GREML Collection

GREML Collection Snapshot

Dates: August 13-17, 2012
Education Setting: Elementary, Grade 5
Subject: Mathematics
Collection Contents: 31 Videos, 173+ Lesson Artifacts (Lesson Plans, Class Handouts, Student Work)

Collection Overview

The Grand Rapids Elementary Mathematics Laboratory (GREML) 2012 Collection documents a summer mathematics class that was held at the Steelcase University Learning Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan from August 13-17, 2012. This mathematics class enrolled entering fifth grade students and was taught by Deborah Loewenberg Ball, an experienced elementary school teacher who is also currently a faculty member at the University of Michigan School of Education.

The GREML 2012 collection contains twenty videos of mathematics lessons and ten videos of education professionals discussing the lessons—five discussions that took place before each class and five immediately after. It also has over 173 lesson artifacts including lesson plans, class handouts, seating charts, digital scans of handwritten student notebooks, homework papers, study guides, and test papers. The lesson artifacts and video comprising the collection focus on a variety of challenging mathematics topics for fifth grade students, including fractions, the number line, equivalence, and place value, along with important mathematical practices, such as explaining, representing, proving, and defining.

Each mathematics lesson was recorded using two high-definition cameras and twenty microphones positioned at different locations in the room to capture the classroom environment dynamically. These videos are tagged using a tag scheme based on the Common Core State Standards and the TeachingWorks High Leverage Practices. In addition, the pre- and post-class sessions, where educators discussed the mathematics lessons, were also recorded using similar technologies.


The GREML 2012 program was a one-week summer mathematics laboratory designed to aid struggling students and contribute to the professional growth of their teachers. The mathematics laboratory offered an intensive intervention for students from Grand Rapids, Godwin and Wyoming school districts. Students participating in the laboratory received eleven hours of mathematics instruction—twice as much as a typical week of school—and were assigned up to an hour of homework each night to reinforce and extend the topics covered in the lessons.

The GREML program also provided an opportunity for teachers and other education professionals to observe and study experienced teaching, as well as to contribute to planning and shaping each day’s instruction. Those in attendance, participated each day in a pre-class briefing, observed the mathematics lessons in the morning and reconvened for a post-class discussion.

The video and lesson artifacts from the program are intended to serve as a valuable resource for teachers, researchers, and other education professionals working in a variety of settings.

Contributing Partners