Developing & Assessing Mathematics Understandings

Participants in the 9-day Geometry & Proportional Reasoning content course investigate properties of two- and three-dimensional shapes, and measurement and scaling concepts related to those shapes. MEC courses are based on the premise that in order to teach powerful mathematics, all teachers must be well prepared in mathematics with the capacity to make instructional decisions. As educators deepen content understanding within MEC’s K-20 course structure, teachers develop an understanding of the trajectory of learning across the grade that supports instructional decision-making.
Participants develop and/or mathematical understandings of a range of mathematical ideas, including:

    • properties of shapes
    • relationships between shapes
    • scale and scale factor
    • ratio & proportional reasoning
    • relationships between perimeter, area, surface area and volume
    • what constitutes a mathematically convincing argument
    • the role and importance of clear communication using proper mathematical language and notation.
Practices modeled in this nine-day course prepare educators to reshape their own classroom practices in ways that improve teaching and student learning. Participants observe and interact with course instructors as they use productive questions to probe and stimulate mathematics thinking. They reflect on the process and discuss how to implement these approaches with their own students.
Participants consider how to effectively implement strategies modeled in the course, including:

  • mathematics inquiry
  • differentiation and appropriate interventions
  • probing student thinking with productive questioning
  • building on student thinking and interactions with peers and teacher
  • creating an optimal learning environment based on the nature of learning
  • effective formative and summative assessment of mathematical understanding that enhances student learning and performance.

Teachers, mathematics leaders, math coaches/mentors and university and college faculty