Finding Joy in Math

Finding Joy in Math

May 30, 2023

It is common for a math educator to hear “I’m not a math person” or “Oh, I hate math.” How can we show that math as a subject is something to go towards rather than avoid? In this talk, we will discuss ways of finding joy in doing math inside and outside of the classroom.

Presenter: Howie Hua

Hosted by: Leigh Nataro

Recommended Grade Level: K – 16

Watch the full presentation at:

The Final Edition – May 30, 2023

Curated By Nate Goza @thegozaway
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Online Professional Development Sessions

Tonight at 9:00 PM EST: Our Final Webinar!

Finding Joy in Math

Presented by Howie Hua

It is common for a math educator to hear “I’m not a math person” or “Oh, I hate math.” How can we show that math as a subject is something to go towards rather than avoid? In this talk, we will discuss ways of finding joy in doing math inside and outside of the classroom.

Click here to register for this webinar!


NCTM Principles and Standards From an International Perspective: How Does the Curriculum Bring Educators Together on a Common Discourse?

Written by Yeliz Günal Aggül

Curriculum has a very central role in teachers’ lives. Mostly, curriculum is identified with, characterized, and concretized through resources, called “curricular guidelines” in the literature (Pepin & Gueudet, 2014). Their titles might change from country to country. To give examples from two countries where I conduct my research, I can mention NCTM Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (2000) or Common Core State Standards for School Mathematics in the USA and the Teaching Program in Turkey. Regardless of the country in which it is designed and implemented, these resources provide a framework and a national agenda for which learning outcomes will be taught and when. Beyond this central role, curriculum has another, mostly taken for granted, function that has to do with teachers’ solving their problems of practice and improving their teaching. A successfully designed curriculum provides a common discourse that functions as an anchor and orientation that supports teachers in shaping their teaching, finding a path to pursue their professional development, collaborating with their colleagues, and partnering with educational researchers in this process. Ball and Cohen (1999) clearly explain the importance of a common discourse among educators in advancing education:

  • In the education of professionals, discourse serves additional purposes, which are related to building and sustaining a community of practitioners who collectively seek human and social improvement. The discourse of teacher education should also help to build collegiality within the profession and create a set of relations rooted in shared intentions and challenges. Such discourse should focus on deliberation about and development of standards for practice and on the improvement of teaching and learning (Ball & Cohen, 1999, p. 11).
Considering the fact that the curriculum is the main tool that represents and reflects this common discourse, I will discuss the following questions: Who determines this discourse and how in different countries? Does the curriculum fulfill this function successfully in any country?

I will provide some answers to these questions as a doctoral candidate in learning sciences who closely works with mathematics teachers in her research and as a former teacher who taught middle and high school mathematics for seven years in Turkey. Throughout my doctoral studies, I explored if there were alternative ways of supporting teachers to improve their practices other than top-down professional development programs in which the knowledge is transmitted from researchers to teachers in a unidirectional way. With this motivation, since April 2022, I have supported a group of mathematics teachers in creating their professional community under a non-profit organization in Turkey called Teachers Network by implementing a methodological paradigm in learning sciences known as participatory design research.

The first phase of the community-building process was dedicated to problem identification. To discuss and consolidate the common problems of practice of community teachers who taught at different schools and levels, community teachers read the book The Teaching Gap by Stigler and Hiebert (1999), watched the lesson videos from different countries recorded in the scope of the TIMSS Video Study (, and reflected on their own experiences as teachers in Turkey in light of the arguments in the book. Throughout our problem identification sessions, one question that teachers raised dominated our discussions: There was a widely admitted public opinion in Turkey that mathematics teaching needed to be improved, but what was the common goal of mathematics educators in Turkey while working toward improving mathematics education in the country? This question was not sufficiently discussed in public. As teachers read the book, watched the lesson videos, and discussed their common problems of practice, they identified many aspects of the dominant teaching culture of their country that inhibited students’ access to learning environments in which they could make sense of mathematics. This led them to take a fresh look at the “Teaching Program,” also known as “curriculum,” that the Turkish Ministry of Education has published: What type of vision did this resource draw for teachers? Did it provide a vision that challenged these problematic cultural norms so that teachers could overcome them in their classrooms and collaborate with their colleagues toward improving their practice?

Community teachers concluded that it was hard to make sense of the curriculum for teachers with its current format since it did not clearly articulate a pedagogical vision that mathematics educators could work toward achieving in their practice. The objectives were listed according to grades; however, the part shared for the common and subject-specific goals included broad and vague sentences without references to the scientific resources that helped curriculum designers write these objectives. In that regard, their curriculum could not support mathematics educators meeting around a common discourse. The long-term goal of the community was to design mathematics lessons together; however, without a common pedagogical orientation, or, in other words, a common understanding of what good mathematics teaching is, engaging in such an endeavor would be similar to constructing a building without a foundation. As teachers developed awareness of this issue, the community decided to learn more about other countries’ curriculum structures and to read scientific resources on mathematics teaching and learning so that they could fill this gap and come up with common principles and pedagogical understanding as a community.

The basic resource that they utilized during this phase was Van de Walle, Karp, and Bay-Williams’ seminal book, Elementary and Middle School Mathematics: Teaching Developmentally. This book took NCTM’s Principles and Standards (2000) as a starting point. As a result, we conducted a closer examination of NCTM’s guide. We conducted discussions focusing on the first three chapters and compared them to the Teaching Program in Turkey. During these discussions, some features of NCTM’s Principles and Standards, which contradicted their experience with the curriculum they were using in Turkey, caught the attention of the teachers. There were some distinguishing features of this guide that helped educators meet around a common discourse to improve teaching:

  1. Although traditional cultural codes of teaching in the US, as mentioned in Stigler and Hiebert (1999), do not cohere with the teaching philosophy that NCTM promotes, the Standards document produces a counter discourse and takes a clear, determined reformist position.
  2. NCTM, as a civil organization, provides an effective compilation of research findings on mathematics teaching and learning in this document in an accessible language for those who are not researchers. Being an independent organization of mathematics educators, it functions independently from state bureaucracy, which protects it from political shifts in the country. It also displays a common attitude among mathematics educators who take science and the universal humanitarian goals of education as their points of departure.
  3. NCTM has a clear position regarding the pedagogical principles it follows, of which the first one is “equity”, described as “excellence in mathematics education requires equity—high expectations and strong support for all students” (p. 12).
  4. It provides a clear outline of how objectives are related from kindergarten to 12th grade, helping teachers have a birds-eye view of the mathematics taught, what their students learn in lower and later grades, and the connections among mathematical ideas. In this way, teachers can make sense of the curriculum, and as a result, they become active agents in implementing and improving this common discourse in practice.

This is not an exhaustive list of the important features of NCTM’s Principles and Standards. My goal here is to provide an international perspective that highlights the significance of these aspects, which are considered ordinary in the daily lives of educators in the United States, and above all, to emphasize how NCTM’s Principles and Standards provide a robust framework for not only mathematics educators in the USA but also as a civil organization that has a universal value that helps to develop a common discourse while improving mathematics classrooms all across the world. Since they did this analysis, our community has appreciated the NCTM’s guide and worked to get a deeper understanding of the vision provided in it. We held long discussions on whether this resource responded to community teachers’ own questions and concerns that they have as practitioners in Turkey.

Designing a curriculum that provides a coherent and robust discourse alone cannot serve as a magical solution to the challenges in education. It is crucial to have effective methods of conveying the intentions of curriculum designers in order to achieve the desired goals. Expecting teachers to simply rely on programs by ignoring their agency should not be the way to disseminate the discourse that curriculum designers wish to share. While a robust, scientifically-based curriculum serves as a starting point for change, implementing systemic changes should also involve teacher learning systems that encourage teachers to actively participate in knowledge building and cultural transformation processes. All stakeholders need to collaborate in developing creative ways of designing participatory professional learning environments, enabling a shared discourse to evolve as teachers engage with curriculum resources and as research meets practice. Only this approach empowers teachers to exercise agency, adapt the curriculum flexibly to meet the specific needs of their students, and take control of their own continuous professional learning.


Ball, D. L. & Cohen, D. K. (1999). Developing practice, developing practitioners: Toward a practice-based theory of professional education. In G. Sykes and L. Darling-Hammond (Eds.), Teaching as the learning profession: Handbook of policy and practice (pp. 3-32). San Francisco: Jossey Bass.

NCTM (2000). Principles and standards for school mathematics. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Reston.

Pepin, B. & Gueudet, G. (2014). Curriculum resources and textbooks in mathematics education. In S. Lerman (Eds.), Encyclopedia of mathematics education (pp. 132-135). Springer.

Stigler, J. W., & Hiebert, J. (1999). The teaching gap: Best ideas from the world’s teachers for improving education in the classroom. New York: The Free Press.

Van de Walle, J. A., Karp, K. S., & Bay-Williams, J. M. (2020). Elementary and middle school mathematics: Teaching developmentally. Pearson.

GMD and the Blurring of Boundaries
I can’t believe it’s been around five years since I wrote my first GMD post. It all started when Nate Goza reached out to me, via Grace Chen, about writing for the newsletter. Back then, my role was to summarize whatever was going in the world of math ed, particularly from the standpoint of those on math ed twitter through hashtags like #MTBoS. It was one of my first opportunities to be part of a larger professional community outside of my immediate circle. It also marked the beginning of understanding myself as something I’ll tentatively call a “teacher-scholar”.

The term teacher-scholar might be a loaded term. I use it cautiously because it can connote a teacher who is necessarily part of the formal academy. This is not how I want to use the term. To me, a teacher-scholar might be someone who teaches while also staying interested in professional growth, understanding the sociopolitical aspects of schooling and/or maybe keeping up with academic research. I like to think that many, if not most, teachers can be said to be teacher-scholars. Before becoming a teacher, I was a member of a different professional community: the law. I never vibed with that community, probably because I found myself on the business side of things. After leaving the law, I found myself in a world that felt more like home. Maybe this was because of the scholarly orientation of the job. By becoming a teacher, I could become someone committed to a life of curiosity and creativity. In law, I could become immersed in critical race theory or feminist legal theory. But at the end of the day, I had to go back to the office and give advice to corporate clients based on the same set of statutes and case law. In the classroom, ideas like culturally responsive-sustaining education were not just interesting in their own right; they became necessary for thinking about my role as a teacher, how I interacted with my students, and how I planned for instruction on a daily basis.

This is where the GMD and larger math edutwitter space come in. I learned about ideas like culturally responsive/relevant/sustaining education in these spaces during my first few years of teaching. The ideas of culturally responsive/relevant/sustaining education come from the writings of incredible people like Gloria Ladson-Billings, Geneva Gay, Django Paris, and Samy Alim. But access to these ideas requires an awareness that they exist, and then in many cases it requires digital access to journal articles through a university account (email me for article requests!). The GMD newsletters, webinars, and twitter chats were there for anyone to access. Granted, math edutwitter is an imperfect space and access to the resources it offers is not universal — it is at the end of the day a mostly young-ish crowd, tech savvy, and likely predominantly white, with many “sub-communities” who have thrived in the face of these realities. Nevertheless, the GMD was an incredible place—for me, and hopefully for others—to start to nurture a scholarly approach to teaching that did not require a formal affiliation with the academy.

As it turns out, I ended up pursuing a doctorate in education. 😅. In hindsight, the GMD and math edutwitter bears a not insignificant responsibility for that decision. Being on the inside, so to speak, has allowed me to see in even clearer terms how the academy can be separated from the everyday work of teachers. For structural reasons tied to culture and capitalism, the output and currency of most academic research comes in the form of journal articles. Many of these articles can only be accessed by other academics through subscription access or the purchase of books that are sometimes $100+. Yes, you can and should reach out to authors to ask if they would be willing to send you a PDF copy of their work. But not everyone will, or even can, overcome that interactional friction. Hence, what results is the first and very real wall of separation between the academy and the rest of the world. Elsevier and others, I’m looking at you!

Paywalls are just one aspect of this separation. The language of many journal articles can be obtuse and overly reliant on knowledge of theories and concepts found in other journal articles. To understand X article, you need to read A, B, C theory just to understand what is going on [is academia the original MCU?!]. For better or worse, this might be a symptom of the advice that I received about journal article writing: when submitting an article for publication, make sure it is part of a broader academic conversation. Cite the relevant literature. Keep it under 9,000 words. The result is a potentially wonderful piece of work with terribly dense language that seems to enter an existing conversation mid-stream. The format is often standardized in a way that makes it easier for other academics to read but can be an obstacle for everyone else. Every article seems to conclude with super interesting “more research is required” questions that you may never see or, more likely, may never hear about until three years after those ideas are first introduced at a conference with a $350 registration fee, not excluding hotels, airfare, and food. Oh, and all the articles are only available in English.

The GMD blurred a lot of boundaries. It was a healthy mix of K-12 teachers and university academics, with a leaning toward academics near the end, perhaps as some of us switched over to graduate school. The conversations that folks were having through the newsletter and the webinars were beyond what I was exposed to at my school’s PD sessions. They were deep topics covered at a level of depth that I did not necessarily “grow out of” once I went to graduate school. Ideas like open middle problems, critical data consumption, coded language, and humanizing mathematics have stuck and will continue to stick with me. Even the latest GMD newsletter article–with discussions of concepts like data feminism and black feminist mathematics pedagogies–continues to blow me away. These ideas are being shared in a freely available platform by a team of volunteers. Should people be compensated for their labor? Absolutely. But to the extent that the GMD came together because of folks who were so passionate about their ideas that they wanted to share it in this venue, then what the GMD achieved is absolutely incredible.


The GMD was a special place to nurture a spirit of teaching-scholarship. It blurred boundaries between the everyday work of teaching and the too often unscalable walls of the ivory tower. I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunities I had to experiment and share ideas. So to anyone reading this, I just wanted to say thanks for everything.

Some Things Can’t be Washed Away

Contributed by Carl Oliver

It’s wild to think I’ve been a part of the Global Math Department for over a decade. I watched, and participated in the webinars before the 2013-2014 school year. The technology at that time was amazing. The idea that talks from other educators could be on video was impressive, and we could watch these live! You could also communicate with the other math teachers watching. The chat resembled a exclusive twitter-chat for people watching. The talks meant a lot for my growth as a teacher. It was very well organized with new talks coming week after week. This is very similar to sidewalk chalk parties outside of my building (stick with me).

On our sidewalk a Mom from nextdoor would always go outside of my dinner and create these elaborate sidewalk chalk obstacle course drawings with her kids. One might say “…jump 10 steps, walk backwards, do hopscotch…” Kid would do the course, and then they can get chalk and add more obstacles. When I would come down with my kids she would let them know they could appreciate the art work, they could run on the course, but they could help make it, too. “Hi, here’s a piece of chalk… You can start right over here. We’re drawing unicorns, but you can draw whatever you want!” Sure enough, my kids would be immersed in extending the course and would run through the course over and over. My experience with GMD seemed a lot like these sessions. You could appreciate the webinars, you can read people’s thoughts, but you can help make it, too.

Towards the end of that school year, Michael Pershan “handed me a piece of chalk.” He invited me to give a talk, encouraging me to talk about, “Anything that you’d be excited about.” I was thrilled and immediately thought of something different. With the help of Michael and Chris Robinson and Megan Hayes-Golding I was all set to present my talk “Economica! Using economics as a context for math exploration.” It was a quiet evening in June, but it was hugely empowering. I would end up doing even more stuff with the GMD. Later that year joined the board. I wrote for the Newsletter with Megan Schmidt, and I took over hosting the website and still host it today (sorry it’s not updated).

Eventually rain comes to ruin every great chalk drawing. For me, the rain clouds started forming when I had two young kids, whose bedtime routines were…active…, and also in direct conflict with GMD sessions. It didn’t help that I also became an administrator at my school and had a lot more on my plate. The pandemic magnified both of these things. Aside from working with Leigh, Nate, and Amanda about the website, I kind of fell out of touch with everything. I couldn’t believe when Leigh told me a few months ago that the rain clouds are coming for the GMD as a whole. It was hard to imagine that this is the last year of the Global Math Department, but it must have been even harder for the current leadership to make that call. Rain clouds can wash away amazing pieces of art and evidence of community work, but they can also leave behind opportunity.

It wasn’t long after hearing from Leigh that I was taking my kids out to play in front of our building for the first time since the winter. It was also the first time since the Mom from next door moved out of the neighborhood. I sat there for a while thinking about how to explain that they won’t have someone to coordinate the drawing, and start off a chalk obstacle course. There’d be no one to hand them a piece of chalk. Then I thought about new teachers at our school and how they won’t have GMD to rely on like I did as a young teacher. No institution to connect them with a community to show them ideas to help their teaching and give them a chance to take on a leadership role and support the growth of other teachers.

In the few minutes that passed while I was staring into space, figuring out what to say, my girls had already got party started. They already found chalk, started drawing and even pulled in a new girl from down the street. The kids all worked on making their own version of an obstacle course full of new ideas. I jumped in and we kept adding parts of the course until it extended to the front of the neighbors old building, and then it looped back around so they could run it again and again. I was glad that we could keep the spirit of my neighbor alive, and I realized that some people could do the same for the global math department. Out of the hundreds (thousands?) of teachers touched by Global Math Department, hopefully someone new will step up and keep the spirit alive, but renew it as well.

Thanks Global Math Department for all the years of new ideas, inspiration and connection. It’s sad to see it come to an end, but I’m excited to see a new crop of teachers come up with something else in the years to come.

Final Thoughts from the Final Curator

Crafted with much trepidation and not much writing experience by Nate Goza

Hi I’m Nate. I’m a high school math teacher and the only “editor” left at GMD. It’s been that way for a while now. It’s a long story…

I started editing for GMD in November of 2016. At the beginning of the 2018 school year, I took over the lead role for the Newsletter and took up a spot on the GMD Board of Directors. Shout out to Brian showing me the ropes and giving me the opportunity, to Leigh and Marissa for being so great to me, to Dylan for reaching out initially, and to Michael for starting the Newsletter in the first place. At some point we changed my title to “curator.” That’s because I never edited anything. I just collected the articles from our fabulous writing teams and shared them with the world.

Six and a half years of volunteering is a long time. We’re at the end now, and as the final Newsletter approaches, I wonder, should I write something??

Certainly, there are many things I could write about… 🤔…

I could write about my experience with the Newsletter and how things went after I took the lead role. I would thank Grace for connecting me with Marian and Melvin who helped me fill out the writing teams in the beginning. Marian was incredible at elevating voices, and she helped connect us with Lauren and Hema who contributed so SO much. Melvin was an incredible writer and advocate for the Newsletter. He helped with the Twitter account and even took up a role on the Board for a time. I would thank Mathew for all his great articles and for helping to make space for Hema and her incredible voice. I would thank Hema for all her help too, for the amazing pieces she contributed, and for bringing in Sara whose writing blew me away every time. The Newsletter was a lot of work for me but getting to read Sara, Melvin, Lauren and Hema’s articles made it all worth it!

I would certainly thank Benjamin for all he did on Twitter to bring eyes to the operation, for writing so many great pieces, bringing in guests, and for helping to craft our Solidarity Statement (linked below). I would try my best to show appreciation and admiration for Christelle’s perspective, Diana’s caring voice, and Idil’s and Janaki’s incredible contributions. Amber was so great and so consistent for so long. Lani and the Project Sigma crew were so generous in sharing their incredible research. So many amazing folks who contributed on a regular basis like Howie, John, and Brett. Of course, I would personally thank Chase and Casey for writing and then curating with me back when we used to call it editing. They kept at it for years and well into the pandemic and were both so great and contributed so much to the community. I’d have to mention all the guest writers too, and all the people who came before me that made it possible. Whoa! No way I could do that and give everyone their due. 😣

I could write about the difficulty we had keeping the Newsletter going during the pandemic. I mean, I was freaking out. District telling me to switch to online, downloading Zoom, students messaging me, a 4-year old and a 1-year old wildin’ out in the living room, and I’m like, “What’s going to happen with the Newsletter?!” And then we just kinda kept it going! It’s amazing to me. Credit to everyone who was involved at the time. I don’t know how we did it. I’ll never forget how, when we were short on articles for the March 17th edition, Lauren wrote a whole Newsletter on her own!

Then, a couple months later, in the wake of George Floyd’s killing our writing team constructed a Statement of Solidarity and doubled down on our mission to do better. When we returned the following fall we were stronger and better than ever. The world was sick (COVID raged on) and tired (of racism and police brutality), but the Newsletter never flinched. Instead, we grew stronger and had more resolve than ever. That feels like something worth mentioning. I think …

Or, I could write about the amazing articles we’ve had over the last few years. We’ve had incredible writers y’all! I could pull highlights from the last few years and share them. I mean, that’s what the Newsletter was all about when I first started. At that time lots of math educators were starting to blog and tweet and share. The MTBoS was growing and the Newsletter was there to spread the word. Back then it was Michael, Chris, Megan, Carl, Kent, Sahar, Audrey, Jenise, Andrew and Andrew, Ashli, Graham, Brian, and of course Wendy. I’m lucky that I got to edit for Wendy. She was so great. We miss you Wendy.

Over the years a lot of things changed. It became harder to pull highlights from blogs and Twitter, but our writers adapted and found ways to share their own perspectives while still uplifting the words and the work of others.

I’d love to take the opportunity to point folks back to some of my favorite editions:

  • The 8/25/20 edition when Lauren wrote about “Seeing Systems” and Sara shared “A love letter to radical math teachers.
  • The 11/2/20 edition on Election Day when Melvin asked “Who Counts?” Melvin and Lauren agreed that “Math is Political,” and Hema and Lani reminded us take care of ourselves.
  • The 8/24/21 edition with highlights from the 2020-21 school year.
  • The 11/30/21 edition with Sara’s powerful interview with Dr. Belin Tsinnajinnie.
  • Idil’s #GMD Reflects Series in the 10/5/2112/14/212/8/22 and 4/5/22 editions.
  • The 5/3/22 edition where Sara shared her journey in Mathematics.
  • And so many more …

I could share some of my favorite moments too:

From Sara,

from Grace,

from Melvin,

from Lauren,

from Hema,

and also from Hema.

So much fantastic content. So many important questions! I was lucky to be the curator, just so I got to read it all, and I always felt blessed to be able to share it with the community. So many great writers. So many great people… 🤯

I could write about my perspective on why the Newsletter stopped running and why the GMD leadership decided to close up shop. That would be tough. It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t what we wanted.

From my perspective it just kind of happened. Or maybe better to say it stopped happening. We could get webinar presenters, but post-pandemic we struggled to get people to come to them. We could get people who wanted to write for the Newsletter, but it was hard for them to find the time and find content to pull from. When the Newsletters went out, they often didn’t get traction, feedback, or interaction. Idil’s #GMDReflects series was amazing, but it didn’t spark the interest it deserved, at least not where I could find it.

I know there are a lot of people out there who love the GMD, but not as many were interacting with content we were putting out, and even fewer were interested in jumping on board to help. Maybe we missed something, maybe we went about it wrong, but we were always asking for help. I don’t think it’s anybody’s fault. It was the natural progression of a volunteer organization that couldn’t find enough volunteers in a profession where the most important players (teachers) don’t have a lot of time to create or interact with the product. I don’t have the answers or know anything, this is just my perspective.

I feel like I deserve some blame too. My hope was to build up an amazing collection of writers and then hand the Newsletter over to them. But as time wore on it became clear that the handoff wasn’t going to be easy. Meanwhile I was worn thin: teaching through a pandemic, raising a family, leading a department, and focusing on my own craft for the sake of the fantastic young people I’ve been blessed to teach. I’m willing to take some blame! But it wasn’t easy…

Should I write about that? Feels a little scary. 🫣

If I did write anything, I would HAVE to thank ALL THE PEOPLE.

And why am I thanking them? Personally?? I mean, it was never about me. But, then again, I guess it kinda was. If the Newsletter failed to go out on a given week whose fault would that be. For me, it felt like mine. So every time someone crafted an article it meant that another week had gone by where I hadn’t messed tit up! And every time that article was really good (our writers started made a habit of this) it made me feel like we were doing something good or even great. And so, I’m forever grateful and appreciative of the folks who wrote and curated with me over the years.

I’m also immensely grateful for the relationships that we built over the years. There’s a special place in my heart for every educator I’ve worked with on this project. I guess that’s why this tweet stung a bit. Maybe we weren’t a community like the MTBoS or the TMCers, but we were something. For a while there, I think we were really something! I mean, here are the archives, there is some PD gold in there! If you just tuned in for the finale, GO BACK and watch [read] the seasons!!!

If I did write anything I would want to remind everyone that the writers were volunteering their time and energy to help and grow the entire community. They didn’t do it for me (obviously), they did it for us all! We should all thank them. And if we are thanking them, I’d have to name them. The more I think about it, I really would have to name everyone. I could go through the archives. It would only take a couple of hours. Those folks deserve their flowers for all the work they put in for the community! I’d have to try …

Oh man. No way I could write anything. I’d have to write everything! 

I’m scared to write anyway. Writing is hard. I’d probably say “amazing” and “incredible” like 1000 times. Shout out to the writers. So much admiration and appreciation for what they do and what they’ve done for us all.

Lucky for me I’m just the curator. I don’t have to write anything. 😥😅✌️

It only took a couple of hours…

This is every name I could find that either edited or wrote articles in the order they first appeared in the Newsletter, beginning with Michael Pershan, who started it all! These are the folks who made this possible!

Michael Pershan 💐 Chris Robinson 💐 Megan Schmidt 💐 Kent Haines 💐 Carl Oliver 💐 Megan Hayes-Golding 💐Wendy Menard 💐 Sahar Khatri 💐 Audrey McLaren 💐 Andrew Stadel 💐 Andrew Gael 💐 Ashli Black 💐 Graham Fletcher 💐 Jenise Sexton 💐 David Wees 💐 John Stevens 💐 Mike Rosenfeld  💐 Brian Bushart  💐 Matthew Engle 💐 Meg Craig 💐 Chase Orton 💐 Bridget Dunbar 💐 Casey McCormick 💐 Lisa Winer 💐 Steve Gnagni 💐Anna Blinstein 💐 Erick Lee 💐 Matthew Oldridge 💐 Amber Thienel 💐 Rebecca Davis 💐

Continuing in order of appearance I (selfishly) break here, the place in the list where I took on the lead role. An extra flower from me for y’all. 🥹 It was such a pleasure to be in this space with you. Thank you so so much!

Diana McClean 💐 Howie Hua 💐 Melvin Peralta 💐 Marian Dingle 💐 Becky Bob-Waksberg 💐 Grace Chen 💐 Ilana Horn 💐 Nadav Ehrenfeld 💐 Christelle Rocha 💐 Hema Khodai 💐 Benjamin Dickman 💐 Lauren Baucom 💐 Jessica Moses 💐 Patricia Buenrostro 💐Samantha Marshall 💐 John Rowe 💐 Katherine Schneeberger McGugan 💐 Brette Garner 💐 Bethany Lockhart 💐 Lara Jasien 💐 Karli Orr 💐 Lizi Metts 💐 Allison Krasnow 💐 Sara Rezvi 💐 Nasriah Morrison 💐 Joseph Ochiltree 💐 Paige 💐 Maria Aguilera 💐 Idil Abdulkadir 💐 Courtney Gibbons 💐 Barbara Fantechi 💐 Monica VanDieren 💐 Brendan W. Sullivan 💐  Holland White 💐 Nicole Fletcher 💐 Brandie E. Waid 💐 Dee Crescitelli 💐 Janaki Nagarajan 💐 Brett Parker 💐 Darryl Yong 💐 Shelby Strong 💐 Casey Gordon 💐

I hope I didn’t miss anyone…

Deep breath…


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The Last Run Continues – May 16, 2023

Curated By Nate Goza @thegozaway
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Online Professional Development Sessions

Tonight at 9:00 PM EST

Building Thinking Classrooms: Six Years Later

Presented by Peter Liljedahl

In this session, Leigh Nataro and Peter Liljedahl engage in a conversation about what has changed and what is new with regards to Building thinking Classrooms since his first Global Math Department presentation in March 2017.

If you have questions for Peter, we will try to ask them during the webinar! Send them to Leigh at

Unfortunately this session is full! As always we will be recording the session and it will soon be available on BigMarker, YouTube, and in podcast form.

For those of you who are registered click here to view the webinar!

Register for Our Final Webinar on 5/30 at 9:00 PM EST

Finding Joy in Math

Presented by Howie Hua

It is common for a math educator to hear “I’m not a math person” or “Oh, I hate math.” How can we show that math as a subject is something to go towards rather than avoid? In this talk, we will discuss ways of finding joy in doing math inside and outside of the classroom.

Click here to register for this webinar!

#GMDWrites Again!

Taking Care and Caution with Data Literacy
By: Lizi Metts

Data has become an integral part of our society and culture – from the constant creation of data on mobile devices to the everyday use of data in media and news coverage of current events, politics, and public health. The newfound ubiquity of data opens up opportunities for relevant and meaningful contextual engagement of mathematics using data and data analysis practices and has prompted calls to support students’ data literacy and to modernize mathematics curricula. By ‘data literacy,’ I mean the necessary skills and abilities to access, make sense of, interpret, critique, represent, and ethically use data. As data has become more and more a part of our social world, it’s becoming more apparent that data literacy is important for students – for their lives now and for their futures outside of our classrooms. Data literacy is becoming increasingly necessary for democratic participation as well as economic success, as data is used in a variety of economic contexts and the creation of Big Data careers.

There is a lot of potential here for mathematics education to keep up with these modern needs. Data Science curriculum developers and supporters contrast data science to traditional mathematics learning pathways in which algebra and geometry lay the foundation for calculus. Indeed, there are numerous data science curricula available for teachers to implement and activities like “Data Talks” (think number talks, but with data visualizations) that make incorporating data literacy accessible to math teachers. In my own teaching, I fell in love with teaching statistics. It felt mathematically meaningful but also rich and engaging for my students. I began to incorporate real data into my lessons, whether students were collecting their own data for my AP Statistics class, or I sourced data to create function models for Algebra II and Pre-Calculus, I saw data as an opportunity to make mathematics matter to my students. However, this work was also really complex, both mathematically and socially – finding data, trying to support my students to engage with messier numbers, and opening up discussion about the realities of our social world. My own experience in teaching data literacy has led me to approach the broad and urgent uptake of data science education with a sense of caution.

Problematic Roots in Statistics

Statistics, as an area of study, offers a formalized and rigorous lens through which one can investigate real-world questions and data. Furthermore, statistics standards are embedded in school mathematics standards starting in grade six, creating curricular opportunities for supporting students’ data literacy. However, the language, logic, and philosophy of statistics (and especially the canonical ideas in statistics that have made their way into school standards) are entangled with eugenics and white supremacy. For example, three major statisticians, Francis Galton, Karl Pearson, and Ronald Fisher, made substantial and long lasting contributions that have shaped the discipline. These contributors however, were also eugenicists, and were motivated by providing scientific and mathematical evidence of white superiority (to learn more, check out Aubrey Clayton’s 2020 article, “How Eugenics Shaped Statistics”).

Galton was responsible for foundational understandings of regression and correlation and advanced the concept of normal distribution to model the variation of human abilities. These inventions were based on his understanding of race and white superiority – he not only centered whiteness in his models, but he also used his models to argue for racial hierarchies. Pearson has been credited with improving the theoretical rigor of statistics with the introduction of significance tests. In particular, he brought about the Chi-square test to measure the deviation between empirical results and the theoretical distribution. This “scientific” definition of difference was an important and dangerous part of an argument for white racial superiority. These logics were furthered by Fisher who promoted significance testing as “objective basis” and introduced a gatekeeping logic for statistics as a discipline: “A profession must have power to select its own   members, rigorously to exclude all inferior types” (Fisher, 1917). Statistics and data analysis practices are contextual and socio-historically situated, and by inviting students to engage in this kind of mathematical practice, they too will contend with contextual and socio-historical dimensions.

Reimagining Data Literacy

It is dangerous to ignore the ways data literacy is defined by a culture of power that has weaponized data in the past. As data science continues to gain momentum and math education recenters on data literacy, there is potential to invite new and more affirming and inclusive epistemologies. For example in their book, Data Feminism, Catherine D’Ignazio and Lauren Klein offer an  emergent framework for changing data practices and discourse in service of equity and justice. Framing data as a tool to examine and critique power, they define seven principles of data feminism:

  1. Examine power – how does power operate in the world?
  2. Challenge  power – how can we challenge unequal power structures and move towards justice?
  3. Elevate emotion and embodiment – how can we learn and know in different ways, including how we live and feel in our own bodies?
  4. Rethink binaries and hierarchies – how are binary systems of counting and classification used to perpetuate oppression?
  5. Embrace pluralism – who can we learn from?
  6. Consider context – where does data come from? For what purpose was it created? What goals does it serve?
  7. Make labor  visible – who were the many hands involved in the creation and analysis of data?

Data feminism is an example of rigorous treatment of data that makes space for and values multiple ways of knowing and takes seriously the social and historical context of data creation and use. This kind of approach makes it possible to marry authentic disciplinary data practices with expansive and experiential ways of knowing and learning.

A more just and expansive approach, however, is not a given. Without care and caution, data literacy can be used to uncritically serve meritocratic and capitalistic goals. Data literacy might make mathematics more relevant or interesting, but to whom and for whom? How important is access and relevance if ultimately, it serves the needs of whiteness while continuing the cycle of oppression? Therefore, we are on the edge of a precipice – to allow data literacy to function as mathematical proficiency has historically, or to take the opportunity to disrupt the status quo and to use data for justice and liberation.

Wisdom I’ve Learned During My Time In GMD

Since 2016, I’ve had the honor to write and curate for the GMD newsletter and present a GMD webinar. I’ve learned much from this community. And for my final submission, I would like to share some.

The unfortunate reality is that we work in a system of math education that values test scores as the ultimate metric of success and progress. But this focus on raising test scores creates math classrooms that reward mimicry, answer-getting, and passive thinking. Students wait to be told what to learn and how to learn it. The focus on test scores diminishes their identity, reducing them down to test scores that need to be raised. This focus also diminishes our own identity and erodes our passion. None of us became math teachers because we’re passionate about raising test scores and training students to be test-takers. We are motivated by more noble calls to action—our vision of equity and seeing all of our students thriving in math class.

Teaching is a craft we learn best through each other.

We work in a system of silos—school buildings, separate campuses, grade levels, bell schedules, and especially our classroom walls. These silos threaten our sense of well-being because we often find ourselves without the collegial relationships and the co-thinking conversations we need to help each other thrive as teachers. But if the GMD has taught me anything, it’s that we are capable of directing our own professional development and we’re capable of becoming active partners in each other’s professional growth.

But only if we’re willing to leave our silos. Which brings me to my last piece of wisdom I’ve learned from others:

Seek vantage—particularly from the student perspective.

By far, the most powerful way to accelerate our own learning is to spend time in other math classrooms. It’s how we can reclaim control over our professional growth and learn how to activate our own sense of agency. Freed from the cognitive demands of teaching, we can begin to shift our perspective on what’s going on in math classrooms. We can watch math class from the student perspective and tap into their experience. And from this vantage in the room, we can see missed opportunities more clearly. And we begin to think of the missed opportunities that may be occurring in our own classrooms.

  • How are we showing our students we believe they’re capable? Who is doing the thinking in the room?
  • How effectively are we elevating student voices? How are we centering marginalized voices?
  • Who holds the authority for learning? How is authority shared with students? How do they have ownership over their own learning?
  • How are we valuing multiple perspectives in the room? Do all of our students feel like they belong in math class and have something to contribute?

Let’s teach math together!

I know the Global Math Department reaches far and wide, and geography may work against us. But I’m earnest. Let’s teach math together! And afterwards, let’s share a meal and share some stories about what we’ve learned on our teaching journey. Since November of 2020, I’ve been living a nomad life in my tiny home on wheels called Stoop. And when I can, I love to stop in towns and teach math with folks. You can find out more about that story here.

See you down the road!

Chase Orton

Learning from Black Feminist Mathematics Pedagogies:
How positionality influences interpretations of mathematics curricula
We — Marlena (@MarlenaEanes), Lara (@LaraJasien), and Mike (@MichaelLolkus) — are prior teachers committed to improving mathematical experiences for marginalized students at scale. Marlena is a second-year doctoral student at Vanderbilt University studying under Dr. Nicole Joseph (@profnicolej) in the Joseph’s Mathematics Education Lab (JMEL), a lab with a special focus on Black girls and women (BGW), their identity development, and experiences in mathematics. Lara is a researcher at CPM Educational Program and Mike is a curriculum writer there.

The three of us came together to engage in a research project aimed at understanding how a secondary mathematics curriculum could disrupt patterns of injustice in mathematics education. We have taken up Dr. Joseph’s Black Feminist Mathematics Pedagogies (BlackFMP) framework to guide our analysis of CPM’s new Inspiring Connections curriculum, which has an explicit goal of supporting teachers to be culturally responsive to their students as they practice ambitious mathematics instruction.

We are learning a lot from our collective work — we continue to learn about the vision and implications of BlackFMP, curriculum design, each other, and ourselves. We share our experiences doing this curricular research and the important implications for teachers as we reflect on our teaching experiences throughout the research process. We structured this article as a pseudo-interview, with questions that we mutually agreed were important to answer. Our responses to these questions are not off-the-cuff but instead are considered responses. Overall, we hope this article gives you insight into — or at least spurs you to reflect on — how your experiences might influence how you interpret the purpose of different aspects of your curriculum based on the potential impact that it has on students.

1. How did BlackFMP become your framework for analysis? Why BlackFMP?

We chose BlackFMP because it is one of the few frameworks that explicitly addresses how to disrupt injustice in mathematics education. We are familiar with and value other mathematics-specific equity tools including those available through, an organization promoted by leading math-ed organizations such as Achieve the Core.

What we really appreciated about BlackFMP was the way it builds on mathematics education research and shows how the important, decades-long scholarship on ambitious mathematics instruction is necessary but insufficient for making meaningful changes in mathematics education at scale. We also appreciated the way BlackFMP drew attention to Black girls specifically, calling out the way that Black girls’ marginalization is compounded by the ways they are racialized and gendered in mathematics classrooms, and United States society more broadly. BlackFMP taught us that it is important to attend to the needs of specific groups and the specific ways that they experience oppression in mathematics education if we hope to disrupt that oppression. At the same time, we think that attending to and designing against the ways that Black girls are marginalized in mathematics education will benefit all students. If we design for those who are marginalized first, rather than as an afterthought, everyone wins.

2. What is BlackFMP?

BlackFMP is a framework or a model for mathematics pedagogy that is grounded in the theory of intersectionality. To describe it at a very high level, intersectionality tells us that we must attend to the complex relationship between systems of power and oppression and multiple dimensions of someone’s identities (e.g., race, class, gender, sexuality) if we want to understand the outcomes of social institutions like mathematics education. Building on this theory, Dr. Joseph builds BlackFMP from the four dimensions of Ambitious Mathematics Instruction, Academic and Social Integration, Robust Mathematics Identity, and Critical Consciousness & Reclamation. Below we provide a series of questions we synthesized based on how we apply these dimensions in our coding.

3. Who are you and how does your positionality inform how you see various dimensions of BlackFMP in mathematics curriculum?
Marlena: I am a Black, heterosexual, cis-gendered woman from the upper-class suburbs of Chicago. As a student, I attended predominantly white schools where I was the only Black girl in my grade for 6 years. My positionality impacted my career tremendously: I became a math teacher to become the representation within the classroom that I yearned for as a child. Due to my experiences as a learner being othered, as I code I frequently consider whether or not those students who are traditionally left out in math curricula will be seen and to which degree will they be seen. As a doctoral student, I frequently think about the ways in which whiteness is centered in math curricula and traditional ways of knowing and this informs how I see the dimensions of BlackFMP as a way to decenter whiteness in order to ensure that all students are welcomed in the math classroom.

Lara: I’m a white, heterosexual, cis-gendered woman who grew up with middle-class parents. My parents were divorced so I split my childhood between the city in CA’s bay area and rural life in South Dakota. I’ve also experienced trauma related to a childhood caregiver’s untreated mental illness and addiction/self-medication. This trauma made my early adult years a challenge and made me yearn for a career with meaning. My joint interest in mathematics and well-being led me to pursue mathematics teaching and eventually mathematics education research. It wasn’t until I became a high school math teacher in a community where my whiteness made me the minority that I began to realize my white privilege: my career trajectory of (what I count as) success despite the challenges I faced was not primarily an outcome of my hard work. When I use BlackFMP today to analyze mathematics curriculum, I remember who I was as a young teacher who was just starting to see her own unearned privilege as she taught students who saw her privilege very clearly. I think about all the ways I enacted the status quo with my students, and I draw on BlackFMP to help me see the ways a curriculum might have helped me do it differently.

Mike: I am a white, cis-gendered heterosexual man from the middle-class suburbs of a mid-sized city in Indiana. While my educational experiences were embedded in racially and economically diverse classrooms, I was awarded unearned privilege as I navigated life in a society normed by whiteness, maleness, and heterosexuality. I began to recognize the pervasiveness of my privilege through my partnerships with students and families as a high school mathematics teacher in New Jersey with a Black and Latinx student population. With my students in mind, I continued to push back against and learn more about practices that maintain white supremacy culture in mathematics classrooms through my doctoral program focused on teaching mathematics for social justice. Utilizing BlackFMP has supported my understanding of what can be centered in the immediate future when we actively work to decenter whiteness in secondary mathematics classrooms and work toward a more equitable and truly reimagined mathematics education.

4.  In what ways have your experiences as a mathematics teacher been reaffirmed or challenged through your interactions with and reflections on BlackFMP?

Marlena: BlackFMP has reaffirmed the ways in which I taught that humanized my students. Through our robust discussions, there have been times when I realized that classroom practices I attributed as cursory were not, rather, these were practices I implemented based on my positionality. BlackFMP has challenged the ways in which I viewed equity work in mathematics. I left corporate America for graduate school, after being burnt out from working in education, and I previously viewed equity work as futile. BlackFMP has reignited the hope that I have for equity in math education.

Lara: My experiences as a mathematics teacher have been given new clarity by BlackFMP – it gives me a new lens that helps me attune to the finer points of how instruction can be oppressive and/or liberatory. For example, BlackFMP tells me that critical consciousness isn’t enough: mathematics instruction needs to support students to reclaim mathematics as by and for them. I think what I have really gained out of my work with Dr. Joseph’s BlackFMP is rooted in my conversations with Marlena and Mike: we affirm each other’s intellectual contributions but also clarify, extend, and push back on each other’s ideas. I think it is essential in this kind of deep learning that we surround ourselves with people who are willing to take risks to challenge us. I wouldn’t have learned as much without them.

Mike: Broadly, reflecting on and analyzing CPM’s curriculum with BlackFMP has reaffirmed much of my mathematics pedagogy at the high school and collegiate levels. Most importantly, though, our conversations about BlackFMP have supported me in further recognizing how I perpetuated whiteness despite my good intentions. For instance, our team has had multiple conversations about growth and fixed mindsets, raising multiple questions, such as, Why is a growth mindset needed? and Who does a growth mindset serve? While I embraced the philosophy of and engaged my students in lessons about growth mindset as a high school teacher, this team and our analysis with BlackFMP has supported me to more critically interpret the hidden messages of growth mindset as an individual endeavor in which students, particularly those who are marginalized by a society normed by whiteness, must think themselves into achieving without attention toward the systemic barriers they face.

5. How has your thinking about equity in mathematics education changed since you began using BlackFMP to analyze a secondary mathematics curriculum?

Marlena: Prior to using BlackFMP to analyze curriculum, I saw equity work as either occurring in a vacuum or occurring at the surface level without truly attending to oppression and intersectionality. This work has allowed my thinking to grow beyond individual teachers and individual schools doing equity work, to consider how we can attend to equity in math education at the curriculum level.

Lara: I think one of the biggest things I have learned in this project has been the importance of “calling a thing a thing.” In a project, meeting, Marlena shared those words of her graduate advisor, Dr. Nicole Joseph. This has become our shared new standard for what counts as robust challenges to the status quo. I have come to realize that not “calling a thing a thing” actively perpetuates problematic narratives. For example, as Mike shared, growth mindset perpetuates the problematic narrative that perseverance is an individual endeavor and mindset is a problem to be fixed within individuals. Calling a thing a thing means naming the systemic practices that encourage students to develop a fixed mindset: standardized tests and college entrance exams, most grading practices, narrow ways of defining acceptable participation, etc. While I believe there is some power in the ideas of growth mindset (e.g., telling students they are gifted or smart can make them averse to taking risks and making mistakes and so not being gifted or smart anymore), the big picture of how the system and we as participants in it (as researchers, curriculum writers, teachers, etc.) encourage fixed mindsets has to be explicit and disrupted. Mindsets are just an example of this larger phenomenon of “calling a thing a thing!”

Mike: Prior to this project, I believed that only radical change to the mathematics education enterprise would result in truly equitable learning experiences. Engaging in conversations about and engaging in analyses with BlackFMP has supported my recognition of what changes are possible for supporting students to have more just experiences in secondary mathematics classrooms in the immediate future. I continue to reflect on the tension between radical, systemic change, and the role of incremental change that serves students in classrooms today, such as that of BlackFMP. Our project gives me hope for both.

6. What’s next?

Scholar Danny Martin has critiqued NCTM and the entire system of mathematics education, saying in essence that we need to tear the whole thing down and re-imagine it. He’s probably right. By focusing on BlackFMP, we take another tack, because, paraphrasing Dr. Joseph, kids are going to be in school on Monday. We want to make change that can support students today and tomorrow, but we also wonder, can BlackFMP be a tool to help us move toward re-imagining the system in Martin’s sense? One thing that we have seen that BlackFMP helps us do is name problems, and see when problems aren’t named. We frequently have conversations about what could have pushed a particular “author’s vision” (a portion of the curriculum that provides teachers with insights into the authors’ intent and strategies like pocket questions and math language routines) to be more robust by “calling a thing a thing.” Kimberlé Crenshaw — law scholar and coiner of the term intersectionality — said in her TEDtalk, “If you can’t name the problem then you can’t see the problem, and if you can’t see the problem then you pretty much can’t solve it.” As we continue to be able to see new things through our application of BlackFMP, we will continue to spread the word about what we learn. We encourage you to do the same by checking out podcasts (check out these two by Dr. Joseph for NCTM and NCSM) and exploring how the BlackFMP questions we shared influence your interpretations of curriculum.

Contribute to One of Our Final Newsletters

We’d like to hear from folks who have attended our Webinars over the years! If you’d like to share, use the prompt below:

How have the GMD newsletters or webinars impacted your teaching?
Share your thoughts (100 – 250 words is ideal) with us for inclusion in our Newsletter in May 2023.

We’d also like to give anyone who has written for us in the past to contribute a final article!

Please reach out on Twitter or send an email to if you’d like to contribute!

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Copyright © 2023 Global Math Department, All rights reserved.

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Back for One Last Run – March 21, 2023

Curated By Nate Goza @thegozaway
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Online Professional Development Sessions

Tonight at 9:15 PM EST

Using CODAP to Teach Statistics and Data Concepts

Presented by Hollylynne Lee

Come and engage with a free online data tool, CODAP, for exploring bigger datasets and learning key statistics and data practices and concepts. The activities shared will be appropriate for middle and high school students. Participants will also be introduced to a new professional learning platform for teachers ( to pursue their own goals for improving their teaching of statistics and data science.

Click here to register for this webinar! (Note the 9:15 start time.)

All Good Things Must …

The Global Math Department’s Final Run

Written by Leigh Nataro with Support from the GMD Board
The origin of the phrase “all good things must come to an end,” is not clear. However, the Global Math Department has been a very good thing and now it will be coming to an end. The GMD has helped to provide free quality PD for many teachers over the past 11 years. We will be ending with our last session on May 30th with the amazing math educator and TikTok creator, Howie Hua.

The first GMD webinar “Interactive Notebooks” was held on August 7, 2012 with 17 people in attendance and no email invitations were sent to invite people to attend.  People learned about the webinars the same way I learned about the webinars – through Twitter.  Megan Hayes-Golding organized and led many sessions in the early years of the GMD.  Initially webinars were not recorded for future viewing.  Webinar recordings began in 2014 and some of the recordings were turned into podcasts. Certificates of Attendance were transcribed for live webinar attendance beginning in 2018. To have the GMD reach a larger audience, video recordings of the webinars were uploaded to the GMD YouTube channel starting in May of 2020.

At some point during the pandemic our viewing spiked considerably with multiple webinars having between 100 – 200 people in attendance.  The number of recording views by-passed the number of live views and the most watched webinar recording of all time on our YouTube channel was “Using Delta Math for Distance Learning” by Zach Korzyk with over 5,000 views.  We were truly global with participants from Australia, Canada, Thailand, Turkey, India and Indonesia.

I have enjoyed hosting the GMD webinars over the past eight years and I am grateful to everyone who has contributed to hosting, presenting, booking speakers and writing newsletter content.  Although our formal community sharing via webinars is ending, I look forward to rewatching the webinars on the YouTube channel and continuing to learn and grow from the ideas that have been shared.

The Newsletter Too!

If you’ve missed the Newsletter this year, we’ve missed you too!

The first ever GMD Newsletter was sent out on April the 28th 2014. You can see it here! Shout out to the original subscriber, admin, and editor Michael Pershan! For 8 years we continued to put out a weekly (and eventually biweekly) Newsletter highlighting the goings on in the intersections of the math, education, and math education worlds. Our subscribership grew from one to nearly 2,000 during that time with nearly 20% of our subscribers from outside of the US. It was a great run and we thank all those of you who read and grew along with us. #GMDWrites!

We our planning to put out a few more editions of the Newsletter as we celebrate the end of the GMD’s fantastic run. As always, we are hoping to get some contributions from our readers and folks who have attended the Webinars. See the announcement below if you are interested!

Here’s the Webinar Lineup for the Rest of 2023 (and Forever)!

April 4
Street Data from Implementing Building Thinking Classrooms in Middle School
with Amy Chang

April 18
What We Learned About Math, Teaching, and Technology While Building Desmos
with Dan Meyer, Eli Luberoff and Team Desmos

May 2
Title TBD
with Nolan Fossum

May 16
Building Thinking Classrooms 6 Years Later
with Peter Liljedahl

May 30
Title TBD
with Howie Hua
And Don’t Forget You Can Always See Old Webinars

Click here for the archives, get the webinars in podcast form, or visit our YouTube Channel to find videos of past sessions and related content.

Contribute to One of Our Final Newsletters

We’d like to hear from folks who have attended our Webinars over the years! If you’d like to share, use the prompt below:

How have the GMD newsletters or webinars impacted your teaching?
Share your thoughts (100 – 250 words is ideal) with us for inclusion in our Newsletter in May 2023.

We’d also like to give anyone who has written for us in the past to contribute a final article!

Please reach out on Twitter or send an email to if you’d like to get write.

Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Twitter
Visit our Website Visit our Website
Copyright © 2023 Global Math Department, All rights reserved.

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Building Thinking Classrooms: Six Years Later

Building Thinking Classrooms: Six Years Later

May 16, 2023

There is no denying it—teaching is different now. We all feel it. And we see it manifest in our schools and communities, as well as in state and national politics. So, at this moment of inflection in K12 education, where do we go from here? Join me as we ask some big questions, share our collective experience, and begin to reimagine the next phase of our educational practice. Let’s chat about grading and assessment, culturally and historically responsive pedagogy, and steps we can take to ensure our classrooms cultivate genius and joy for all students.

(Note: Due to technical difficulties, about 6 minutes of the audio was edited out.)

Presenter: Peter Liljedahl

Hosted by: Leigh Nataro

Recommended Grade Level: K – 12

Watch the full presentation at:

Grading and Assessment (and more): Where Do We Go From Here?

Grading and Assessment (and more): Where Do We Go From Here?

May 2, 2023

There is no denying it—teaching is different now. We all feel it. And we see it manifest in our schools and communities, as well as in state and national politics. So, at this moment of inflection in K12 education, where do we go from here? Join me as we ask some big questions, share our collective experience, and begin to reimagine the next phase of our educational practice. Let’s chat about grading and assessment, culturally and historically responsive pedagogy, and steps we can take to ensure our classrooms cultivate genius and joy for all students.

Presenter: Nolan Fossum

Hosted by: Leigh Nataro

Recommended Grade Level: K – 12

Watch the full presentation at: