Laura Wheeler and Thinking Classrooms

Featured Teacher

To start our celebration leading up to National Teacher Appreciation Week, we’re highlighting Pear Deck Certified Coach and Superstar Math Teacher Laura Wheeler. Over the past 3 years, Laura has used the work of Peter Liljedahl to transform her room into a Thinking Classroom that promotes deep learning.

Thinking Classrooms

One concept she writes about a lot is how Vertical Non-Permanent Surfaces enable students to take risks and learn from each other. You can read about her own experiences and discover the sketchnotes she has created to illustrate Liljedahl’s concepts on her blog.


3 Act Math

Laura also uses Dan Meyer’s Three-Act Math model to create a problem-centered approach. With this model, Laura teaches her students how to think about a problem holistically — rather than come out of the gate with set parameters, Laura shows her students a scenario and prompts them to wonder about it. What do they notice? What do they want to know?

You can learn more about this approach in Laura’s “What is Three-Act Math” video.

More about Laura:

Laura is not only an exemplary teacher that promotes deeper learning, she also writes an insightful blog, “Wheeler’s thoughts on teaching: The thoughts of a high-school teacher.” Wheeler is the moderator of #OttSlowChat, Math Coordinator for OCDSB Summer School, and co-organiser of EdCamp Ottowa. To connect with Laura, follow her on twitter, @wheeler_laura.