in-depth analysis of each lesson from both a theoretical and practical standpoint.

Implementing Standards-Based Mathematics Instruction: Identifies features of problems that engage students in mathematical reasoning and problem-solving.

Supporting Elementary Mathematics through LongTerm Professional Education - Elham Kazemi

Appears in Curriculum in Context Journal of Washington State Association of Supervision & Curriculum Development

Around the state, there is a buzz about improving mathematics teaching and learning. We are bombarded, almost daily, with what our students and schools cannot do. Transforming mathematics teaching and learning is not likely to happen overnight, but it does depend on our efforts to build capacity for systems to learn and to learn together. The good news is that there now exists an array of professional resources to help. When embedded in a longterm, coherent plan and used skillfully, these resources can support schools and districts to develop more coherent and robust instruction that aims for mathematical fluency for all students.

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Adapting Cases from a Developing Mathematical Ideas Seminar to Examine the Work of Teaching Closely

Appears in Association of Mathematics Teacher Education Monograph, 4, 21-33

This chapter describes three uses of cases from the Building a System of Tens (BST) seminar. BST is one of seven modules available in the Developing Mathematical Ideas professional education materials (Schifter, Bastable, & Russell, 1999). BST is designed to support elementary teachers in analyzing how students develop a robust understanding of the base-ten system. The cases help seminar teachers learn how students' thinking develops when they are given opportunities to share and explore their understanding and their confusions. We describe how we have used particular cases th achieve a focused set of goals especially targeted for teachers who are beginning to learn to build instruction on students' thinking. We explain how strategic use of cases brings to the surface the significant work that teachers do when they design tasks and anticipate, elicit, and respond to students' mathematical ideas.

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The Mathematics Education Project (MEP) partners with schools and districts to transform mathematics teaching and learning so all students develop a robust understanding of mathematical concepts and accurate, reliable and efficient strategies.

The MEP seeks to partner with school districts committed to developing and implementing a long-term professional development plan for systemic improvement of mathematics education. The project is prepared to work with districts in the design of professional development opportunities that are content-focused, research-based, and offered onsite for a variety of audiences. The MEP is also prepared to develop content-focused professional development for curriculum implementation. The format will vary according to the needs of each school district, but it is expected that whatever work is started will be part of a long-term, ongoing plan.

Recent district and ESD partners include: