Teachers College Columbia University

Mathcamp: Integrating the Common Core Shifts Into Mathematics Instruction

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About the course

The goal of MathCamp is to help teachers apply the shifts specified by the Common Core Mathematics Standards into their classroom instruction. We will deepen not only your content knowledge but also the critical pedagogical content knowledge which leads to richer explanations and more complete representations, all of which strengthen the foundations of mathematical meaning


Are you ready to teach the Common Core in mathematics? Are you using the same methods you always have for teaching mathematics? Are you hearing your lessons are too procedural, students are not fully engaged, there are no opportunities for student input, or there is no writing to confirm student understanding? Then we have a solution for you.

Join us during the fun, intensive program that helps teachers apply the shifts specified by the Common Core Mathematics Standards into their classroom instruction. Fully explore mathematics in a variety of unique and hands-on ways.

We will demonstrate strategies that promote fluency and deeper understanding for ALL students. We will examine the coherence shift to see why it is so important particularly in mathematics and how its application improves student understanding. We will help you get out of your math rut; i.e., teaching topics the way you always have.

Most teachers and administrators have attended workshops and state presentations on the new Common Core Mathematics Standards, but how many teachers have actually modified lessons to support these standards? One year later, many teachers are still uncomfortable with the change in instruction necessary to begin to embrace these shifts. Because the shift to more meaningful instruction is as much cultural as it is lesson design, teachers need time to reflect on content, practice, and assessments to embrace the spirit of the Common Core. Change cannot happen without reflection on current practice. It also cannot happen during the school day or at a one-hour afternoon workshop.

MathCamp provides teachers with time for reflection, deeper understanding of the shifts detailed in the standards, mathematical pedagogical knowledge that will improve their instruction, and an appreciation of the shift to dual intensity.

Participants will engage in sample lessons and strategies that align with the Common Core and have access to them through the MathCamp website so that they can be shared by teachers on the same grade level in their schools.

In addition, time is provided for rich discussion and demonstration focusing on the following classroom issues:

  • The key role manipulatives play in understanding place value, explaining the four core operations, and developing a fundamental understanding of the nature of fractions.
  • The use of visual models to engage multiple learning opportunities.
  • The use of stories to provide context and application.
  • Strategies to widen the meaning and understanding of fractions, ways to make fractions real.
  • The use of questioning to increase classroom engagement and student understanding.
  • The use of alternative strategies to enrich student learning and motivation.
  • Key strategies that address effective academic intervention.

We offer a collaborative workshop environment with teachers from all over the country. The goal of which is deeper understanding of mathematics and of ways to develop it with our students. Each day we explore a different content area and develop it from early elementary to upper elementary or middle school. In this way we can explore issues in AIS as well as enrichment. All materials and sample lessons are referenced to CCSS and available online.


  • BA or equivalent
  • Proof of English proficiency for all non-native speakers of English

Trust the experts

Peter Garrity

D‌r. Peter Garrity is an Adjunct Professor of Mathematics Education at Teachers College, Columbia University where he teaches Theories of Knowing and Learning Mathematics as well as elementary and secondary mathematics methods courses. Dr. Garrity has developed a program, affectionately known as...


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