Focusing on the Learning Purpose of a Lesson

Focus Area: OUR K-5 / IM K-5 Math


Phase: Targeted Support

Available Now


Planning strategically at the lesson level by focusing on the key learning purpose of each activity allows teachers to identify both the goals and the ‘limits’ of the lesson, which supports the student-centeredness and pacing of instruction.  In this 2-hour virtual workshop, participants will choose an upcoming lesson to plan. They will work with a collaborative group to: 

  • Define the purpose of the lesson within the learning progression of the unit 
  • Explore the mathematical purposes of each activity within the lesson and how these build on each other to further student understanding 
  • Build a plan for bringing the lesson activities to life in a way that promotes student-centered learning of key lesson goals

The insights gained from this in-depth study of one lesson will support their day-to-day planning and instruction going forward. 


These workshops are for educators currently working with the IM K-5 Math curriculum, and are especially useful for those who are in their first year of teaching with the curriculum materials. 


I leverage the curriculum’s problem-based structures to plan meaningful learning experiences for my students.

Learning Experience

During the workshop, participants will…


  • The structure of an IM K-5 Math lesson and how the learning experiences are sequenced to build students’ conceptual understanding over time
  • The learning purpose of a specific upcoming lesson
  • How the lesson fits into the learning progression of the unit and of the grade-level standards


  • The math thinking involved in each component of the lesson
  • How students are invited to build their understanding over the course of the lesson activities
  • How the narrow focus of each lesson activity supports students to make meaning for themselves


  • A detailed plan for facilitating one of the lesson activities in a way that supports students in making meaning of key lesson concepts