Build Math Minds

The Podcast

The Build Math Minds podcast is for my fellow Recovering Traditionalists out there.

If you don’t know whether or not you are a Recovering Traditionalist, here’s how I define us. We are math educators who used to teach math the traditional way. Flip lesson by lesson in the textbook, directly teaching step-by-step how to solve math problems. But now, we are working to change that to a style of teaching math that is fun and meets our students where they are at, not just teaching what comes next in the textbook. We want to encourage our students to be thinkers, problem solvers, and lovers of mathematics…we are wanting to build our students math minds and not just create calculators. If that is you, then this podcast is for you.

Listen To The Latest Episodes

Epsisode 38: Look for and Make Use of Structure

When the standards came out, most teachers went to the grade level standards to find out what they needed to teach for their grade level. Many people skipped the Standards for Mathematical Practice. These are 8 standards that describe how students should interact with mathematics at all grade levels, thus they were not inside each grade level because we should be doing them at all grade levels.

Math Practice #7 is Look for and Make Use of Structure and that is where you can find mention of patterns. One of my favorite books about the Standards for Mathematical Practice is Beyond Answers by Mike Flynn. I love this book because it’s written for primary grades teachers and gives lots of examples of young kids working on these big mathematical practices. It’s so cool to read.

read more

Episode 37: Mathematical Argument in the Elementary Classroom

Welcome fellow Recovering Traditionalists to Episode 37. Today we are looking at building Mathematical Argument in the Elementary Classroom.

I love understanding the WHY to anything. I wasn’t always that way. I used to be that good student who would just follow and do whatever my teachers told me to do. It seemed as though teachers would get irritated by those kids who would ask WHY…WHY does this work? WHY do I have to learn this?

The book I’m sharing with you today talks about WHY kids need to investigate the WHY and how to do it in your classroom. But Why Does it Work? Mathematical Arguments in the Elementary Classroom by Susan Jo Russell, Deborah Shifter, Reva Kasman, Virginia Bastable, and Traci Higgins. Get all the info here:

read more

Episode 36: Encourage Student Perseverance and Authority

Welcome fellow Recovering Traditionalists to Episode 36. Today we are looking at how to Encourage Student Perseverance and Authority.

Changing the way we teach mathematics is hard for us as teachers, but sometimes it’s even harder on our students. If you’ve tried to open up your teaching and give students a problem and then just let them solve it anyway they can, then I’m sure you’ve had that feeling that the idea of Productive Struggle sometimes doesn’t seem so productive.

So, today I wanted to share with you an article that you can read on the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics’ website. NCTM publishes a great magazine throughout the year, full of wonderful articles. The article Two Instructional Moves to Promote Student Competence by Jen Munson is from the January 2018 issue. Get all the info here:

read more

Episode 35: Features of Appropriate Math Tasks

I am 35 episodes in and I cannot believe I haven’t talked about this book yet! Making Sense: Teaching and Learning Mathematics with Understanding by Hiebert et al is one of those books that I have pink highlighter throughout the entire thing.

It was so hard to pick just one passage from this book to share with you today, so I’m sure I’ll share more in future episodes. The whole book gives us a framework for thinking about math classrooms. They highlight 5 dimensions that work together to shape your math classroom, today we are going to look at the first dimension which is The Nature of the Learning Task through this passage from page 8.

read more

Episode 34: Effectively Using Games to Build Mathematical Thinking & Reasoning

Welcome fellow Recovering Traditionalists to Episode 34. Today we are looking at Effectively Using Games to Build Mathematical Thinking & Reasoning

Today’s insight comes from Well Played: Building Mathematical Thinking Through Number Games & Puzzles by Linda Dacey, Karen Gartland, and Jayne Bamford Lynch. As you hopefully know, I love Games. I grew up in a game playing family and still love playing games with my own children. So as I was preparing for a video I did recently over on my Vlog, The Recovering Traditionalist, I was reading back through the Well Played books. There is a book for PreK-2 and one for 3-5.

This paragraph from page 6 really made me stop and think about how we use games in the classroom. Get all the info here:

read more

Episode 33: Building confidence in your students with Melissa Barone

In this episode I get to chat with Melissa Barone. Melissa took my Number Sense 201 course that is for 3rd-5th grade teachers, but she’s a middle school teacher. In this interview, she talks about how things she learned from that course (and other places) has helped her transform her math classroom into a place where students are building their confidence in math and seeing that their voice matters in math class.

The number sense courses are now open for 2019 registration and you can get all the info at
Registration is only open for a short time so depending upon when you listen to this registration might be closed. If so, you can join the waitlist. You can find a link to it and all the resources mentioned in the episode at the show notes page

read more

listen to the build math minds podcast on the go

You can now listen to the podcast on the go on your favorite listening platforms. Want episodes to your inbox so you never miss anything? Sign up for the newsletter via the button below and we’ll let you know when fresh new episodes are being published right to your inbox.

Past Episodes