This Week in Math Ed: March 31, 2017

The Alamo!
(Weird fact: Turn 180 degrees and you'd be taking a picture of the Ripley's Believe it or Not across the street.)

Hello from San Antonio! I'm here for the ASSM Annual Meeting and am preparing for a great week of learning from NCSM and NCTM. It's the busiest week of my math ed year, and I was determined to get caught up with TWiME so my slate will be clean and I can move on to sharing great stuff from here in San Antonio. Oh, and I spent last weekend at the University of Michigan talking math with Deborah Ball. I should write about that, too, but that deserves its own post. If you missed them, here are my abbreviated TWiME posts for the rest of March:
  • Week ending March 3: PD from Peter Liljedhal, PCMI outreach, Youcubed archives, and more.
  • Week ending March 10: Mystery Grid, Marilyn Burns, the difference between modeling math and mathematical modeling, and more.
  • Week ending March 17: Teaching ability and content knowledge, Peter Liljedhal at GMD, Pi Day, and more.
  • Week ending March 24: An ode to blank paper, getting real about growth mindset, improving student participation in number talks, and more.

Math Ed Said

March 24: The NCTM Annual Meeting is around the corner and people are gearing up for all the Ignite talks.

Shared by: Sarah Bush, Jose Vilson, Megan Schmidt, Jonathan Osters, NCTM, Bridget Dunbar, Suzanne Alejandre

March 25: Here are Desmos's Friday Faves for March 24.

Shared by: Martin Joyce, John Golden, April Pforts, Adrianne Burns, Leigh Ann Mitchell,

March 26: Graham Fletcher is back with another installment in his Making Sense Series, this time with "The Progression of Early Number and Counting."

Shared by: Martin Joyce, Jennifer Lawler, Rosa Serratore, Kyle Pearce, Jamie Duncan, Daniel Luevanos, Kim Webb, April Pforts, Devin Anderson, Molly Daley, Christina Sherman, Andrew Gael, Matthew Oldridge, Shelley Carlisle, Margie Pearse, Ann Elise Record, Rusty Anderson, Simon Gregg, Ashley Bingenheimer, Joe Schwartz, Laura Wagenman, Grace Kelemanik, Math Coach Rivera, Graham Fletcher

March 27: I'm sure I'm not the only one who keeps thinking, "Wow, it's pretty cool that Marilyn Burns is blogging." Here she is again, this time with "Preparing and Planning: How I Get Ready for Teaching a Math Lesson." Here Marilyn got into the nitty-gritty details of her planning process, a topic which I think it very important as we think about ways to share lessons that are made for teachers to learn from, not just teach with.

Shared by: John Golden, Mark Chubb, Janice Novakowski, Cathy Campbell, Michael Pershan, Annie Perkins, Andrew Gael, Amanda Jansen, Tracy Johnston Zager, Kat Hendry, Emily Campbell, Jill Gough, Marilyn Burns

March 28: You all think Marilyn Burns is great, too, so you shared this post for a second day: "Preparing and Planning: How I Get Ready for Teaching a Math Lesson."

Shared by: Chris Hunter, Andrew Gael, Marilyn Burns, Ashley Bingenheimer, Marilyn Burns, Katherine Bryant, Rosa Serratore, Christine Newell, Mike Rashid, Bridget Dunbar, Christina Sherman, Genni Steele, David Coffey, Ashley Walther, Matthew Oldridge

March 29: Jo Boaler argues that "The Way We Teach Math Is Holding Women Back." Women are still underrepresented in STEM disciplines, something that I hope changes soon. In math education, women are often in the majority (in a meeting of 18 math PAEMST coordinators yesterday, I was the only male), and through better representation, leadership, and a concerted effort to teach math better, we can keep more doors open for all those who wish to pass through them.

Shared by: Francis Su, Christine K DiPaulo, Alex Freuman, Crystal Morey, Christopher Rohde, Kat Hendry, Kris Karbon, Sarah Reynolds, Christie Madancy, Christina Sherman, Amy Spies, Nita Cochran, Alison Hansel, Kimberly Wassmuth, Jim Pardun, Christine Newell, Ben Woodford, David Coffey, Laura Wagenman, Mr. Keller, Mathematics cian, Jo Boaler

March 30: People continued to buzz about Jo Boaler's latest article, "The Way We Teach Math Is Holding Women Back."

Shared by: Michelle Dupree, Vanessa Cerrahoglu, Kelly Boles, Jen Overley, Christina Barry, Kelly & Megan, Ryan R. Ruff, Egan J. Chernoff, Rebecca Gasper, Ellen Byron, Nick Gerhard, Keith Devlin, Steven Strogatz, Brian R. Lawler, Jennifer Wilson, Kate Owens

Math Ed in Colorado

Quick Updates

You've heard the details about these things before so I won't repeat all of them now. Here are a few things you should know and remember:
  • Work on the review and revision of the Colorado Academic Standards is taking shape. Soon we'll announce who the committee members are. You can submit your feedback on every statement in the standards on CDE's online feedback system through April 30. Our next standards update webinar is April 20th at 3:30. If you missed the previous two webinars, recordings are available on the CDE website.
  • Our work towards new math certifications continues. What started as a request for CDE to create an endorsement for elementary math specialists has shifted and grown. The details are still being worked out, but our goals have stayed the same: We want to help districts hire well-trained math teachers and specialists, and we want to provide career ladders that incentivize and recognize educators who go above and beyond to become better math educators.

Commissioner Anthes to form Teacher Cabinet

Colorado Education Commissioner Katy Anthes recently announced the creation of a "Teacher Cabinet" to consult with about issues of state education policy. It will be made up of 15 teachers from around the state. For more information and to apply, visit the Commissioner's page on the CDE website. The deadline is Friday, May 5!

CML Elections

As part of their becoming an affiliate of NCSM, the Colorado Math Leaders approved a constitution and bylaws at their last meeting and will be holding elections in the coming weeks. The candidates will be announced in the next few days and registered voters can help select our inaugural set of officers. If you're a math leader — anything from a curriculum specialist or a coach or even just a teacher who wants to step up and lead in their building — CML is where you need to be for policy updates, professional learning, and colleagues who share in your efforts to make math teaching better. Email me to request a ballot and to join the CML mailing list.

MAA-Rocky Mountain Section Meeting

If you missed the earlier message, the Rocky Mountain Section of the Mathematical Association of America is having a meeting at CSU-Pueblo on April 21-22. For information about schedules, speakers, and registration, see the conference website.

CSPdWeek and BJC

I know the focus here is math, but I know many of you are pulling double-duty in computer science as well. If you're looking for an opportunity to learn more, CSPdWeek will be held again this summer at the Colorado School of Mines from July 17-21. CSPdWeek offers a professional development experience for those who plan to teach AP CS Principles, AP CS A (Java), Exploring Computer Science, or Bootstrap. Counselors are invited to attend half the week for their PD, too. Go to for more information.

Also, if you're interested in summer PD for the Beauty & Joy of Computing (BJC) course, email Tracy Camp at the School of Mines for more information. She has a strategy that combines funding from Donors Choose with a stipend to cover the expenses, but to get all the details it's best to contact her.


Thanks to all of you who nominated a teacher for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). Now for the toughest part: Finishing the application! If you've been nominated, I have resources to help you finish your application. If you nominated someone, keep up the encouragement — a lot of great teachers miss out because their application is incomplete!

Job Openings

Here are some positions open across the state of Colorado. If you're interested in posting a job opening to the COmath mailing list, you're welcome to do so. I can also post them in my updates. Of course, don't just post them here — there are far better places to make these announcements. With this list, I just hope to up the odds a bit that the right candidate finds the right job.
  • Lake County High School in Leadville, Colorado, is adding a middle school position. If you are interested in living in the mountains, working at a school that combines the work of Jo Boaler with Expeditionary Learning, and being a part of a community that was recently awarded $3 million in funds to get kids outside, this might be the right job for you. Visit their website for more information and a link to an application.
  • STRIVE Prep is looking for talented educators to transform Denver. This includes four positions: Middle School Math Teacher (Multiple Campuses), Middle School Math Teacher Leader, High School Math Teacher (Algebra 1), and Assistant Principal of STEM Instruction.
  • Sterling High School is hiring two high school math teachers starting next fall. Classes include Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry. Interested applicants can contact Mr. Wally Beardsley, school principal.
  • Denver Public School is seeking a K-12 Director of Mathematics. More information can be found at DPS's job site if you search for DIRECTOR, MATHEMATICS (JOB ID: 19217). The essential functions and objectives include:
    • Develop, support, supervise, coordinate and evaluate District functions in the specific areas of K-12 mathematics. Champions the District’s effort to continuously refine and implement comprehensive instruction programs that are researched-based and aligned with district and state content standards
    • Serve on the department's Leadership Team to monitor and guide the focus and actions of the department in mathematics
    • Facilitate central office curriculum specialists as they focus on the curriculum development needed to improve student assessment measures which are linked to district initiative
    • Observe and offer formal and informal feedback to curriculum specialists and partners concerning planning and instructional delivery
    • Design professional learning in collaboration with curriculum specialists and partners.

This Week in Math Ed: March 24, 2017

Math Ed Said

March 17: Tracy Johnston Zager writes "A Brief Ode to Blank Paper," in which worksheets try to be helpful but turn out not to be.

Shared by: Andrew Gael, Bowen Kerins, Tracy Johnston Zager, Geoff Krall, Joe Schwartz

March 18: Mark Chubb asks, "So you want your students to have a Growth Mindset?" Answer: Yes. I also want teachers to have more than a superficial knowledge of growth mindset. Making a poster with the words "growth mindset" on it might not be helpful, and neither is telling kids that there's something wrong with them if they don't have it. Mark works through some of the misguided ideas we have about mindset and makes suggestions for how to do it better.

Shared by: Deborah Rykken, Tom Snarsky, Laura Wagenman, Alison Hansel, Jo Boaler, Mark Chubb

March 19: Here's a post from last year rising again to the surface, which is a pretty good sign of quality: "#MTBoS Connected: Fraction Talks and WODB." It's good to see these kinds of cross-project connections.

Shared by: Matthew Oldridge, Simon Gregg, Tyler Anderson, Fraction Talks

March 20: Want more Mark Chubb? Lucky for you, he's on a roll this week, this time with "Estimating - Making sense of things."

Shared by: Judy Keeney, Jennifer Lawler, Mark Chubb, Laura Wheeler, Regina Barrett

March 21: Lisa Bejarano gave us all a little number talk advice: "It's the little things: How I improved student participation in number talks." Hint: It includes dropping something to signify you've made your point.

Shared by: Sarah Carter, Sarah Reynolds, Kate Nowak, Regan Galvan, Lisa Bejarano

March 22: I feel like we went a few months without Ben Orlin's bad drawings, but now he's on a hot streak. This week, it's "If Math Wrote Letters." Technically, this week only has hand-drawn text, not drawings, but I think it still counts.

Shared by: Spencer Bagley, DeAnn Huinker, Anna Blinstein, Joshua Bowman, John Golden, Simon Gregg, Ethan Weker, Dave Richeson, Ilona Vashchyshyn, Sharon Vestal, Ben Orlin, David Butler, Kathy Henderson, Jen Silverman, geonz, Michael P Goldenberg, Earl Samuelson

March 23: Brian Bushart hits kinda close to home with "Mathematically Correct," a blog post about his struggles in the state of Texas to acknowledge and hopefully fix an issue with a math question on their state exams. You see, I help with the PARCC exams and that makes me one of those people who, potentially, could catch problems like this before they go live on a test. However, I'm just one person, I usually just focus on a single grade, and the windows of opportunity to catch a problem like this are limited. It's frustrating to see an item that could be made better when it's not the right time to be improving items.

Shared by: Judy Keeney, Andrew Gael, Cathy Yenca, Pam Harris, Lindel, TCM - NCTM, Zach Cresswell, Ethan Weker, Shauna Hedgepeth, Tracy Johnston Zager

This Week in Math Ed: March 17, 2017

Math Ed Said

March 10: Michael Fenton asks how we'd ideally split "Teaching Ability and Content Knowledge." His blog post doesn't touch on it, but it reminded me of some research I saw cited long ago in Joan Ferrini-Mundy's chapter in the research handbook. The research found that more teacher content knowledge was linked to increased student achievement, but only to a point. When measured by college math coursework, the effect wasn't distinguishable beyond about five math courses taken. (If I wasn't in catch-up mode, I'd track that study down. If you find it, remind me what it is in the comments, will ya?)

Shared by: Martin Joyce, Tyler Anderson, Christina Sherman, Michael Fenton, Darren Burris, Gregory Taylor, Bridget Dunbar, Michael Fenton

March 11: Here's some art and math for you: "Artistic Expressions of Math Over Seven Centuries."

Shared by: Theresa Walker, Carrie Muir, John Golden, Egan J Chernoff, Paula Beardell Krieg, Jesse McNulty, Chi Klein, Edmund Harriss, Mike Lawler

March 12: If you want more links of the week, you can always check with our math ed friends in Ontario: Math Links for Week Ending Mar. 10th, 2017.

Shared by: Kyle Pearce, Matthew Oldridge, Mary Bourassa, Sunil Singh, Jon Orr, David Petro

March 13: I should really go back and watch this one: Peter Liljedahl presented "Building Thinking Classrooms" at the Global Math Department.

Shared by: Shelley Carranza, Jedidiah Butler, Christopher Parrish, Matthew Oldridge, Laura Wheeler, Annette Rouleau, Chris Hunter, Bridget Dunbar, Marissa W, Norma Gordon, Graham Fletcher, John Golden, Cal Armstrong, Global Math, Peter Liljedahl

March 14: The headline is "Rockies have perfect way to mark Pi Day," but those seeking the truth should know that yes, the uniform numbers were cleverly arranged with Photoshop.

Shared by: Brian Brennan, Eddi Vulić, Martin Joyce, Zack Patterson, Kristen Fouss, Sharon Vestal, Mike Thayer, Steve Phelps

March 15: Ben Orlin is back with some poetic math fun: "Limericks for Mathematicians."

Shared by: Carrie Muir, Ilona Vashchyshyn, John Golden, Nat Banting, Ben Orlin, Michael P Goldenberg, Evelyn Lamb

March 16: First Peter Liljedahl, and now Nathalie Sinclair. It was a big week for Simon Frasier University. "SFU education professor Nathalie Sinclair named Research Mathematics Ambassador Award winner."

Shared by: Nat Banting, Richelle Marynowski, Lovisa Sumpter, Peter Liljedahl, Annette Rouleau, Egan J Chernoff

This Week in Math Ed: March 10, 2017

Math Ed Said

March 3: What's MysteryGrid? If I told you, it wouldn't be much of a mystery, would it?

Shared by: Mary Bourassa, Scott Leverentz, Lisa Henry, Fred G. Harwood, Bowen Kerins, Kate Nowak, Shauna Hedgepeth

March 4: People were buzzing about the "Beyond Answers Webinar," which has since passed. An archive is accessible for a fee.

Shared by: Christina Tondevald, Shauna Hedgepeth, Ann Elise Record, Jill Gough, Ann Walters, Mike Flynn

March 5: Here's Marilyn Burns with a blog post about playing a math game with second graders called, "Oh No! 99!"

Shared by: Mike Anderson, Jennifer Lawler, Andy Martinson, Bridget Dunbar, OCTM, Matthew Oldridge, Christina Sherman, Jill Gough, Michael Welch, Marilyn Burns

March 6: "Solving the Math Problem" is a video clip about some kids who attended a Youcubed summer camp.

Shared by: Beth Kobett, Denise Green, Jenni Clausen, Kat Hendry, Larry Sizemore, Patty Stephens, Keith Devlin, Rusty Anderson, Kimberly Wassmuth, Math Coach Rivera, Susan Davidson, Shauhna Feitlin, Ben Woodford, Jo Boaler

March 7: If you missed it on the 6th, it was back on the 7th by popular demand: "Solving the Math Problem."

Shared by: Martin Joyce, Justin Bock, Andrea Ogden, Jen Overley, Carol Keating, Nic Petty, Regina Barrett, Richelle Marynowski, OCTM, Michelle Dupree

March 8: Ben Orlin asks, "How much of high school math would be easier if students understood that graphs express relationships between variables?" in his post, "Lines Beyond y = mx + b." I think of this as another example described by Sfard (1991), where learners need to make the leap from understanding something as a process to understanding it as an object.

Shared by: Martin Joyce, Kathy Henderson, Amanda Jansen, Brett Parker, Ilona Vashchyshyn, Matthew Oldridge, Bowen Kerins, David Butler, John Golden, Ben Orlin, Judy Larsen, Eric Milou, Christina Sherman

March 9: Warning: This will take more than five seconds. But maybe not much more. Dan Meyer writes, "The Difference Between Math and Modeling with Math in Five Seconds."

Shared by: Rebecca Gasper, Farshid Safi, Rene Grimes, Tyler Anderson, Jen McAleer, Alex Jaffurs, Dan Meyer

This Week in Math Ed: March 3, 2017

Math Ed Said

February 24: Desmos announced that information about the Desmos Fellowship Cohort 2 would be coming soon.

Shared by: Ellen Byron, Cathy Yenca, Stephanie Blair, Lisa Bejarano, Kat Hendry, Susan Wilson, Julia Finneyfrock, Shelley Carranza, Patty Stephens, Nerissa Gerodias, Meg Craig, Laura Wheeler, Andrew Shauver, Julie Reulbach, Andrew Shauver, Dan Meyer

February 25: Gregory Taylor gives us a long and lively recap of a PD day keynoted by Peter Liljedahl.

Shared by: Laura Wheeler, Matthew Oldridge, Cathy Campbell, Alex Overwijk, Martin Joyce, Gregory Taylor, Dan Anderson, Judy Keeney, Earl Samuelson, John Golden, Imtiaz Damji

February 26: If you've ever wanted some of the PCMI experience but can't make it to Park City, the program does have a number of outreach programs that bring PCMI to the web and maybe even a city near you.

Shared by: Kim, Carl Oliver, Cathy Carroll, Javier Garcia,Tina Cardone, Denise Green,Shauna Hedgepeth,Cal Armstrong, Suzanne Alejandre

February 27: The NCTM Annual Meeting program is here and the conference is right around the corner.

Shared by: Rosa Serratore, Janice Novakowski, NCTM, David Coffey, Suzanne Alejandre, Christina Tondevold, Carl Oliver, Sarah Bush

February 28: I'd never heard of this mathy day, but this Scientific American article by Evelyn Lamb told me "How to Celebrate Fatou's Day."

Shared by: Rebecca Gasper, Brian Bushart, Justin Lanier, Evelyn Lamb, MAA, Carrie Muir, Museum of Math

March 1: Self explanatory: Applications Are Open for Cohort 2 of the Desmos Teaching Fellowship!

Shared by: Marissa Walczak, Michelle Russell, Patty Stephens, Heather Sugrue, Bob Lochel, Julie Reulbach, Sara VanDerWerf, Julia Finneyfrock, Shelley Carranza, Zach Cresswell, David Sabol, Ben Rouse, Nerissa Gerodias, Ed Campos Jr, Katherine Martin, Kristen Fouss, Eli Luberoff, Karl Fisch, Dan Anderson,

March 2: If you're looking for resources related to growth mindset, check out this Youcubed archive of papers, videos, handouts, and other materials.

Shared by: Lora Kermode, Janine Franklin, Helen J Williams, Christina Hamman, Jesse McNulty

This Week in Math Ed: February 24, 2017

Math Ed Said

February 17: Amy Harmon wrote in the New York Times, "Equations and Inequalities: Math, Race and Fellowship," which later had the title, "Beyond 'Hidden Figures': Nurturing New Black and Latino Math Whizzes." Regardless of the title, the story is a great look at kids participating in a summer math camp in New York City, and the issues surrounding the underrepresentation of Black and Latino students in gifted and math programs.

Shared by: Dan Anderson, Theresa Walker, Elizabeth Statmore, Edmund Harriss, Kate Nowak, John Golden, Egan J Chernoff, Francis Su, Michael Pershan, Sue Jones, Christopher Danielson, Tyrone Martinez Black, Rosa Serratore, Tracy Johnston Zager, Jennifer Lawler, Malke Rosenfeld, Robert Berry, Justin Lanier, Geoff Krall, Gary Davis, Steven Strogatz

February 18: Didn't read it yesterday? Here's a second chance: "Equations and Inequalities: Math, Race and Fellowship."

Shared by: Brian R. Lawler, Amanda Jansen, Andrew Gael, Bridget Dunbar, TODOS, CMC - CA Math Council, Erika Bullock, Sheri Eastman, US World Class Math, Bridget Dunbar, Jen Silverman, Steven Strogatz, Alex Jaffurs

February 19: The big story today wasn't math, and wasn't politics, but instead was Susan Fowler's blog post, "Reflecting on one very, very strange year at Uber."

Shared by: CMC - CA MathCouncil, Spencer Bagley, Jacqueline, Anna Blinstein, Karen King, Gregory Taylor, Keith Devlin

February 20: The latest blog post from NCTM President Matt Larson is about "The Elusive Search for Balance. For more than 200 years in the U.S., the math ed pendulum has swung back and forth between procedures and understanding. The necessary difficulty, says Larson, is letting the pendulum come to rest somewhere in between.

Shared by: NCTM, Fawn Nguyen, Robert Berry, stefanie buckner, Ilona Vashchyshyn, Beth Brandenburg, Henri Picciotto

February 21: Dan Meyer explained "Why We're Suspicious of Immediate Feedback." It's a design principle at Desmos, where the key isn't immediate feedback, but feedback after a delay that provides for some productive contemplation.

Shared by: Jason Merrill, Ryan R. Ruff, Levi Patrick, Kris Karbon, Ed Campos Jr., Kevin Lawrence, Dan Meyer

February 22: Shannon Najmabadi writes at the The Chronicle of Higher Education, "Meet the Math Professor Who's Fighting Gerrymandering With Geometry." This is about the person behind the Geometry of Redistricing program at Tufts mentioned a few weeks back.

Shared by: Federico Chialvo, Carrie Muir, Theresa Walker, Glenn Waddell, Jr., Eric Milou, Evelyn Lamb, Vanessa Cerrahoglu, Steven Strogatz, Joshua Bowman, Ralph Pantozzi, Samuel Otten, Heather Johnson, Karen King

February 23: Jennifer Vadnais took the Marbleslides activity in Desmos and turned it into Mini Golf Marbleslides. Holes-in-one, only, please!

Shared by: Sara VanDerWerf, Brian Errey, George Carganilla, Ed Campos Jr., Norma Gordon, Audrey McLaren, Stephanie Ling, Ms. J. Brown, Jennifer Dao, Nerissa Gerodias,

Math Ed in Colorado

It's a huge list of updates!

CCTM Deadlines

Nominations for CCTM's 2017 Mathematics Teaching and Leadership Awards must be submitted by Sunday, March 5. Before teachers and leaders can be eligible to win these awards, they must be nominated. Once nominated, teachers and leaders will need to submit additional information to help the CCTM awards committee choose the winners to be recognized at next fall's CCTM conference. See the CCTM website for more information about the teacher award and the leadership award and to access the nomination forms.

PAEMST Nominations

Now that I have you in the nominating mood, why not nominate the very best math, science, or computer science you know for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching? Nominations are open until April 1 and applications must be completed by May 1. I strongly suggest getting a head start on the nominations and applications, as we have webinars and mentoring to help nominees through the application process. (I literally got notified of a new nominee as I wrote this -- let your nomination be the next one!)

CML Meeting

The next meeting of the Colorado Math Leaders will be the afternoon of Friday, March 10. This will be an important meeting because we will be voting to accept our new constitution and bylaws, which are necessary to become an affiliate of NCSM. We'll also be talking about officer elections for CML in addition to the usual professional learning and CDE updates. Watch the CML mailing list for more details.

Math Teachers' Circle Summer Workshop

The March 1 early application deadline has passed, but you can still apply for the 2017 Summer Math Teachers' Circle Workshop in Durango, to be held June 12-16 until May 15, 2017.

SLD Webinars

CDE's Exceptional Student Services Unit is offering a series of five one-hour webinars addressing the needs of struggling learners with specific learning disabilities. The webinars will be on the first Monday of each month:
  • February 6: Focusing on the Nonstrategic Math Learner
  • March 6: Learning Whole Number Operations
  • April 3: Let's Be Rational: Learning Integers, Fractions, Decimals
  • May 1: Mathese: The Language of Mathematics
  • June 5: Bridging the Arithmetic to Algebra Gap
Register for any or all of the webinars in this series at

Teaching Math to English Learners

CDE's Office of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education is offering Teaching Math to English Learners workshops later the spring. Two workshops have been announced so far in Lamar and Limon:
More information about these and other professional learning opportunities from the CLDE office can be found on the CLDE website.

Mathematical Mindsets Book Study

Cassie Harrelson of Aurora Public Schools is facilitating an online book study of Jo Boaler's Mathematical Mindsets beginning on March 27 and lasting through May 7. The book study comes with credit and you can register for it on the COpilot website.

Felicia Casto Wins the Milken Award

Math teacher, interventionist, and coach Felicia Casto of Mesa County Valley School District 51 won the prestigious Milken Educator Award. You can watch a news feature about Felicia at and more about her excellent work on her Milken Educator Award biography. Congrats, Felicia!

Math on the "Planes"

Karen Karp at Math on the "Planes"
I was happy last week to join in on the fun at Math on the "Planes", the annual math conference hosted by the Colorado Council for Learning Disabilities. This year the workshops were led by Dr. Karen Karp of Johns Hopkins University. Friday's portion of the conference focused on tiers of instruction and intervention for K-2 students, while on Saturday the focus was on students in grades 3-5. This really is a great conference I hope everyone keeps their eyes open for Math on the "Planes" 2018.

Apply to Serve on a Standards Review Committee

The application process for the standards review and revision committees is underway!

CDE is committed to conducting an open and transparent review and revision of the Colorado Academic Standards by engaging diverse stakeholders to serve as committee members in each standard area. CDE is seeking committee members for each of the 10 content areas, English language proficiency, personal financial literacy, and computer science to provide revision recommendations to the State Board of Education.

According to Colorado state law, the Colorado Academic Standards must be reviewed and revised on or before July 1, 2018 and every six years thereafter.

More information about the standards review and revision process and the committee application process can be found at

Go directly to the committee application at

CAS Online Feedback

CDE has developed an online standards review system to enable all Coloradoans to provide specific feedback on each and every expectation within all 10 content areas of the Colorado Academic Standards. This is your chance to provide feedback directly to the committees that will be making recommendations for revisions to the standards. This is a first-of-its-kind opportunity that will only be available until April 30, 2017.

Have your voice heard!

The review and revision process is 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.

More information about the standards review and revision process and the online standards feedback system can be found at

Go directly to the online standards feedback system at

Inviting Public Comment on Colorado's ESSA State Plan Draft

In order to demonstrate that Colorado meets the requirements of ESSA and to access the funding allocated to the state, CDE must submit a plan to the United States Department of Education for approval. Fundamental to the requirements of the ESSA plan, is that the department engage in meaningful consultation with a broad range of education stakeholders in developing the plan and, once a draft of the plan has been completed, to make the plan available for public comment. The draft of this plan will be open for public comment for 30 days, beginning on Friday, February 10, 2017, and closing on Friday, March 10, 2017.

There are two ways to submit your comments on Colorado’s ESSA State Plan:
  1. Visit our online portal to access the survey or upload a document:, or
  2. Mail your comments to: Colorado Department of Education, Federal Programs Unit, 1560 Broadway, Suite 1100, Denver, CO 80202-5149.
We invite you to read the letter from Commissioner Anthes on Colorado’s ESSA State Plan Development and release of the state plan draft prior to submitting your comments:

This stage of Colorado’s ESSA plan development is important as it is your chance to react to the plan. The comments we receive from you will be compiled and incorporated into the plan as appropriate. Next, the plan will be reviewed with the Governor and ultimately presented to Colorado’s State Board of Education for approval to submit to the U.S. Department of Education in April.

CDE also intends to post a draft of the state plan in Spanish and encourages members of the public to contact us at with any questions or requests related to accessibility.

This Week in Math Ed: February 17, 2017

Here's yet another abbreviated edition of TWiME.

Math Ed Said

February 10: People were sharing a recent interview with John Urschel from HBO's Real Sports.

Shared by: Andrew Gael, Andrew Stadel, Denise Spangler, Kristin Gray, Janice Novakowski, Sarah Bush, Kimberly Wassmuth, NCTM

February 11: Sometimes mathematicians play football, sometimes they do magic. "Raymond Smullyan, Puzzle-Creating Logician, Dies at 97" wrote the New York Times. Here's a 1982 appearance by Smullyan on The Tonight Show:

Shared by: Keith Devlin, Jorge Nuno Silva, Kent Haines, Jim Wilder, Justin Lanier, Eddi Vulić, Steven Strogatz

February 12: I'll admit, I don't know exactly why people were sharing Sara VanDerWerf's "Secondary Number Talks (I'll convince you with ducks)" post from last year. I can only say it was a good post then, and people obviously think it's still a good post now.

Shared by: rosa, Susan Davidson, Ben Braun, Kate Nowak, Geoff Krall, Lisa Bejarano, Morgan Fierst, Melinda Knapp, Nicole Bridge, Amanda Jansen

February 13: People were sharing the Washington Post story, "Justice Department warned White House that Flynn could be vulnerable to Russian blackmail, officials say."

Shared by: Ilana Horn, Spencer Bagley, John Allen Paulos, Keith Devlin, Mister Ed, Matthew Haden

February 14: Another day, another political story: "Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence."

Shared by: Keith Devlin, Paul Morris, Kathy Henderson, Mister Ed, John Allen Paulos, Spencer Bagley, Samuel Otten, Kenneth Tilton, Kay Endriss

Comment: It seems one or two political stories make their way into TWiME each week, which is lower than I'd imagine given how much attention politics is getting on Twitter. I think math still surfaces to the top in TWiME because there are so many political news outlets that the same links aren't shared by everybody.

If you really want something math ed and Russia-related, maybe you should check out the work of Daniil Elkonin (1904-1984) and Vasily Davydov (1930-1998), students of Lev Vygotsky. I don't know all that much about them myself, but the Encyclopedia of Mathematics Education tells me that Elkonin and Davydov an approach to learning math built on two principles: (1) dialectical logic, where general ideas are established before more advanced, specific ideas are developed, and (2) learning from one's own activity and building mathematical ideas from their origin. Like I said, I don't know all that much about Davydov, but I can already tell that I'd need to read a lot more about this before those two principles would make sense to me. But if you wanted something Russian but also math ed, that's what came to mind.

February 15: Robert Kaplinsky warned us to Beware of Fake Math Modeling Problems." Robert finds an example where modeling seems to partly be the "smaller version of" kind of modeling, and then the questions students are expected to answer really aren't there to help them understand what's happening in the thing they're supposed to be modeling.

Shared by: Lisa Melton Pizzuto, Michelle Dupree, Zack Miller, Kate Fisher, Andrew Gael, Andrew Browning-Couch, Math Coach Rivera, Mike Flynn, Lindel

February 16: People were sharing some of the accessibility features found in Desmos.

Shared by: Denise Green, Rosa Serratore, Daniel Luevanos, Jason Merrill, Martin Joyce, Jen Silverman, Cathy Yenca, Eli Luberoff

This Week in Math Ed: February 10, 2017

I'm in catch-up mode again so all I have for this week is Math Ed Said. Thanks for your patience!

Math Ed Said

Dan Meyer presenting at the 2016 ASSM Annual Meeting.
February 3: Dan Meyer said "Here Are Ten New Desmos Activities" and people couldn't wait to help share them.

Shared by: Leigh Ann Mitchell, Craig Klement, Levi Patrick, Pam J. Wilson, Jen McAleer, Ed Southhall, Melissa Haun, Christy Poole, Judy Larsen, Geoff Krall, Robert Kaplinsky, Tom Boito, Dan Burfeind, Sean Sweeney, Gene Jordan, David Petro, Kimberly Wassmuth, Bob Lochel, Kyle Pearce, Jami D Packer, Imtiaz Damji, Sarah Aldous

February 4: Even more people were sharing Dan Meyer's list of ten new Desmos activities.

Shared by: Jennifer Blinzler, Alex Jaffurs, Martin Joyce, Matthew Oldridge, Nita Cochran, Richer Maths

February 5: Over at Brain Pickings, Maria Popova wrote "The History of Zero: How Ancient Mesopotamia Invented the Mathematical Concept of Naught and Ancient India Gave It Symbolic Form." It's an in-depth review of a new book by Robert Kaplan called The Nothing That Is: A Natural History of Zero.

Shared by: Federico Chialvo, Carrie Muir, John Golden, Elizabeth Statmore, Ilona Vashchyshyn, Nat Banting, Karin Brodie, Ilana Horn

February 6: I feel like it's been a while since Katrina Schwartz's writing as been featured in TWiME, but here she is with "How Playing With Math Helps Teachers Better Empathize With Students." This article focuses on Math Teachers' Circles and the ways they engage people with mathematics.

Shared by: Melissa Hosten, David Coffey, Robbyn Glinsmann, Theresa Walker, Kimberly Wassmuth, OCTM, Andrew Gael, Fawn Nguyen, Justin Lanier, NCTM, NCTM, Regan Galvan, Lisa Melton Pizzuto, John Golden

February 7: After Elizabeth Warren was prevented from reading from Coretta Scott King's 1986 letter about Jeff Sessions on the floor of the U.S. Senate, folks in the math ed community helped share the document.

Shared by: Jessica Faurote, Elham Kazemi, Sheri Eastman, Amy Ellen Zimmer, Annie Perkins, John Carter, David Coffey, Laura Wagenman, Joelleen Bidwell, Kathy Henderson, Keith Devlin

February 8: Well-known educator Richard DuFour died on the 8th and people sadly shared the news.

Shared by: Karyn Vogel, Jessie Hester, Math Coach Rivera, Kate Fisher, Peter Cincotta, Jill Gough, Terry Johanson, Juli K. Dixon, Diana Suddreth, Beth Chinderle, Beth Chinderle, Penny Bentley, Tim Kanold

February 9: "Active learning" doesn't always mean physically active, but physical activity in learning can be beneficial, too, according to a study reported on by the Daily Mail. The research was published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience with the title, "Motor-Enriched Learning Activities Can Improve Mathematical Performance in Preadolescent Children."

Shared by: Andrew Gael, Malke Rosenfeld, Mark McCourt, Math Coach Rivera, Christopher Rohde, Tim Kanold, Janine Franklin

This Week in Math Ed: February 3, 2017

I haven't had much work time to keep up with the goings-on in the math ed community, and I've been spending more of my evenings and weekends dissertating instead of blogging. (Gotta graduate sometime!) I'm way behind on TWiME, but I have been able to grab the the most-shared posts on my math ed Twitter list each week. I may not be able to make time to dig into all the latest news and research, but I can at least share this.

Math Ed Said

January 27: Jose Vilson talked about writing with the Global Math Department in a session called "Writing: Your Questions Answered."

Shared by: Bridget Dunbar, Sahar Khatri, Heather Kohn, Sharon Vestal, Jose Vilson, Global Math

January 28: The refugee band was the talk of the day, including the sharing of this NY Times story: "Refugees Detained at U.S. Airports, Prompting Legal Challenges to Trump's Immigration Order."

Shared by: Spencer Bagley, Sahar Khatri, Keith Devlin, Earl Samuelson, Karen King, Zach Cresswell

A creatively-drawn congressional district in California.
January 29: As the saying goes, gerrymandering is when politicians choose their voters instead of voters choosing their politicians. If you're thinking there should be a mathematical solution to this problem, then you're likely to learn about it during a 5-day summer session at Tufts University called Geometry of Redistricting. The session is August 7-11 and applications are open until March 15.

Shared by: Anne Schwartz, Joshua Bowman, David Radcliffe, John Allen Paulos, Steven Strogatz, Bethany Sansing-Helton, Rebecca Gasper, Margret Hjalmarson, Ilana Horn, Kay Endriss, Ryan R Ruff, Spencer Bagley, Ralph Pantozzi, Kate Nowak, Tom Henderson, Christopher Hanusa, Dave Richeson, Mike Lawler, Keith Devlin, Carrie Muir, Evelyn Lamb

January 30: The American Mathematical Society announced that they opposed the Executive Order suspending immigration from seven nations.

Shared by: Martin Joyce, Travis Olson, Ron King, Dana C. Ernst, michiexile, Kathy Henderson, Amy Hogan, Andrew Gael, Carrie Muir, Mitch Keller, Joshua Bowman, John Allen Paulos, Evelyn Lamb, David Radcliffe, Ben Braun

January 31: Folks were sharing Robert Kaplinsky's guide for depth of knowledge in secondary math.
Shared by: Andrew Stadel, Zack Miller, Nanette Johnson, Jeremiah Ruesch, Jen McAleer, Mary Bourassa, Daniel Luevanos, Robert Kaplinsky

February 1: At a school in North Carolina, a "Teacher Has Personalized Handshakes With Every One of His Students." I believe I saw people split on this in my tweetstream, as people questioned how teachers can connect to students' culture without appropriating students' culture.

Shared by: Ann Gaffney, Doug Moore, Brian Mierzwa, Michael Pershan, Jill Buecking, Justin Bock, Paul Morris, Annie Perkins, John Rowe, Janice Cotcher

February 2: Quanta Magazine had a great interview with Francis Su, the outgoing president of the MAA. It's called "To Live Your Best Life, Do Mathematics" and it covers Su's perspectives on "human flourishing" and how the math community can be open to more people.

Shared by: T R, Kevin Lawrence, Keith Devlin, John Allen Paulos, Joshua Bowman, Joelleen Bidwell, Steven Strogatz, Dana C. Ernst, Kate Owens, Michael Pershan, Earl Samuelson, Carrie Muir, Steph Gunning, MAA, Ben Braun, Matt Lane, Egan J Chernoff, Francis Su

This Week in Math Ed: January 27, 2017

Math Ed Said

Speakers in the tools and tech strand
 at the 2017 NCTM Annual Meeting
January 20: A promotional image for speakers in the tools and technology strand got a lot of retweets and send people to the page for the NCTM 2017 Annual Meeting.

Shared by: Annie Forest, Sarah Bush, Kimberly Wassmuth, Andrew Gael, The Math Forum, Cathy Yenca, Kathy Henderson, Janice Novakowski, PhET Sims, Shelley Carranza, Carl Oliver, Marc Garneau, Kristin Gray, Andrew Stadel

January 21: People in the math education community were sharing the NY Times gallery of "Pictures From Women's Marches Around the United States and the World."

Shared by: Keith Devlin, Emily Harmon, Bryan Meyer, Karen, Robin Hosemann, Joshua Bowman, Andrew Gael, Christine K, Kay Endriss, Norma Gordon

January 22: As you might expect, estimation exercises in the news get the attention of math teachers. People shared the NY Times article, "Crowd Scientists Say Women's March in Washington Had 3 Times More People Than Trump's Inauguration."

Shared by: Andy Martinson, Egan J Chernoff, Mister Ed, Gretchen Eastman, Nerissa Gerodias, Jorge Nuno Silva, Keith Devlin, Nick Yates, Kay Endriss, Annie Perkins, Earl Samuelson, Dan Anderson, Lisa Bejarano, Amy Hogan

January 23: Lara Pudwell wrote on the AMS Blog, "What is an Experimental Math Course and Why Should We Care?" She advises that experimental courses should focus on the approach to mathematics and be flexible with the content.

Shared by: Dana C. Ernst, Tom Snarsky, Francis Su, Keegan Phillips, Ben Braun, TJ Hitchman

January 24: Robert Kaplinsky has been posting about Depth of Knowledge lately, something I've been studying up on myself. Here Robert uses sets of examples to illustrate what different DOK levels look like at the elementary level.

Shared by: Chris Kalmbach, Daniel Luevanos, Tanya Beck, Andrew Gael, Greg George, Robert Kaplinsky, Laura Wagenman, Allison Hintz, Mark Chubb

January 25: Concerns about the role of science in a new presidential administration had people sharing "Thanks to Trump, Scientists Are Planning To Run For Office."

Shared by: Matt Lane, Ed Campos Jr, MotherWupper, Karen King, Doug Moore, Janice Cotcher, Andrew Gael

January 26: People were buzzing about the NCTM Ignite lineup.

Shared by: Julie Wright, NCTM, Avery Pickford, Andrew Stadel, Mary Bourassa, Janice Novakowski, Suzanne Alejandre, Sarah Bush

Around the Math Ed Web

Are you a college instructor wanting to know more about inquiry based learning? You might want to check out these IBL summer workshops at DePaul, Cal Poly, and Nazareth College.

I'm not interested in sharing information about every math-related webinar and MOOC, but the set of offerings from the Place @ the Friday Institute has a set of courses designed specifically for math teachers and their courses are beginning now.

I'm having trouble with the Global Math Department conferences on BigMarker right now, but trust me, they're still hammering out the dents in math ed every Tuesday night.

Research Notes

To save myself a little time in the research notes, I may not always list the institution of each author. Some journals make it near-impossible to copy and paste this from the article page — looking at you, Taylor & Francis!

In the March 2017 issue of The Journal of Mathematical Behavior:
Four new articles in Mathematical Thinking and Learning:
Here are the math ed articles in the International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education:
Rogers Hall at the 2014 ICLS Conference
New in Cognition and Instruction:
New in the February 2017 issue of the Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education:
One new article in the Journal of the Learning Sciences:
New in the April 2017 issue of Teaching and Teacher Education:

Math Ed in Colorado

CCTM SAT Workshops

CCTM is offering three workshops designed to help teachers become more familiar with the PSAT and SAT. Each half-day workshop will provide an orientation to some of the PSAT/SAT materials that are available and instructional practices that support students to do well on these tests. The cost of the workshop is $15 for a CCTM member and $45 for a non-member. The workshops are from 8:30 am to noon for each of the three dates and locations:
  • Saturday, February 11, at the Littleton Public Schools Board Room
  • Saturday, February 25, at the CSU-Pueblo Physics/Math Building
  • Saturday, March 4, at the CSU-Fort Collins Lory Student Center

Winter 2017 CMT

The Winter 2017 issue of the Colorado Mathematics Teacher is available for all to read. To support the CMT and the work of CCTM, become a member.

CoMMIT Meeting

The next meeting of the Colorado Metropolitan Math Intervention Team (CoMMIT) will be held Friday, February 3 from 8:30 to noon in the Littleton Public Schools board room (5776 S. Crocker St., Littleton). The featured speakers will be Doug Clements and Julie Sarama of the University of Denver.

CML Meeting

The next meeting of the Colorado Mathematics Leaders will be Monday, February 6th in Jeffco. Stay tuned to the CML listserv for details.

SLD Webinars

CDE is offering a series of five one-hour webinars addressing the needs of struggling learners with specific learning disabilities. The webinars will be on the first Monday of each month:
  • February 6: Focusing on the Nonstrategic Math Learner
  • March 6: Learning Whole Number Operations
  • April 3: Let's Be Rational: Learning Integers, Fractions, Decimals
  • May 1: Mathese: The Language of Mathematics
  • June 5: Bridging the Arithmetic to Algebra Gap
Register for any or all of the webinars in this series at

Colorado Academic Standards Review & Revision

The first monthly informational webinar about the review of the Colorado Academic Standards will be Tuesday, February 7, from 3:30 to 4:30. Connection information can be found on the CDE website.

CDE continues to collect standard-specific feedback using an online standards feedback system. This is a unique opportunity for any Coloradan to provide line-by-line recommendations that will be considered by the standards review committees. All forms of feedback are welcome: if you think something should stay as-is, be revised for clarity, moved to another grade, or removed altogether. Do not let this opportunity pass if you have ideas that you think should be considered! The online standards feedback system will be open through Sunday, April 30, 2017. This end date has been extended again because your input is so critical to the review and revision process.

Colorado Revised Teacher Rubric

CDE's Educator Effectiveness unit is collecting public feedback about its teacher rubric. See here for dates and locations of focus groups (must register by 2/24) and an online form to submit specific feedback about the rubric.

Girls Lead the Way

Monday, January 30th is the deadline to register 9th-12th grade girls for the Girls Lead the Way Leadership Conference. The conference is February 11 at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden.