Peter Liljedahl brings Thinking Classrooms to ESD 113

Peter Liljedahl addresses the attendees of the Building Thinking Classrooms workshop in June 2023

Energetic, engaging, and fun. These three adjectives describe the ideal classroom most educators want for their students. They also describe the most recent Thinking Classrooms workshop at ESD 113 in June.

Building Thinking Classrooms is the brainchild of world-renowned mathematician and author Peter Liljedahl. Educators across ESD 113 and worldwide have already implemented his concepts to get students engaged.

The workshop very much resembled what he envisions the classroom should look like. Attendees were out of their seats, working together in groups at their own boards, discussing solutions to the problems they were given.

Educators work out a math problem during a Thinking Classrooms workshop in June 2023

“He’s an energizing personality,” says ESD 113 Regional Mathematics Administrator Daniel Kent. “He knows his work. He knows it’s good for kids, and he’s got this infectious enthusiasm. People were up; they were engaged in what they were doing. It felt like how you want to see a classroom feel.”

Liljedahl has stopped by a few schools within the ESD for workshops before. They’ve always been beneficial in bringing new ideas to educators for their classrooms.

While Kent would enjoy every school getting these sessions within their confines, he knows that getting someone as noteworthy as Liljedahl to every school is impractical. The Tyee site offers a convenient regional place for those who want to attend.

“We’re really fortunate to be able to provide that to teachers around the area and around the state,” stated Kent. “We’re definitely seeing continued and growing interest in Thinking Classrooms.”

Increasing interest in Liljedahl events has seen educators traveling statewide to attend.

Educators work out a math problem during a Thinking Classrooms workshop in June 2023

“The biggest thing I’ve seen this do for teachers is inspire hope and reignite that spark and that passion for teaching that we sometimes lose sight of,” adds Kent. “This has done that for a number of teachers, and it’s something worth exploring.”

Liljedahl will return to ESD 113 on February 22, 2024, for a full-day, introductory-style session. He will follow up with a visit on June 27–28, featuring a deeper dive into Thinking Classrooms.

For those interested in the many Building Thinking Classrooms hosted throughout the year, visit the ESD 113 website and register.