This Week in Math Ed: November 11, 2016

Despite the wild week and flood of election stories, the top story shared each day this week in my math ed Twitter list (now at 1623 people!) was about math or math education. I don't know if that is necessarily good or bad, but for me it's a reminder of our community's focus on our students and the important work we do with them.

Math Ed Said

November 4: "Why Are There So Few Women Mathematicians?" asks Jane C. Hu in The Atlantic. For one, she looks at the research of Topaz and Sen at Macalester College who found that of 13,000 editorship positions in math journals, under 9 percent are held by women. Beyond these kinds of statistics, there's a complex landscape of culture, bias, and misogyny in many math departments that can push women away.

Shared by: Dana C. Ernst, Warren J. Code, Heather Johnson, Keith Jones, Egan J Chernoff, Francis Su, MAA, Carrie Muir, Warren J. Code

November 5: I heard a lot of buzz about clothesline activities at a recent NCTM Regional, and now Andrew Stadel has followed up with a gathering of clothesline activities, resources, and tools.

Shared by: Laura Wagenman, Tim McCaffrey, Ed Campos Jr, Chris Shore, Sahar Khatri,CMC - CA MathCouncil, Andrew Stadel, Matt Vaudrey

November 6: Coming at us with even more resources is Glenn Waddell, Jr. with a post cataloging "Different Cooperative Strategies." This is a follow up to a post explaining why he won't use direct instruction.

Shared by: Gregory Taylor, Beth Ferguson, Kate Nowak, Heather Kohn, Heather Sugrue, Lisa Bejarano, Glenn Waddell, Jr.

November 7: Mark Chubb writes about "Questioning the pattern of our questions" and the difference between funneling and focusing.

Shared by: Susan Davidson, Jennifer Lawler, Mark Chubb, Kari Maurer, TCM - NCTM, Robbyn Glinsmann

November 8: Robert Kaplinsky asks, "Is Problem Solving Complex or Complicated?" Robert argues that it's complex, meaning that we shouldn't mislead students into thinking that there's a step-by-step process that always leads to a solution.

Shared by: Kit G, Laura Wagenman, Brandi Moore, Chris Hunter, Lindel, Julia Haun, Christina Sherman, Robert Kaplinsky

November 9: Dan Meyer adds some math to the election results, but not by pouring over vote tallies and margins of victory. Instead, as he describes in "What I'm Working on Today," Dan asks us to focus on what might be making us (and our students) anxious about the results (such as economic or social uncertainties) and think about the kinds of skills students will need to rise above those anxieties.

Shared by: Matt Skoss, Bridget Dunbar, Eli Luberoff, Megan Franke, Elizabeth Statmore, Annie Forest, CPM Director, Tracy Johnston Zager, Karl Fisch, Joshua Bowman, Dan Meyer

November 10: Marilyn Burns's latest blog post discusses "'Student-Centered' vs 'Traditional' Math Teaching." I know it feels like we define these false dichotomies to death sometimes, but in the process I do believe we get something out of it. As another example, Anna Sfard recently used the terms "explorative" and "ritualized" to describe similar approaches to teaching mathematics.

Shared by: John Golden, Mark Chubb, Rebecca Price, Rosa Serratore, Joe Schwartz, Marilyn Burns

Around the Math Ed Web

Kate Nowak looking at a lesson turned upside down, I imagine
Last week in the Global Math Department David Wees brought us "Teachers Learning Together: How Can Instructional Routines Help?." Next week it's Kate Nowak's turn with "Turn That Lesson Upside Down."

NCTM Regionals are over, but Innov8 is right around the corner! I'll be there will a small contingent from CCTM, so say hi!

#MTMSchat comes to us this Wednesday to discuss the article "Attending to Precision with Secret Messages" by Courtney Starling and Ian Whitacre.

Don't forget AMTE's deadline to provide feedback on their standards for math teacher preparation. You have until November 15!

Research Notes

Here's what's new in the December 2016 issue of the Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education:
I haven't been updating with new research from the British journal Research in Mathematics Education, but perhaps I should. Here's what's in their third issue of 2016:

Math Ed in the News

Math Ed in Colorado

Note: I mention two different surveys below. The first is new, and lets you give feedback standard-by-standard, and the second is the one I've written about previously, which asks you about your perceptions of the standards.

CDE Launches Online Standards Review System

The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) is currently developing its plan to guide the upcoming standards review and revision process and is actively seeking the input of all interested parties to inform its planning process. In addition to the general standards perception survey initiated in October, CDE has launched an online standards review system. Unlike the perception survey, the online standards review system will enable all Coloradoans to provide specific feedback on each and every expectation within all 10 content areas of the Colorado Academic Standards. The online system will accept feedback from Wednesday, Nov. 9 through Friday, Dec. 30.

The Colorado Academic Standards online perception survey is open through Sunday, Nov. 13. The survey and online standards feedback system can be found at

The results of the survey and feedback received through the online system will inform the department's planning for the upcoming review and revision of the standards, required by Senate Bill 08-212, known as Colorado's Achievement Plan for Kids (CAP4K). The law requires a review and revision of the Colorado Academic Standards on or before July 1, 2018 and every six years thereafter.

In early 2017, CDE will provide comprehensive information about the timeline and phases of the standards review and revision process as well as information about how to become involved. This will begin robust public engagement throughout the state and through social media.

If you would like to receive regular updates on the standards review and revision process, you can sign up here:

Math Day at CSU

I'd like to thank Janet Oien, Mary Pittman, and all the great people in the math department at CSU who welcomed me to their Math Day. The competition was spirited, the jokes were appropriately mathy, and a lot of students got to spend a day at a math party.


The nominations are now open for PAEMST awards for 7-12 math teachers to be awarded in 2017.

Colorado Academic Standards Perception Survey

One last short reminder: You have until November 13 to complete the Colorado Academic Standards perception survey. This is a different survey than the one mentioned above! For more info see the CDE website, and send general questions and comments about the review and revision process to

Computer Science Standards Meetings

During the 2016 legislative session, the Colorado General Assembly passed House Bill 16-1198 requiring CDE to develop academic standards for computer science for secondary students. The new law allows districts to elect to adopt these standards for their high school students. These voluntary, secondary computer science standards must be adopted by the State Board of Education by July 2018, and CDE is hosting three stakeholder meetings in October and November to engage a broad array of stakeholders to inform the development process:
  • Monday, November 14 in Denver
  • Thursday, November 17 in Grand Junction
There will also be a webinar on Monday, November 28 from 3:30 to 5:00. For more information and to register to attend any of these meetings, see the announcement on the CDE Standards and Instructional Support webpage.