I met Peter Liljedahl a couple of years ago when I was facilitating the first ERLC High School Institute to support the implementation of the 2008 high school revised program of studies. He was speaking to high school teachers about the changes Alberta teachers are being encouraged to make in their practice along with this curriculum change. Since then I have met him twice more and continue to be challenged by his ideas in math education and assessment. Each time I see him, I make more connections and get a clearer picture of the culture and space I would try to create in my own classroom.
This year’s High School Math Institute was called, “If the Curriculum Revision is the Answer, What Was the Question?”. Throughout the day many of us tweeted comments and shared our learning. As a result we have a timeline of our thoughts that day. I learned that I could use Storify to capture these tweets so if you are interested, here is the link to my first Storify.
When Peter leads a session he immediately puts participants into random groups and he asks us to solve three or four problems. I understand that he aims for about an hour of sustained problem solving before sharing details of what and why he is doing what he is doing. Because I am so actively engaged in the problems (or stumped by them) it is challenging to capture the ‘nuggets’ from his sessions but I have attempted to summarize much of what I have learned over the past several years. Part 2 in this series highlights actions teachers can take right away in math classrooms to increase the level of student learning and engagement. In part 3 I will describe the numeracy tasks he has created for K-12 students and in parts 4 and 5 I will share some of Peter’s idea around assessment .