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Doing Homework
Elementary Classroom

Peter Liljedahl's Research on Teaching Through Problem Solving

Developing a Thinking Classroom

"What was missing for these students, and their teachers, was a central focus in mathematics on thinking. The realization that this was absent in so many classrooms that I visited motivated me to find a way to build, within these same classrooms, a culture of thinking, both for the student and the teachers. I wanted to build, what I now call, a thinking classroom – a classroom that is not only conducive to thinking but also occasions thinking, a space that is inhabited by thinking individuals as well as individuals thinking collectively, learning together, and constructing knowledge and understanding through activity and discussion." 

Peter Liljedahl, Simon Fraser University, Canada

Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century

Our Thinking School!


My Thinking Classroom

High School Redesign - Grade 10 Pods - Student Reflections

A ​Grade One Student Thinking and Talking About Math

A Grade Two Student Explaining a Personal Strategy

Teachers Learning Through Problem Solving - Numeracy Leadership Group

Teaching Through Problem Solving in Junior High

Girls in Classrom

What Does Math Look Like in the Early Grades?



Grade One

Click on a grade level to see a video of what students may be learning at that grade level to promote numeracy and number sense. These videos focus on developing number sense and personal strategies for basic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division). 

  • Remember that students develop differently at different times. Learning for understanding takes time and thinking first, then practice. 

  • Students need to find the strategy that best works for their understanding. 

  • This strategy will develop and change over time to become more efficient. 

  • An effective strategy is one that the student understands and that works for the mathematical situation in which they are using it.

  • It is important to work with objects, pictures, and numbers to develop number sense.

Videos of Grade 4 Students Developing Personal Strategies

Kids learning.jpg

Teaching Through Problems Worth Solving 

We collected our favourite problems to use in a Thinking Classroom and linked them to our Alberta curriculum for grades 2, 3, and 8. Many problems can be used in many different grades. Read the Read This First Section to see how we used them in our classrooms. 

Professor & Students

Click on the link below for More Math Resources 

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