Details about Cathy Fosnot & Pam Harris’ Problem Strings Workshop

Pam Harris’ Powerful Numeracy book

Cathy Fosnot’s Minilessons Books at New Perspectives on Learning

Cathy Fosnot’s new k-5 problem strings series – Problem Strings for Fluency and Beyond

Register for the 2024 Virtual Math Summit

The youtube video for this episode

Welcome fellow Recovering Traditionalists to Episode 159: The Number Strings Queens.

Before we get into the episode, this week’s positivity comes from the Facebook comments about the Virtual Math Summit.  This episode is not about the summit because by the time this comes out the summit is already over. 

Diane, I love to hear that you keep coming to the summit and that you are learning every time.  This was our 8th year!  If you are interested in watching any of the past 8 years of summits, they are inside the Build Math Minds PD site.  You can become a member at 

That site is full of PD videos and resources that we create for our members.  Most of the videos inside the Build Math Minds PD site are created by curating the research and information out there about how students learn mathematics in the elementary grades.

One of my favorite people to learn from has been Cathy Fosnot.  Her book series Young Mathematicians at Work changed so much of my thinking about how we set up the classroom to allow our students to experience mathematics.  Her curriculum resource, Context for Learning Mathematics, is still one of my favorites and inside that was my first exposure to Number Strings…but she called them Mini Lessons.

I’ve since gotten to meet with and work with Cathy and I always come away with any time spent with her realizing I don’t know what I think I know but coming away learning more.  I don’t know if that makes sense but basically I realize I misunderstood something, or didn’t fully understand, but she clarifies it and makes me understand it better.

Simply put, I love any time I can spend in her presence because I know I’m going to learn a ton.

So, when I saw an opportunity to spend an entire day learning from her I got excited and it’s not only with Cathy, but Pam Harris also… I immediately went to my calendar to see if I could make it work.

Now I am not getting paid to share this with you, I just want to tell you about this amazing opportunity to learn from the Queens of Number Strings…or as Pam Harris would call them, Problem Strings.

Number Strings, or Problem Strings, are a series of related visuals or problems that you show your students one at a time and spend time discussing how they relate to each other.  Well that’s the simplified version of what they are anyways.

Cathy Fosnot and Pam Harris are doing a 1 day workshop in New London, Connecticut on June 27 all about Problem Strings and I can’t wait to attend.  On the show notes page I’ll put the link to the details for the workshop so go to to get it and hopefully I’ll see you there!

Until next week my Fellow Recovering Traditionalists, keep Building Math Minds.

Subscribe and Review in iTunes

Hey, are you subscribed to the Build Math Minds Podcast, yet? If you’re not, make sure to do that today because I don’t want you to miss any episodes! Click here to subscribe to the podcast in iTunes. While you’re there, don’t forget to leave a review on iTunes too. I would love to know your thoughts and how we can make sure that we give you content that you will really enjoy. To leave a review, head over to iTunes and click on “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review.” I can’t wait to hear your thoughts about the podcast.

Other Ways to Listen To This Episode

Pin This To Pinterest for Later

As you start off the school year, I want you to keep in mind what is really important as we're trying to teach mathematics to our students.