Increasing Student Engagement and Discourse in a Math Classroom (Gr. 5-9)

Increasing Student Engagement and Discourse in a Math Classroom (Gr. 5-9)

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This program is scheduled as a face-to-face classroom training during the Fall 2020 semester, but may be moved online due to future recommendations for distance learning due to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).  Any updates will be posted on this page and all enrolled students will be notified by email of any anticipated curtailments.


By the time students enter middle school, they usually have strong feelings of either liking or hating
math. This opinion leads to barriers that make teaching math even more difficult. In a heterogenous
math class, the top kids tend to be bored and the low kids tend to keep quiet hoping for the math
block to end. In this workshop, participants will explore the 8 effective teaching practices for teaching
mathematics, learn a variety of strategies and routines to foster better student participation, as well as
work through a few low floor - high ceiling tasks. Participants will leave with strategies that can be
easily implemented helping to improve both the frequency in which students talk in your math class
as well as some resource for implementing tasks that improve student engagement.
What will participants gain?

  •  The difference in types of tasks we ask student to complete - (cognitive demand (low - high))
  •  Examine the 8 Effective Teaching Practices for Mathematics from Principles to Action:Ensuring Mathematical Success For All by NCTM
  •  Explore ways to facilitate student discourse through the use of purposeful questions
  •  Managing productive struggle - when to provide support and when to let students work through ideas
  •  Creating routines to help foster students talking more through
  •  Alternative strategies for assessing independent practice
  •  Number strings sharing strategies pushing for more efficient strategies
  •  Other resources that focus on reasoning rather than rote procedures

Instructor Bios


Increasing Student Engagement and Discourse in a Math Classroom (Gr. 5-9)

  • Jess Jacques

    Jess Jacques

    Jessica is the Mathematics Specialist for the Merrimack Valley School District which serves the communities of Boscawen, Loudon, Penacook, Salisbury, and Webster, NH. She primarily works with the five elementary schools and middle school supporting teachers with the implementation of a more inquiry based approach by providing resources to support grade specific math curriculum, modeling lessons, and providing professional development opportunities for staff so that they can develop a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts.

    Prior to acquiring this position, Jessica graduated from Keene State College with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Middle School Math Education with a minor in Mathematics; she accepted a middle school position with Merrimack Valley Middle School in 1997. Jessica has taught grades 6, 7, and 8 at the middle school for seventeen years, coached the math team for ten years, and assumed a leadership role within the math department. During her time at Merrimack Valley Middle School, she earned her Masters of Education in Mathematics K-8 at Plymouth State University in 2004 as well as her certification as a math specialist in 2014.

    In addition to attending many local math conferences, she has co-presented twice at the NHTM dine and discuss events and presented at the NHTM spring conference in 2016.  Additionally, she was the recipient of the Richard C. Evans Distinguished Mathematics Educator Award in 2016. Her current professional memberships include NHTM and NCTM.

09:00am - 03:30pm
Portsmouth - 231 Corporate Drive
Jess Jacques
169.00 Tuition (includes lunch)