## Focus on Algebra

This series of teacher workshops focuses on the content of first year algebra. In these workshops, teachers study a purposeful sequence of multiple-entry algebra tasks including *algebra Problem Strings, truly problematic situations*, and *math congresses*. The study includes analyzing video of teachers and students, which facilitates a deep understanding of the math content, student strategies, and high-leverage teacher moves. Teachers study and discuss:

- What does it mean to sequence tasks, with development along a landscape of learning? How do you lead into and out of tasks?
- What are high leverage teacher moves that teachers can implement to facilitate construction, structuring, and mathematizing?
- What are
*algebra Problem Strings*, *truly problematic situations*, and *math congresses*? Where do they fit in a purposeful curriculum? How do teachers plan and facilitate these lesson formats?
- How can student-generated strategies drive development? How can teachers model student thinking? How does this modeling support efficiency and sophistication of strategies?

Each workshop is 3 days for teachers, 4 days if the workshop is geared toward trainers. Materials include handouts and electronic files with teacher notes, resource files, and video clips of teachers and students at work.

### Focus on Algebra: Linear Functions

This workshop is a study of **linear functions** in 8th grade and algebra 1.

The workshop takes a function-based approach. We examine a series of thirteen purposefully sequenced algebra tasks with an eye toward understanding the linear content standards, examining teacher pedagogy, and incorporating mathematical habits of mind.

The tasks include *truly problematic situations*, *math congresses*, and *algebra Problem Strings*. This is **not** just a bunch of nice activities. Rather, teachers study the progression of tasks – how to engage students in a multiple-entry task that leads into the next multiple entry-task that leads into the next multiple-entry task….

Watch Abby, our fabulous algebra teacher, who was crazy enough to let us video her in real classes with students. They perform multiple-entry tasks and use technology in a powerful way. We codify several high-leverage teacher moves that help students construct mathematical relationships.

Materials include handouts and electronic files with teacher notes, resource files, and video clips of teachers and students at work. There is a fourth day for trainers and facilitators that focuses on how to turn the workshop around.

**This workshop is appropriate for teachers of grade 8 and algebra 1.**

In the workshop, teachers analyze video of real teachers and their students performing these multiple-entry tasks, and we codify several high-leverage teacher moves that help students construct mathematical relationships. We also study the appropriate and powerful use of technology.

Materials include handouts and electronic files with teacher notes, resource files, and video clips of teachers and students at work. There is a fourth day for trainers and facilitators that focuses on how to turn the workshop around.

**This workshop is appropriate for teachers of algebra 1 and algebra II.**

### Focus on Algebra: Exponential Functions

This workshop looks at geometric sequences, exponent behavior in equations, and exponential functions. We use Problem Strings to construct the meaning of exponential notation and parameters affect exponential growth. We also study truly problematic situations of reproducing rabbits and virus’ population growth to learn about exponential functions.

With purposeful tasks and proper sequencing of those tasks, there is very little content that needs to be a direct teach. How different that is from our traditional “let me tell you the exponent rules and you memorize them” activities! These tasks and their sequence foster a deep conceptual understanding of sequences, exponential behavior, and how parameters affect their behavior.

Materials include handouts and electronic files with teacher notes, resource files, and video clips of teachers and students at work. There is a fourth day for trainers and facilitators that focuses on how to turn the workshop around.

**This workshop is appropriate for teachers of algebra 1.**