What is the Educators’ Collaboratory?


The Educators' Collaboratory and the [Co]lab Intensive are summer workshops that provide participants from around the country and around the world the opportunity to conceive of and catalyze change in their classrooms. Coming to the Educators' Collaboratory 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 create the best possible learning environment for young mathematicians.

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.

The Co[lab] Intensive is a complementary experience for educators who have attended at least one year of the Collaboratory and are interested in working in a small cohort to write Concept Studies & Thought Exercises, practice teach, and advance their understanding of the number lab's math instruction.



Who should attend?

1st-8th grade 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.

What are the dates?

Educators' Collaboratory 2019 will be held Monday, July 8 - Thursday, July 11 at Rowling Hall at The University of Texas in Austin, Texas. Daily sessions are 9:00 - 4:00, with a lunch break.

[Co]lab Intensive 2019 will be held Monday, July 22 - Friday, July 26 at Long-View Micro School in Austin, Texas. Daily sessions are 9:00 - 3:00, with a lunch break. 

How do I know which workshop to attend?

Educators' Collaboratory 2019 is for everyone, whether you attended last summer and want to continue learning, or you've attended a prior 1-day or 2-day workshop run by the number lab, or this is your first time ever. Break out sessions for returning participants and choice sessions give everyone a chance to further their learning every summer. 1st-8th grade teachers, math specialists/coaches, and administrators are encouraged to attend and to return annually to continue learning about our transformative approach.

[Co]lab Intensive 2019 is for educators interested in a deeper understanding of the planning and practices of a number lab classroom. Formerly called the "Advanced Collaboratory," the [Co]lab Intensive is held at Long-View Micro School. Participants spend time in grade level cohorts (choose 1st-4th or 4th-8th), working to develop plans for their own classrooms and refine understanding of pedagogy by practice-teaching in a supportive context. This is the right workshop for anyone who has attended the Advanced Collaboratory in the past, as well as anyone who has attended the Educators' Collaboratory and feels relatively confident in regards to the number lab philosophy and the conceptual framework. If you have questions about the right experience for you, just email us. Prerequisite: Must have attended a 4-day Educators' Collaboratory or a 4-day Advanced Collaboratory. This is not for first-timers!

The Educators' Collaboratory and the [Co]lab Intensive can be paired together and accomplished in one summer. Let us know if you are interested in this and we can advise you on whether this will work for you and/or your team.



What will I learn?

Throughout the four days of the Educators' Collaboratory, we'll overview the practices that anchor a Math Block, 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 deeply explore what it means to "privilege conceptual understanding," getting to know arithmetic and its connection to Algebra through a new lens. 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 reasoning. And perhaps most intriguing, young students will come into the Collaboratory 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 your own students.

When you attend the Educators' Collaboratory for your second year (or beyond), you'll work in smaller cohorts for Studio Time and participate in discussions with other returning participants during parts of the day. You'll also have the opportunity to continue to deepen understanding of the conceptual terrain you experienced in years prior and move forward towards greater confidence in your ability to implement elements of the Math Block in your own classroom.

The [Co]lab Intensive assumes a prior 4-day EC experience, as well a moderate level of confidence in the conceptual terrain covered in that 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!). We welcome you to reach out to us if you have questions on pre-requisites for attending the Advanced Collaboratory.

Planning and practices are a focus of the [Co]lab Intensive, and several sessions during this 5-day experience give participants a chance to write their own plans for their classroom and practice teach with a cohort of peers. As the name denotes, this is a week of moving deeply into what was learned at Educators' Collaboratory, but you will leave feeling more empowered and ready to create a powerful math experience for your own students.

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. 

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.

How do I sign up?


You can sign up on-line (click below) or by emailing us (PO#, Invoices, and Groups): collaboratory@thenumberlab.com


Educators' Collaboratory

  • Early-Bird: $650

  • After April 1: $700


[Co]lab Intensive

  • Early-Bird: $750

  • After April 1: $800


Additional Registration Information

  • Groups: Please contact us if you wish to register a large group of 15 or more.

  • Please contact collaboratory@thenumberlab.com if you wish to pay via PO# or Invoice. You will be asked to provide the names/email addresses for all participants so that they can complete registration forms.

  • Registration closes June 1, 2019 or when we are full. Last year we filled by the end of April.

  • Registrants will receive detailed information via email in May and again in late June.

  • The AT&T Conference Center Hotel is a great option for out of town participants; we can provide a list of other area hotels if you email us at 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 May 1st; after May 1st we are not able to offer any refund.