Experience-First Mathematics Workshop

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Join a professional learning community of mathematics teachers interested in incorporating inquiry-based or problem-based learning (IBL/PBL) in their high school or middle school classrooms. 

The Experience-First Mathematics (EFM) Workshop is brought to you by The Blake School and the University of Minnesota’s School of Mathematics Center for Educational Programs.  The methodology of EFM is firmly rooted in the research that inspired NCTM’s Principles to Actions and the Common Core State Mathematical Practice Standards. This research also shows that EFM can help ALL students learn mathematics as it truly is, not just skills to be memorized but a way of thinking and approaching complex problems. The Blake School Mathematics Department has spent the past seven years developing a variety of student-centered instructional approaches and assessment techniques for our classes from pre-algebra through calculus and statistics.

The details
The first Experience First Mathematics Workshop will be held in the summer of 2017. We are currently in the process of seeking funding for this project.

Gain a deeper understanding of the benefits of Experience-First Mathematics
Like any quality professional development, we endeavor to practice what we preach. Each morning, the teacher participants will experience problem-based learning first hand in Calculus, Statistics, Geometry, or Algebra, taught by local high school instructors. These sessions will also include discussions of student-centered, experience-first instructional techniques used in their high school classes. A description of each of the four courses is provided on the back of this flyer.

Learn from local teachers’ experiences in using student-centered methodology
We will start and end each day with brief presentations (in the style of TED talks) providing exemplars and guidance in implementing Experience-First Mathematics in your classroom:

  • The varied approaches and necessary philosophy for EFM.
  • Assessments that match the philosophy of EFM.
    • Spiral formative assessments
    • Deeper tests with fewer problems
  • Strategies for implementation of EFM with regards to administration, parents, and colleagues.
  • The everyday challenges and benefits of EFM.


Develop curricula for use in your classroom
In the afternoons, all teachers in attendance (both teacher-participants and the teacher-teachers) will work collaboratively to develop or modify experience-first lessons to be used in their own classrooms. It is an opportunity to work with your colleagues from your own school as well as teachers from other schools. For this reason we encourage you to come in pairs or small groups from a school or district. Experimentation with a new instructional style is far easier as a team.


One thought on “Experience-First Mathematics Workshop

  1. I am interested in learning more about the IBL/PBL problem workshop.

    Can you please give me more details? What are the hours for each day for the summer PD? What is the cost?

    Any more information would be helpful.

    Thank you.

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