Here's an example of a Khan Academy approach to instructional videos but from someone who's an actual mathematician and math teacher, James Tanton...

From the Global Skills for College Completion project, an interesting (though perhaps overly-long and complex) list of "pedagogical themes" emerging from their work with a multi-disciplinary cohort of successful developmental education faculty...

Here's a site of video files (along with transcripts and supporting resources) of math and science lessons from around the world, collected as part of the TIMSS project. It's free to sign up for access, and they've just added the feature that the materials can be downloaded for local viewing and use. The setting is mostly 8th-grade but the math topics certainly seem relevant to the precollege/dev ed math curriculum...

Video examples and problems connecting math to "real-world" issues...===

Given the emphasis in our project on addressing equity issues with respect to math achievement, the Complex Instruction approach to structuring and managing classroom group work is potentially an enormously useful tool available to teachers. Based on the work of Stanford researchers/educators Elizabeth Cohen and Rachel Lotan, the model focuses on the dynamics of communication and status that play out in classroom contexts, especially in math classrooms given the dysfunctional beliefs many students have about math and what it means to be "smart" in math. The approach has been used with some success in California and Washington, among other places, and Jo Boaler from the University of Sussex in England ( ) has done some solid research on how it influences student success in and positive attitudes about math. Below is some material about CI provided by Ruth Tsu, who is an exceptional trainer for the model and has worked with a number of school districts in Washington as well as the Transition Math Project.

NOTE: Every project leader should have a copy of Cohen's book describing the core of the CI approach ( ); it's written for a K-12 audience but there are lots of good and practical ideas for the college classroom as well if you're interested in using group work effectively to promote meaningful engagement and understanding in math.

Here's some additional Complex Instruction material from the fall 2010 workshop led by Lisa Jilk, University of Washington, sponsored by the Re-Thinking Precollege Math project...

A very interesting TED Talk from a high school math teacher named Dan Meyer--I've added it next to the Complex Instruction material because there are significant connections between his approach to building "patient problem solvers" and the CI emphasis on multiple entry points to problems and multiple ways for students to "be smart" in math. Check it out!

And here's Dan's very thoughtful (and popular) blog...

More great teaching resources from Dan Meyer...

A more recent profile of and update on Dan Meyer and his work around math, especially re the problem of "pseudo-contexts"...

Showing Their Work

A really practical and interesting lttle tidbit I just found on the Yahoo Group Math Talk

Some useful and accessible resources on teaching from Thirteen Ed Online, the New York City PBS affiliate:


Tomorrow's Professor posting #1029 is an excerpt from a book by Elizabeth Barkley on student engagement--note the reference to Jim Harnish (retired from North Seattle) and the handouts he distributed at a collaborative learning workshop at Everett Community College--nice press for Washington state! (#1029 not posted yet on the web as of June 3--if you want to subscribe to the email version go to

You can read or download a chapter of Barkley's book for free at

Here's some work from Mike Burke (College of San Mateo in California), who did sessions for us at our January and August 2010 gatherings, on integrative assignments in math classes:

Tips for Effective TeamworkSee page 8 for another perspective on the use of student teams in classroom learning, along with a couple of links to other related resources...

For a generic piece on teaching and learning the latest posting (Message #1069, archived here, brief description below) from Tomorrow's Professor is pretty decent--concrete and thoughtful...

"Seven Tips for Improving Instructional Skills: Reminders for Teachers",

second edition of a presentation by Walter R. Jacobs, Jr., given at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), San Francisco, California, March 8, 2003. Jacobs is the director, Higher Education & Leadership Preparation (H.E.L.P.) Inc. Atlanta, Georgia and Consultant Doctoral Scholars Program Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Atlanta, Georgia. he can be contacted at: <>

From Robert Pacheco, Learning Assessment Listserv:

For the past 30 years, Robert Marzano has been a leader in k-12 research, studying which classroom instructional methods and assessment techniques have the greatest impact on student achievement.

Using a research method called a meta-analysis, Marzano combined and analyzed over a decade's worth of studies looking at the same instructional methods. The goal? Find the teaching strategies that have had the greatest "effect" on student learning. Technically speaking, which instructional methods have the largest "effect" size - in other words, which methods have the biggest bang for the buck. The studies are on k-12 environments, but the findings inform what we do in higher ed.

Marzano's team has found 9 essential strategy lessons for students:

1. Identifying similarities and differences

- start lessons with graphic organizers to arrange info

- use metaphors and analogies

2. Summarizing and note taking

- directly instruct students on how to summarize

- clarify questions

- engage predictions about new material

3. Reinforcing effort and providing recognition

- praise and tell students exactly what was done well.

- build value in the learning and increase student self-efficacy

4. Homework and practice

- Make it consistent and giving students time to practice.

- Connect home work to assessment instruments

- Give feedback

5. Nonlinguistic representations

- use models, realia (not just oral lessons) to help students process new info (working memory) and store it (long-

term memory)

6. Cooperative learning

- vary group size, heterogeneous and homogenous groupings

7. Setting objectives and providing feedback

- involve the student in the learning, show where the lesson is headed

- give timely feedback to students

8. Generating and testing hypotheses

- encourage the process of inquiry; safe risk taking

9. Cues, questions, and advance organizers

- create maps, pause to reflect, bridge learning

More teacher research and a full database of strategies and their assessed impact to date can be found at:

Original work: Classroom Instruction That Works by R. J. Marzano, D. J. Pickering, and J. E. Pollock, 2001, Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Here's another very solid site for teaching and learning resources: Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence at Carnegie Mellon University...