Using Discourse and Math Performance Tasks to Improve Learning Outcomes, K-8

students at desk
Presenter: Jay Meadows, CEO and Suzanne Hood
Cost: Free
Location: Remote Webinar

Watch On-Demand

To inspire deep learning, curiosity and a love for mathematics, educators have to find ways to get students talking about mathematics. In short - we need students to make some noise!

This session will explore Five Practices teachers can use to facilitate rich discussions in the classroom. Anticipating, Monitoring, Selecting, Sequencing and Connecting.

Along the way, we’ll look at how performance tasks serve as the perfect complement to math discussions, why developing strategies is as important as finding answers, and specific tools teachers can use to foster engaging, productive math discussions.

About the Presenters

Jay Portrait

Jay Meadows serves as Exemplars’ Chief Education Officer and Chief Executive Officer. He is a former middle school math and science teacher and has been working in education for more than two decades. Jay holds a Master of Arts in teaching from the University of Vermont.

In addition to his dual role as CEO, Jay is one of Exemplars’ primary performance task writers and professional development consultants for the middle level. Leading sessions throughout the United States, he works with teachers to integrate performance tasks into their curricula. Through Exemplars, Jay dreams of teaching a generation of kids to become effective problem solvers. Prior to his career in education, Jay coordinated delegations from the former Soviet Union through U.S. State Department grants. He has also worked alongside a number of international non-profits and is a former Peace Corps volunteer.


Suzanne Portrait

Suzanne Hood has been a professional mathematics educator for more than 22 years. She holds a Master’s Degree in Education from the State University of West Georgia. Married to her childhood sweetheart, Suzanne was born and raised in Atlanta and currently resides in Flowery Branch, GA.

Suzanne has worked as a classroom teacher to support students as they navigate the problem-solving process in Grades K-5. As a Mathematics Instructional Coach, she began supporting teachers 12 years ago in a rural school, where she conducted a longitudinal study using Exemplars tasks. The study concluded that CoGAT scores can increase when students are taught to think about complex problems and are guided by educators who use formative assessment to inform instructional decisions. Suzanne was awarded the recognition of Master Teacher in Coaching as a result of this work.


About the Moderator

Jim Portrait


Jim McVety is Managing Partner of First Step Advisors. A lifelong advocate for innovation in education, Jim brings with him 20+ years of research and analysis experience. Jim has hosted numerous webinars, expert panels, and keynote presentations during his career, and his focus is on building the capacity of service organizations to better support educators and students.