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Center for Mathematics and Science Education

The University of Mississippi

Strengths-Based Teaching and Learning in Mathematics: Five Teaching Turnarounds
An Interactive, Applicable, Online Book Study

All educators and students bring a variety of strengths to the mathematics classroom. In an environment hyper-focused on “what’s missing”, we may overlook opportunities to recognize the strengths that are right in front of us. Often these strengths are obvious, but sometimes they must be pinpointed by a skilled observer. 

Through this guided book study, you will discover your own teaching strengths and explore ways to identify the learning strengths of your students as you engage in a wide array of actionable classroom strategies. These instructional tools will help you harness your own teaching superpowers and celebrate the brilliance within each and every student!


AUDIENCE: Teachers, Instructional Specialists, Administrators
The content examples within the text come from K-6 mathematics, however, the ideas presented are relevant to all grades.

Course Begins: November 1, 2020

Registration Deadline November 5, 2020

Course Ends: January 31, 2021

This guided book study will include both synchronous and asynchronous activities and discussions. An overview of the course is outlined below.

November 1 – 11, 2020

Introduction and Pre-reading Assignment

November 12, 2020 at 6:00 pm (CST)

Live Kickoff Event with author, Beth McCord Kobett

November 13 – December 2, 2020

Exploring Teaching Turnaround 1: Identify Your Teaching Strengths

Exploring Teaching Turnaround 2: Discover and Leverage Your Students’ Mathematical Strengths 

December 3, 2020 6:00 pm (CST)

Live Discussion Session around Teaching Turnarounds 1 & 2

December 4, 2020 – January 7, 2021

Exploring Teaching Turnaround 3: Design Instruction from a Strengths-Based Perspective

Exploring Teaching Turnaround 4: Help Students Develop their Points of Power

January 7, 2021 6:00 pm (CST)
Live Discussion Session around Teaching Turnarounds 3 & 4

January 8 – 27, 2021
Exploring Teaching Turnaround 5: Promote Strengths in the School Community

January 28, 2021 6:00 pm (CST)
Live Q&A with author, Beth McCord Kobett

The book study is paced so that you can have the time to engage in discussions and activities that allow you to reflect on your current practices and classroom environments. Through these activities you will:

  • Define your own teaching strengths
  • Discover and leverage the mathematical strengths of students
  • Design instruction from a strengths-based approach
  • Help students to recognize their own strengths
  • Promote strengths-based thinking within your school community

Guided reading assignments and discussions will allow participants to reflect on the big ideas presented by the authors, develop actionable steps, implement their plans in their school environment, and receive feedback on their learning and implementation.

Live Discussion sessions will be hosted via Zoom video conferencing throughout the course for formal and informal chats about the book. There are four formal discussions required for completion of the course, with optional informal “fireside chat” sessions scheduled along the way. All formal and informal sessions will be held on Thursday evenings, 6:00 – 7:30 pm (CST).

November 12, 2020
Live Kickoff Event with author, Beth McCord Kobett

November 19, 2020
Chapter 1 Fireside Chat

December 3, 2020 6:00 pm (CST)
Live Discussion Session around Teaching Turnarounds 1 & 2

December 10, 2020
Chapter 4 Fireside Chat

December 17, 2020

Chapter 5 Fireside Chat

January 7, 2021 6:00 pm (CST)
Live Discussion Session around Teaching Turnaround 3 & 4

January 14, 2021
Chapter 8 Fireside Chat

January 21, 2021
Chapter 9 Fireside Chat

January 28, 2021 6:00 pm (CST) – date is tentative
Live Q&A with author, Beth McCord Kobett

(Required Formal Discussion Sessions; Optional informal chat sessions)

Dr. Julie James 

Assistant Director of Professional Learning

Center for Mathematics and Science Education

The University of Mississippi


Dr. Alice Steimle 

Associate Director

Center for Mathematics and Science Education

The University of Mississippi



With guest appearances by author, Beth McCord Kobett

Dr. Beth McCord Kobett is Professor of Education at Stevenson University, where she teaches and supports early childhood, elementary, and middle preservice teachers in mathematics education. She is a former classroom teacher and elementary mathematics specialist.  She is currently serving a three-year term as an elected Board Member for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.  She is a co-author of six mathematics pedagogy books in lesson development, mathematics coaching, and formative assessment. Her most recent work, Strengths-Based Teaching and Learning in Mathematics is a result of her passion for and work in recognizing and cultivating the mathematics strengths and brilliance of each and every student.

Completion of all required content will earn participants:
2.0 CEUs,
15 SEMIs, or
1 OSL.

Participating in the optional informal chats will earn an additional 0.1 CEUs per session (up to 0.5 additional CEUs)

This book study will be relevant to teachers, administrators, and support staff alike. While the classroom examples and strategies presented in the book are framed around the K-6 mathematics classroom, the ideas and concepts are relevant to all grade-levels. This would be a great school-wide professional learning opportunity.

Credits are processed electronically by the North Mississippi Education Consortium. Please allow 3-4 weeks for processing. Participants will be notified via email from NMEC once credits are available for download.

Registration Fee (includes CEUs):

  • $175 – Course & Book
  • $150 – Course Only

Payments can be made via:

  • Personal Check,
  • Money Order,
  • School Purchase Order, or
  • Credit/Debit Card*.

Once registration is received, an invoice will be emailed to the address on record. The invoice number will be needed to process credit/debit card payments.

*A $5.00 processing fee (per registrant) will be added to all credit/debit card payments.