Math’s Dead Branches: Why Are the Kids Not Understanding the Concepts?

What does a balanced approach look like? How do we ‘get kids through’ AND teach foundational skills that scaffold growth?

This interactive session will discuss how the changing role of numeracy and mathematics necessitates changes in the classroom. We will build clarity on how to integrate relational and instrumental approaches, and adapt assessment, to foster a balanced, rich mathematics classroom.

We will engage with what "dead branches" look like in the classroom; where do they come from and how can we work to prevent them? This will involve looking closely at math tips and tricks, which ones are helpful and when, and how, as teachers, we can put conceptual understanding at the forefront of our lessons and assessments. This approach is adaptable for all grades. Examples will span grades. Supplementary examples, primary through Gr 12, can be provided through our discussion.

Target Audience

6-8/Middle school


12:44 PM - 3:00 PM
Frances Kelsey Secondary School Mill Bay

This session is full.

This workshops is held offsite at Frances Kelsey Secondary School Mill Bay - 953 Shawnigan Lake-Mill Bay Rd - Mill Bay, BC - V0R 2P2 - Canada


  • Mill Bay Nature School
    Jordan Heath

    Jordan studied Physics and Education at UBC. A self-professed jack-of-all-trades, he has taught Science, Math, Technology Education, Musical Theatre, Boxing and eSports in the Cowichan Valley. Jordan is currently working as the numeracy lead at Mill Bay Nature School, and works hard to make sure every student has the opportunity to see math as more than arithmetic. 

  • Corina Fitznar

    Corina earned her M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction from UVIC. Her 24 years of teaching has spanned K-12 both locally and internationally. Her current teaching role is Secondary Coordinator of Instruction and Innovation for Cowichan School District. Corina taught numeracy in grades 1-7 and supports competency-based numeracy assessment and approaches in secondary.