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Workshop Library

PD from MC

This is our library of 'off the shelf' workshops; tried and true sessions that have been well received wherever they have been used. They might be just right for what you want to achieve, but if not, then we would love to work with you to tailor a program to achieve your objectives.

... 6 Day Courses

... 1 Day Courses

One day courses are complete in themselves, but they can also be built into sequences that offer a richer professional learning experience over time. We can build a course to suit your needs by integrating elements from any of the courses below.

All courses focus on developing happy, healthy, cheerful, productive, inspiring classrooms in which all students are learning work to like a mathematician. This twin objective is illustrated with different stories and activities in each course.

To discuss any of these courses further, use the Contacts link above.

Six Day Courses

Experience and research suggest that it takes 5 to 6 days of professional development, held over time with the same group of teachers, to bring about significant, sustained changes in teaching practice. Our six day programs focus on:
  • refreshing and extending teaching craft to interest more students more often in mathematics
  • reviewing mathematics content from the view point that all students can learn to work like a mathematician (Working Mathematically)

Our 'off the shelf' course are:

Engineering 'aha' Moments in Number Years K-8
(Primary - Number focus)
Engineering 'aha' Moments in Algebra Years 5-10
(Secondary - Algebra focus)

These courses have also been tailored into a Years 4 - 9 course titled

  • Working Like a Mathematician in Number & Algebra
and a Years K - 6 course titled
  • Working Like a Mathematician in Number & Pattern
Please discuss these options, or other variations that might be more appropriate to your need.
 

Teacher Reflections

  • My practice has changed immensely! ... My low level students are now loving maths because they can get involved and can achieve! And my high flyers remain engaged because they can take the activity as far as they want to! ... I have changed my practice because it works!

  • My teaching practice has changed in a number of ways. I use better questioning techniques and encourage students to persist for longer to find alternative solutions. ... My classroom is now much more collaborative. The richer tasks provide more opportunities for discussion and joint problem solving. ... I feel genuinely confident that I am covering the requirements of Australian Curriculum Proficiency Standards naturally with WLAM activities without being forced.

  • I'm now more aware that I need to speak less and let the children make discoveries more. ... The children's level of engagement is higher, language development is stronger, greater risk taking by more tentative kiddies, natural evolution of peer tutoring.

  • The best evidence I have of change is my enjoyment of teaching maths and also my students response to maths lessons. They are all keen to participate and love maths lessons.

Engineering 'aha' Moments in Number Years K-8

Purpose
To invite and resource teachers to reconsider teaching practice as a means of improving mathematics learning for students. The focus is primary students and teachers, but early secondary teachers with a special interest in students who are having difficulty with mathematics will find the course valuable.

Detail
If you have ever seen a student's eyes sparkle as they 'get it', then you know what an 'aha' moment is. This series of workshops is about engineering the classroom environment to increase the likelihood of those moments occurring. More 'aha' moments in maths for more students; and consequently more job satisfaction for their teacher.

If you like the prospect of those outcomes and are willing to explore a shift in teaching craft, then this series of workshops will help you achieve them. The course is rich with practical activities and hand-on resources that you are expected to take away and trial between each set of two day sessions.

Our main thrust will be in the number and computation areas and using simple calculators will be an integral part of the experience. We will draw from Calculating Changes, the Mathematics Task Centre and Maths300 for ideas, activities, resources and unit plans. Our work will be guided by the attitude that all students can learn to work like a mathematician in happy, healthy, cheerful, productive, inspiring classrooms.

Days 1 & 2
Background
Number Bonds & Tables
Place Value
Fractions & Challenges
Days 3 & 4
Refresh, Report & Multiply
Investigating Tasks
Tasks & Poly Plug
Task Based Units
Days 5 & 6
Refresh, Report, Reflect
Engineering More Moments
Building More Structures
Leading The Way
These sessions are integrated and interdependent. The local planning team will be supplied with PDF files from which to prepare a printing bundle to support the sessions.
    School Commitment
  1. In-house support to allow at least two teachers to attend all six days.
  2. Commitment from the teachers to trial classroom material between sessions and report at the next meeting.
  3. Completion of a detailed evaluation survey about one month after the final program in the series.
Service Fee
$1375 per day plus travel, accommodation, meals and transfers as necessary.

Support Resources
Minimum investment per school is:

  1. 10 Poly Plug
  2. 10 MathMaster calculators (optional)
  3. 10 problem solving tasks
  4. 1 x membership of Calculating Changes web site
However, items 1 - 3 could be supplied for each teacher, which results in useful class sets in each trial school and therefore every opportunity to enact ideas learned in the sessions. Pricing depends on your choices.

Testimony

  1. When this course was run in Western Australia for the Association of Independent Schools, AISWA was so impressed with the teachers curriculum shift that Derek Hurrell, Education Consultant-Numeracy, organised additional funding to publish a CD to honour their work. It offers remarkable insight into what was achieved. A copy can be made available to system or sector leaders interested in mounting this course.
  2. When the course was run for the Riverland Region, South Australia, Brian Featherston, District Director wrote, following only four of the six days:
    We believe that the work being done so far has been beyond our expectations.
  3. Read reports from two teachers involved in the Riverland presentation - Nic Dale and Cherie Cooper.

Green Line

Engineering 'aha' Moments in Algebra Years 5-10

Purpose
To invite and resource teachers to reconsider teaching practice as a means of improving mathematics learning for students. The focus is secondary students and teachers, but some primary teachers with a special interest in extending students in mathematics will find the course valuable.

Detail
Algebra does make sense and is accessible to all students. This series of workshops is about engineering the classroom environment so that 'kids get it' - the 'aha' moments.

If you like the prospect of engaging students in algebra, and more broadly in mathematics, in mixed ability, inclusive classrooms and are willing to explore a shift in teaching craft to achieve this, then these workshops will support you. The course is rich with practical activities and hand-on resources that you are expected to take away and trial between each set of two day sessions.

Our main thrust will be in pattern and algebra and using materials will be an integral part of the experience. There will be opportunity throughout to make use of the features of spreadsheets and your graphic calculator. We will draw from the Mathematics Task Centre and Maths300 for ideas, activities, resources and unit plans. Our work will be guided by the attitude that all students can learn to work like a mathematician in happy, healthy, cheerful, productive, inspiring classrooms.

Days 1 & 2
Background
Algebra Makes Sense
- Patterns & Generalisation
- Substitution & Solution
- Pairs & Pictures
- Positive & Negative
Rectangle Algebra
Connected Learning
Days 3 & 4
Refresh & Report
Investigating Tasks
- 3 Lives of a Task
Task Based Unit Plans
- Modelling, Invitation, Skill Practice
- Replacement Unit & other Structures
Research Support
Student Publishing
Assessment Opportunities
Mathematics Makes Sense
Days 5 & 6
Refresh & Report
More on Unit Plans & Structures
A Working Mathematically Curriculum
Algebra Surprises
Leading The Way
These sessions are integrated and interdependent. The local planning team will be supplied with PDF files from which to prepare a printing bundle to support the sessions.
    School Commitment
  1. In-house support to allow at least two teachers to attend all six days.
  2. Commitment from the teachers to trial classroom material between sessions and report at the next meeting.
  3. Completion of a detailed evaluation survey about one month after the final program in the series.
Service Fee
$1375 per day plus travel, accommodation, meals and transfers as necessary.

Support Resources
Minimum investment per school is either:

  1. 15 Poly Plug
  2. 20 problem solving tasks
  3. 1 x membership of Maths300 web site
or:
  1. 10 Poly Plug
  2. Maths With Attitude Pattern & Algebra Years 7/8
  3. 1 x membership of Maths300 web site
Many schools have some or all of these resources, so it may only be necessary to 'top up' to the minimum number required. Pricing depends on your choices.

Testimony

  1. The verbal feedback that I have received from our school has been fantastic.
    Stephen Daly, Assistant Principal Mt. Eliza Secondary College, who organised this course for a cluster of 3 schools.
  2. Participants in the Mornington Peninsula ASISTM Cluster constructed the following group negotiated text in response to a challenge to list, in order, the five most important outcomes of the 6 day course:
    1. Enhanced the enthusiasm for and enjoyment of teaching mathematics in a fun and interesting environment.
    2. Experienced a better way for students to learn - working like a mathematician.
    3. Changed the way I conduct my classes - alternative ideas and directions.
    4. Enhanced learning of teachers with the tools and resources of Maths300 and Maths With Attitude.
    5. Provided opportunity to share ideas and work with others in the same direction to extend and plan units of work.
    You can see more of their evaluation here. It is part of an extensive article from this group entitled Engineering 'aha' Moments in Algebra which contains many examples of the influences the course had on their students.

Green Line

One Day Courses

The sessions described below are one full day. Each session is a practical, hands-on workshop style that is firmly grounded in classroom practice and educational research. For most sessions the use of web-based information and software is an integrated feature.
  • Courses can stand alone, or be mixed and matched to create a professional development program which supports curriculum shift over time.
  • At the macro level, PD from MC works well in co-operation with systems - cluster/ district/ sector/ state. Several models have been used. We welcome discussion of this possibility.
  • At the micro level, sessions can be adapted to suit the specific professional development needs of individual schools.
  • Courses are resource dependent. Participation includes provision of appropriate materials to support immediate trialing on return to school. Experience shows that this leads to the courses having even greater impact. Resource cost is between $15 and $20 per person depending on the course chosen.
  • The local planning team will be supplied with PDF files from which to prepare a printing bundle to support chosen sessions.
  • Service fee is $1375 per day plus travel, accommodation, meals and transfers as necessary.
  • Evaluation comments from previous participants are available.
All courses support the continuing development of happy, healthy, cheerful, productive, inspiring classrooms in which all students learn to work like a mathematician.

Titles

Working Mathematically Flagships
Engineering 'aha' Moments in Number
Indigenous Students Working Mathematically
Learning to Work Like a Mathematician
Working Mathematically with Infants

 

Concepts & Skills in Context Unit Plans & Assessment

Green Line

Descriptions

Titles are listed in alphabetic order.

Assessment, Recording & Reporting in Mathematics (K - 10)

If mathematics is to be other than a spectator sport, then students need to be actively engaged in learning - participating in challenges; debating propositions, making and testing hypotheses, constructing concepts, learning and practising skills. Great rhetoric; but if students who are encouraged to work this way are largely assessed in the traditional pencil and paper manner, they will soon learn what we truly value. Inclusive teaching practices need to be supported by a variety of effective and manageable assessment practices. This workshop day begins by exploring a range of interesting and challenging learning experiences. Alternative assessment practices are explored in the context of these shared experiences. Methods of recording the data gathered are also examined. Time is provided to plan a unit which includes experimenting with alternative assessment practices.
Please try to bring a notebook computer.

Engineering 'aha' Moments in Number (K - 6)

This course is the starting point for the six day course above. Explore rich, revisitable activities which depend on using calculators in conjunction with materials. Explore threading them through the curriculum to help students collect and organise their own data about number and construct their own learning. Through video, visit classrooms to see these inclusive practices in action. Learn about web based support through Calculating Changes. Discover that you can influence the learning environment so that students develop a number sense which is enhanced beyond what is thought usual for their age.
Please try to bring a notebook computer.

Fractions in a Fraction of the Time (2 - 10)

Fractions seem to be one of the major points at which students 'fall over' in their mathematics learning. If you have the feeling that what has been done in the past ... and usually done again the next year ... and the next ... simply hasn't worked for many students in this topic, this workshop will help you discover alternatives. Explore different ideas, activities and structures which have helped other teachers make learning fractions a successful experience. Fractions, decimals and percentages will all be involved in this practical, hands-on, problem solving approach that is supported by integrated software.
Please try to bring a notebook computer.

Indigenous Students Working Mathematically (K - 12)

For more than a decade we have been collecting stories of success from teachers of Indigenous students. The common theme in this anthology is Working Mathematically in a context of best teaching practice. The purpose of this workshop is to retell those stories to uplift, resource and encourage participants. These exciting learning experiences have much to offer every teacher. The session involves practical, hands-on investigations supported by photographs or other classroom-based evidence of student work. You will discover the link between the Task Centre logo and Aboriginal people; explore the Task Centre Kit for Aboriginal Students; learn about research evidence showing extensive improvement for Indigenous students; and fill your notebook with ideas to try with your own students.
A notebook computer may be useful.

Learning to Work Like a Mathematician (K - 12)

Numeracy and literacy develop hand-in-hand in a curriculum that focuses on learning to work like a mathematician. The workshop provides evidence for this proposition and explores the development of student confidence, concepts and skills through small group and whole class investigations, some of which use integrated software. This practical, problem solving approach is well suited to mixed ability classrooms. Reflecting a Multiple Intelligences approach, the day is designed to challenge current conceptions, stimulate thought and support the growth of inclusive teaching practices.
Please try to bring a notebook computer.

Multiplication, Meaning & Times Tables (K - 10)

Times tables are close to every teacher's heart - and too often very far from many students' minds! A mathematician needs a full and effective toolbox to solve problems and times tables are one of the most important of those skills. In this full day workshop visit and revisit times tables as we build a 'brain picture' of multiplication and multiplicative thinking through:
  • exploration of a conceptual model
  • times tables practice with a problem solving twist
  • using times tables as a skill to solve problems
Take the drudgery out of times tables and long multiplication, work backwards to explore division, add meaning through hands-on activities, software and purposeful challenge. Achieve skill objectives while engaging higher order thinking. Extend easily into algebraic generalisations and formulas.
Please try to bring a notebook computer.

Nine & Over: Adventures in Place Value (K - 6)

Explore a range of rich, revisitable activities designed to continuously develop Place Value through the curriculum, rather than 'doing it' in a block for two or three weeks. This approach more closely reflects the evolution of the concept of Place Value through mathematical history. It is more akin to the way mathematicians have learned to understand the concept. Hands-on activities and software will be used in ways which may be new to many teachers. Once the concept of place value is refreshed and developed, we will look at problem solving situations which require the application of place value to find solutions.
Please try to bring a notebook computer.

Evaluation: Leopold Primary School

Staff became more aware of the importance of letting the students grow and work like a mathematician and the importance of allowing students to work out problems through developing their own thinking. They could see how versatile the Poly Plugs were in learning maths concepts and were challenged by the different methods of exploring place value.

Staff have been influenced by the range of hands on activities provided on the day that encourage students to think mathematically and the use of calculators to allow students to obtain instant feedback when self-checking their understanding. (They) have trialled Predict A Count and students are responding to this enthusiastically, especially with challenging their own abilities.

We also expanded our mathematical problem solving tool box by adding 3 extra strategies we didn't have from the ones you provided. Staff are digging deeper into Math300 to attain problem solving activities to develop students' thinking.

Triste Anderson, Assistant Principal

Working Like a Mathematician in... (3 - 10)

Four workshop days altogether which draw from the Maths With Attitude kits of the same name. Choose your own content area from:
  • ...Chance & Measurement
  • ...Number & Computation
  • ...Pattern & Algebra
  • ...Space & Logic
  • ...your choice of content area(s)
to fill the gaps in the sentences below.

Mathematicians solve problems ... and the process they use to do so is completely identifiable. As we struggle to create curriculum suitable for the students of today, and the future they might face, teachers are learning to embed content within the Working Mathematically process. In the context of ________ activities, we will identify and apply this process. We will go on to experience teacher-created structured units in ________ which include hands-on problem solving, whole class investigations and integrated software. The workshop will also include research evidence confirming that an integrated approach to Working Mathematically does bring significant improvement in student numeracy and literacy. Participants will have significant time to plan a unit of their own with the help of the workshop resources.
Please try to bring a notebook computer.

Working Mathematically with Infants (K - 2)

It's different, children learn more and teachers love it. Developed by teachers in the Calculating Changes network who have been working for more than a decade engineering their classrooms to enhance children's number sense, Working Mathematically with Infants splices Threaded Activities from Calculating Changes with Investigations adapted from Mathematics Task Centre and Maths300. Threading, which has a Constructivist basis, is a teaching technique using rich, differentiated activities for small amounts of time often. In this course you will explore several of these activities and investigations and examine the planning model teachers have developed to implement them. You will discover the importance placed on mathematical conversation and learning in community - whole class and small groups - as key features of the learning environment. You will also become aware of the Working Mathematically with Infants resource kit, which includes a week by week planner offering one way to prepare sixty WMI weeks across Years K-2.
Please try to bring a notebook computer.

Working Mathematically with Very Little (3 - 10)

Sometimes we think that we must have heaps of equipment and fancy computers to help students learn to work like a mathematician. As valuable as these resources are, the most important component is a teacher who 'lives by' the Working Mathematically process in the preparation, presentation and evaluation of their lessons. This session is a smorgasbord of activities built around pencil and paper and a few simple items like a packs of cards, dice and counters. The teaching model known as a Poster Problem Clinic features in one segment of the day. Best teaching practice is explored and refreshed and participants collect several ideas they can 'use tomorrow'.
Please try to bring a notebook computer.