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Geometric Measurement and Spatial Reasoning - Facilitator Edition is a Course

Geometric Measurement and Spatial Reasoning - Facilitator Edition

Started Jul 2, 2019


Full course description

Note: Module content is available to professional development facilitators, without fees, for use with professional learning communities in accordance with the use agreement.

This course, featuring Doug Clements and Julie Sarama, is designed for facilitators to engage teachers in professional learning about geometric measurement and spatial reasoning. It includes opportunities to enhance knowledge of concepts, methods, and tools used in linear, 2D, and 3D measurement; understand trajectories of children’s reasoning about measurement; use teaching practices that support the use of learning trajectories in assessment and curriculum analysis; and develop ways of using anecdotal notes to study the learning trajectories of one's own students.

Measurement is a core mathematical strand represented in standards across elementary grades. Concepts and skills developed in the context of measurement are foundational to work in other content strands (such as algebra). Measurement also provides rich opportunities to engage in mathematical practices (such as attending to precision, using appropriate tools, looking for and making use of patterns). Despite this potential, measurement and spatial reasoning are often neglected in instruction and in professional learning opportunities in favor of other mathematical strands. This module will help PD facilitators provide occasions for teachers to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to help their students with key measurement and spatial reasoning topics.

Although there is considerable demand for skilled professional development facilitation—few opportunities exist for facilitators to develop the knowledge and skills needed for this work. Developing Teaching Expertise (DTE) modules aim to address this need by creating professional development materials that increase access to expert teacher educators, while also increasing the capacity of individual facilitators.

Featured Mathematics Teacher Educators

Doug Clements is a Distinguished University Professor and the Kennedy Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Learning, as well as the co-Executive Director of the Marsico Institute of Early Learning at the University of Denver's Morgridge College of Education.

Julie Sarama is Kennedy Endowed Chair in Innovative Learning Technologies and Professor at the University of Denver’s Morgridge College of Education.


This module packages content, materials, and tools to support the work and learning of a professional development facilitator who is (or will be) supporting the learning of a group of practicing elementary classroom teachers.

Learning Objectives

Professional development facilitators will develop knowledge and skills needed for facilitation while supporting practicing teachers in developing expertise with respect to four core elements of teaching geometric measurement- mathematics content, student thinking, teaching practices, and ways of learning from engagement in teaching:

  • Mathematics: concepts, methods, and tools used in linear, 2D, and 3D measurement
  • Student Thinking: understanding trajectories of children’s reasoning about linear, 2D, and 3D measurement
  • Teaching Practice:  using learning trajectories in student assessment and curriculum analysis
  • Learning from Practice: studying learning trajectories of one’s own students through the use of video and anecdotal notes

Work on these elements is integrated across the ten sessions. Simultaneously working on the four core elements is important because the work of elementary mathematics teaching requires integrated attention to these elements in practice. When used with classroom teachers, the sessions can be used as 90-minute sessions that provide participants with opportunities to practice, build on, and extend ideas over time.

Certificate of Completion

A certificate of completion for this module is available through Canvas Catalog from the Developing Teaching Expertise (DTE) @ Mathematics project at the University of Michigan School of Education.

Developers of the materials

Developing Teaching Expertise (DTE) @ Mathematics is a materials development project based at the University of Michigan School of Education. The multidisciplinary, cross-institution team builds practice-focused professional development modules for elementary mathematics teachers. The multimedia materials create opportunities for PD groups and professional learning communities to learn from leading mathematics teacher educators about key topics in elementary mathematics education.


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1118745. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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