Dynamic Discussions

On this page, you’ll find resources from the Dynamic Discussions series of online discussions hosted by WI-AMTE.

January 8, 2020: Flipped Classrooms: What Can We Learn?

Here is the video of our discussion: Flipped Classrooms: What Can We Learn?

Here is the links to the two power points: Main powerpoint and Calculus Flipped Classroom.

December 11, 2019:  The State of Mathematics Teaching: What Does The Future Hold?

Here is the video from our December discussion: The State of Mathematics Teaching: What Does The Future Hold?

November 13, 2019: Rethinking the K-12 Math Curriculum in World Requiring Data Fluency

Here is the video from our dynamic discussion: Data Fluency Video

The podcast our discussion built off of can be found at: America’s Math Curriculum Doesn’t Add Up.

October 9, 2019: Fractions

Thanks to everyone who could join use on Wednesday.  The video of the session can be found at: Dynamic Discussion: Fraction Video.

Lynn Schaal shared each of the following as resources to use when teaching fractions: Beyond Pizza and Pies Activity 1, Beyond Pizza and Pies Activity 2, Beyond Pizza and Pies Unequal Fraction Task, Fractions on a Number Line, and Pattern Block Activity.

May 21, 2019 A Celebration of Learning: Great  Tasks

Thanks everyone who attended our session last Tuesday.  The video for the session can be found at: Dynamic Discussion 5 Video.

The tasks that were shared:

Jenny Sagrillo (UW Milwaukee) shared the scooter task (a modification of the classic cell phone problem that can lead to some mathematical modeling) and the Wet Box Task (an open ended task using geometric measurement).

Lynn Schaal (New London Public Schools) brought us the Juice Box Packaging Task (geometric measurement) and Robot Races (rates of change).

Crystal Vesperman (La Crosse Public Schools) showed how she uses Main Street USA.

April 26, 2019 Discourse in Classroom

Thanks for every one who attend the session.  Here is the video from the session: Dynamic Discussion: Discourse.  Here are the power points slides:Dynamic Discussion 4: Discourse.

During the session, we examined whole class and small group discourse and the ways that both can be facilitated.  We examined this small group interaction video noting the teacher moves (drop-ins, listening for key vocabulary, giving useful hints without giving aware answers) and also discussing how to work with quiet students who might have big ideas.

We then transitioned into facilitating productive whole class discussion by discussing  Michael Steele’s (UW Milwaukee) article. The transcripts for this article are at: Transcript 1 and Transcript 2 (with teacher moves)

March 19, 2019: Formative Assessment

Thanks everyone who attended.  We examined a number of different areas of formative assessment:


Kaelynn Disch (UWL Preservice Teacher) and Rachel Tippery (UWL Preservice Teacher) presented a pair of formative assessment they did in their placements.  Kaelynn probed student’s understanding of GCF.  Rachel examined student’s understanding of solving inequalities by doing an error analysis.  Both teachers used sentence starters to help students focus on academic vocabulary.

Exit Slip-GCF and LCM (Disch)

Error Analysis of Solving Linear Inequalities (Tippery)

Ken Schelper shared videos he has students do to explain their understanding of big ideas.  People wondered about the time length needed to evaluate these and offered suggestions suggestions such as putting a time limit on the videos or having students work in groups:

Fraction Operation Problem 1

Fraction Operation Problem 2

Piecewise Function Problem


Michael Steele (UW Milwaukee) led a discussion about using formative assessment throughout a lesson – not just at the beginning or end.  He suggested using them at every transition (whole class to small group, small group to individual) to determine if students have reached desired understanding.  He suggested using One Note as a method of recording student progress to make this determination.  Here is an example:

Lori Williams (Manitowoc Public Schools) brought up the idea of a hinge question.  The hinge question is used to gauge the impact of a lesson. Next steps, planning and instruction-wise “hinge” on responses to this question. The hinge question typically occurs near the end of the lesson or at a “hinge point” within the lesson. As noted, the hinge question is that “deal-breaker question” for any lesson, since success of any given lesson hinges on the responses to the question. Responses indicate whether a teacher can move from one important idea or concept to the next. As such, a hinge question impacts both planning and instruction. Here are a few guidelines to consider when developing hinge questions:

·        Design hinge questions that elicit the right response for the right reason.

·        When using multiple-choice hinge questions, incorrect responses should be interpretable.

·        It should take about 2 minutes to ask the hinge question and consider student responses.

For more information, here are a pair of videos:

10 Hinge Point Questions

Dylan William Hinge Questions


Assessing Student Performance (Wiggins)

The Formative 5: Everyday Assessment Techniques For Everyday Math Classroom (Fennell et al.)

Mathematics Formative Assessment: Volume 1 and Volume 2 (Keeley and Tobey)

February 19, 2019: Differentiation, Intervention, and Remediation

Thanks to every one who attended tonight.  The slides used during the presentation are here: Dynamic Discussion: Differentiation/Intervention/Remediation Slides from Session 2.  Here is the link from the video of the session Video of Session 2.

Remember that differentiation, intervention, and remediation is really about being able to reach each and every one of our mathematics learners. Some resources we find helpful in thinking about that:

Designing Shifts-Aligned Interventions in the Math Classroom

Addressing Unfinished Learning in the Context of Grade-Level Work

Intervention v. Remediation: What’s the Difference?

Here are the links to the texts that were discussed during the discussion:

Battista: Cognition Based Assessment & Teaching

Integrating Differentiated Instruction and Understanding by Design: Connecting Content and Kids

Here is the differentiated student work that Lynn Schaal (New London) presented: Differentiated Student Work

Next time, we’ll get into issues of how we figure out who needs tailored supports for learning by looking at formative assessment.  Here is a preview of this from some work by Lori Williams (President of WMC): Trigonometric Formative Assessment

January 15, 2019: Problem Solving

Thanks to every one who attended our first session.  The slides used during the presentation are here: Dynamic-Discussions-of-Math-Problem-Solving.   The video of the sessions is found  at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxUMq7Cw2Zc&feature=youtu.be

One of the most significant challenges in engaging students in problem solving is finding worthwhile group-worthy tasks of high cognitive demand.  We’ve included a few of those tasks here that are featured in our conversation, and a set of links to additional resources that feature high cognitive demand mathematical tasks at a variety of levels.

Robot Races (Source: Illustrative Mathematics) RP S8.1 Robot Races

Cruise Ship Task (good for middle school/high school Algebra topics) Cruise Ship Task

Gardening Together (Grade 4/5) Gardening Together

Ruby the Mouse (Grade 2) Ruby the Mouse 

Algebra Linear and NonLinear Task (Grade 7-10) Algebra Linear and Nonlinear Task

Equal Shares Task (Grade 1) Equal Shares Task Grade 1

Division Task (Grade 5)  Division Task

Adding Fractions Task (Grade 4-6) Adding Fractions

Function Sort Task (Grade 7-10 Algebra) Function Sort Task  Function Sort Cards

Juice Box Packaging Task (Grade 6-7, Surface Area Volume) Juice Box Packaging

Measuring Mania Task (Grade 4) Measuring Mania

Spider Pythagorean Theorem Task (Grade 8-10) Spider Pythagorean Theorem Task

    Online Sources for Rich Tasks