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BUILDING THINKING

CLASSROOMS

Chase Orton

BTC Team Member, US Consultant

Chase Orton (he/him) is an enthusiastic Building Thinking Classroom (BTC) facilitator whose work nourishes his passion for creating classrooms that are productive, engaging, and humanizing for both students and teachers. For the last eight years, Chase has deliberately implemented Peter Liljedahl’s research with classroom teachers and became an official Building Thinking Classroom Team Member in 2022. Chase thrives on the power of building connections with every teacher and student he encounters, and brings his passion, values, and his classroom experience to his work as a BTC facilitator.

As a high school math teacher for 12 years, Chase’s instructional practice was guided by his desire to enhance the mathematical identity and agency of all learners. Before the BTC language and practices even existed, Chase intentionally and instinctively worked to create a classroom culture where each learner feels valued for their unique perspectives and abilities. He regularly centered student thinking by having students work together in random groups on dry-erase boards around the classroom. He willingly stepped out of the textbook so he could engage students in tasks that sparked curiosity and enriched their skills as mathematical thinkers. And he used assessment practices that valued self-reflection, growth, and the power of learning from mistakes.

Since 2012, Chase has also worked as an independent collaborator with multiple non-profits and school districts leading professional development workshops, writing math curriculum, facilitating lesson study, and working as an instructional coach with K-12 teachers in their classrooms. The author of “The Imperfect and Unfinished Math Teacher: A Journey to Reclaim Our Professional Growth,” Chase is committed to elevating the professional vitality and well-being of K-12 teachers of mathematics—something he calls “professional flourishment.” He loves to partner with districts that want to take an empowering and humanizing approach to professional development–positioning teachers as active partners in their own learning.

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