What is the Educators' Collaboratory?


the number lab is dedicated to co-designing transformational mathematics experiences with and for other institutions, teachers, and schools. We provide participants from around the country and around the world the opportunity to conceive and catalyze change in their classrooms. Coming to the number lab means stepping out of your school's culture and traditions so that you can see more clearly what motivates students, what they respond to, and what it takes to conceive of the best possible learning environment. The word "collaboratory" indicates we do this together, as moving forward is hard work. The word "collaboratory" is also meant to remind us that we do this in partnership with our students, as we want our young mathematicians to be creators and not consumers, and with this we invite their ideas, elicit their constant feedback, and observe them in order to learn.


What will I learn at the Collaboratory?

In these intensive 4-day summer workshops, participants work to deepen their understanding of the mathematical ideas that both underlie addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division and also connect arithmetic to Algebra. Participants will take on the role of students as they take part in Deductive Lessons that are core to our Number Reasoning program and build new understandings of key mathematical concepts in ways that support deeper understanding, reasoning, and transfer across topics. Studio Time follows, as we try out both this key practice and the ideas constructed through the Deductive Lessons.

Throughout the Collaboratory's 4-day workshops, we'll overview the practices that anchor a Number Lab Classroom, highlight important models that support deep understanding, study artifacts of student work, and learn more about what contributes to positive classroom culture and norms of productive discourse. We'll also talk together about the challenges of shifting our mathematics instruction away from a skills-based/procedural approach towards presenting mathematics as a coherent discipline that supports sense-making. And perhaps most intriguing, young students will come into the Collaboratory workshop for a series of demonstration lessons in front of the EC participants so that we have an opportunity to talk together about how our work might look in action with our own students.

The focus of the Educators' Collaboratory is around content and understanding of the Number Reasoning Matrix, while the Advanced Collaboratory focuses on planning and practices.

The Advanced Colloboratory assumes a prior 4-day EC experience. Please do not register for Advanced if you have not attended the 4-day summer Educators' Collaboratory at some point in the past (a customized 2-day workshop at your school is not sufficient for jumping into the Advanced Collaboratory -- you will feel quite lost!). If you attended the Advanced Collaboratory in 2017, you can continue your learning at the Advanced Collaboratory 2018. Please reach out to us if you have questions on pre-requisites for attending the Advanced Collaboratory.

The format of both Collaboratories is very casual and there is a great deal of discussion as teachers and instructional leaders from schools across the world come together to prepare to shift their instruction during the upcoming school year. 

Who should attend?

K-8 teachers, math coaches, instructional support specialists, curriculum directors, and administrators are invited to attend. It works well for a team to attend together, though many participants attend without colleagues. 

The Collaboratory is ideal for educators who are committed to developing their craft beyond just adopting the next math textbook program. Educators who attend the Collaboratory are typically seeking to understand mathematical ideas with greater depth and are interested in learning about instructional practices that promote reasoning and support a classroom community that parallels its interactions with those of professional mathematicians.

Whether you are confident in your own skills in mathematics or not, we'll be doing math together. Don't be intimidated. . . this is not the mathematics you encountered as a child! There is no way to improve your craft as a mathematics teacher without spending time delving into the mathematics more and playing around with new ideas and ways of thinking. We find that the teachers that specialize in math (i.e. typically our middle school teachers) and those that don't (i.e. often our elementary self-contained friends) feel after just a day into the workshop that they are both challenged and also understanding mathematics at a whole new level. Children are typically a part of our workshops -- we'll invite some of the children we work with into the Collaboratory and we'll model lessons and debrief afterwards as a group.

We run an informal and easy-going workshop. Come ready to engage, come excited about thinking differently. Leave your textbook at home. Bring intellectual curiosity, bring questions, and bring an open mind. And bring your team. This innovative professional development is very powerful when you experience it with a group of colleagues.

What are the dates and logistics?

Advanced Collaboratory 2018 will be held Monday, July 23 - Thursday, July 26 at the number lab in Austin, Texas. Daily sessions are 9:00 - 3:00, with a lunch break. Prerequisite: Must have attended a 4-day Educators' Collaboratory or a 4-day Advanced Collaboratory. 

Educators' Collaboratory 2018 was held Monday, July 9 - Thursday, July 12 at Rowling Hall at The University of Texas in Austin, Texas. 


  • AFTER MARCH 1: The cost of both the Educators' Collaboratory and the Advanced Collaboratory is $650 per person.
  • The group rate for the Educators' Collaboratory is $550 per person for a group of 5 or more. There is no group rate for the Advanced Collaboratory.
  • Groups: Please contact us if you wish to register a large group of 15 or more.
  • Please contact clewis@thenumberlab.com if you wish to pay via PO#.
  • Registration closes June 1, 2018 or when we are full. Last year we filled by the end of April.
  • Registrants will receive detailed information via email in early June.
  • The AT&T Conference Center Hotel is a great option for out of town participants; we can provide the conference code to reduce your rate if you contact us via email: collaboratory@thenumberlab.com.
  • Cancellation Policy: We hope you will keep your plans with us once you have registered and paid for the Collaboratory. If your plans change and you must cancel, 50% of registration fee will be returned before June 1st; after June 1st we are not able to offer any refund.

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For more information, contact us at collaboratory@thenumberlab.com.