Making Meaning with Numbers: Systems of Tens

Course Number: EDU 5626 C04
Instructor: Patricia Conway
Location: Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union (building TBD)
Dates and Times: October 3, 10, 12, 17, 24, 28, 31; November 2, 14, 16, 28, 30; December 7, 19. All Tuesday meetings are 4 - 7:15 pm; all Thursday meetings are 4 - 7 pm; one Saturday meeting is 8 am - 12:00 pm
Credits: 3 credits
Tuition: $1,000

Note: Please register directly with the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union (SVSU) by emailing Lisa Poplaski. Lisa will then give you the link to Castleton's online registration form.

Course Description

This 3 credit course focuses on the standards in the domain Number and Operations for Base Ten (Common Core State Standards for Mathematics). The K-5 domain begins with a critical, single, kindergarten standard, progressing through multiple standards at each grade to decimals to the thousandths place (grade 5). A brief transition to Number Systems 6-8 completes the base ten projections for the course. The structure and coherence of concepts within and across grade levels will be followed using the document Progressions for the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics Number and Operations for Base Ten. Course participants will work with colleagues to map standards within a grade band and connect popular procedures to conceptual models. Best classroom practices for tier 1 instruction and evidenced based strategies for meeting the needs of tier 2 learners are weekly points of discussion, as well as the Standards for Mathematical Practice.

Course content will focus on participant learning needs to include:
• Content knowledge
• Individual differences and individualized instruction
• Valid and reliable assessment tools
• Diagnostic analysis of multiple data points
• Consultation and collaboration

Audience: K-5 teachers, Special educators and interventionists K-8.

Course Objectives

Course Goals/Objectives 
• understand the structures of base ten systems (for whole numbers and decimals) and the connections between conceptual understanding and application of a procedure
• understand the development of mathematical ideas at different learning levels
• learn when and where to anticipate student challenges in learning systems of tens
• understand assessment tools and how to use data to monitor student progress
• identify and utilize research based resources for effective student growth 
Participants practice: 
1. Engaging students at their individual levels
2. Targeting instruction with real-time student progress data analytics
3. Focusing on meaningful content
4. Encouraging mastery of conceptual understandings and procedural fluency
5. Teaching students to become independent learners.

Required Texts

Required Readings/Texts: (required texts not included in cost of course) no required text.

Other Suggested Readings/Texts: reading selections provided by instructor.


• Readings, reflections of relevant professional articles, white papers
• Comparison of instructional models 
• Role of language in base ten systems

Projects: A project is due one week after the last meeting. Project options are outlined at the first session.

Evaluation: Course work is evaluated on levels of participation, thoughtful and introspective reflective journal entries, and completion of a final project 

Grading: Participation and in-class activities 50%
Journal reflections 20%
Project 30% 
o Option #1. Focus on a single concept in NBT: using program materials, give a prerequisite assessment, justify intervention groups, design tier 2 intervention plans (classroom teacher or interventionist), including anticipated difficulties and redirections; final reflection. This option is summative of course work.

o Option #2. Describe a data identified challenge (MAPs data for incoming class or SBAC claim) related to concepts in NBT. Communicate this to course instructor by October 13. For the duration of the course, video a minimum of 6 tier 1 lessons (or a minimum of 6 tier 2 intervention sessions). Primary resources are expected to be represented. Document planning, instructional challenges, successes; final reflection. This option is a documentation of real time planning, instruction, assessment, and reflection that demonstrates new knowledge and a deeper understanding of NBT concepts. A polished final project is not the expectation. 

o Option #3. A course participant may propose a self-directed final project. The expectation is that time, rigor, demonstration of new knowledge/depth of knowledge will parallel options 1 and 2.

For additional course information

Patricia Conway
(802) 447-7501

For additional registration information

Lisa Poplaski
(802) 447-7501

Register online now!