Professional Learning for You

Professional Learning for You!

As you and your district make plans for professional learning for the 2019-2020 academic year, be sure you are aware of the offerings available through the GVSU Regional Math and Science Center. Best practice sessions can be scheduled at your school / district site at minimal cost. Check out the list below.

These opportunities also include our signature annual conferences. Watch the RMSC website for more detailed information.

Scheduled Workshops:

Three-Act Tasks in a Secondary Math Class

  • Audience: Middle and High School Math Teachers
  • Dates: TBD
  • Location:TBD
  • Description: Looking for a way to engage students in problem solving and modeling? Would you like to see more of the Mathematical Practices utilized in your classroom? Three Act Tasks are an engaging framework to bring problem solving to students in a way that makes mathematical modeling a priority in solving real-world problems. Three Act Tasks is a name coined by Dan Meyer to describe this type activity. The workshop was created utilizing materials from Dan Meyer, NCSM, and NCTM publications. Teachers will learn the instructional design of a three act task, be provided time to review free, online resources, as well as collaborate with other teachers on the preparation and implementation of a three act task. Participants will have time to reflect and share their experiences.
  • Facilitator: Chelsea Ridge, RMSC Mathematics Program Coordinator


Orchestrating Mathematics Discussions in the High School Classroom  

  • Audience: Secondary mathematics teachers
  • Dates: TBD (three day series)
  • Location: TBD
  • 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 based on algebra and proportional reasoning.
  • Facilitators: Chelsea Ridge, RMSC Mathematics Program Coordinator



  • Fall Science Update 
    • Audience: K-12 Science Teachers
    • Date: Wednesday, October 23, 2019
    • Location:  GVSU Allendale Campus in the Russel H. Kirkhof Center
    • DescriptionInspiring Science
    • Cost: $45 teachers/$20 pre-service teachers


  • Math In Action ( )
    • Audience: PreK – 12 teachers, prospective teachers, curriculum directors, and college and university mathematics faculty
    • Date: Saturday, February 22, 2020
    • Location: GVSU Allendale campus
    • Description: Math in Action presents lively and informative discussions of current issues in mathematics education while providing an opportunity for educators to share ideas, concerns, and resources. SCECH credits are available for most sessions. The conference consists of six hour long sessions with eight separate interactive presentations during each. 
    • Cost: $40 teachers / $30 recent undergraduates (2015 or later) / $20 undergraduate students


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 thinkingStandardized 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 teacher’s 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 (but minimal); 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 Tomorrow’s 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: Chelsea Ridge
    • Cost: Negotiable(but minimal); dependent on number of teachers and location.


  • Family Engineering for Teachers
    • Audience: K-6 Teachers
    • Recommended Length: One after school 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.
    • Facilitators: Kathy Agee
    • Cost:  Negotiable (but minimal); dependent on number of teachers and location.


  • GLOBE Climate Change
    • Audience: Teachers of grades 5-9
    • Recommended Length: One or two full days
    • Description: The primary objective of the workshop is to foster deeper understanding regarding  Earth Systems Science and climate change through:
      • providing the needed background content knowledge for teachers in Climate Literacy,
      • addressing some of the widely held misconceptions about climate change, and
      • equipping teachers with methods to assist students in collecting data related to climate change.
    • Participants will explore major issues associated with climate change with emphasis on the Great Lakes, learn how to monitor abiotic and biotic factors that impact climate using Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) protocols, and participate in activities that model instructional strategies for teaching about climate.
    • Facilitators: Janet Vail (AWRI)
    • Cost: Negotiable (but minimal); dependent on number of teachers and location.

**These materials were developed under a grant provided by the Michigan Department of Education.**


Please contact the Regional Math and Science Center by email at or phone 616.331.2267.