Nurturing Powerful Problem Solvers
The authors of Powerful Problem Solving are leading this new professional development course, making use of Powerful Problem Solving and the companion website, http://mathforum.org/pps/, and its growing collection of classroom videos, student handouts, and resources. Each week will include reading a chapter, watching selected video clips and/or looking at student work, and tasks or projects using the skills from that chapter. This is the second course in a two-course sequence, the first course being Developing Powerful Problem Solvers.
Download syllabus [PDF].
This moderated course will be led by Max Ray, the main author of Powerful Problem Solving, with Suzanne Alejandre, Annie Fetter, Valerie Klein and Steve Weimar. It will take place online using Blackboard. The only technical requirements are a web browser and Internet access.
Who: teachers of grades 3-8
Participation requires separate purchase of the book, Powerful Problem Solving available from Heinemann or Amazon.com.
April 23 - June 4, 2015
Registration closes at 5 pm EDT on Thursday, April 23, 2015. There will be approximately 20 hours of seat-work involved in this course.
Credit: All individuals who successfully complete the course will receive a certificate indicating that they have completed 20 hours of professional development. This is equivalent to 2.0 Continuing Education Units (CEUs).
- Week 7: Organizing
- read Chapter 7
- look at multiple examples of student work
- collect different ways of organizing work from your students OR
- make a plan for how you would sequence and facilitate a sharing-out of sample student work
- Week 8: Abstracting
- read Chapter 8
- discuss the "Frog Farming" vignette
- make a video or recording of you helping students with a problem and reflect on when you helped students be more concrete and when you helped them be more abstract OR
- solve a Math Forum PoW and create a description of how you moved between concrete and abstract thinking
- Week 9: Structure
- read Chapter 9
- solve multiple Math Forum PoWs and work with colleagues from the course or your own school to determine what makes the problems similar, what problem-solving strategies or tools would help make these problems easier to solve, and how you could use this sequence of problems to introduce students to a new strategy or tool
- Week 10: The Problem-Solving Process
- read Chapter 10
- watch video of students engaged in problem solving OR
- make a video of your own students engaged in problem solving
- identify the phases of problem solving students go through
- compare novice and expert problem solving processes
- Week 11: Conclusion
- read Chapter 11
- share a reflection on your own learning
- make plans for continuing the conversation
- Week 12: Surveys & sharing final videos
- take a short survey about the course
- share a video or product you created during the course with colleagues
Please email me with any questions.
Max Ray, Professional Collaboration Facilitator