This Week in Math Ed: January 26, 2018

Math Ed Said

Graham Fletcher presenting at the 2017 NCTM Annual Meeting
January 19: If you missed it earlier, here again is Graham Fletcher's Fraction Video Series.

Shared by: Shauhna Feitlin, CMC - CA MathCouncil, Nita Cochran, Kit, Devin Anderson

January 20: Robert Kaplinsky did us all a favor and reminded us that a great resource is the Formative Assessment Lessons from the Mathematics Assessment Resource Service (MARS). My recommendation: Do not underestimate how much thought went into these, and be willing to trust them even if you're accustomed to making a lot of adaptations to your usual off-the-shelf lessons.

Shared by: Ed Southall, Shelby Aaberg, Jazmine Falicetti, Gregory White, Emily Campbell, John Faig, Ed Campos Jr, Kimberly Wassmuth, Martin Joyce, Ann Crilley, Nita Cochran, Jennifer Lawler, Robert Kaplinsky

January 21: To show support for Laurie Rubel, the American Association of University Professors are collecting names of people who wish to stand with Laurie.

Shared by: Equity MathEd, Kit, Peg Cagle, Annie Forest, Matt Owen, David Kung, Carrie Diaz Eaton

January 22: With a second contribution to this post in three days, this time of his own design, Robert Kaplinsky shared his Depth of Knowledge Matrix for Secondary Math.

Shared by: Nicol Reiner, Heather Sugrue, Patty Stephens, Bridget Dunbar, Brandi Moore, Robbyn Glinsmann, Kit, Pam J Wilson, Jill Gough, Bob Lochel, Robert Kaplinsky

January 23: Steve Wyborney's "Cube Conversations" is back on this list again after an appearance the first week of the year. I think of these as doing something geometrically to prompt math discourse similar to how arithmetic problems prompt math discourse in number talks.

Shared by: Denise Gaskins, Kit, Donna Boucher, Kat Hendry, Steve Wyborney, Lindel

January 24: Lots of people shared and reshared the announcement of the Desmos Teaching Fellowship.

Shared by: John Berray, Julie Reulbach, Levi Patrick, Heather Kohn, Nolan Doyle, Daniel Luevanos, Eli Luberoff, Melynee Naegele, Audrey McLaren, Ed Campos Jr, Peg Cagle, Shelley Carranza, Cathy Yenca, Jedidiah Butler, Allison Krasnow, Scott Leverentz, Julia Finneyfrock, Bob Lochel, Nerissa Gerodias, Christopher Danielson, Jennifer Fairbanks, Jon Orr, Molly Daley, Annie Perkins, Andrew Busch, Mary Bourassa, Lisa Bejarano, Eric Blask, Kathy Henderson, Dan Anderson, Kristen Fouss, Jocelyn Dagenais,

January 25: More people shared the Desmos Teaching Fellowship announcement.

Shared by: Darren Burris, Norma Gordon, Jennifer Fairbanks, James Cleveland, Sara VanDerWerf, Chris Lusto, Karl Fisch, Clara Maxcy, Christopher Danielson, Patty Stephens, John Colgan, Kit, Matthew Baker, Bridget Dunbar, David Sabol, Imtiaz Damji

Math Ed in Colorado

Conferences: Math on the "Planes", TI's Education Leadership Summit, and MidSchoolMath

There are dwindling number of openings remaining for Math on the "Planes", the two-day math conference hosted by the Colorado Council for Learning Disabilities. The conference will be held February 23-24 in Centennial and will feature Dr. Barbara Dougherty. Register today!

Texas Instruments is hosting a one-day Leadership Summit in Denver on March 22. The title of the summit is "The Leader's Role Implementing STEM and Computer Science Initatives" and the keynote speaker is Peter McLaren, past-president of the Council of State Science Supervisors. Other speakers include Dr. Joanna Bruno of CDE, who will discuss science and computer science in Colorado; Gwen Perea Warniment, who will talk about designing K-12 STEM initatives, and CCTM President Joanie Funderburk, who will focus on mathematics education.

If you're thinking about attending the MidSchoolMath National Conference in Santa Fe, NM, their standard registration deadline is Friday, February 2. The conference features Jo Boaler, Dan Meyer, and Tracy Johnston Zaeger.

Job Openings

Woodland Park is seeking someone to teach Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 beginning February 12. More information can be found at


The 2018 CCTM Annual Conference will be August 2-3 at the University of Denver. By moving the conference to just before the start of school, you can worry less about your sub plans (and your district won't have sub costs) and you can focus your attention on connecting with your Colorado peers in two days of great math teaching and learning.

CCTM is accepting nominations for five positions on its Board of Directors: President-Elect, Vice President, Secretary, and Regional Representatives for Regions 2 and 5. Nominations close on February 2.

CCTM is also accepting nominations for its teaching and leadership awards. Awardees receive a plaque, one year of CCTM membership, complimentary registration to the CCTM Annual Conference, and a $200 award.

The next meeting of the Colorado Math Leaders will be held at the Instructional Support Facility at 5416 S. Riveria Way in Centennial from 10:00 to 2:00 on Wednesday, February 21. (Note: This is a recent change in location!) If you aren't on the CML mailing list and would like to be, send me an email.

Grant Opportunities

CSEd: Districts have until February 28 to apply for the Computer Science Education grant and receive up to $10,000 for their district to spend on professional development, tuition, books, or other programs and resources to directly support the teaching of computer science in Colorado. Details about the grant and other computer science opportunities can be found on the CDE website.

Lemelson-MIT: If you want to learn more about the $10,000 Lemelson-MIT STEM grants, there is a webinar on Tuesday, February 6 from 4:30-5:30 MT. More information about the program can be found on the Lemelson-MIT website.

Let Your Voice Be Heard!

The Teaching and Learning Conditions in Colorado (TLCC) survey (formerly TELL Colorado) is a key tool to help CDE and other education stakeholders understand the conditions of education around Colorado. The survey should take less than 15 minutes and it closes February 23. Schools and districts that reach the 50 percent participation threshold (and at least five respondents) will be able to access their own data after the survey window closes. This is valuable data that can lead to very rich discussions about improvements for your school and/or district.

COpilot Class: Co-Teaching to Improve Collaboration & Instruction

You may be interested in a class being offered through CEA's COpilot platform that focuses on co-teaching relationships between a general education teacher and a teacher who supports students with disabilities, language learning, or other students from special populations. This class is designed to be taken by both teachers in the relationship. For more information, see the COpilot website.

This Week in Math Ed: January 19, 2018

Math Ed Said

January 12: I think this is the second time I have seen this Desmos graph of the spinning Desmos logo appear as the most-shared thing on Twitter. I don't get it.

Shared by: Pam Harris, Judy Keeney, Karen Gartland, Darren Burris, Cathy Yenca, Kat Hendry, Matt Vaudrey, Scott Leverentz, Jen McAleer, Kyle Pearce, Robbyn Glinsmann, Bob Lochel, Zach Cresswell, Bridget Dunbar, Laura Wheeler

January 13: Laurie Rubel of Brooklyn College got some media attention (and unwanted negative attention from readers of some of those sites) about a story discussing her article, "Equity-Directed Instructional Practices: Beyond the Dominant Perspective" in the Journal of Urban Mathematics Education. As usual, most of the criticism/harassment came from people who didn't read the article, even though it's available via open access.

Shared by: Equity MathEd, Chris Brownell, Kit, Laurie Rubel, Regan Galvan, Brian R Lawler, Geoff Wake

January 14: If you haven't seen SolveMe Mobiles, you should really check them out. These are good examples of how algebra doesn't always have to look like variables and equations, and that students can figure these out as puzzles well before they're in 8th or 9th grade.

Shared by: Heidi Allum, Patrick Honner, Simon Gregg, Emily Stewart, Shelby Aaberg, Jen Overley, Margie Pearse, Dr. Steve Humble

January 15: The original link to this was broken, but I'm pretty sure people were trying to share "Minimizing the 'Matthew Effect'," a blog post by Mark Chubb. By the "Matthew Effect," Mark describes that phenomenon where children who start off a little bit ahead of others get offered more opportunities to engage (in sports, or math, or whatever) and that extra engagement gives them compounding advantages over time — and maybe we should consider that as teachers when structuring participation in the classroom.

Shared by: Jennifer Lawler, Laura Wheeler, Laura Wagenman, Lane Walker, Mark Chubb

Kara Imm leaning in during the 2015 RME Conference.
January 16: First of all, if you're into number talks and haven't been to the Number Strings website, you need to be there like yesterday. Second, take your time and read "Trusting the digits: Developing place value understanding." Are conversations among students happening like this in your classroom? Although unstated, Kara Imm gets the author credit for this post — I recognized her masterful facilitation!

Shared by: Brett Parker, Bridget Dunbar, Marilyn Burns, Erica Litke, Sendhil Revuluri, Kit, Math in the City, Rachel Lambert, Geonz, Rachel Lambert, Kara Imm

January 17: The American Association of University Professors collected names of those wanting to Stand With Dr. Laurie Rubel at Brooklyn College.

Shared by: Spencer Bagley, Annie Perkins, Equity MathEd, Brian R Lawler, Nicole Bannister, Mike Steele, Laurie Rubel, Amanda Jansen, Samuel Otten, LaurieRubel

January 18: Graham Fletcher put together a Fraction Video Series called "The Foundation of Fractions." The videos are presented with teachers as the audience, such as teachers who want to improve the way they teach fractions or the way they want to understand fractions themselves.

Shared by: Amanda Haskell, Kyle Pearce, Shawna Hedgepeth, Jennifer Lawler, Georgina Rivera, Mike Flynn, Emily Campbell, Jill Gough, Pam J. Wilson, Bridget Dunbar, Matthew Oldridge, Chrissy Newell, Graham Fletcher

This Week in Math Ed: January 12, 2018

I don't think I'll need or be able to scour 35+ research journals every week for new articles, so maybe I'll try to do that every other week, or maybe once a month. In any case, here's some of what was popular in the world of math education for the week of January 5th to January 11th, 2018.

Math Ed Said

January 5: This article appeared once here last week, and now it appears twice this week: Sunil Singh's "Six Questions That Math Educators Need To Answer Honestly." My short answer to Question 1, "What is mathematics?": Mathematics is the human activity of reasoning with number and shape. A slightly longer answer would explain that this reasoning produces the artifacts that we associate with mathematics, but particularly as an educator I keep the definition focused on math as a human activity, as Freudenthal did.

Shared by: Eddi Vulić, Richelle Marynowski, Pam J. Wilson, Keith Devlin, Zack Patterson, Dan Meyer

January 6: Again: "Six Questions That Math Educators Need To Answer Honestly."
Shared by: Nita Cochran, Emily Stewart, Dave Martin, Steven Strogatz, Kyle Pearce, Eric Milou, Dan Meyer, Zach Cresswell, Federico Chialvo, Gary Davis, Kat Hendry, Meleia Bridenstine, Alison Hansel, Hilary Kreisberg, Matthew Oldridge

January 7: Heidi Fessenden wrote "Counting Collections: One Nearly-Perfect Answer to Inclusion," a reporting of what's happening with her students when children with and without autism pair up to count collections of objects. Heidi is a thorough storyteller and it's a story I needed to hear, as I've been helping write a state policy document for students with disabilities and stories like this keep my head rooted in practice.

Shared by: Marilyn Burns, Rosa Serratore, Megan Franke, Melinda Knapp, Elham Kazemi, Alison Hansel, Annie Forest, Kassia Wedekind, Jana Sanchez, Andrew Gael, Jamie Garner, Tracy Johnston Zager, Heidi Fessenden

Is your district making segregation worse?
January 8: Want to get lost in some policy, maps, and data? Spend your time on this feature from Vox: "Mapping the imaginary lines we use to segregate our schools." Based heavily on some new work by Berkeley PhD candidate Tomas Monarrez, you can use this tool to explore segregation patterns in districts across the country and understand the policies and historical reasons that shaped them.

Shared by: Jennifer Lawler, Shawna Hedgepeth, Kent Haines, Heidi Fessenden, Michael Soskil, Kit, Thad Domina

January 9: If you missed it on the 8th, here it is again on the 9th: "Mapping the imaginary lines we use to segregate our schools."

Shared by: Morgan Fierst, Kara Imm, Dylan Kane, Elizabeth Self, Samantha Marshall, Karen King, Theodore Chao, Thad Domina, Tyrone Martinez-Black, Heidi Fessenden

January 10: After spending all that time looking at segregation patterns, give yourself a chance to chuckle with Ben Orlin's "Compass Constructions Made Easy."

Shared by: Anna Blinstein, Nathaniel Highstein, Chris Burke, Jo Morgan, Ilona Vashchyshyn, Denise Gaskins, Ryan R Ruff, Jennifer White, Jennifer Lawler, Jen Silverman, Ben Orlin, Michael P Goldenberg

January 11: There's probably a context to this I missed, or maybe this is a new feature: A Desmos graph where the Desmos logo spins around.

Shared by: Sadie Estrella, Bryn Humberstone, Shawna Hedgepeth, Lisa Bejarano, Allison Krasnow, Nerissa Gerodias, Vanessa Cerrahoglu, Kathy Henderson, Heather Sugrue, Andrew Shauver, Jennifer Blinzler, Christopher Danielson, Jocelyn Dagenais, Dan Anderson, Jason Merrill, Shelley Carranza, Jennifer Fairbanks, Mary Bourassa, Jocelyn Dagenais, Eli Luberoff

This Week in Math Ed: January 5, 2018

My blogging dropped off in 2017 at the end of April, which coincided with the ramping-up of Colorado's review and revision of our academic standards. I kept telling myself, "If I just get a little more organized and motivated, I'll get back to blogging," but the reality was that my priorities just didn't (couldn't?) have blogging near the top. We're still in the process of reviewing and revising standards, but with a new year I decided it was time to renew my blogging efforts. Here are the highlights of the mathematics education world for the week of Friday, December 29, 2017, through Thursday, January 4, 2018.

Math Ed Said

December 29: Caitlin Tucker wrote "Battling Against Traditional Perceptions of Teaching and Learning," where she addresses the challenges of facilitating a student-centered classroom with students who either expect or prefer that activity is focused on the teacher.

Commentary: I experienced these struggles teaching a college intro to stats class, and some of my students were experienced teachers themselves in a master's program! When one of my students, who is a teacher, called me over during group work to tell me, "I know how to teach math, and you're doing it wrong. You need to be working examples at the board and giving us sets of similar problems to practice," I couldn't help but feel that our expectations were so far apart as to be unbridgeable, and that's a horrible feeling for a teacher to have.

Shared by: Brandi Moore, Maria H. Andersen, Cindy Brown, Tyler Anderson, Andrew Shauver, Laura Wheeler

December 30: Steve Wyborney shared "Cube Conversations," a large set of activities for students that give them practice visualizing, reasoning with, and discussing three-dimensional constructions of unit cubes.

Shared by: Rene Grimes, Kit, Lindel, Kat Hendry, Kit, Jon Orr, Richelle Marynowski, Robbyn Glinsmann, John Faig, Kyle Pearce, Steve Wyborney

December 31: Hmmm. Chalkbeat is holding a live event at SXSW EDU called "The Great American Teach-Off," where two pairs of elementary math teachers will execute some sort of teaching challenge on stage for a panel of judges. The organizers wish to highlight in public more of the work of teaching. If you wish to give it a go, the instructions for applying are at the link.

Shared by: Jessica Faurote, Kit, Dan Meyer, Heather Scott, Dan Anderson, Lisa Bejarano

January 1: Sunil Singh kicked off the new year with "Six Questions That Math Educators Need To Answer Honestly."

Shared by: Lisa Choate, Karen Vaites, Spencer Bagley, Kate Owens, Chris Brownell, James Tanton, Dana C. Ernst, Kit, Sunil Singh

January 2: James Tanton wrote "It's Time to Let Go of Antiquated Edicts in the Mathematics Classroom," which addressed topics such as "simplifying" radicals and "reducing" fractions.

Shared by: Spencer Bagley, Zach Cresswell, Heather Sugrue, Ann Crilley, Kathy Henderson, Amy Hogan, Jill Gough, Bob Lochel, Robert Kaplinsky, Jason Wilson, Benjamin Dickman, Kit, Francis Su, Brendan W. Sullivan, Hilary Kreisberg, Steven Francis, Dan Anderson, Patrick Honner, Matthew Oldridge, Matthew Beyranevand, Chris Brownell, Michael P Goldenberg, Sunil Singh, James Tanton

January 3: Toya J Frank is seeking participants for a survey to learn about the experiences of Black teachers of mathematics.

Shared by: Kate Johnson, Crystal Kalinec-Craig, Nicole M. Joseph, Laura Wagenman, Barbara Beske, Kit, Heather Johnson, Lou Matthews, Robert Berry, Erica Litke, Lynette Guzmán, Toya J Frank, Jennifer Lawler, Ilana Horn

January 4: More people shared and reshared Toya J Frank's request for participants in her study.

Shared by: Alison Hansel, Robert Kaplinsky, Brian R Lawler, Michelle Bailey, BBA Math Association, Naomi Jessup, Will M Dunn, Jenise Sexton, Jennifer Lawler, Annie Perkins, Dana Miller-Cotto, Tracy Johnston Zager, Ilana Horn

Research Report

For only being a few days into the new year, it's surprising that several journals have published new articles already. Some put 2018 dates on work done last year (I see you, Elsevier), and to keep things organized for myself I'm including those here, too.

Journal for Research in Mathematics Education

Journal of Teacher Education

Journal of Curriculum Studies

Teachers College Record

Beth Herbel-Eisenmann, 2017 NCTM Research Conference

Teaching and Teacher Education


Philosophy of Mathematics Education Journal

This journal links to lightly-edited PDFs and Word docs, so it's best to go to the main issue page and access the following articles from there.
  • Paul Ernest and Anna Sfard: A Dialogue on Dialogue
  • Nenad Radakovic: Towards the Critical Pedagogy of Risk in Mathematics Education
  • Karen François, José Ricardo e Souza Mafra, Maria Cecilia Fantinato & Eric Vandendriessche: Local Mathematics Education: The Implementation of Local Mathematical Practices into the Mathematics Curriculum
  • Andrew Schroter: In Defence of Platonism in the Mathematics Classroom
  • Michael. Gr. Voskoglou: Is Mathematics Invented or Discovered by Humans?
  • Hélio Rebello: Deleuze on Kant's Mathematics of the Sensory Body: The Differential Relation in the Instance of Learning
  • Constanta Olteanu and Lucian Olteanu: Investigating Difference and Repetition in Mathematics Teachers' Professional Development
  • Luiz Carlos Leal Junior: Ethics and Research in Mathematics Education: Philosophical Provocations
  • Rosemeire de Fatima Batistela and Maria Aparecida Viggiani Bicudo: The Importance of Teaching Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem in Mathematics Teacher Education
  • Philip J. Davis: Mathematics, Politics, and Law
  • Bronislaw Czarnocha: Working Class, Intelligentsia and the "Spirit of Generalization"
  • Adam Hams: Educational Sciences for Mathematics: Mathematics Didactics as a Scientific Discipline
  • Allan Tarp: A Heidegger View on how to Improve Mathematics Education
  • Paul Ernest: A Semiotic Theory of Mathematical Text
  • Jacques Bair, Piotr B Laszczyk, Karin U. Katz, Mikhail G. Katz, Taras Kudryk and David Sherry: Analyzing Benardete's Comment On Decimal Notation
  • Pierre Sutherland: Mechanisms of Emergence: Influence of Open Student Responses Collected using an Online Survey Tool in Mathematics Classrooms

Math Ed in the News

Math Ed in Colorado

Colorado Academic Standards Review and Revision

On Monday, January 8, the online feedback collected from the public last fall will be published to the CDE website. If you would like to send additional feedback, you can do so by emailing it to The mathematics committee will next meet on Wednesday, January 10, to work on finalizing their revisions ahead of their consideration and approval by the State Board of Education later this spring.

Math Teacher Circles

  • Looking at the new website for the Rocky Mountain Math Teacher Circle, it looks like their next meeting is Saturday, January 13 from 8:30-12:00 at the CU Denver Student Commons Building. This appears to be a change from dates announced earlier in the year. Please RSVP if you wish to attend.
  • The next meetings of the Northern Colorado Student Math Circle will be Tuesday, January 23rd from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Please RSVP if you wish to attend.


The CCTM Board of Directors is meeting Saturday, January 6. Following the meeting, expect to hear news about upcoming workshops, the 2018 Annual Conference, and board member elections.


The next meeting of the Colorado Math Leaders is Wednesday, January 17 from 10:00 to noon. The meeting is online and we will be discussing Chapters 3 and 4 of Visible Learning for Mathematics.


The next meeting of the Colorado Metropolitan Math Intervention Team (CoMMIT) is Friday, January 26, from 9 am to noon at The Ames Facility in Littleton Public Schools. The topic of the meeting will be the latest draft of CDE's revised guidelines for identifying and supporting students with specific learning disabilities.

Math on the "Planes"

Math on the "Planes" this year is February 23-24, when we'll welcome Dr. Barbara Dougherty for a workshop on algebraic concepts and skills. For more information, see the website of the Colorado Council for Learning Disabilities.