Herman Academy Professional Development


GECDSB Professional Learning Sessions

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Wednesday May 24th, 2017 – School Based Learning (SBL) Day

Great learning with the Herman Academy staff today! Please find some resources below:

The GECDSB Mathematics Strategy

GECDSB Math Strategy


Mathematical Proficiencies

The full GECDSB Mathematics Vision is here.

GECDSB Mathematical Proficiencies


Warm-Up: How Do You See the Dots?

We did a quick Dot-Card warm-up asking you to visualize how you saw a series of dots on the screen. We went around the table and it seemed that everyone had a different perspective.

Jo Boaler Dot Card Warm-Up

Here’s some of the ways you might have visualized the dots:


Paying Attention to Spatial Reasoning

We explored some quotes from the Paying Attention to Spatial Reasoning document. Download it in PDF form below:

Paying Attention to Spatial Reasoning Document


We then explored a task called “The Airplane Problem” to introduce the idea of arrays and multiplication:

Airplane Problem – Trip to Toronto [3 Act Math Task]

How many seats are there?



Airplane Task - Trip to Toronto - From Subitizing and Unitizing to Multiplication and Algebra

From Subitizing and Unitizing to Multiplicative and Algebraic Thinking This 3 act math task was designed specifically to have a very low floor in order to be useful from primary grades and a high ceiling with an opportunity for many extensions so the task can be used in junior and intermediate classrooms. While I believe this task can touch on many different specific expectations at man...


Summary & Resources


What Do You Notice and Wonder?

We explored this image:

Prime Climb - Showing Numbers 1 to 20

After taking some time to notice and wonder in your groups, participants shared out what they noticed and wondered. Quite a bit of excitement filled the room.

We then let you see this image:

Prime Climb - Numbers 1 to 60

These images are from Daniel Finkel’s Prime Climb game from his website, LoveforMath.com.

Math4Success offers some blog posts [here, here and here] involving ways that you might consider using these images in your classroom.


Daniel Finkel’s TED Talk: Five Principles of Extraordinary Math Teaching

We watched Daniel Finkel’s TED Talk:

Tiny Polka Dots

We then shared Daniel Finkel‘s game, Tiny Polka Dots. We made some connections between the counting and quantity principles and the different card decks in this game. Visit the site to buy the game from Amazon or purchase the $5 downloadable PDFs.

Tiny Polka Dots - Math Game - Daniel Finkel


Rich & Open Tasks

Teams had an opportunity to discuss the tasks they brought to the table in an attempt to have an open discussion around how one might make the task more rich by using visuals, making it more open, or using some of the other “look-fors” explored during the session.

We then heard from mathematics education leaders Jo Boaler and Marian Small about their thoughts on open tasks and making tasks rich:


I had a blast learning with the entire Herman Academy staff today! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if I can be of any help!

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