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Promoting Productive Struggle That Leads to Understanding

This one- or two-day workshop will focus on key Mathematics Teaching Practices from NCTM’s “Principles to Actions” to support productive struggle in learning mathematics.

In this workshop, participants will participate in discussions and activities that focus on visualization and conceptual development of mathematics to help students think deeply about mathematical ideas and relationships. Participants will explore:

  • How to provide #SlowMath opportunities for all students to notice and wonder “what if” and “why”
  • How to use TI technology to promote productive struggle

By the end of the workshop, participations should be able to say, I can:

  • Invoke #SlowMath for students to engage in productive struggle to show what they know in more than one way
  • Recognize the difference between productive struggle and destructive struggle
  • Recognize #AskDontTell opportunities to "unstuck" students
  • Anticipate how students will solve tasks and expect use of multiple representations to deepen mathematics understanding


This in-person workshop is available in one- and two-day options to accommodate educator-specific needs, and it supports educators who are using either the TI-84 Plus family of graphing calculators or TI-Nspire™ technology. A half-day workshop option is also available. The two-day workshop offers a more extensive exploration of topics and strategies. A virtual workshop is also available in multiple two- or three-hour sessions.

Day One

Participants will join in discussions and activities focused on:

  • Demonstrating math flexibility to show what they know in more than one way
  • Facilitating meaningful mathematical discourse so that students can look for and make use of structure to reason
  • Analyzing different pathways, finding connections between pathways and adding new strategies to their thinking
  • Recognizing when students are undergoing destructing struggle and need #AskDontTell prompting to become "unstuck”

Day Two

During the second day of the workshop, participants will more deeply investigate the ideas and strategies presented in the first day, as well as focus on:

  • Planning a task that meets an instructional goal and reframe it as a #SlowMath productive struggle
  • Exploring how to guide learners to construct a viable argument to deepen understanding of a concept
  • Discussing how to coach and confer to empower learners to act as agents of their own learning
  • Considering what is to be gained if we make our thinking visible and empower learners to take steps

Areas of Focus

This workshop models strategies for engaging students in productive struggle, with an emphasis on visualization, conceptual development and investigating connections between multiple problem-solving strategies.

Subject Topics
Middle Grades Math
Ratios and Proportional Relationships, Expressions and Equations, Functions, Geometry
Algebra I
Equations, Linear Functions, Systems of Linear Equations, Functions and Relations, Quadratic Functions
Circles, Perimeter and Area
Algebra II
Functions, Quadratics, Systems of Linear Equations and Inequalities

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Need a quote or a sample plan? Get started by contacting a TI Educational Technology Consultant to help you with your professional development needs.

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  • Half day:      $2,000
  • One day:      $3,200
  • Two days:    $6,400
Six virtual hours, delivered in two- or three-hour sessions, is the equivalent to one full-day of in-person professional learning. For workshop pricing including TI technology, please contact us.