K-8 Mathematics Professional Development Opportunities

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Tel: 608/890-3091
Fax: 608/265-4309

Email: outreachinfo@education.wisc.edu
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K-8 Mathematics ​Certificate

UW-Madison's ​school of Education
Education Outreach and Partnerships​

Geometry and Measurement
​Spring 2018

Enrollment closed

Interested in future offerings?
Contact: Gwyneth Hughes at ghughes2@wisc.edu

This blended format course examines key concepts of geometry and measurement through modeling and justification. Key topics include:

  • Geometry consists of the interrelated activities of classifying, defining, justifying and constructing.
  • Measurement formulas ​connect to geometric objects.
  • Visualization is a key element of developing geometric reasoning. 
  • Develop central concepts of data analysis within measurement activities.

Location 1: Oregon School District Office - 123 E Grove St, Oregon, WI. (4:30-8)

Feb. 1 & 22
Mar. 8 & 22
Apr. 12 & May 3

Location 2: Trevor Wilmot School - 26325 Wilmot Road, Trevor, WI. ((4:00-7:30)

Jan. 23,   Feb. 13 & 27
Mar. 13,  Apr. 10 & 24


This certificate program gives educators the opportunity to deepen their own mathematical knowledge in a setting that models student-centered pedagogy. The K-8 structure of these courses encourages cross-grade-level discussion around content and pedagogy. Activities and assignments will frequently be differentiated in order to accommodate the wide variety of math experience of participants. The two-year program is divided as follows:

  • Year 1
    Participants engage in a series of ​two ​semester-long courses that emphasize different elements of mathematical content and pedagogy (see below for details). ​Courses are offered in a blended online/in-person structure to accommodate the busy schedule of practicing educators. For example, a ​course might consist of six in-person evening meetings over a semester, interspersed with online assignments.  

·       Course ​1Number, Proportion, and Algebra (non-credit or 3 credits)

·       Course 2Geometry and Measurement (non-credit or 3 credits)

(Courses 1 & 2 can be taken as standalone professional development outside the certificate).

  • Year 2
    Participants conduct a year-long action research study in their own school, incorporating ideas from the year 1 ​courses. Participants will be guided and supported in this process through both in-person meetings and online activities, culminating in a research presentation in June of the following year.

·       Course 3 = ​Action Research (non-credit or 3 credits)

Who should ​do this program?

  • K-8 teachers looking for support in developing the mathematical thinking of students.
  • K-8 teachers interested in becoming elementary math leaders or coaches.
  • Coaches who want to support teachers in developing students’ mathematical thinking.


Dr. Gwyneth Hughes works in the Education Outreach and Partnerships Office at UW Madison. She has been providing mathematics professional development in-person and online to K-12 teachers for the past seven years. Her background includes teaching high school math and a PhD in Geoscience.
Contact: ghughes2@wisc.edu.


Non-Credit Option: $550 per course ($1,650 for K-8 Certificate)

Academic Credit Option: $700 per course ($2,100 for K-8 Certificate)

Credit details
- Each course is 3 UW Madison special student credits
- Those taking credits will need to register as special students, enroll through UW, and will have a final project write-up in addition to the regular course content.
- Participants may choose to do a combination of credit and non-credit coursework.
- Generous alumni scholarship support allows us to offer course credit for a significantly reduced rate.


How long will each course take?
Each content course in Year 1 consists of six 3.5 hour meetings and has ​ten 2-3 hour online sessions. ​The two content courses course are thus expected to take about ​45 total hours each.

Year 2 consists of a single course that extends over the year. Participants meet in-person once each month (nine times) for 3 hours. In between meetings participants engage in research, reflection, and online discussion relevant to their practice as part of the Action Research model

Do I have to do the whole certificate?
No. The two content courses can each be taken as standalone professional development, for credit or non-credit. 

Can I do a mix of credit and non-credit options in the certificate?
Yes! You decide course-by-course whether you'd like to do credit or non-credit.

Feedback from previous participants:
" I've been so very impressed of how you actually teach us the way we've been encouraged to teach others - a mix of lecture, listening, exploring, practicing, modeling, working alone or in partners - sharing and discussing.  That, in itself, has been wonderful!"

"It is really fascinating to look at what we are each teaching with a wider view.  When we get so caught up in our own grade level and what kids are/are not able to do, it can be frustrating and limiting.  When we begin to look beyond in both directions, it can help us see how to support those who struggle and stretch those who are ready to move on."  

Additional Questions?
Contact Gwyneth Hughes in Education Outreach and Partnerships: ghughes2@wisc.edu
or at 608-263-3516.

Flyers for Download
Description of the K-8 Certificate          
​Course Details

Course 1 (Fall): Number, Proportion, and Algebra 
Participants explore properties of numbers and operations – from whole numbers through fractions, decimals and integers – focusing on iterating and partitioning as key concepts. To build coherence across K-8 (and beyond) we examine how both proportional reasoning and algebraic thinking develop across K-8. We connect children’s informal strategies, representations, and models to more formal concepts and procedures and analyze these concepts within the Common Core State Standards, progression documents, and curricula

Participants complete two mini-projects connected to their classroom practice.
- Design, implement, and reflect on a number (or algebra) talk.
- Evaluate and modify a lesson around a number, proportion, or algebra topic to include course “big ideas.”

Course 2 (Spring): Measurement, Geometry, and Data
This course is intended to build deep geometric understanding, examining how concepts connect across grade levels and support the mathematical practices. We will investigate how visualization can be used to develop measurement concepts and formulas, and how those ideas connect to number sense and algebraic thinking. We will see geometry as an opportunity for reasoning and justification at all grade levels. Finally, we examine ways to connect data analysis to geometric topics in order to coherently incorporate statistics concepts into K-8 mathematics. 

Participants complete two mini-projects connected to their classroom practice.
- Create and implement a formative assessment to analyze student thinking.
- Design, implement, and reflect on a differentiated classroom activity.

Course 3 (Yearlong): Mathematics Action Research
This yearlong course empowers teachers to implement concepts from Year 1 in their classrooms and reflect with colleagues on what they are seeing. Course readings and activities support participants in researching their classrooms and in continuing to expand their own mathematical knowledge for teaching.

Participants determine a question meaningful to their own math classroom context and then collect, share, and analyze data around that question. Data can take a variety of forms including: classroom vignettes, journaling, interviews, and student work. Research questions and data sources may change over the year as needed. This course is meant to be useful to you, so there is flexibility in what you focus on and how you choose to collect data. Participants informally share findings in June at the Action Research Meeting at UW Madison.

Examples of past action research projects include…

  • How does conferencing with students affect their ability to set and meet goals?
  • How does asking students to bring counting collections from home affect student engagement in classroom mathematics?
  • How does a daily math exit ticket affect my ability to respond to student needs, in terms of differentiation and remediation?

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