David Wees

Curriculum and Professional Development Specialist


The Role of Instructional Routines in Student and Teacher Learning

Much work has been done to investigate ways to support teachers in improving their teaching, but many of these efforts have been unsuccessful at scale. The best professional learning for teachers appears to be job-embedded, content-specific, and curriculum-aligned.

Magdalene Lampert defines instructional activities as “designs for interaction that organize classroom instruction” (NCSM, 2013). In our work, we routinized certain instructional activities so that both students and teachers benefit from the predictable structure of routines. We then taught teachers the routines in a workshop setting and embedded content-specific tasks for use with these routines within our curriculum.

In this presentation, I will describe our effort to use instructional routines at scale as both a vehicle for student and teacher learning along with some of the limitations of this effort.


David runs workshops for teachers, writes mathematics curriculum, and consults with schools about their mathematics programs. He has taught mathematics and science in NYC, London, Bangkok, and Vancouver. He is published in multiple magazines and newspapers. David has been a guest on a number of radio shows, and has presented at many conferences on mathematics and educational technology. The focus of his career is on the intersection of mathematics, education, and technology and is especially interested in the role of instructional routines for student and teacher learning.