This Week in Math Ed: September 2, 2016

Math Ed Said

August 26: An academic genealogy analysis featured in Nature found that the majority of mathematicians hail from just 24 scientific 'families'. The Mathematics Genealogy Project extends into mathematics education. I've traced back my own academic roots here.

Shared by: Francis Su, Dana C. Ernst, Justin Lanier, Steven Strogatz, OCTM, Evelyn Lamb

August 27: Annie Perkins shared some wonderful experiences from "Math-on-a-Stick!," the Minnesota State Fair (where other good things come on sticks) exhibit that engages kids in mathematics.

Shared by: Annie Perkins, Tracy Johnston Zager, Megan Schmidt, Sara VanDerWerf, Sharon Vestal, Ilona Vashchyshyn

August 28: Lately I've been seeing parts of the world through one of two lenses: one, a "solution to a problem" lens, and two, a "not a solution but we should have it anyway" lens. A NYT piece by Christopher Emdin titled "Why Black Men Quit Teaching," shines brightly through the second of those lenses. Simply having teachers of color, particularly black men, is not by itself a solution. We absolutely should have a diverse teaching workforce, where students of any underrepresented background can see in their teachers someone like themselves who is professional, intellectual, and a leader. But as Emdin points out, there are structural and systemic issues in teaching and education that also need to be addressed, regardless of the color of the teachers.

Shared by: Terry Jones, Karen King, Wendy Menard, Chris Shore, David Coffey

August 29: With more Minnesota goodness, Sara VanDerWerf appeared on her local news to talk about the variety of math graphing tools and to spread the word about the need for donated technology (old calculators, smartphones, and tablets) that can be used in the classroom.

Shared by: Sara VanDerWerf, Megan Schmidt, Andy Martinson, Laura Wagenman, Bryan Anderson, David Keller, Jonathan Osters

August 30: Graham Fletcher is serving on the 2017 Orlando NCTM Regional Program Committee and asks for your input with his post, "Building a Conference."

Shared by: Graham Fletcher, Matt Larson, Nanette Johnson, Zak Champagne, Nicole Bridge

August 31: Dan Meyer wrote to tell us that Christopher Danielson's latest book, Which One Doesn't Belong, has been released.

Shared by: Dan Meyer, Sara VanDerWerf, Ilana Horn, Martin Joyce, Nancy Terry, Tyler Anderson, Christopher Danielson, Megan Schmidt, Tracy Johnston Zager, Bridget Dunbar, Jill Gough, Spencer Olmsted

September 1: One year I began the school year with not one, but two days of syllabus-explaining and rule-laying-down. It was bad. Later I figured out what Tracy Johnston Zager writes about in her post, "How Not To Start Math Class in the Fall."

Shared by: Mark Chubb, Tracy Johnston Zager, Chris Hunter, Annie Forest, Kassia Wedekind, Alex Overwijk, Susan Davidson, Karyn Vogel, Bridget Dunbar, Danielle Reycer, Dan Anderson, Alison Hansel, Cal Armstrong, WMC - WI MathCouncil, Richelle Marynowski, Jami D. Packer, Ilana Horn, Nanette Johnson, Annie Perkins, Janice Novakowski, Tim Hudson

Around the Math Ed Web

Do you want to present at the 2017 NCTM Research Conference? If yes, you'd better hurry up and submit a proposal — they're due by September 4!

Mike Flynn caught my attention recruiting people to join a Virtual Math PLC.

The National Girls Collaborative Project is hosting a webinar titled "The Importance of a Growth Mindset: Action Steps for Educators" on September 21.

Last week the Global Math Department made sense of logarithms, and this Tuesday they'll be Cultivating Mathematical Reasoning with Marian Small.

Research Notes

I haven't looked through the research in a few weeks, so hold on for a long list! Let's start with a new article in Educational Researcher:
Here are math-related articles in the October 2016 issue of the International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education:
I see a number of good-looking articles in the August 2016 American Educational Research Journal, but only one is math-specific:
The September issue of Mathematics Teacher Educator is out:
Here are three new articles in the September 2016 issue of the Elementary School Journal:
Sandra Crespo
I spotted one new math ed article in the November 2016 issue of Teaching and Teacher Education:
Issue 2 of 2016 of the Journal of Statistics Education is out:
Last one! This was recently added to Technology Innovations in Statistics Education:

Math Ed in the News

Math Ed in Colorado

Award Winning Teachers!

I am super happy to share that the White House has announced new PAEMST awardees, and two of Colorado's math teachers have been honored:
These teachers will be honored at the awards ceremony at the CCTM Conference. Speaking of which...

CCTM Conference

The 2016 CCTM Conference is only weeks away! Please join me and math teachers from across the state on September 22-23 at the Denver Merchandise Mart. Thursday will feature two pre-sessions:

Teacher Pre-Session: Making Mathematics Accessible and Equitable for All with Nora Ramirez and José Franco

Classrooms should be where all students engage in rigorous mathematics, reason mathematically, justify and defend their thinking, and critique the reasoning of others. Engage in this session with activities and discussions, and to examine your beliefs about teaching and learning mathematics for all students.

Leader Pre-Session: Curricular Materials Review: A Professional Learning Opportunity with Cathy Martin and Joanie Funderburk

Join math leaders and school and district administrators to explore rubrics for evaluating curricular materials, learn about open resources, and make reviewing materials a professional learning opportunity for teachers.

Rochelle Gutiérrez
Friday will feature concurrent sessions, blast sessions, Ignite sessions, a keynote, and the exhibit hall. This year's keynote will be delivered by Rochelle Gutiérrez from the University of Illinois. Rochelle is a leading thinker about issues of equity and social justice in mathematics education. Register to see her and the rest of the conference today!

Math on the "Planes"

Registration for the February 2017 Conference opens September 15. Because of the highly interactive nature of the conference, each of the two workshops will be limited to 60 participants. You can find more information on the Colorado Council for Learning Disabilities website.

Dr. Karen Karp will lead these workshops. She is a visiting professor in the Ed.D. Program in the School of Education at Johns Hopkins University. For twenty-one years prior to this appointment, she was Professor of Mathematics Education in the Department of Early and Elementary Childhood Education at the University of Louisville.

Job Openings

Math and Neuroscience Research Opportunity

Jennifer Jacobs at CU Boulder is interested in researching early elementary students with and without language processing difficulties and how that relates to math ability. If you are interested in having a child participate, you can contact Jennifer at

Rocky Mountain Math Teachers' Circle

Over at you can find the 2016-2017 dates for the meetings of the Rocky Mountain Math Teachers' Circle, as well as information about RSVPing for each session.


FYI: PARCC has updated their practice tests to match their latest test designs.

PARCC has also kept me busy over the last month — for several days I immersed myself in high school geometry and helped select items for future field tests, and later I met with other math educators from around the country to examine the data collected from test items that had already been field tested. In both cases, the goal is to come away with the best possible set of items to consider for future tests. If you have questions about the process, feel free to ask!