Math Minds

A professional community dedicated to

the effective teaching of K-12 mathematics

What is Math Minds?

Math Minds is a collaborative partnership of the Werklund School of Education University of Calgary, various school districts and JUMP Math. This initiative is generously funded by TD Bank Group's TD Ready Challenge Grant. Initially, this initiative was funded by the Canadian Oil Sands (2012-2017) and subsequently by the Suncor Energy Foundation (2018-2021) with contributions made by the University of Calgary and JUMP Math. It is the result of sustained engagement among partners. The broad aim of the initiative is to strengthen numeracy among students in Grades 1 to 6.

The Math Minds approach is neither traditional nor reform as those terms are commonly understood. While traditional approaches offer much-needed structure, and reform approaches highlight the importance of sense-making, it can be difficult to structure sense-making in a way that supports all learners in engaging with conceptually sound mathematical ideas. For those with gaps in their understanding, finding a suitable entry point is key, and providing meaningful opportunities for extension and further learning is essential for all. Math Minds offers practical ways to make this happen.

What does Math Minds offer?

Math Minds offers two key professional learning initiatives for educators: a free online course and an online community. Scroll down for more information.

What is the evidence supporting our approach?

Here’s a summary of some of our results over a recent 5-year stretch, comparing learners involved in Math Minds to their peers across Canada. Please note that our data indicate, with extreme confidence, that our approach contributes to general improvement in mathematics performance including computational fluency, conceptual understanding and problem solving (as measured by national percentile ranks on the Canadian Test of Basic Skills, or CTBS). In fact, the largest improvements we’ve seen are in problem solving and conceptual understanding.

Please further note that these data represent year-over-year improvements. Learners don’t experience a one-time boost in achievement. They continue to accelerate as they experience this manner of teaching.

For more information on our publications, please click on the button below to visit the Math Minds Online Community.

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What makes this course unique?

This course aims to provide a user’s introduction to a coherent, theory-rich, evidence-based approach to teaching mathematics. While the principles we present in the course apply to all levels, the majority of the examples and illustrations we offer are derived from elementary level mathematics.

Unit 1

Unit 1 offers an overview of the model and focuses on using these principles to structure content, organize teaching, and examine resources.

Available now

Unit 2

Unit 2 offers lessons for you to analyze – and, in some cases, to try out in your classroom.

Available now

Unit 3

Unit 3 builds on insights developed in Units 1 and 2 but places a stronger emphasis on designing and adapting lessons.

Available now

Please review our course outline for more information about the course.

What to Expect from The Course

The course offers advice on assessing and selecting classroom resources.

The course offers support when using those resources to choose, adapt, and craft tasks that are suited to your students.

The course provides strategies for gathering feedback from learners and using that feedback.

What Not to Expect

Our research has shown that it takes concentrated and sustained effort to become adept at using the model.

The course is designed to interrupt deep-seated habits that were developed as a student and reinforced by teaching.

The Math Minds model is committed to integrating contemporary research on learning; we don’t offer any sort of stand-alone advice on popular trends.


It took over 7 years to design this course. I don't usually endorse but this one is worth breaking my rules: research-informed (based on world-class published research, including theirs, & trialling) mathematically and cognitively accurate ...

Anne Watson Professor Emeritus, Oxford University, United Kingdom

I really liked that there were so many interactive activities. It forced me to look at things from a different perspective, not just as a teacher but in the mindset of what a student might do.

AmandaGrade 1 Teacher, Canada

So far, this course has really made me aware of the language I am using while teaching and having conversations with my students.

MonicaGrade 1 teacher, Canada

This course has helped me to look at my own teaching practices and made me more aware of how I am teaching these critical discernments - the emphasis of realizing it’s not just about the steps, but how the thinking behind the steps is crucial.

ShailaGrade 4 teacher, Canada

Not easier work at all—in my older way of thinking, it was making sure that students had so many different ways to engage in the math at their level. With the RaPID model, you could teach the one lesson and still engage everyone at the level that’s needed for them.

PeterGrade 5 Teacher, Canada

I really found the Number Talk section to be a real highlight. Because that’s kind of a buzzword. Lots of people use Number Talks. And to really think critically about how we use Number Talks—and look through the lens of the RaPID model—was very, very valuable. I used Number Talks in my Grade Six Math class, and I started really thinking more critically about how I’m doing it, and I’ve been doing some in my Google Meets and being very intentional now since looking at this and changing it up a bit a result of this particular section. I appreciated that. I had not thought about it that way before.

MichelleAssociate Principal and Grade 6 teacher, Canada

After completing the first unit of Math Minds, I now have a new conceptual understanding of how I can enable/support my diversity of learners to make conceptual understandings themselves; e.g., not thinking multi-digit multiplication is a step by step process but instead a process of identifying relationships between numbers working together.

PeterGrade 5 teacher, Canada

The Math Minds Online Community

The Math Minds online community is a space where teachers, practitioners, and researchers discuss our online course and collaborate to enhance the teaching of K-12 mathematics.

The Research Team

Brent Davis PhD

University of Calgary

Armando Paulino Preciado Babb PhD

University of Calgary

Martina Metz PhD

University of Calgary

Soroush Sabbaghan PhD

University of Calgary

Get in Touch

Want to discuss the course or just care to reach out? Fill out the form and we'll be in touch.





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