The Underachiever in Mathematics
By far, our most popular workshop, which can be tailor made for elementary or high school mathematics, has been conducted as full day as well as 3 hour workshops. Regardless of the experience of the participants, this workshop has been hailed as one of the most important and effective ones to enable teachers to increase success with all mathematics students, especially the underachiever.
All students are capable of success in mathematics so what can we do differently to make it happen?
This workshop is based on a 7 year research program conducted with high school students, analyzing the characteristics of the low achiever in mathematics.
This research led to a deep understanding of the main obstacle to student success in mathematics, which is a difficulty in “abstracting”. This, in turn, led to the development of very specific aspects of abstracting and more importantly how one can take this research and use it successfully and easily in the classroom.
In this workshop, you will learn that the following can have a profound effect on students’ understanding:
 The way in which you draw a simple figure
 Pointing out (what appears to be obvious) differences and similarities between concepts
 Supervising the natural impulse of students to create their own generalizations
 Starting with general ideas rather than examples
 Using models as applications rather than as introductions
This workshop offers much to all teachers of mathematics. You will be greatly intrigued by the analysis of the act of abstracting and surprised by the simple and immediate classroom applications.
The LD student: Why don’t I get the math?:
Much research has been done and presented on learning disabilities. The focus of this workshop, which is an effective followup to The Underachiever in Mathematics (described above), is on the connection between learning disabilities and the mathematics classroom.
Situational Problems (QEP mathematics competency):
This workshop focuses on one of the major competencies of the Quebec Education Program, helping teachers understand the characteristics and goals of this competency.
This workshop focuses on:
 The definition & characteristics of situational problems
 The “geography” of situational problems to enable more effective teaching of the concepts
 Rubrics for assessment of situational problems
 An analysis of mathematical and other content of situational problems
 Indepth study of sample situational problems to illustrate above concepts
 Breakdown of teaching strategies to present situational problems to students
Too often teachers want to include situational problems into their curriculum but are not comfortable with this task. This workshop provides a thorough understanding of the elements of situational problems and, equally important, with a step by step guide to effectively teach and incorporate situational problems into their lessons.
Differentiated instruction & teaching strategies to support DI:
This workshop models differentiated instruction while teaching the key components of DI.
Participants will:
 Understand the key components of DI through an introductory activity

Will be presented with the DI roadmap
 General principals, content, process and product, readiness, interest and learning profile
 Look at myths about DI

Understand the three basic learning styles in the classroom
 Visual, auditory , kinesthetic
 Look at differentiated assessment
Teachers will leave this workshop with an understanding of differentiated instruction and, more importantly, how to use the knowledge learned to develop effective teaching and assessment strategies to address the various learners in the classroom.
Teaching Strategies for Today’s Students that actively engage students, promote learning and maximize retention:
This workshop looks at effective teaching strategies across disciplines, using mathematics illustrations as much as possible.
Detailed Teaching Units for Chosen Mathematics Topics
Tailored made, based on specific requests, these workshops will prepare detailed lesson plans for any mathematical topic. Some examples of topics highlighted: fractions, percents, integers, relations through the high school curriculum, 3 dimensional geometry, statistics and probability.
Included in these workshops will be:
 A thorough analysis of the topic to ensure teachers’ in depth understanding of the mathematical concepts
 Teaching strategies, including discovery exercises, learning situations and appropriate activities
 Detailed step by step approach to the topic including reference material and suggested student exercises
 An understanding of the specific concept in terms of the larger goals of the program
 Real life applications of the topic studied
 Suggested timelines
Participants will leave with a unique teacher’s resource containing everything they need to ensure student understanding of the chosen topic.
The Locker Problem:
This workshop presents the famous locker problem which is ideal to teach or review concepts in basic number theory.
Through the use of the locker problem, teachers will:
 Challenge and excite students to solve an interesting problem
 Teach effective problem solving strategies
 Present or review concepts in number theory such as: factors, multiples, perfect squares, prime and composite numbers
Through the use of this problem, students go beyond their basic knowledge of number theory concepts while having fun and learning how to solve challenging problems.
Let Them Use Their Bodies
Students need to get up and move! This workshop incorporates physical participation to develop understanding of mathematical concepts.
Using Geometer’s Sketchpad to Truly Understand Geometry:
Watch and be amazed at how every student becomes quickly engaged in the study of geometry using this dynamic software.
Geometer’s Sketchpad (GSP) allows students to manipulate figures, discover relationships and develop a deep understanding and appreciation of geometry.
In this workshop teachers will learn:
 How to use the software
 How and why GSP keeps students actively engaged in their learning
 How the “drag” test ensures thorough understanding of concepts
 The 3 approaches of GSP: guided explorations, open ended investigations and visual demonstrations
Teachers will leave this workshop completely impressed with the power, simplicity, and accessibility of the software. They will be ready to immediately integrate the knowledge gained in this workshop into geometry lessons for all levels of learners!
How to use Algebra Tiles Effectively:
Whether used on line or hand held, algebra tiles offer a concrete alternative method to developing an understanding of basic algebraic topics.
Use algebra tiles to study:
 Operations with integers
 Concept of polynomials and the four operations
 Factoring quadratic expressions
 Solving algebraic equations
Participants will explore this wonderful tool and be amazed at how difficult abstract concepts become easily attainable by all students.
Effective Use of Manipulatives to Understand Concepts
Students learn best by doing. This workshop will provide teachers with a variety of manipulatives, virtual and concrete, which can be used to enhance mathematical understanding.
Using Excel Spreadsheets to Understand Specific Topics:
Excel spreadsheets are an incredibly useful tool in today’s technological world. Analyzing this software with students might be considered a worthwhile end goal; however, using this software to develop a deeper understanding of mathematics is even more powerful.
Participants will be shown how to use spreadsheets to develop student understanding of:
 The difference between a calculator and a spreadsheet
 The concept of ratio as a comparison of two quantities
 The concept of variables and their use in word problems
Whether a novice to the technology or not, participants will leave this workshop with a new appreciation for its power in the mathematics classroom.