19 June, 2015
Volume 20 No. 25
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In This Issue

Ignite Talks

Problem Problems

Google Spreadsheets, Improved


Online PD

Orientation Sessions

Problem Based Learning Courses

Graduate Credit:
Mathematics Teaching and Learning Certificate

Master's Degree


Ignite Talks


Our latest videos of mathematics educators bursting with fresh ideas in teaching and learning hit YouTube a few days ago.

The Math Forum's Ignite session from the 2015 annual meeting of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) starred

  • Ellie Terry Vierling
  • Eric Milou
  • Robyn Silbey
  • Grace Kelemanik
  • Robert Berry
  • Peg Cagle
  • Dan Meyer
  • Laurel Pollard
  • Max Ray
  • Annie Fetter

Check back daily for more five minute-long clips of breathless, fired-up fun, and watch our other Ignite talks from earlier conferences:


Problem Problems


A New York City math teacher has begun blogging in an effort "to better understand the connections between problem solving, learning, and teaching."

Michael Pershan launched "Problem Problems" last month with three related questions in mind:

How does a teacher help a student learn math through working on math problems?

How can I get better at helping my students learn math from working on math problems?

How do I get better at this aspect of practice?

To date, his posts have included

  • Getting Stuck on a Geometry Problem
  • Minimalistic Hints Are Still Hints (Or: If You're Helping, You're Doing the Work)
  • The First Time I Thought about Problems on Twitter
  • Structure of Solving Visual Pattern Problems, II
  • Direct Instruction of Problem Solving
  • Completely Stuck, Looking at a Solution
  • Thinking You Might See with the "Worm" Pattern
  • How Theory Could Help Me Teach Visual Patterns

Pershan has appeared in these pages several times before, starting with his mathmistakes.org site, where he still posts photos of math errors made by students — and invites other teachers to come analyze and discuss the misunderstandings behind those mistakes.

Google Spreadsheets, Improved


Google has rolled out several slick data analysis and graphing features to its free online spreadsheet software.

With Monday's update, Google Sheets now lets you

  • filter rows and columns by conditions such as "greater than" and "text contains"
  • preview formula results (especially helpful for spotting errors)
  • add calculated fields to pivot tables or retrieve data from them
  • label bars and points with their exact values
  • embellish the data points of line or scatter charts as stars, triangles, pentagons, and other shapes

For more on Google Sheets — from how to get started to how to edit spreadsheets on a mobile device — consult their help center:



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