9 January, 2015
Volume 20 No. 2
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In This Issue

Re-Crafting Mathematics Education

Marilyn Burns Math Blog

Building a Better Shapes Book


Online PD

Orientation Sessions

Problem Based Learning Courses

Graduate Credit:
Mathematics Teaching and Learning Certificate

Master's Degree


Re-Crafting Mathematics Education


On Monday, two professors started up a blog to share the fieldwork and analysis from their new collaborative project on design, mathematics, and "traditional female crafts — particularly when integrated with electronics in 'e-textiles.'"

The debut post at "Re-Crafting Mathematics Education" goes on to link to the knitting, quilting, crocheting, and other crafting arts of fellow scholars. Several of them work at Indiana University's Creativity Labs, designing and researching new technologies that promote creative learning:


"Re-Crafting Mathematics Education: Designing Tangible Manipulatives Rooted in Traditional Female Crafts" receives support from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Check out the abstract of the original NSF award for more about the ethnographies, tools, materials, activities, and field testing planned for the project:


PoW taking place: math problem-solving moment of the week

"Kyle J. from Waterford School wanted to share a hint: 'the square root is just there to scare you!' Bold mathematicians like yourselves aren't scared of different kinds of numbers! Some of you did research and learned more about square roots and radicals, some of you used the 'Solve a Simpler Problem' strategy, and others used properties of numbers.... I did not think any of you were going to convince me on the Extra question ... but Sophie C. from John Gomes Elementary School actually tested, using algebra, whether there was a solution."
- Max, commenting on the Pre-Algebra PoW's Latest Solution

Marilyn Burns Math Blog


Marilyn Burns joined the blogosphere in 2015, too.

Even after five decades in classrooms and conferences, the author of About Teaching Mathematics and more than a dozen other math education titles reflected last week that she remains "still on the journey of becoming a good math teacher."

To receive her posts about teaching math, suggestions from past and present classroom experiences, links to recommended resources, and more notifications from Marilyn Burns Math Blog, enter your e-mail address at


In the past 20 years alone, Burns has earned awards from the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics (NCSM) and from the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM); and induction into the Educational Publishing Hall of Fame by the Association of Educational Publishers. She has appeared more recently in these pages as a featured presenter at the 2014 annual meeting of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM); and shortly after the launch of the Math Reasoning Inventory online formative assessment tool, a question from which leads her second blog post: "How much is 12.6 × 10? What do you think were the most common incorrect answers given by the more than 7,800 students who figured out the answer in their heads? And what about the boy who answered, 'One hundred twenty and thirty-fifths'?"

Now taking place: math education conversation of the day

"someone had the idea that next hour I should require markers no pencils no erasing"
- Megan, tweeted to @maxmathforum @MFAnnie

Building a Better Shapes Book


Math teacher Christopher Danielson has seen a lot of books about shapes. Reading them with children, however, often turns up "misinformation and missed opportunities."

So he's just written his own shapes book — designed "to spark conversations and thinking" — and offered it free to download:


Every illustrated page of "Which One Doesn't Belong?" shows four shapes, at least one of which a young child can identify as "not belonging." Forsaking an answer key by design, Danielson instead encourages companion readers to turn those younger readers' observations into mathematical conversations — by pointing out how another shape doesn't belong for a different reason.

Danielson last appeared in these pages upon the release of Central Park, an activity he created with Dan Meyer and the Desmos free online graphing calculator.


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