MCIU is proud to partner with Grassroots Workshops to bring mathematics content specific courses to educators.  These courses provide educators with flexibility and convenience to choose what they learn, when they learn it and how they learn it.  Taking Grassroots Workshops courses through MCIU will allow you to deepen your learning as well as earn Pennsylvania Act 48 hours.

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Empowered Problem Solving

If you’ve wanted your math students to be stronger problem solvers who love learning math but would like tips and examples to help you get started whether you’re teaching remotely or in person, then this workshop is for you. We’ll begin by exploring why problem solving is so important. Then we’ll discuss how it would work with your students.  I’ll share video from actual students’ lessons done remotely with middle school students as well as in person with kindergarten, eighth grade, and pre-calculus students. From there we’ll focus more on implementation including how to prepare to teach a lesson and what to do if it doesn’t go as planned. We’ll then address how to use problem solving to build students procedural skills and conceptual understanding. Finally, we’ll wrap up the workshop by talking about how to merge these ideas with what you’re already doing.

Instructor: Robert Kaplinsky

Hours: 16

Foundations of Fractions

In this 6-week workshop, you’ll conceptually explore fractions from 1st grade through 6th grade as you build an understanding around the major concepts we tackle with our students including:

  • Meaning of a Fraction
  • Equivalence and Comparison of Fractions
  • Addition and Subtraction of Fractions
  • Multiplication of Fractions
  • Division of Fractions
  • Ratio and Proportions

Each week we will launch the concept through a 3-act task, examine some student work, and then identify our next steps to move thinking forward. We’ll extend your thinking of fractions by exploring tasks and activities that will build on the fraction understanding you have already developed. Then we’ll engage in some games that will help build fluency for the understanding we’ve built. 

Instructor: Graham Fletcher

Hours: 12

How to Integrate Coding Into Math Class with Scratch

Coding literacy is a key component of being college and career ready, yet incorporating it can feel overwhelming. As classroom math teachers ourselves, we also deal with these struggles and want to show you the strategies we use.  The mini workshop will show you how to use the coding language Scratch to teach specific math standards. You’ll begin by exploring how coding can help your students better understand the math you teach them. Next, you’ll learn how to introduce your students to Scratch and integrate it into your math lessons. Then, we’ll discuss how to facilitate a coding lesson including strategies and lesson starters that emphasize sense making and critical thinking. Finally, we’ll examine how to check for understanding and provide student feedback. No prior experience with Scratch Coding is needed to take this workshop.

Instructor: Ashley Goetz and Mike Larson

Hours: 2

How to Use an Open Middle Problem

If you’ve heard of Open Middle problems and maybe used a few of them, but you’re not satisfied with how things have gone and want consistently good results, then this mini workshop is for you.  I want your students to love using Open Middle problems and have them be your favorite problems to use when getting observed.  We’ll begin by discussing how Open Middle problems can help you and your students.  Then we’ll work through specific examples for grades K-1, 2-5, and 6-12.  We’ll use them to talk about how to prepare to use a problem as well as how to use them with students.  We’ll also address how you can use Open Middle problems when teaching students remotely and there’s even video of me teaching a digital lesson.  Then we’ll talk about where you can find more Open Middle problems to use and when and where you want to use them in your units.  Finally, there’s a bonus lesson on how you can use Open Middle problems at home with your own children.

Instructor: Robert Kaplinsky

Hours: 3

How to Use Clothesline Math

Have you been curious about Clothesline Math, but not sure how to implement it in your classroom?  If your answer is yes, then this mini-workshop will answer all your questions.  Your students will love to explore how numbers work and relate to one another while using this interactive, kinesthetic routine. In this mini workshop, we will start by investigating what Clothesline Math is and how it can help your students.  We will review how to plan for a Clothesline Math lesson as well as the preparations needed for the lesson.  We will explore all the mathematical content that Clothesline Math can assist with including whole numbers, fractions, decimals, and percents.  And finally, we will end our workshop with plenty of resources. 

Instructor: Kristen Acosta

Hours: 2

How to Use Desmos Activity Builder

If you love Desmos and have wanted to get started with Activity Builder but have felt intimidated and not sure how to get started, you’re in the right place.  In this mini workshop, you will learn how to use Activity builder to create lessons that will help you see students’ work, give them feedback, and help you facilitate conversations both in person and virtually.  We’ll begin by discussing why we should use Activity Builder.  From there, we’ll get you comfortable by exploring how to use an already created Activity Builder.  Then you’ll learn how to create and edit your own Desmos Activity with a focus on best practices.  Finally we’ll talk about how to facilitate a lesson using Activity Builder and how do I merge this with what you’re already doing.

Instructor: Christelle Rocha

Hours: 3

How to Use Would You Rather Math

If you’ve heard of Would You Rather Math or maybe even used it with your students, but you haven’t seen the engagement and discourse you were hoping for, then this mini workshop is for you.  You’ll learn what you can do to consistently have students excited to argue, disagree, and defend their mathematical reasoning.  We’ll begin by breaking down what Would You Rather Math looks like both in person and remotely.  Then we’ll explore how to effectively use the tasks with students including what happens when things don’t go as planned.  Then we’ll talk about how to get students thinking and reasoning critically and then explaining that thinking to others.  Finally, we’ll talk about how to create your own powerful Would You Rather Math prompts.

Instructor: John Stevens

Hours: 2


Course costs are determined by Grassroots Workshops and vary depending on the length of the course.  Act 48 credit for all courses is $25 per course. 


These asynchronous courses are open for registration now.

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Brandon Langer serves as the Program Administrator of Instructional Technology at MCIU where he oversees the Montgomery Virtual Program and supports the integration of instructional technology in the Office of Professional Learning. As a former teacher and an instructional coach, Brandon has conducted numerous professional development sessions centered around technology applications and integrating student-centered instruction into the classroom. He has also worked closely with fine and performing arts teachers throughout the northeast to create and advocate for arts programs and modernize arts assessment practices. His passion for student success is grounded in his belief that teachers, not the computer, are the most powerful asset in the classroom today.

Brandon is the host of the OPL Podcast from MCIU and has earned a Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Delaware and a Master of Science in Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Arkansas State University. He is a regular participant in many online PLN Twitter chats and can be followed @BrandonLanger.