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Using Patterning Tasks to Foster Algebraic Thinking

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In this session, we will explore how patterning tasks can be used to promote students’ of key algebraic concepts and to engage students in the Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice. Specifically, patterning tasks provide opportunities for students to  understand.



Melissa Boston

Assistant Professor in the School of Education
Duquesne University

Dr. Melissa Boston is an assistant professor in the School of Education at Duquesne University (Pittsburgh, PA), where she teaches mathematics content and pedagogy courses for preservice secondary mathematics and elementary teachers. Melissa is currently involved in several professional development initiatives for mathematics teachers at the local, state, and national level. Melissa is the lead developer of the Instructional Quality Assessment (IQA) Mathematics Toolkit, a set of rubrics for analyzing mathematics teachers’ instructional practices via classroom observations and collections of students’ work. Melissa served as project manager for the NSF-funded “Enhancing Secondary Mathematics Teacher Preparation” (ESP) Project, where she assisted in the design and presentation of the ESP professional development workshop. Melissa was awarded the Association of Teacher Educators’ 2008 Distinguished Dissertation Award for her dissertation research on teachers’ learning and instructional change following their participation in the ESP workshop. Melissa has published articles in Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, Educational Assessment, Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, and NCTM Yearbooks. Melissa has served on the NTCM “Student Explorations in Mathematics” committee (member, 2007-2008; Co-Chair, 2009) and as Secretary of PAMTE (2008-2010).  She currently has articles accepted for publication in Elementary School Journal and ZDM: International Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education and will serve as the Associate Editor of the new Mathematics Teacher Education on-line journal.