Teacher Scan / Building Community through Math

With the start of the new school year comes refocusing on our goals and our community. We thought that school would look more “normal”, but teachers and staff are working extra hard to help our students feel like they are part of a community and to focus on the most current math practices.

As part of our Professional development day, teachers met in small groups (some virtually and others in person) to discuss the following questions:


  • What are you already doing to build a community of mathematicians? What experiences are your providing?
    • Some examples of learning already happening are:
      • Math talks
      • Daily math routines and journals
      • Math goals
      • Making math fun by practicing math using games


  • What are you wondering about the connection between community and math?
    • Some examples include:
      • How can we better connect math to nature using the first people’s principles of learning?
      • How can we build connection between math and community for our students who experience anxiety around math concepts?
      • What would it look like to engage families/caregivers in engaging in playful and purposeful math?


  • What would you like to try in your class to strengthen community through math?
    • Some examples include:
      • Using math apps
      • Integrating math and language arts (picture books)
      • Showcasing different ways to solve math problems
      • Using different/new math manipulatives for more hands on learning
      • Integrating games more often in math learning


  • What support do you need to strengthen community through math?
    • Some examples include:
      • Teachers will participate in a math book club
      • Inviting math specialists to help at professional days as well as in the classroom working directly with students and their teacher


Where to next?

  • Identifying resources that will support our goal
  • Booked a guest presenter -  Steffi van Dun – who's focus is in line with our goal
  • Highlight and share strategies at our staff meeting teachers/classes who are incorporating aspects of our goal





Attached photos are examples of using “vertical non-permanent math problem solving” Students are put into groups and then are given a problem to solve together. By having students standing up the teacher is able to see what each group is doing, assist those who may need help and everyone is more involved in the process. By working in “random groups at vertical whiteboards, students are thinking longer, discussing more math and persisting when the tasks were hard” (quote from Peter Liljedahl’s book “Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics”)

Updated: Tuesday, April 12, 2022