Case Study: Math Engagement Workshop for Teachers Grades 3-5


AIMS is an established association of independent schools in Maryland and the District of Columbia. Roughly 120 member schools serve more than 45,000 students in grades PK – 12. Among the many ways AIMS supports its members is by creating a variety of professional development opportunities. Teachers are looking for new and fresh approaches to teaching and presenting content, especially for key content areas like mathematics. AIMS recognized the need to provide a workshop to support critical foundational content in grades 3-5, including whole number and decimal operations, fractions, fluency, and strengthening number sense.

Simplify’s Involvement

Simplify’s founder, Dr. Phyllis Hillwig, gave a two-hour workshop designed to engage teachers with simple games that can be adapted easily across grades, levels, and content areas. Nearly two-dozen educators, including elementary teachers, math and learning specialists, and high school math and science teachers, were in attendance. Teachers played a variety of games and shared how they would adapt these games to use in the classroom the next day and throughout the year.

Teachers competed to get as many numbers on the number line with the endpoints -5 and 5!


Many attendees were pleased with the workshop and have already started to implement the engagement ideas in their classrooms. As a result of this workshop, AIMS and Dr. Hillwig will be jointly planning workshops that focus on tackling non-trivial word problems and engagement strategies for middle school teachers.

“Thank you so much for presenting such an engaging and relevant workshop for our AIMS community members. I wish all workshops were as hands-on and interactive as the one that Phyllis designed and presented.”

Alecia Berman-Dry, Director of Outreach and Professional Development (AIMS)

“I loved your presentation yesterday, and the vibe I got from the others was positive as well.”

Stephanie L., instructional leader

“Our three teachers who came really enjoyed it. They loved all of your ideas and the game ideas shared.”

Becky S., math supervisor

“Thank you for such an engaging and FUN workshop.”

Stephanie M., learning specialist

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