Professional Learning Opportunities Offered by the RMSC

Professional Learning for You!

As you and your district make plans for professional learning for the 2014-2015 academic year, be sure that you are aware of the offerings available through the GVSU Regional Math and Science Center. These opportunities include scheduled workshops held on the GVSU Allendale Campus, best practice sessions at your school / district site, and annual conferences. The following are highlights of these programs for the upcoming school year. Watch the RMSC website for more detailed information.

Scheduled Workshops:

(Registration materials for these workshops will be available on the RMSC website by May 15, 2014.)

  • Orchestrating Mathematics Discussions in the High School Classroom
    • Audience: Secondary mathematics teachers of algebra
    • Dates: October 7, November 13, & December 12, 2014
    • Location: GVSU Allendale Campus
    • Description: Based on the 5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematics Discussions and materials developed through the award-winning PRIME program, this workshop will provide teachers with concrete guidance for engaging students in meaningful discussions around mathematics in a way that is accessible and manageable for teachers. The content used for examples will be algebra-based.
    • Facilitators: Chelsea Ridge & Karen Meyers
    • Cost: $60 per person for the series; grant funds are available to assist with substitute reimbursement costs.
  • Writing in Science:
    • Audience: Secondary science teachers
    • Dates: October 14 & November 5, 2014
    • Location: GVSU Allendale Campus
    • Description: This workshop is designed to help teachers learn how to incorporate writing strategies into science instruction. In this two-day Writing in Secondary Science series, teachers will: 1) learn instructional strategies to increase student comfort and ability to write and communicate in science; 2) become familiar with the Writing across the Curriculum: Science document from MDE; 3) use these strategies in a lesson with students and share results with colleagues. There will be a focus on Argumentation, one of the NGSS Science and Engineering Practices.
    • Facilitators: Kathy Agee & Karen Meyers
    • Cost: $40 per person for the two days; grant funds are available to assist with partial substitute reimbursement costs.


  • Fall Science Update  Wednesday, November 19, 2014  GVSU Pew Campus (downtown Grand Rapids). Cost: $45 per teacher.
  • Math In Action  Saturday, February 21, 2015 - GVSU Allendale campus. Cost: $30 per teacher.

Best Practices for School / District Level Professional Learning

  • Math Talk
    • Audience: K-8 Teachers, Administrators, Instructional Coaches
    • Recommended Length : A variety of options are available for districts to consider: Two six-hour days with 3 hours of coaching; Four three-hour days with 3 hours of coaching; Three five-hour days; or Five three-hour days.
    • Description: This is a workshop to develop students abilities to communicate mathematical thinking. Standardized testing associated with the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics is moving toward assessing students abilities to construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others [SMP 3]. This kind of Math Talk requires intentional instruction. Join us as we explore instructional strategies for developing students communicating and reasoning skills.
    • Facilitators: Drs. Esther Billings & David Coffey
    • Cost: Negotiable (but minimal); dependent on number of teachers and location.
  • SaM3: Science and Mathematics Misconceptions Management
    • Audience: Grades 5  9 Math and Science Teachers
    • Recommended Length of Time Required: Three full days for complete workshop
    • Description: The goal of the SaM3 professional development program is to increase a teachers ability to elicit and address student misconceptions, utilizing the content areas of Energy (science) and Fractions (mathematics) as a context for applying misconception management strategies. Connections will be made to the mathematics practices of the CCSS and the science and engineering practices of the NGSS.
    • Teacher teams who participate in this SaM3 training will gain:
      • Increased core content knowledge in the focus areas of Fractions (mathematics) and Energy (science) across the disciplines.
      • Increased understanding of common student misconceptions in their content area.
      • A set of misconception management strategies to teach for understanding.
      • Usable lesson plans to use and examine through the year.
      • Skills in analyzing student work for understanding.
    • Cost: Negotiable; dependent on number of teachers and location; grant funds available.
  • Developing Powerful Measurers
    • Audience: Grades K-5 teachers
    • Recommended Length: 2  3 full days
    • Description: The Developing Powerful Measurers workshop series is the outgrowth of an NSF funded project: Strengthening Tomorrows Education in Measurement (STEM) with Dr. Jack Smith from Michigan State University. The purpose of the project is to enrich the classroom experience of students and teachers for spatial measurement (length, area, and volume) especially in the elementary grades. Participants in this workshop series will discuss the conceptual, procedural, and conventional knowledge needed for success in the area of measurement. Elements of conceptual knowledge needed for effective teaching and learning in measurement (and its importance) such as the meaning of length, unit iteration, unit-measure compensation, unit conversion, and zero/scale on a ruler will be addressed.
    • Facilitators: Karen Meyers & Chelsea Ridge
    • Cost: Negotiable; dependent on number of teachers and location.
  • Family Engineering for Teachers
    • Audience: K-6 Teachers
    • Recommended Length: One afterschool session (two to three hours long)
    • Description: Modeled after the popular Family Math and Family Science Nights, Family Engineering is a program developed to actively engage parents and their children in fun, hands-on engineering activities and events. (Engineering and engineering practices are new areas of emphasis in the Next Generation Science Standards, which need to be incorporated into K-12 classrooms.) Through this workshop, teachers and administrators will learn how to engage elementary children & parents in learning about what engineers do and the role engineering plays in all aspects of our lives. The program is also appropriate for classroom use. Visit Family Engineering at: to learn more about this new national program.
    • Cost: Negotiable; dependent on number of teachers and location.

Page last modified July 17, 2017