Saturday Seminar Series: Sense-Making for Teachers
Register for individual dates below or register for multiple seminars HERE and save!


(new times!)



September 16, 2017 9:30am-3:00pm Sac State


October 14, 2017 9:30am-3:00pm Sac State


November 18, 2017 9:30am-3:00pm Sac State


January 27, 2018 9:30am-3:00pm Sac State


April 21, 2018 9:30am-3:00pm Sac State


Download a Saturday Seminar Flyer

Download a Saturday Seminar Registration Form

Focus for 2017-2018 Seminars


  • How can I launch this task so everyone has access and can engage?
  • Where can I create moments of productive struggle for the students?
  • When and how can I capitalize on a student’s cool idea, and engage the rest of the students in it?
  • How can I teach students how to have a mathematical conversation?
  • How can I prepare to lead whole group discussion of student ideas when I don’t know what they’ll say?
  • How can I get more than the same 2 or 3 students talking?


Saturday Seminars include information on how to create and implement student tasks that provide students opportunities to make sense, persevere, reason abstractly, construct viable arguments, analyze the reasoning of others, develop mathematical models to explore or understand situations and phenomenon, select tools appropriate for the task at hand, use and communicate appropriate levels of precision, recognize and apply structure, and recognize and apply repeated reasoning. You probably recognized all of those actions as the Standards of Mathematical Practice.

Saturday Seminars are about...

EXPERIENCING THE MATH: Be a learner as we teach by asking questions supporting you to make sense of the problem for yourself.   Problems are prerequisite free—as long as you can count and reason, you will have access.  We model questioning strategies and how understanding can be spread to all.  We prompt small group discourse and lead whole group processing discussions.

MAKING TEACHING TRANSPARENT:  The morning lesson will be analyzed in a debriefing discussion.  Participating teachers have the chance to reflect upon and discuss the questioning strategies and instructional choices made by the instructors.   Specific ways to prompt and support SMP’s is identified.

IDENTIFYING WAYS TO TEACH STANDARDS CONCEPTUALLY: Each seminar provides a session about content that is more particular to teachers’ grade levels, depending upon the grade levels of the teachers attending. For example these content sessions last year ranged from how to teach adding decimals conceptually without telling the students the procedure, to how to teach y=mx+b conceptually without telling the students the procedures. Our emphasis is on how to set up lessons so that students are guided to makes sense of the mathematics for themselves, which is the first standard of mathematical practice, and the way to attend to both deep conceptual understanding and procedural fluency.

LOOKING AT STUDENT WORK ON COMMON CORE TASKS: The final session of the day is a look at student work using rubrics developed from open response items from the Smarter Balanced sample items. Teachers are given student tasks and invited to bring back student work (without names.) Teachers then analyze the student work first looking where the student’s response is on the rubric, and then, more importantly, then developing questions of two types. First, what are some PROBING questions to determine if the student knows more than is showing on the paper. Second, what are some GUIDING questions or tasks, that can be used to move the student to better understand the conceptual reasoning and that will move the student to get a better score on the rubric.

Although we recognize Saturday time is precious, we know that you will find the time spent with us valuable, and hope that you can join us.

The cost per session is $45.00 or $40.00 per session if you sign up for 3 or more at the same time! Lunch is included in the registration fees!

Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
Please check with your organization to ensure the CEUs we offer meet your employer/school district's requirements. CEUs are optional. CEU cost for 2 units are $120.00.
You can purchase units up to two weeks after the last class.

Please notify MASE Center in writing, by e-mail or fax no less than five days prior to your first class meeting* for a full refund. If your request is received five days before the course begins, you may transfer the full amount of your paid fees to another date in the series or receive a full refund, less a $10 processing fee. If you do not attend the course or notify us in the alloted time, you will not receive a refund. All refunds will be issued by check. Checks require one month for clearance prior to processing refunds. Refund checks are processed within four to six weeks.

* A five day notice does not include weekends or holidays. E-mail your request to or send a fax to (916) 278-5480.

If you need more information or have questions, contact Debbie Dennick, Events Coordinator at (916) 278-4497 or