May 14, 2019

Resources to support mathematics instruction

Teachers have the difficult  journey of ensuring that their students learn the grade level content. Because the populations of classrooms are so diverse, this is an incredible feat of juggling instructional time, best practice, core instruction, standards and interventions. Here are a few resources that may be helpful in your quest. As always, please contact your Grant Wood AEA math consultant if you have questions or need additional support.


"Catalyzing Change in High School Mathematics: Initiating Critical Conversations" recommends increased focus on how students experience mathematics in the classroom, so students see themselves as capable learners of mathematics. There is a section focused on equitable teaching practices noting that classroom instruction impacts the ways in which students experience mathematics, and has a significant impact on the way in which they identify as doers of mathematics. There are connections to eight teaching practices outlined in Principles to Actions to equitable teaching practices. Preservice teachers can benefit from knowing and understanding these connections so that they can engage in rigorous instruction supportive of each and every student seeing themselves as doers of mathematics, make sense of their world and be able to use mathematics for their future endeavors.


Resources for Providing Differentiation in Mathematics

Recently, some of us had the pleasure of learning from Dr. Robert Berry, our NCTM president. He expressed the need for ALL students to have the opportunity to learn mathematics at high levels. While differentiation is difficult, it is necessary to enable  ALL students to feel visible, competent and comfortable in the classroom.Dr. Robert Berry, president, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics


- Dr. Robert Berry, president
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics



"Principles to Actions" describes eight effective teaching practices:
1. Establish mathematics goals to focus learning.
2. Implement tasks that promote reasoning and problem solving.
3. Use and connect mathematical representations.
4. Facilitate meaningful mathematical discourse.
5. Pose purposeful questions.
6. Build procedural fluency from conceptual understanding.
7. Support productive struggle in learning mathematics.
8. Elicit and use evidence of student thinking.

Principles to Actions


Learning and Teaching with Learning Trajectories is a resource for preschool-3rd grade teachers (and higher if you are trying to fill in some learning gaps).  You will need to create a free account, and then you will be able to explore how children learn math from age 0 through grade 3. It contains activities and videos related to each learning trajectory and is aligned to the CCSS-M. This site may also be helpful in creating interventions and rubrics for students.


The National Center for Intensive Interventions has some great ideas on providing interventions at all tiers. Lessons and activities are available for each of the following categories: Number System Counting, Basic Facts, Place Value Concepts, Place Value Computation, Fractions as Numbers and Computation of Fractions.

Low Floor, High Ceiling Tasks are accessible to all students. The task gives everyone the same problem, but can take off in different directions based on the students’ abilities.  These tasks are often open ended with the problem solving work becoming more important than the answer. Check out under the TASKs AND MORE tab to find tasks for your students according to standards and/or grade levels.  


Three Act Tasks are whole group lessons that encourage critical thinking and problem solving based on prior knowledge, noticing and wondering. The first act gives a thought provoking situation, usually in a picture or video format. The second act consists of providing more information, problem solving and discussions that leads to the third act, which is the answer reveal.

There are many resources for Three Act Tasks. Here are two to get you started:

Graham Fletcher has tasks for K-5 at GFletchy.

Dan Meyers has tasks for middle school and high school content at dy/dan.

A student playing basketball with a hoop on a post.

Defined STEM “is a K-12 project based learning solution that provides engaging, authentic lessons built around careers.”  All GWAEA teachers have a free account to this great resource simply by signing in with your Google account at the bottom of the login screen.  You can explore projects by grade level, theme or standards. The math team’s recommendation is to start with the mathematics standards to build the STEM lesson.  Once in a lesson, you can edit resources and projects to fit the abilities and needs of your students.

Defined STEM


Grant Wood AEA Summer Math Professional Learning Courses

Essential Elements of 6-12 Math Learning and Instruction
July 9, 10 & 16, 2019
8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Demystifying Fractions: Supporting Fraction Sense and Making Sense of Fraction Computation
July 31, Aug. 1 & 2, 2019
8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

See GWAEA Professional Learning to register. 

Grant Wood AEA Summer Math 2019


Category: The Linker Math