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The Developing Mathematical Ideas (DMI) Program

About the Professional Development Curriculum

DMI is a commercially published elementary and middle grades (K-8) mathematics teacher professional development (PD) program based on well-established principles of effective PD. Teachers in DMI work together to think about and deepen their understanding of key mathematical ideas, explore students' thinking about "big mathematical ideas" and how they develop, and discuss teaching that supports students to develop mathematical understanding.

The DMI curriculum is the result of a collaboration among the Education Development Center, TERC, and The Summermath for Teachers Program at Mount Holyoke College.

The focus of seminar sessions are classroom cases or episodes that

There are seven DMI curriculum units. The Evaluating DMI study focuses on DMI's initial number and operations units: Building a System of Tens (BST) and Making Meaning for Operations (MMO).

At the heart of the materials are sets of classroom episodes (cases) illustrating student thinking as described by their teachers. In addition to case discussions, the curriculum offers teachers opportunities: to explore mathematics in lessons led by facilitators; to share and discuss the work of their own students; to view and discuss videotapes of mathematics classrooms; to write their own classroom cases; to analyze lessons taken from innovative elementary mathematics curricula; and to read overviews of related research.

DMI seminars are designed to bring together teachers from kindergarten through middle grades to:

  • learn mathematics content
  • learn to recognize key mathematical ideas with which their students are grappling
  • learn to support the power and complexity of student thinking
  • learn to appreciate the power and complexity of student thinking
  • learn how core mathematical ideas develop across the grades
  • learn how to continue learning about children and mathematics

School systems that have adopted innovative mathematics curricula have found DMI to be an important support. The materials have been used with practicing teachers in both summer institutes and school-year settings. In addition, DMI has served as core curriculum for programs designed for teacher-leaders, administrators, parents, and for pre-service teachers.

DMI Seminar Descriptions
DMI is comprised of seven seminars:

  • Number and Operations, Part 1: Building a System of Tens • Number and Operations, Part 1: Building a System of Tens Participants explore the base-ten structure of the number system, consider how that structure is exploited in multidigit computational procedures, and examine how basic concepts of whole numbers reappear when working with decimals.
  • Number and Operations, Part 2: Making Meaning for Operations • Participants examine the actions and situations modeled by the four basic operations. The seminar begins with a view of young children's counting strategies as they encounter word problems, moves to an examination of the four basic operations on whole numbers, and revisits the operations in the context of rational numbers.

About DMI Teacher Seminars

The DMI PD context models the classroom environment teachers are asked to create. There are eight 3-hour sessions in each seminar. In a typical session, teachers do mathematics together and discuss a written or video classroom case focused on students' thinking about mathematical ideas. Homework assignments ask teachers to bring ideas from the seminar into their classroom, and then reflect on what happened. DMI teachers participate in an inquiry-oriented, learner-centered, PD learning environment that emphasizes mathematical communication, conjecturing, and problem solving using everyday language, concrete materials, visual representations, and mathematical symbols.

Click here to Learn more about the DMI curriculum, DMI teacher seminars, and other DMI Support Activities.

Information for Teachers about Participating in the Evaluating DMI Study

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