Math Wheels for Note-taking?

Professional Development for Middle School Math Teachers


Seven Free Sessions of Professional Development for Middle School Math Teachers

Are you in need of professional development for middle school math teachers? This blog post details 7 free trainings that are filled with easy to implement ideas.

Are you looking for some free professional development for middle school math teachers? Or need a few new ideas for your middle school math classes?

Or maybe you could just use some refreshers or reminders of ideas you wanted to try in your 6th, 7th, or 8th grade math classes?

I have seven sessions to share with you, each one with a different focus for middle school math classroom.

These seven sessions were live trainings that were recorded on Zoom in July, 2022. And you can now access all the recordings, which are summarized below. Most sessions are about 30 minutes, so you can get some great info in a relatively short amount of time!

During these sessions, we focused on some specific math content and some classroom strategies. We also reviewed how to create a couple different types of resources (with some PowerPoint tips thrown in:-)

Using Math Centers

First up in our sessions was using math centers. Because my math classes are shorter (40-ish minutes), we focused on how to fit centers into your routine if you have shorter classes. You can also apply the ideas to longer class periods.

image of task cards, color by number, math wheel

We also chatted about:

You can check out the recording of the live session in the Free Math Resource Center on this site. You can also read some of the details in the math centers in middle school blog post.

Using Daily Warm-ups

I love spiral math review and have used it since around 2013! So, in our second math session, we talked about the many benefits I saw with my 6th grade math students. We also discussed:

image of spiral review in notebook

  • Exactly what spiral review is
  • Several alternative ways to incorporate spiral review if you can’t use it as a traditional warm-up or bellringer

Some of this information is in the Spiral Review blog post, but the recording of the session (in the Free Math Resource Center) has a few more ideas.

Using Math Wheels for Taking Notes

Math ‘doodle wheels’ are such an engaging way to take notes!

This session covers:

  • What math doodle wheels are
  • Benefits of using math wheels
  • How to use math wheels

image of 8 math wheels

AND, we had a quick demo for how to create math wheels.

You can read about using math (and ELA) wheels for notes and practice or check out the session recording.

Creating Resources

This was one of our longer sessions, at about 45 min:-)

In this session, we looked at:

image of hands on a computer

Throughout the session we had some extra PPT tips:-) You can find this in the Free Math Resource Center as well.

Teaching Surface Area

In math session number five, we reviewed an exploration activity to help students develop the concept of surface area.

We also discussed the importance of exploration in developing meaning and talked about some note-taking options for surface area.

image of food boxes, ruler, scissors and clipboard - this activity from a professional development for middle school math teachers course is a great way to introduce surface area

You can read about the activity in the surface area blog post or listen to the recorded session.

Extensions for Gifted Students

Session 6 was all about extensions for gifted students in middle school math.

We discussed acceleration versus extensions, as well as:

  • Productive classrooms
  • Extension activities
  • DOs and Don’ts

image of books

The recording of this session is in the Free Math Resource Center.

Teaching Ratios and Proportions

Our last, and maybe my favorite, session was about teaching ratios and proportions. This session could have gone on for hours (there’s so much we could talk about), so we  limited our focus to:

  • The importance of proportional thinking
  • Types of ratios
  • Strategies for solving proportions
  • Percent problem examples
  • Proportions activity

image of goldfish in bowls with student using spoon to scoop them - this activity was taught at a professional development for middle school math teachers and was a great hands-on activity for teaching rations and proportions

Our strategies for solving proportions and percent problems included ratio tables, tape diagrams, and double number lines.

We wrapped up this session with the engaging “Something Fishy” activity, which you can read about in the Ratios and Goldfish blog post.

To get all the ratios content, check out the recording in the free resource center!

Professional Development for Middle School Math Teachers

I had a blast doing these sessions with some enthusiastic and excited educators, and hope to do more in the future!

You can find ALL the session recordings of these free professional development sessions for middle school math teachers in the Free Math Resource Center here on my site.


Welcome to Cognitive Cardio Math! I’m Ellie, a wife, mom, grandma, and dog ‘mom,’ and I’ve spent just about my whole life in school! With nearly 30 years in education, I’ve taught:

  • All subject areas in 4th and 5th grades
  • Math, ELA, and science in 6th grade (middle school)

I’ve been creating resources for teachers since 2012 and have worked in the elearning industry for about five years as well!

If you’re looking for ideas and resources to help you teach math (and a little ELA), I can help you out!



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