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

Episode 49: Catalyzing Change

Welcome fellow Recovering Traditionalists to Episode 49. Today we are looking at Catalyzing Change.

Changing the way you teach math is hard and it can feel even harder when you think about all the other teachers in your district who aren’t changing their teaching. You think to yourself “Does it even matter? Next year’s teacher doesn’t teach this way so why should I take the time to adjust my teaching” or the ever popular thought of “When my students get to junior high or high school those teachers expect the kids to do____(fill in the blank)____, so I need to prepare them.”

Catalyzing Change in High School Mathematics: Initiating Critical Conversations was a book published by NCTM in 2018 in the hopes of starting to change how mathematics is taught in high school. In 2019 DeAnn Huinker wrote an article in Teaching Children Mathematics (also published by NCTM) about how that book has lessons in it that can help catalyze change throughout all the grades. Get all the info here:

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Episode 48: Developing a Culture of Questioning Can Be an Agent of Change

Welcome fellow Recovering Traditionalists to Episode 48. Today we are looking at how Developing a Culture of Questioning Can Be an Agent of Change.

Today I was reading back through the book Agents of Change: How Content Coaching Transforms Teaching & Learning by Lucy West and Antonia (Toni) Cameron. I’m sitting here on my couch bundled up with a blanket and my coffee, fireplace going because it’s freezing outside and the snow is dumping. But just 4 days ago it was 60 degrees outside. It really hit me at that moment how quickly some things change (like the weather) but not in education.

The book Agents of Change is full of ideas on how to build a system within your school or district through Math Coaching that will create sustainable change. However, lots of the ideas within the book are things we can do even if we aren’t a math coach. Get all the info here:

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Episode 47: Innovate Inside the Box

Welcome fellow Recovering Traditionalists to Episode 47. Today we are looking at how to Innovate Inside the Box.

So I’ve started reading a new book and there is so much goodness in this book it was really hard to decide what part to share with you today.

Innovate Inside the Box: Empowering Learners Through UDL and the Innovator’s Mindset by George Courus and Katie Novak is one of those books that makes you think and reflect upon your teaching but it also gives you practical ideas on how to change your teaching. Get all the info here:

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Episode 46: Get Going Using Math Manipulatives with Lori Linsmeyer

Welcome fellow Recovering Traditionalists to Episode 46. Today we are getting Information & Inspiration from Lori Linsmeyer who encourages us to Get Going Using Math Manipulatives.

Lori was an elementary teacher for 29 years and now does math intervention with a focus of kindergarten through grade 3. In this episode, Lori gives lots of inspiration and information including her thoughts on:

-How We Learned Math Impacts How We Teach Math
-Opening up Math Time Builds Connections
-Using Math Manipulatives

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Episode 45: 13 Rules That Expire

Welcome fellow Recovering Traditionalists to Episode 45. Today we are looking at 13 Rules That Expire.

I’ve been guilty of telling my students tips or rules that I thought were helping them get to an answer quicker, because in the past I used to think my job was to help my students get answers. Now, I see my job of a teacher as helping students make sense and many of those tips had no “sense” behind them. They really were just rules to help my students get an answer.

The article I want to share with you today was published almost 6 years ago but so many of the things mentioned in this article are still being used. I can honestly say I probably would still be doing many of them if I hadn’t read this article – but once we know better, we do better.

13 Rules That Expire by Karen S. Karp, Sarah B. Bush, and Barbara J. Dougherty forever changed my teaching. Not only do they share the 13 rules but there is also a section about expired math language that we use and they give alternatives to use instead. This article is seriously a MUST READ. To give you a glimpse into the article I’d like to share with you just one of the rules today. Get all the info here:

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Past Episodes