Teachers often find it difficult to implement lessons that help students go beyond rote memorization and repetitive calculations. In fact, institutional norms and habits that permeate all classrooms can actually be enabling “non-thinking” student behavior. Sparked by observing teachers struggle to implement rich mathematics tasks to engage students in deep thinking, Peter Liljedahl has translated his 15 years of research into this practical guide on how to move toward a thinking classroom. Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics, Grades K–12 helps teachers implement 14 optimal practices for thinking that create an ideal setting for deep mathematics learning to occur. This guide

  • Provides the what, why, and how of each practice and answers teachers’ most frequently asked questions
  • Includes firsthand accounts of how these practices foster thinking through teacher and student interviews and student work samples
  • Offers a plethora of macro moves, micro moves, and rich tasks to get started
  • Organizes the 14 practices into four toolkits that can be implemented in order and built on throughout the year

When combined, these unique research-based practices create the optimal conditions for learner-centered, student-owned deep mathematical thinking and learning, and have the power to transform mathematics classrooms like never before.

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  • Liljedahl, P. (2019). Conditions for Supporting Problem Solving: Vertical Non-Permanent Surfaces. In P. Liljedahl & M. Santos-Trigo (eds.) Mathematical Problem Solving: Current Themes, Trends, and Research, pp. 289-310. New York, NY: Springer.

  • Liu, M. & Liljedahl, P. (2019). Flow and modelling. In B. Shriraman & S. Chamberlin (eds.) Affect and Mathematical Modeling, pp. 273-295. New York, NY: Springer.
  • Liljedahl, P. (2018). On the edges of flow: Student problem solving behavior. In S. Carreira, N. Amado, & K. Jones (eds.), Broadening the Scope of Research on Mathematical Problem Solving: A Focus on Technology, Creativity and Affect. New York, NY: Springer.
  • Liljedahl, P. (2018). Affect as a system: The case of Sara. In B. Rott, G. Törner, J. Peters-Dasdemir, A. Möller, & Safrudiannur (eds.) Views and Beliefs in Mathematics Education: The Role of Beliefs in the Classroom, pp. 21-32. New York, NY: Springer.
  • Liljedahl, P. (2018). Building thinking classrooms. In A. Kajander, J. Holm, & E. Chernoff (eds.) Teaching and Learning Secondary School Mathematics: Canadian Perspectives in an International Context, pp. 307-316. New York, NY: Springer.
  • Liljedahl, P. (2017). Card Tricks, Discovery Learning, and Flow in Mathematics Teacher Education. In J. Cummings & M. Blatherwick (eds.), Creative Dimensions of Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century, pp. 175-179. Rotterdam, NL: Sense Publishers.
  • Liljedahl, P. (2016). Building thinking classrooms: Conditions for problem solving. In P. Felmer, J. Kilpatrick, & E. Pekhonen (eds.) Posing and Solving Mathematical Problems: Advances and New Perspectives. New York, NY: Springer. [ResearchGate, Academia]
  • Liljedahl, P. (2016). Flow: A Framework for Discussing Teaching. Proceedings of the 40th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Szeged, Hungary. [pdf]
  • Liljedahl, P. (2014). The affordances of using visually random groups in a mathematics classroom. In Y. Li, E. Silver, & S. Li (eds.) Transforming Mathematics Instruction: Multiple Approaches and Practices. New York, NY: Springer. [ResearchGate, Academia]
  • Liljedahl, P. & Allan, D. (2013). Studenting: The case of “now you try one”. In Lindmeier, A. M. & Heinze, A. (Eds.). Proceedings of the 37th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Vol. 3, pp. 257-264. Kiel, Germany: PME. [pdf]
  • Liljedahl, P. & Allan, D. (2013). Studenting: The Case of Homework. Proceedings of the 35th Conference for Psychology of Mathematics Education – North American Chapter. Chicago, USA. [pdf]

  • Pruner M. & Liljedahl, P. (under review). Collaborative Problem Solving in Choice-Rich Environments. ZDM: The International Journal on Mathematics Education.
  • Mellone, M., Pacelli, T., & Liljedahl, P. (under review). Cultural Transposition of Thinking Classroom: To Conceive Possible Unthoughts in Problem Solving Activity in Mathematics Education. ZDM: The International Journal on Mathematics Education.
  • Liljedahl, P. (2019). Institutional norms: The assumed, the actual, and the possible. In Graven, M., Venkat, H., Essien, A. & Vale, P. (Eds). Proceedings of the 43rd Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education. (Vol 1), pp. 1-16. Pretoria, South Africa: PME.
  • Liljedahl, P. (2017). Building Thinking Classrooms in Math. Edutopia, October 17, 2017.

  • Nikki Mann, MSc (2018). Relationship between Mindful Teaching Methods and Student Perception of their Retention of Mathematical Knowledge. [pdf]
  • Beth Baldwin, MSc (2018). The Relationship In Between Mathematics Students’ Self and Group Efficacies in a Thinking Classroom. [pdf]
  • Maria Kerkoff, MSc (2018). Experiencing Mathematics through Problem Solving Tasks. [pdf]
  • Chris McGregor, MSc (2018). Reduction of Mathematics Anxiety through use of Non-Permanent Vertical Surfaces and Group Discussion. [pdf]
  • Oana Chiru, MSc (2017). Occasioning Flow in the Mathematics Classroom: Optimal Experiences in Common Places. [pdf]
  • Mike Pruner, MSc (2016). Observations in a Thinking Classroom. [pdf]
  • Elysia Dubland, MSc (2015). Exploring Student Engagement with Mathematics Homework as Self-Assessment. [pdf]