HEMS Seminars

The Herbst Family Foundation, created by Lee and Arthur Herbst, provides an endowment to CRR to provide Saturday workshops for elementary, middle, and high school teachers. These Herbst Enrichment Mathematics Seminars (HEMS) are taught by exemplary classroom teachers who present meaningful content and model excellent teaching strategies. Due to the genorosity of Lee and Arthur Herbst, teachers from partnership schools/districts receive stipends for their participation.

PLEASE NOTE: Teachers from non-partner schools will incur a fee in order to attend workshops, and they will not receive a stipend for their attendance.  

HEMS- Experience before Explanation: Engaging students in experiences to build ideas and understandings K-5.

Saturday, April 7th
UofA MTL, Rm 120

We often hear buzzwords in education like Student-Centered Instruction, Conceptual Understanding, Experiential learning, etc. What is the big idea that bridges these ideas, and what does it look like in a real classroom with real students? Come and engage in instruction designed to create experiences before explanations. In this workshop we will link these experiences to the ingredients of rigor and discuss how to facilitate these in your own classroom. We will also explore the role of questioning in a classroom that provides experiences before explanations. Finally, we will share shifts in thinking, planning, and facilitating that will help both students and the teacher find success in this approach to learning. Presented by Carrie Burdon from the Vail School District!


Herbst Enrichment Mathematics Seminar (HEMS): 

Building Your Problem Solving Muscles: It is not as easy as it sounds! -- REGISTRATION IS CLOSED

by Toni Martinez (9/30/17) and Sara Thompson (10/28/17) 

This is a two-part series for teachers in grades 6-9. Per new AZ requirements, teachers must participate in both sessions.

Teachers from partnership schools/districts will receive a $50 stipend for participating in BOTH workshops.

Description: It is challenging to help secondary students become successful problem solvers. At the crux of that is helping them think algebraically. In this workshop we will use fundamental Algebra concepts to develop mathematical reasoning and problem-solving skills in our students. We will flex their algebraic thinking muscles to better prepare students for higher level mathematics and for the workforce that they will enter.


Sept 30: Toni Martinez is a high school teacher in Gilbert public Schools at Desert Ridge High School. She has taught 7-12 grade mathematics for the past 21 years, and has endeavored to support students' development of fundamental mathematical understanding through reasoning and argumentation. Toni has been a Teacher Leader in the Queen Creek School District and a professional development provider for AZ College and Career Ready Standards Phase 1 professional learning in Maricopa County.

Oct 28: Sara Thompson is an 8th grade math teacher at Andersen Jr. High in the Chandler Unified School District. She has taught 8th grade pre-algebra, honors algebra, and honors geometry for the past 19 years. Sara and her family recently moved to Arizona from Wisconsin, where she also served as her district's math department chair and as a Teacher Leader and Math Coach for College Preparatory Math. Sara loves to collaborate and communicate with other teachers in an effort to create more math classrooms filled with problem solving, perseverance, and mathematical discourse among students.

This is a two-part series focused on middle grades mathematics. Stipends will only be provided to teachers who participate in both sessions.

Presenter:    Toni Martinez

Date:             Saturday - September 30, 2017

Time:             8:30 AM- 12:30 PM

This is only one week away and seats are limited, so please respond right away!

To register, please click HERE.

Remember, you are committing to attend both sessions (9/30/17 and 10/28/17).

We will contact you by email to confirm your registration and inform you about location and parking.

Herbst Enrichment Mathematics Seminar (HEMS): Desmos-The New Standard for Graphing Calculators – THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL

This workshop is the second in a two-part series intended for teachers in grades 7-11. ONLY participants from the first session can attend this workshop, so please no unexpected attendees.


Description: Desmos is the always free, simple to use, all devices graphing calculator for mathematicians everywhere. Adopted as the official platform of AzMERIT, Desmos allows students to harness modern technology to explore mathematics in a whole new way. Easy to use, and extremely useful, Desmos can be employed by students and teachers of all abilities. This workshop will give an introduction to all that Desmos has to offer and challenge teachers with puzzles and problems that reveal how useful a modern tool like Desmos can be.

*Please bring your laptop/tablet and charger.

Presenter: Greg Epstein is new to the teaching profession, but is excited to begin a third year in the classroom. Having been formally trained as a computer scientist Greg worked several years as a software developer in Silicon Valley before making the switch to education. Greg believes strongly in efforts to reform math education, and works everyday to make the classroom more equitable and more relevant to the lives of all students. Aside from mathematics, Greg teaches AP Computer Science and is active in recruiting young women and other students from underrepresented demographics into STEM fields.

Presenter:     Greg Epstein
Date:            Saturday - September 23, 2017 

Registration is CLOSED.

Only participants who previously received confirmation may attend this workshop.

This is the second of a two-session series. Teachers must attend and participate in BOTH sessions (stipends will only be provided to those who participate in both sessions). 

Herbst Enrichment Mathematics Seminar (HEMS): Promoting Mathematical Understanding Through Visualization Tools -- THIS WORKSHOP IS NOW FULL

This workshop is the first of a two-part series intended for teachers in grades 7-11. Teachers from partnership schools/districts will receive a $50 stipend for participating in BOTH workshops (Second workshop on September 23, 2017).

Many students struggle with abstract concepts. Algebra tiles provide a concrete understanding of abstract ideas.  Algebra tiles can be used to develop an understanding with integers, combining like terms, balancing equations, distributive property, adding and subtracting polynomials, multiplying polynomials, factoring, and completing the square. In this session we will look at many of these ideas and work together to develop a list of questions needed to help students reach a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts.


Sharon Newman has been teaching for 15 years.  She has taught 7th grade math, 8th grade math, algebra 1, geometry, algebra 2, algebra 3, and Pima Math 151. Her academic accomplishments include a BS in Mathematics, a MA in Special Education, and recently completed a MA in Mathematics Education. She believes all students are capable of learning, some just need more of a hands on approach that gets students to the "why" the math works and students need time to "play" and process the ideas to reach mastery.

Presenter:     Sharon Newman

Date:            Saturday - August 26, 2017 
Time:            8:30 AM- 12:30 PM

Registration through Google Form

This is the first of a two-part series. Teachers must participate in both sessions (stipends will only be provided to those who participate in both sessions).

We are very grateful for the continued guidance and support from Lee and Arthur Herbst.


Please Note: Teachers from non-partner schools will incur a fee in order to attend workshops, and they will not receive a stipend for their attendance from the CRR. 

CRR Partnerships

District Partners School Partners

Altar Valley School District

Amphitheater Public Schools

Benson Unified School District

Catalina Foothills School District

Continental School District

Flowing Wells Unified School District

Marana Unified School District

Sahuarita Unified School District

Santa Cruz Valley Unified School District

Sierra Vista Unified School District

Sunnyside Unified School District

Tanque Verde Unified School District

Tucson Unified School District

Vail School District

Academy of Tucson

ACE Charter High School

AmeriSchools Academy

City High School

Ha:san Prepartory & Leadership School

Highland Free School

Imago Dei Middle School

Paulo Freire Freedom School

Pima Community College

Presidio Schools (K-12)

San Miguel Catholic High School

The Gregory School

Tucson Country Day School

YouthWorks Charter High School