Teaching by Design in Elementary Mathematics

Education Northwest offers professional development in the implementation of Teaching by Design in Elementary Mathematics, a series of study guides that help elementary teachers create and share knowledge for teaching mathematics. The three-volume set focuses on topics within number and operations that are aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) from kindergarten through grade 5. The topic of study for each grade band aligns with the CCSS for Mathematics: addition and subtraction for K–1, multiplication and division for 2–3, and fractions and decimals for 4–5.

Each guide is organized around 14 professional development sessions in which teams of teachers learn, share, and plan together in a structured collaborative environment to build the specialized understanding of mathematics and pedagogy that supports effective instruction to help students meet both the content and practice standards for mathematics.

Common features run through all three volumes in the series:

  • The CCSS for Mathematics help teachers identify the important mathematical concepts being investigated.
  • Learning Landscapes provide a structure for teachers to examine three important domains: (1) strategies, (2) big ideas, and (3) mathematical models.
  • Doing Mathematics provides an opportunity for teachers to deepen their own content knowledge for the mathematical concepts studied in each volume.
  • Student Connections enable teachers to analyze student thinking and understanding of the mathematical ideas studied in each volume.
  • Investigating Instructional Materials encourages teachers to think critically about lessons and units that support student learning.

The culmination of this process is the development of a prototype lesson collaboratively designed by the team. After this lesson is taught in one or more teachers’ classrooms, the team investigates its impact on student learning. The cycle of investigating, planning, teaching, observing, debriefing, and revising a lesson together contributes to a climate of continuous professional learning.


A series of workshops can be customized for teachers, paraprofessionals, coaches, and principals who want to increase their understanding of effective mathematics instruction. Grade-level team participation is encouraged.

What Participants Will Learn

  • Important mathematical concepts for their grade
  • Increased understanding of how students learn mathematical ideas
  • How to develop effective lessons and improve instruction
  • Enhanced collaboration skills

Continuing Services

Following the completion of the workshops, we can provide ongoing support using one or more of the following formats: lesson study, video study groups, and/or individual or group coaching.