5 Practices for Leading Productive Math Discussions


Speakers: Mary Kay Stein, Margaret (Peg) Smith


SKU: 121015

Webinar Description

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For many math teachers, leading whole-class math discussions is a challenging new role.

How do you choose a task that will generate a good discussion? How do you quickly interpret what your students are saying, diagnose their gaps in understanding and lead them to learning targets–all on the fly? How do you ensure you cover the math curriculum while encouraging student-centered inquiry and discussion?

This is a lot to juggle. Want to learn how to make all of this more manageable and predictable?

Join Mary Kay Stein and Peg Smith for a 2-hour webinar on a pedagogical model that gives you 5 effective practices for facilitating math discourse.  Mary Kay and Peg show you how to prepare ahead so you don’t need to improvise so much and can focus instead on making the discussion as productive as possible.

Learn how to better anticipate student responses, monitor for student understanding, select and sequence student solutions to problems, and make important connections.  Mary Kay and Peg will show you how to help students structure their reasoning to further your mathematical agenda for the lesson. This webinar will help you be better prepared for your next math discourse!

 Webinar Topics:

  • How to choose mathematical tasks that motivate exploration and inquiry–which tasks are worthy of whole-class discussions
  • Why it’s so important to lead student-centered solving of cognitively demanding tasks
  • Setting clear goals for student learning to guide your decision-making during a lesson
  • The 5 practices that produce a rich and instructive discussion
  • Asking good questions and holding students accountable for their reasoning
  • Honoring students’ contributions and growing authority while promoting the math learning of the entire class
  • How to best lay the groundwork for a lesson that leads to a whole-class discussion


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About the Speakers

Mary Kay Stein

Mary Kay Stein is a professor of learning sciences and policy at the University of Pittsburgh and is also a senior scientist and associate director at the Learning Research and Development Center.  Her research focuses on mathematics teaching and learning in classrooms and the ways in which policy and organizational conditions shape teachers’ practice.

She has been a principal or co-principal investigator on a number of grants from both public (the National Science Foundation, the Institute for Educational Sciences) and private (Spencer, MacArthur) foundations. In 2011 she was invited to chair a full-day workshop on state-focused reform efforts in STEM Education sponsored by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences.

Mary Kay is co-author of the book, 5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematics Discussions, published by the National Council of Teachers of Mathemathics. She has given keynote addresses on the Common Core State Standards to several national organizations and most recently has chaired the Study Group on Research on Teaching and Classroom Practice for the upcoming International Congress on Mathematics Education-13 in Hamburg, Germany in 2016.   In 2014, she was selected as a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association.



Margaret (Peg) Smith

Margaret (Peg) Smith is a professor in the Department of Instruction and Learning in the School of Education and a senior scientist at the Learning Research and Development Center, both at the University of Pittsburgh. She helps preservice and practicing middle and high school teachers develop their mathematics education skills and works with doctoral students who want to work as teacher educators in mathematics education.  Peg also works with math teachers and coaches on a national level.

Peg has authored or coauthored more than 75 books, edited books or monographs, book chapters, and peer-reviewed articles. She was a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (2001-2003; 2003 – 2005), of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (2006-2009), and of Teachers Development Group (2009 – present). Peg has received numerous awards for excellence in teaching including the 2013 dean’s award given to faculty in the School of Education. She is the editor of the Mathematics Teacher Editor, which is co-published by NCTM and AMTE.



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Yes. You may fax the PO to 815-461-5647 or call us at 207-632-1954. Please include the full name and email address of the registrant.

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Both include the synchronized audio and PowerPoint, but the link may only be accessed for 30 days. The CD-ROM provides a permanent record of the webinar.