This Week in Math Ed: November 25, 2016

I'm again keeping this TWiME short as I catch up from conference travel and the Thanksgiving holiday. Thankfully, I remembered to grab all the most-shared posts before that data slipped away from me!

Dan Meyer at the 2016 ASSM Annual Meeting
November 18: For what I assume is a limited time, you can download the Mathematics Teacher article, "Increased Participation and Conversation Using Networked Devices" by Christopher Danielson and Dan Meyer.

Comment: Seeing Dan and Christopher's name on this article gave me the sudden thought, "It's like they're the George Immerzeel and Earl Ockenga of the 2010s." This will only amuse you if (a) you are really knowledgeable about late-70s calculator research or (b) you went to the University of Northern Iowa, as I did, and either knew or knew of these people.

Shared by: Bethany Sansing-Helton, Taylor Belcher, Dan Meyer, Lorraine Males, NCTM - MT

November 19: I'm not sure why a post from July suddenly made the rounds in November, but a number of people were sharing "Research Shows Students Learn Better When They Figure Things Out On Their Own," a post written by Martin Buschkuehl on the MIND Research Institute blog.

Shared by: Laura Wagenman, Kit G., Brian Errey, Rusty Anderson, Taylor Belcher, Becca Phillips, Annie Forest, Alex Overwijk, Margie Pearse

November 20: In a post that would serve well as a case study for teacher discussions, Kim Van Duzer wrote "Tape Diagrams, Big Feelings and other Predicaments of Teaching."

Shared by: Lynsey Gibbons, Ilona Vashchyshyn, Kent Haines, Tyler Anderson, Sadie Estrella, Simon Gregg, Michael Pershan, Tracy Johnston Zager

November 21: Ian Sample in the Guardian wrote a richly-presented article called "Magic numbers: can maths equations be beautiful?"

Shared by: Francis Su, Gary Davis, Egan J Chernoff, Nita Cochran, Simon Gregg, Steven Strogatz, Keith Jones, Geoff Wake, Marcus du Sautoy, Nerissa Gerodias

November 22: Using a nice mix of numberless word problems and a notice/wonder setup, Kristen Gray describes a classroom activity with "Help Kids Understand Math Problems: Take Away The Numbers And the Question!"

Shared by: J. Brown, Margie Pearse, Math Coach Rivera, Laura Wagenman, Rusty Anderson, Amanda Jansen, Kristin Gray

November 23: People were taking an interest in the nominee to become our next Secretary of Education and shared this brief Q+A from Betsy DeVos.

Shared by: Karen Gartland, Josh Fisher, David Hallowell, Dan Anderson, Ilana Horn

November 24: Charles Blow's NY Times opinion piece, "No, Trump, We Can't Just Get Along" struck a nerve with a number of math educators.

Shared by: Annie Perkins, Earl Samuelson, Keith Devlin, Elizabeth Statmore, Bill Thill, Mike Anderson, Eddi Vulić, Karen King, John Allen Paulos, Ματτ, Peg Cagle, Sahar Khatri, Ilana Horn, Kay Endriss, Keith Devlin

This Week in Math Ed: November 18, 2016

I'm so far behind! Going from Innov8 one week to a holiday the next week wasn't good for blogging productivity. Please excuse my tardiness and this abbreviated version of TWiME.

November 11: Geoff Krall gave us "What does it mean to be problem based? An attempt to unwind 'PrBL.'" I appreciate when someone sets their assumptions aside about what we think we know and attempts to define/explain the thing in a more useful way.

Shared by: Kit G., Brian Marks, Carmel Schettino, Wendy Rose Aaron, Erika Bullock, Nicole M. Joseph

November 12: Folks were sharing a "Manifesto on the Teaching of Mathematics" written by Viktor Blåsjö, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Utrecht. If you're going to think deeply and write about the teaching of mathematics, I can think of few better places in the world than Utrecht.

Shared by: Maria H. Andersen, Fred Feldon, Matthew Oldridge, Jennifer Lawler, Joshua Bowman, Dan McQuillan, Steven Strogatz

November 13: Kristin Gray came up with a way to help teachers prepare to do number talks in their classrooms that she calls "Number Talk Karaoke."

Shared by: Jody Guarino, Jamie Garner, Laura Wagenman, Max Ray-Riek, Lindel, Jana Sanchez, Laura Wagenman, Joe Schwartz, Kristin Gray

November 14: The AMC 8 competition happened on November 15th, so people were sharing a link with information about all the AMC competitions.

Shared by: Jennifer Lawler, TODOS, NCTM, POWER Org Math, John Golden, Malke Rosenfeld, MAA

Matt Larson at the 2016 Innov8 Conference
November 15: In his President's Message, Matt Larson made some really good points in "The Need to Make Homework Comprehensible."

Shared by: Juli K. Dixon, Denise Spangler, Sarah Bush, Christie Madancy, NCTM, Matthew Beyranevand, Greg George, Chris Kalmbach, Matt Larson

November 16: Reflecting on the CMC South conference, Tracy Zager builds from a talk by Megan Franke that highlighted the idea of "Springboarding" directly from counting to problem solving for young learners. There are some great examples in the post, and those of us who teach higher grades might be pleasantly suprised at what students are capable of when they're giving the right opportunities.

Shared by: Lisa Melton Pizzuto, Rosa Serratore, Denise Gaskins, Elham Kazemi, Janice Novakowski, Becca Lewis, Tracy Johnston Zager

November 17: Dan Meyer brings up "Engagement in Math: Three Places to Start" with some basic advice on gaining students' interest.

Shared by: Kit G., Levi Patrick, Brian Bushart, Robert Kaplinsky, Simon Gregg, Jennifer Blinzler, Christy Vehe

As I mentioned, I'm keeping this short in an effort to catch up!

Innov8 and Positive Directions for NCTM

I recently attended NCTM's inaugural Innov8 Conference in St. Louis. NCTM promised a different kind of conference, and I would say they delivered — assuming attendees took advantage of the options beyond the usual keynotes, sessions, and exhibit hall.

Conference Content

For those of you interested in the content of the conference, I apologize for keeping this part brief. The theme of the conference was "Engaging the Struggling Learner" and speakers did better to stick to the theme than I expected. The opening keynote with Juli Dixon and her daughters Alex and Jessica was wonderful. The focus of the talk was Alex's struggle to overcome the effects of a stroke she suffered in 6th grade. I'm horribly underselling the talk, and underselling Alex and Jessica, but I will make this point: As much as I want to call both of them extraordinary, I won't. For as impressed as I was with them, I didn't want to leave thinking they were "exceptional," as in "not like all the others." I wanted to leave, hopefully along with everyone else, thinking that all struggling learners were just as amazing as Alex and Jessica, and Alex and Jessica were just as amazing as other struggling learners. In that way, I think the keynote really did hit the key note.

Juli, Jessica, and Alex Dixon

Thursday morning we experienced a rotation of keynote speakers. For me, Amanda Jansen was up first to discuss "rough draft talk," an approach that emphasizes to students that thinking out loud, making mistakes, exploring multiple solutions, and revising our thinking is all a normal part of doing mathematics. Next up was Karen Karp, who had us face the reality that too many struggling learners get worksheets and tricks rather than sound, research-based strategies. Karen recommended checking out the math Practice Guides published by IES, and I will. In fact, let me put them right here so you will, too:
Fawn Nguyen
Last to go was Fawn Nguyen, who stressed productive struggle and choosing high-quality tasks. She had some comments about resisting tracking in her school, and dealing with upset parents, that I think really resonated with other teachers in the room. Before the conference was over, I saw Peg Smith (for the first time, somehow), dipped in and out of Jo Boaler's talks, and got some good stuff out of Melissa Boston's session involving resources from NCTM's Principles to Action Professional Learning Toolkit. I find PtoA's effective teaching practices to be right-sized descriptions of practice, and I like seeing different ways they can be used to improve the planning and analysis of teaching.

Conference Format

More than the conference content, I was specifically drawn to Innov8 by NCTM's attempt to shake up their typical conference format. To be sure, Innov8 had typical keynotes and sessions and attendees could make the conference feel like a regular NCTM regional conference if they wished. But what set Innov8 apart (and makes me more likely to return) were its more novel features, Team Time and the Innovation Lounge.

I attended primarily as a member of the board of the Colorado Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and I was joined by three other board members who all had an interest in learning about the conference. In this way we were a team, but not exactly the kind of school-based team NCTM had designed the conference for. The Innov8 schedule had multiple times set aside for teams to tackle what they identified as a "problem of practice," and the researcher in me really wish I could have sat in with some of the groups to see what they identified as their problem and how they thought they might go about tackling it.

NCTM Board Member Cathy Martin in the Innovation Lounge

I thought the Innovation Lounge was the highlight of the conference, and I wonder if others felt the same. In the Innovation Lounge, conference attendees had ample opportunities to come face-to-face with experts in math education in a variety of formats. There was the Book Nook, where attendees could sit with authors to discuss their books, and the Innov8 Bar, where experts in various topics (assessment, motivation, productive struggle, and MTSS) offered advice to groups of 1-8 people seated around a high table. There was also a place for telling teaching stories, getting Twitter and blog advice, and talking to people from The Math Forum.

Matt Larson at the Innov8 Bar

I admit, when I saw NCTM President Matt Larson at the Innov8 Bar talking to a single person, or Jo Boaler overflowing the Book Nook with about 150 people, I wondered if the format was really working. In hindsight, though, I think the format was working just fine. There are some details NCTM needs to work out, but overall I think these issues are reflective of the very hard work NCTM faces in making a personal connection to its members. I feel good that the person who got solo time with an NCTM President will renew their membership and be a more active NCTM member, and in general, NCTM made a positive impression on those who spent some time in the Innovation Lounge. In the future, I think NCTM can do more to let attendees know who some of these experts are and why they're worth talking to. A little bit of celebrity can go a long way.

A large crowd gathered for Jo Boaler's book talk

Positive Directions for NCTM

Two years ago I published a post describing what I saw as NCTM's grand challenge: to shift their focus away from providing content to members and towards providing services, even as their membership shifts from older and more loyal members to younger teachers who are less likely to join organizations. I made some suggestions: Be less faceless as an organization, find teachers where they are, spend more time listening, build a thank you economy with your members, play matchmaker, and guide teachers towards mastery. Here are a few ways I see NCTM moving in these directions:
  • Conferences: The Innov8 Conference had ample amounts of face-to-face time between NCTM board members and other representatives, and I hope it served to facilitate a lot of listening at an organizational level. Similarly, the Annual Meeting in San Francisco featured small-group gatherings between major speakers and attendees. Although conferences are geographically and temporally limited, NCTM needs to make the most of these opportunities for the members dedicated enough to attend.
  • Twitter Chats: In the last few months we've seen NCTM establish a regular schedule of Wednesday-night chats that bring authors of articles in NCTM teacher journals (Teaching Children Mathematics, Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, and Mathematics Teacher) together with teachers and other math educators for an hour on Twitter. By having authors engage directly in the chats, there are great opportunities for personal connections between experts and members. NCTM is making the articles free to download to help facilitate participation, and I think the upside for NCTM in terms of membership will exceed any potential downside from lost journal subscriptions. Despite the dedication and enthusiasm from math teachers on Twitter, it remains a relatively small audience, but just like conferences, NCTM is working to meet its members where they are.
  • Reaching Out to Critics: I've seen several examples in the past two years of NCTM recruiting teachers (Lisa Henry and Graham Fletcher come to mind) critical of the organization to provide feedback and take active roles within the organization. I don't have the inside knowledge of how these arrangements have been made or the extent of the involvement, but I see so many benefits from this. As members we still don't get much of a window into the workings and disagreements of the NCTM Board of Directors, but it looks good when members can disagree with the organization and then be given a platform to have those ideas heard.
The effects of these changes might not be large, at least not yet, but I think they're steps in the right direction. I do wonder how much my perception of the organization is shaped by my own involvement and the number of relationships I've built with people I see as part of NCTM. Some of the suggestions I made, like playing matchmaker and guiding teachers towards mastery, don't yet seem to be part of NCTM's plans. I know NCTM has entertained ideas related to certifying/credentialing members for their knowledge and skills, but that's a big step that comes with more risks than the efforts they're currently taking.

Lastly, one moment of Innov8 made a big deal to me: At the last minute, I stopped in the NCTM book store to pick up some books. At the register, the NCTM staff member said, "Oh, you're Raymond Johnson!" It was Tracy Cullen, NCTM's communications manager, and the person usually behind the NCTM Twitter account. I realize that the NCTM social media accounts need to represent the organization, not the individual tasked with running them, but I felt a great sense of satisfaction to meet the person doing the hard work of engaging members across multiple accounts and often non during 9-5 hours. So if you're reading this: Hi, Tracy, and thank you!

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.

This Week in Math Ed: November 4, 2016

Math Ed Said

Fawn Nguyen
October 28: Fawn Nguyen gave us some insights into her practice with a post called "Good-Enough-for-Now Curriculum," where she discusses the resources she uses, how those resources differ in the thinking they demand of students, and what she finds is worth grading.

Shared by: Fraction Talks, Debbie Hurtado, Jennifer Blinzler, Shaunda McQueeney, Scott Leverentz, Dan Anderson, Samuel, Ilana Horn, Ilona Vashchyshyn, Kimberly Wassmuth, Andrew Gael, Laura Wagenman, Kit G, Bridget Dunbar, John Golden

October 29: Two posts rose to the top this day. First, Tom Rademacher's talks about the lack of easy answers in "My Name Is Tom. I've Been a Teacher for 10 Years and I Still Get My Ass Kicked Nearly Every Day." Second, Mark Chubb lays out the long game in "How our district improved…." Far from the typical, "I tried this for two weeks and things are better," this post takes the 10-year view of math initiatives in his district and the long-term gains they're now enjoying.

Shared by: (for Tom) Kit, Becca Phillips, Mickie Gibbs, Laura Wagenman; (for Mark) Ann Elise Record, Mark Chubb, Tyler Anderson, Margie Pearse

October 30: Sara VanDerWerf wrote about "Visualizing Exponential, Power & Logarithmic Functions." The title is pretty self-explanatory and I suggest you check out the visualizations for yourself.

Shared by: Kit G, Bryan Anderson, Jennifer Lawler, David Butler, Heather Sugrue, Sara VanDerWerf, Ashley Bingenheimer

October 31: Graham Fletcher reintroduces a time estimation task in "The One-Handed Clock in a Digital Era."

Shared by: Dana Williams, Mark Chubb, Simon Gregg, Andrew Gael, Math Coach Rivera, Ryan Dent, Charlotte Sharpe, Mike Flynn, Graham Fletcher

November 1: Nat Banting illustrates a community cross-pollination effort with "#MTBoS Connected: Fraction Talks and WODB."

Shared by: Denise Gaskins, Ilona Vashchyshyn, Jocelyn Dagenais, Simon Gregg, Nat Banting, Fraction Talks

November 2: MindShift is back with "How One School Changed Its Math Culture, Starting With Teachers." The article focuses on one D.C. school that leveraged work on growth mindsets to change students' relationships with mathematics.

Shared by: Kimberly Wassmuth, Kristin Manna, Jennifer Lawler, Regan Galvan, John Golden, Nancy Terry

November 3: 2017 NCTM Regional Conference proposals are due December 1, and several people were encouraging each other to submit. There's less than a month to go, and don't let it get lost in the holidays! In 2017 the regionals are in Orlando and Chicago.

Shared by: Annie Fetter, Lisa Bejarano, David Coffey, Megan Schmidt, David Coffey, Nicole Bridge, NCTM, Zak Champagne, Graham Fletcher

Around the Math Ed Web

Recently speaking for the Global Math Department was Karen Fuson and Steven Smith with "Children Living in Poverty Can Solve CCSS OA Word Problems." Next up is David Wees with "Teachers Learning Together: How Can Instructional Routines Help?."

Wednesday is the next #TCMchat, and the article for discussion is "Selecting and Sequencing Students' Solution Strategies" by Erin Meikle.

Congratulations to NCTM's newly elected board members Robert Q. Berry III, President-Elect; David Ebert, Director, High School Level; and three at-large directors: Linda Ruiz Davenport, DeAnn Huinker, and Daniel J. Teague. You can read more about the new board members on the NCTM website.

The Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators is asking for feedback on a set of standards for math teacher preparation. The deadline to provide input is November 15.

PAEMST nominations are open and due April 1. The application process can take a while, so do it sooner rather than later!

Research Notes

The November 2016 issue of the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education is out:
Here are some recent math ed-related articles in the current issue of Teachers College Record:
The International Journal for Mathematics Teaching and Learning is out with a third issue for 2016:
The South Africa-based journal Pythagoras published its 2nd, 3rd, and 4th articles of 2016:

Math Ed in the News

Math Ed in Colorado

Colorado Academic Standards Survey

It's the last week to complete the standards perception survey! Please reply by November 13!

CDE invites educators, educational leaders, parents, students and the general public to share their perceptions of the Colorado Academic Standards through an online survey available through Nov. 13. To participate, click here.

The results of the survey 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 CAS on or before July 1, 2018 and every six years thereafter.

In addition to the survey on general perceptions of the standards, CDE will launch an online feedback system in November which will enable all educators and others to provide specific feedback on every expectation within the 10 content areas included in the Colorado Academic Standards.

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.

The survey and online standards feedback system can be found at General questions and comments about the review and revision process can be sent 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.

COmath Calendar

During a CCTM board meeting a number of us were discussing ways to help bring Colorado math educators together. One idea was to have a centralized calendar, not just for CCTM events, but for all events of interest to math educators in Colorado. You can access it here:
  • ICS format (to use in a calendar app):
  • HTML format (opens in a browser; use button on lower right to add to your Google Calendar):
If you have an event you'd like to add to the calendar, email to submit your request.

A Social Networking Experiment

Last month Andrew Stadel asked a good question:

I've often wondered the same thing. For me, I saw Andrew's question as an opportunity to set up an instance of GNU social, which is an open source, federated social network from the Free Software Foundation with a number of Twitter-like features. What does it mean to be federated? It means there can be many GNU social servers and a user on one server can communicate with users on other servers.

We've grown accustomed to companies running social services designed to keep us within their site. GNU social is more like email: it doesn't matter if you use Gmail, Yahoo, your work email, or you set up your own server in your basement. Every email server can talk to every other email server. If the math ed community ever wanted to go rogue and leave Twitter behind (or Twitter left us), I can foresee the possibility of a, a, a, etc., and we'd be free to establish an identity on whichever one we chose and we could still follow and chat with those on other servers.

Now that you know a little about the technology, I'm inviting you to join a temporary "social sandbox" I've set up just so I can learn first-hand what running a social site entails. The installation wasn't difficult -- it probably took me less than an hour to install and configure. It's running on a little test server that might be easily overwhelmed, but that's okay. Just consider anything you post to be disposable, as I will take down the site before the end of 2016.

Try it at