Professional Development

“By far the best professional development experience I have had.”
Participating Teacher

Math for Love Professional Development is designed to revitalize math teaching in your school or district.

A sample version of what we offer is below. Email Dan to learn more.

Target Outcomes

For Teachers

“Completely changed the way I teach!”
Participating Teacher
 Knowledge. Greater understanding and comfort with math content and with Common Core, especially the Standards of Mathematical Practice.
Skill. Deeper understanding of pedagogical tools for math teaching.
Teamwork. Increased collaboration between teachers in math.
Pleasure. Greater comfort and satisfaction with math teaching.
Courage. Greater willingness to try new things, take risks, and learn from mistakes.

“My students are finding joy in math and are excited to do math!”
Participating Teacher

For Students

Perseverance. Greater willingness to struggle, attack unfamiliar problems and make sense of new mathematical ideas.
Math Mindset. More students see themselves as mathematically minded. Students know that learning math takes work, and see mistakes as opportunities to learn.
Communication. Students can explain their thinking to their peers and teachers.
Performance. Students learn more and demonstrate their learning in class and on tests.
Love. More students enjoying math class, and falling in love with math.

How It Works

“Teacher Circles were the highlight of my week (and my students’). The activities and discussions were thought-provoking and inspired me to stretch my instruction in the classroom.”
Participating Teacher

Teacher Circles – We meet regularly with a cohort of volunteer teachers to focus on new techniques and content. These teachers will spearhead these methods in their classrooms. Math for Love will visit classrooms to demo best practices and provide teachers with feedback.

Classroom Demonstrations – The rest of the staff begins to regularly observe their colleagues in the Teacher Circles demonstrate new lessons and practices. Because so much expertise is located in the building, need for substitute teachers is minimal.

Workshops – Math for Love leads staff workshops throughout the year to emphasize central goals, teach foundational practices and give teachers a shared, positive, mathematical experience as a common frame of reference.

“Best workshop in years—can actually use it, not a paid waste of time.”Participating Teacher

Grade Level Support – Math for Love provides email and in person support to grade level teams, helping plan and adapt lessons and troubleshoot difficulties that may arise.

The Content

Year 1

We hit the ground running with high leverage techniques, which are easy to implement, give immediate success, and provide the greatest bang for the buck.

“This is amazing!!!  So often, I feel like I go to PD and think ‘that’s great but how do I use this in my classroom?’ and you two make these methods so easy to use.  I literally took my notes from yesterday and got right to the game! Thanks so much.” Participating Teacher

Games – Students love games, and when used appropriately, they can provide an enormous boon for skills practice and a launching point for deeper questions.

Manipulatives – All students need concrete experience with mathematical objects and ideas before they can ascend into abstraction. We will share ways to use the manipulatives teachers already have in their classrooms in a more motivated and rigorous fashion.

Number Talks – With a few simple moves—Start with a Question, Leverage Controversy, etc. —teachers can transform a bland and ineffective lecture into a Number Talk that engages their students, gets the classroom talking, and provides immediate feedback.

Year 2

In Year 2, we build on the momentum from year 1, and introduce some more sophisticated topics.

“Excellent! So impressed by your content knowledge & desire to help students & teachers develop a love for math.”Participating Teacher

Complex Problems – The absolute best way to promote critical thinking and serious problem solving is with complex problems. The hallmarks of a complex problem are:

MotivatedA complex problem is immediately compelling
Low barrier to entry – There is a natural place to begin attacking a complex problem, and there is some initial, motivating success
High ceiling – Complex problems are never completely finished. There are always more facets of the problem to tackle.
Supercharged for Common Core – Complex problems easily hit 4-8 of the Math Practices, along with multiple topics.

We will explore how to solve and teach complex problems, and the teaching moves that help students become extraordinary problem solvers. Additionally, we discuss how to find complex problems in your textbook with minimal effort.

Year 3

“Your enthusiastic, creative approach is a breath of fresh air!”Participating Teacher

In Year 3, we lock in the gains of the previous two years. Teachers building-wide step up their use of games, number talks, and complex problems. We also discuss use of formative assessment techniques that allow teachers to track their students’ progress and needs while everyone remains engaged and learning.

 Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Would our school need to use a specific curriculum?
A: No The pedagogical tactics of our program work with any curriculum. We also offer a supplemental curriculum of complex problems and games that pairs with virtually any curriculum.

“It’s an excellent program. The inquisitive insights and questioning strategies are excellent. The teachers’ expertise is also exemplary.”Participating Teacher

Q: Could we start with just one workshop and see how it goes?
A: Yes. However, the more time, energy, and focus a school has to devote to transforming their math program, the more likely the change will be substantial and successful. We are happy to do single workshops, but much more interested in long-term partnerships with schools that are serious about having a top-notch mathematics program.

Q: What grades levels do you work with?
A: We specialize in K-8. If you have a limited scope to your school, we would recommend targeting grades 2-5 to begin.