KCOE CaMSP Workshop Links

I spent this week with a group of about 60 teachers at a California Math Science Partnership grant in Kings County. This is our third summer together. In the past I’ve always shared resources through Dropbox and/or Bitly. This year I’ve decided to share links, handouts, and a bit of commentary with a blog post instead.

On to the resources!

Slides, Slides, and More Slides!

The slides for the entire week are here.

Problem Solving

We started each day with 30 minutes of “problem solving” (really just my excuse to share some fun things I’ve discovered or created over the past few months).

Monday: Visual Patterns

Created by @fawnpnguyen

My landscape version of the student handout is here.
My old (two-column, portrait) version of the handout is here.
Here are the slides I use to introduce Visual Patterns to my students (over the course of multiple days) in PDF, Keynote, and PowerPoint.

Tuesday: The Running Game

This is a work in progress, but I’m happy with how things are moving along. I’ll probably write a blog post in the next few weeks describing the project. At that point I’ll add a page to the blog with a catalog of all the challenges.

For now you can find the first two challenges here. Look around in the images folder for the solutions.

Wednesday: Estimation 180

Created by @mr_stadel

Scroll down to find the handout. The latest version (including the space for reasoning) should be on Estimation180.com soon. If it’s not, you can get it here.

Update: The latest version of the handout (including space for reasoning) is posted here on Estimation180.com. A post by Andrew Stadel describing how to use the handout is here.

Thursday: Numblurs

Back in May Niko Rowinsky tweaked this game to create an excellent, logic-rich challenge for students. I love it. My students love it, too. How to play is in the full slide deck (and here for those who don’t like hunting for needles in slidestacks).

Friday: Daily Desmos

Created by @dandersod, @j_lanier, and @mjfenton

If you enjoy solving the challenges, consider submitting your own. Details on how to contribute are here. In most cases, creating your own challenge is easier than solving someone else’s!

Tasks and Practice Standards

We spent the mornings looking at various tasks from mathpractices.edc.org and discussing how they aligned to the CCSSM Standards for Mathematical Practice.

Here are the goods (hopefully with appropriate credit given where due):

Grade 3-6 Tasks
Grade 6-8 Tasks
Practice Standards with Commentary (from thinkmath.edc.org)


Teachers had 90 minutes each day after lunch to design units and lessons. I wanted to share some awesome ideas I’ve picked up from the #MTBoS recently, so Monday and Tuesday I gave brief presentations to kick off the planning time.

On Monday I nearly ran out of breath trying to share all of the awesomeness contained in Fawn Nguyen’s blog posts on Deconstructing a Lesson Activity (Part 1 and Part 2). If you haven’t read the full posts… Go. Read. Unless you just don’t care. (In which case, shame on you!)

On Tuesday we looked at Dan Meyer’s Makeover Monday series. Too much awesome to describe. I will say that several of the teachers have really taken the makeover model and run with it. Fun to watch!

Five Practices

I gave a brief presentation each afternoon on the key ideas from Five Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematical Discussions. My talking points and the discussion questions are in the full slide deck.

For those who didn’t win one of the free copies of the book, I highly recommend you pick it up to add some meat to our daily discussions. Drop a line in the comments if you try these ideas out in your classroom. I’d love to hear how things are going.


I’ll just drop some links here and hold off on the commentary.

SBAC Pilot Test (on the Smarter Balanced website)
SBAC Grade 4 Performance Task and Rubric
SBAC Grade 6 Performance Task and Rubric


If you don’t read math blogs, you should. If you don’t know where to start, here are a few ideas.

If you teach elementary math…

If you teach middle school math…

If you teach any kind of math…

This is just the tip of the math blogging iceberg, but it’s a great place to start. Enjoy!


  1. Great week! The running have was the best thing we did this week. It opened my eyes to using I”phones and other measurements to teach the students how to decompose and reconstruct their information.

    Every year I take the 8th grade students on a field trip. The have to choose a destination and then we figure out how much the transportation, tickets, and food costs are for each suggestion they come up with on the board. Then they have to figure out how much fundraising they each have to do in order to reach that goal. It was a lot like yours, but higher student interest. I will know be using a visual on a paper to help me illistrate the trip, just like yours witht he zoo, museum, and aquarium. It was very helpful for me.

    Thanks again.

  2. Chip, thanks for the comment, for a great week in Lemoore, and for the ideas to extend the some of what we did in the workshop. I hope your year gets off to a good start!

  3. Thanks so much, Michael, for all the shout-outs here. Elementary teachers are asking me for resources too, so I’m glad you have Moebius Noodles already. (I found it not long ago, great stuff.)

    Keep up the great work!!

  4. Fawn, thanks for sharing what goes on in your classroom so other teachers have an opportunity to borrow and imitate what resonates with them. Your two “deconstructing” posts in particular were inspiring and encouraging to me (and I’m loving Five Practices so far).

    The teachers in the workshop really enjoyed working with Visual Patterns. If you’re still taking guest posts, I hope to have a few more for you in the coming weeks.

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