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To be sure our students are ready to meet the challenges of the 21st century, classroom teachers have to know how children develop an understanding of the core concepts of mathematics and the essential ideas that are milestones or hurdles in the growth of understanding. Kathy Richardson has identified these stages of learning as Critical Learning Phases™.

It no longer makes sense for teachers to teach their students procedures for solving math problems without meaning and understanding.

Math Perspectives realizes the importance of the professional role of classroom teachers and we know teachers need continued support and professional development to meet the growing challenges of the profession to make sure children have a solid foundation and understanding of the mathematics they need to be successful in upper-level mathematics and have the intellectual advantages each and every student deserves.

We offer a number of institutes, courses and classes for grades K-5 teachers of mathematics, math coaches, math coordinators, teacher leaders, professional developers, and other educators. We work closely with these educators to implement our proven strategies and assessments in their own classrooms and learning environments.

“This course helped solidify what I learned in my 2-years masters program on Curriculum and Instruction with a K-8 math emphasis. It gave me new ways to assess what my students understand and strategies to use that information to guide my instruction.”

1st Grade Teacher

“One of the most important insights I gained from this workshop is that students need repeated, concrete practice to understand and develop math concepts.”

4th Grade Teacher

“I’m so excited about teaching math after this workshop. My enthusiasm and greater understanding of ‘intentional’ teaching (vs. the direct or random teaching I’ve been doing) will have a positive impact on my students.”

2nd Grade Teacher
South Dakota

“Math Perspectives opens the teachers’ eyes to the wide range of needs in their classrooms and provides them with the instructional strategies to meet those needs. Teachers also expand their own knowledge and understanding of the mathematics they teach.”

School District NSF STEPS Project Supervisor


Math Perspectives offers a wide range of professional development courses and institutes to provide teachers with a knowledge base that allows them to continuously improve the teaching and learning of mathematics in their classrooms. These courses include mathematical content with an emphasis on essential understandings, information on how children learn mathematics, and practical classroom activities and experiences that support children’s development of mathematical competence.

Teaching for Understanding
Grade Level: K-2/3-5
Duration: 5 days
These five-day courses focus on how to actively engage students in mathematics in ways that take them beyond procedures to deep understanding of basic math concepts. Attention is given to creating a learning environment that allows teachers to identify the instructional needs of individual children and to meet the range of needs in their classrooms. Course time is also devoted to helping teachers develop their own understanding and knowledge of the key mathematical concepts they teach.
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Developing Number Concepts
Grade Level: K-2
Duration: 3 days
This course focuses K-2 teachers on ways to help children develop understanding and competence with counting, number relationships, addition, subtraction, and place value. Participants learn how to engage children in meaningful activities that provide appropriate practice and ensure that children have the foundation they need for future success. Participants learn how to create a positive learning environment in their classrooms along with practical methods for providing activities and materials that meet the range of needs in their classrooms.
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Developing Math Concepts in the Pre-K
Grade Level: Pre-K
Duration: 2 days
This two-day course focuses Pre-K teachers on how to create a positive environment that supports the learning of mathematics. They will gain knowledge of how mathematical ideas in a Pre-K environment are investigated through play, active participation, and intentional learning tasks and will learn to utilize questioning techniques to promote mathematical thinking. Participants will learn to provide appropriate experiences that encourage mathematical development and understanding and allow them to differentiate instruction to meet the range of needs in their classroom. The text for this course is Developing Math Concepts in Pre-Kindergarten by Kathy Richardson.
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Assessing Math Concepts (AMC) Institute
Grade Level: K-3
Duration: 5 days
The Math Perspectives Assessing Math Concepts (AMC) Institute is designed for teacher educators, math coaches, math coordinators, teacher-leaders, professional developers, and other educators who support professional development of kindergarten through third grade teachers of mathematics. AMC is an in-depth study of how children learn number concepts. Participants spend the week immersed in looking at children’s thinking and learning to identify students’ instructional needs.
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Assessing Math Concepts (AMC) Grade Level Courses
Grade Level: K, 1 and 2
Duration: 3 days each
Despite the adopted district curriculum or assessments used, children do not all learn at the same pace. As a result, teachers need to determine what their students still need to learn in order to provide optimal and appropriate experiences for them. During these three-day courses, participants will learn to use grade-level appropriate assessments from the Assessing Math Concepts series to identify the instructional needs of their students. They will also learn to use the information gained from the assessments to focus their instruction and maximize student learning using teaching strategies from the Developing Number Concepts series by Kathy Richardson.
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Number Talks: Thinking with Numbers K-2
Number Talks: Thinking with Numbers 3-5

Grade Level: K-2 and 3-5
Duration: 3 days
During these three-day courses, teachers learn to help students acquire competence in computation using visual models and number relationships to build number sense and to develop numerically powerful strategies that make sense to students. Students work with numbers using strategies that are simple, yet meaningful and powerful. Teachers see these methods modeled as they observe children solving problems during Number Talks. Course time is also devoted to helping teachers strengthen their own understanding of mathematics.

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Understanding Fractions
Grade Level: 3-5
Duration: 3 days
In this course, teachers will learn to present key fraction concepts in ways that help students build deep understandings of the fundamental relationships, language, and symbolism of fractions, decimals and percent. Participants will engage in activities that promote sensible computation with all four operations.
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Understanding Numbers: Developing Computational Fluency
Grade Level: 3-5
Duration: 3 days
This 3-day course presents grades 3-5 teachers with methods and activities that will help their students develop an understanding of the structure of numbers as the basis for computational fluency. Topics include place value, multi-digit addition and subtraction, multiplication and division and a first look at decimals.
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Administrator Seminars
Administrative support is an essential component for making change in a school/district. Math Perspectives offers a series of one-day sessions for administrators.