Purposeful Integration of Technology in Mathematics workshop for educators

The Maine Department of Education is sponsoring a workshop addressing Purposeful Integration of Technology in Mathematics for new and experienced math educators at Keeley’s Banquet Center on 178 Warren Ave in Portland on September 21, 8:30am – 3:30pm and at Jeff’s Catering, located at 15 Littlefield Rd. in Brewer on September 22, 8:30am – 3:30pm.

The workshop will consist of two all-day sessions, grades K-5 and grades 6-12. Pam Buffington, PhD, and Peter Tierney-Fife from Education Development Center (EDC) will present sessions for K-5 with Jenn Vadnais, a representative from Desmos presenting for the 6-12.

Registration to attend the above sessions closes September 6th, 2017. Please note, due to limited capacity, each district has the opportunity to register only ONE representative to a K-5 session and ONE representative to a 6-12 session. Educators interested in registering should utilize the appropriate registration link below:

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Keeley’s Banquet Center

178 Warren Ave,

Portland, ME 04103

Grades K-5 Registration

Grades 6-12Registration

Friday, September 22, 2017

Jeff’s Catering and Event Center

15 Littlefield Rd,

Brewer, ME 04401

Grades K-5 Registration

Grades 6-12 Registration

Further questions should be directed to Daniel Weeks, Title V Coordinator at Daniel.R.Weeks@maine.gov or (207) 624-6749.

Further information regarding session content and presenters is provided below.

Pam Buffington, PhD, is an education researcher and practitioner who specializes in technology integration in mathematics and science instruction. During a 35-year career, she has provided critical guidance to states, local education agencies, teachers, and administrators in investigating and implementing strategies to improve students’ learning outcomes.

Pam has been at the forefront of the classroom technology integration movement in New England and more broadly. She has led partnerships with both rural and urban school districts to improve student mathematics learning through the integration of interactive mobile technologies and has worked to expand access to high-quality virtual manipulatives and mathematics simulations. She also works to support researcher-practitioner partnerships, with an eye towards using evidence-based strategies to improve student outcomes in mathematics.

Peter Tierney-Fife works primarily on mathematics professional development and research projects. His expertise includes professional development materials creation and technical work such as applet and database development. He loves collaborating with teachers to improve student experiences with mathematics. His current projects focus on the areas of technology integration in mathematics and professional development for mathematics teachers with diverse student populations, including students who are English learners. Prior to working at EDC Peter taught middle school mathematics, was a Field Researcher for a technology-infused mathematics professional development research project, and was a carpenter and furniture maker.

Jenn Vadnais started out teaching in the Bath-Brunswick area. For her first year, she taught geometry at Morse High School in Bath and then spent 15 years teaching 8th grade at Brunswick Junior High School. In the summer of 2009, she relocated to Southern California with her family where she was hired as a 7th grade math teacher for Redlands Unified School District. In 2014, Jenn stepped out the classroom to become a Middle Level Math Coach for RedlandsUSD. During her time as a math coach, she was introduced to Desmos and was accepted into the first Desmos Fellow Cohort in 2016 and became a Desmos Certified Presenter in 2017. About the same time, Jenn switched positions to join her district’s brand new Instructional Technology Department as a k-12 Instructional Technology Coach.

K-5 Session Details:

During this session you will learn meaningful technology integration strategies and about digital tools for improving grades K-5 mathematics learning and teaching. Example tasks and related resources will concentrate on numeracy and the Standards for Mathematical Practices (particularly MP3, MP4, and MP5) aligned with the Maine’s College and Career Readiness Standards. We will focus on improving student mathematical communication and discourse while using digital devices in rich, open, problem-solving contexts. You will learn about interactive apps and Web sites with information and strategies, engage in the use of open tasks with the interactive apps, and reflect on and discuss the use of the digital tools and related resources. We will also discuss strategies and tools to manage student-created rich media artifacts such as screencasts and photos. You will leave with handouts and links to free digital resources suitable for use with students to enhance your classroom practice.

6-12 Session Details


Participants will experience how Desmos brings joy to vocabulary development through Polygraph. The focus of connecting informal and formal language will be discussed.

Level up your calculator skills

  1. Awesome Graphs. See what’s possible in the Desmos graphing calculator by exploring this collection of course-specific graphs for Grades 6-12.
  2. Desmos Calculator Scavenger Hunt. Level up your Desmos graphing skills by working through a series of beginner, intermediate, and advanced graphing challenges.

Activity Builder Lesson

The Activity Builder platform allows students to interact with, explore, reflect on and write about math. Participants will experience Desmos’ Activity Builder, including the Classroom Conversation Toolkit, as a student by diving into a rich mathematical situation. The Toolkit includes three features: Pause Activity, Anonymize and Teacher Pacing.


Participants will explore the connections between equations and graphs with Desmos’ Marbleslides activities.

Getting Started

Participants will set up a teacher.desmos.com account, turn on the lab feature which activates the Marbleslides and Card Sort options as well as, learn how to search, bookmark and edit premade activities.

Depending on time …

Introduction to Creating an Activity Builder

Participants will learn the basics of creating their own Activity Builder.