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Following Up with Tennessee Math Teachers

This school year Tennessee K-12 math teachers are taking time out of their weekends gain new resources and reflect on their practice at professional developments led by the Math Counts team.  These professional development opportunities are a follow-up to intensive summer institutes.

At the PD session, the morning objective was to have teachers reflect of their classroom practice.  Teachers shared in groups and with everyone about changes in their classroom, challenges and successes, and activities they had used from previous Math Counts sessions.  Teachers were also asked to bring in three samples of student work from a Math Counts activity they’d tried out in class.  This student work sparked discussion amongst the teachers who shared what activity they were doing in class, what the students were doing/learning, and what they learned from doing the activity. 

The afternoon objective was to share resources (including ways to modify the resources) and focus on classroom discourse and questioning.  Teachers learned about and shared their experience with Number Talks, focusing on teacher moves and what students are doing during a Number Talk.  Teachers also exposed to web resources like NCTM’s Figure This, Open-Middle (, and 101 Questions (, where our discussion focused on how we might modify resources to fit the teachers’ classroom, questions and lessons the resources prompt, and how students might interact with new resources being used in the classroom.  Finally, teachers engaged in an activity that aims to support group work and classroom discourse by creating a Mobius Strip.

Additional follow-up sessions for this Spring are titled “Lessons and Lattes” and will occur after-school from 4-7 on select days.  This will provide another opportunity for teachers to connect with other teachers and reflect on their practice, while also gaining new resources (and lattes!).

The PD session was led by Ashley Walther and Michael Lawson (TPTE graduate students), and designed and coordinated by CEEMS Director Lynn Hodge and our partners in Campbell County (TN) Schools.  Financial support for this PD comes through MSP and TDOE grants awarded to Lynn Hodge and Gale Stanley, a retired Campbell County science teacher and former president of the Tennessee Science Teacher’s Association.