2016: The year in review

  • 2016: The year in review

    By Zachary Champagne, posted January 3, 2017 —

    As I was reflecting on the past year, I thought it would be fitting to share a few highlights from my year. Many of you know that I’m a fan of top-ten lists. So here are the top-ten blog posts, books, and experiences that sum up my year in mathematics education.

    10. The launch of the NCTM Regional Orlando Conference Blog. Our program committee developed the idea to invite our community into the planning of the conference. It's our hope that NCTM’s regional conference in Orlando (October 18–20, 2017) will reflect and represent the diversity of our profession. As we look to build a conference that is inclusive, we welcome, value, and need your input. We can’t wait to join you there.

    9. The release of Young Children’s Mathematics by Thomas P. Carpenter, Megan Loef Franke, Nicolas C. Johnson, Angela C. Turrou, and Anita A. Wagner. For me, this book clarifies so much of the incredible mathematics learning that takes place from ages 3–6. It was a long awaited companion to the cognitively guided instruction work that we all learned so much from.

    8. #MTBoS game night in San Francisco at the NCTM Annual Conference. This was held at the Desmos headquarters and was such a fun time visiting with friends, new and old, and playing with lots and lots of turtles.

    7. The launch of #TCMChat. It was so exciting to see the Teaching Children Mathematics print journal give back to the Twitter community with a focused discussion around the free preview manuscript each month—a really nice way for these two seemingly separate worlds to come together. I am excited to see where this goes.

    6. The release of Which One Doesn’t Belong? by Christopher Danielson. Finally, mathematics educators across the country can benefit from this really incredible pedagogical structure that increases the student voice in your classroom. If you don’t know about it, now is the time to find out.

    5. Marilyn Burns's blog post about a Problem Solvers: Problem from Teaching Children Mathematics. This is a great problem, and Marilyn Burns provided such insightful and honest comments. It was a great experience of a print journal and a blog collaborating to create a shared experience for us all.

    4. Colleen Ganley and Sarah Lubienski’s TCM Blog Posts on gender differences in mathematics classrooms. In case you missed this—it is a must read. Personally, it hits really close to home (I have an eleven-year-old daughter). Professionally, this type of thinking is especially important in our current climate. Ganley and Lubienski argue that “girls’ perceptions of themselves as mathematicians need to be improved,” and they provide us with tangible ideas to help break this cycle.

    3. The release of Beyond Answers by Mike Flynn. Finally, a practical book for primary-grade math educators that is rich in mathematics content and pedagogy. Make sure you pick this one up, and send Mike some love on Twitter. Cheers, friend!

    2. Graham Fletcher’s progression videos. This series of video posts on the progression of mathematical ideas among the grade levels has definitely made a huge contribution to the elementary school mathematics community. Thanks, pal! *But remember, friends: You gotta do the work. So be careful not to solely “rely on some crazy Canadian to tell you about your American Standards.”

    1. ShadowCon 2016. During the past three years, I’ve been lucky enough to work with Mike Flynn and Dan Meyer as we developed the ShadowCon experience. ShadowCon 2016 brought a unique and diverse group of speakers together that helped us expand the conference experience way beyond the attendees in San Francisco and, more important, well beyond the weeklong NCTM Annual Conference experience. A special thanks to all of the ShadowCon alumni—this experience wouldn’t exist without you.

    So, here’s to 2017, friends! I can’t wait for another year of learning with and from all of you!

    What big things happened in your world of mathematics education this year? Share your thoughts in the comments section below or reach out on Twitter (@zakchamp).



    2017_01_03-ChampagneZachary Champagne is an assistant in research at the Florida Center for Research in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (FCR-STEM) at Florida State University. He previously taught for thirteen years as an elementary school teacher with a specialization in math and science. During this time, he received many state and national awards for excellence in teaching, including the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), Duval County Teacher of the Year, and Finalist for Macy’s Florida Teacher of the Year. Zak is the current president of the Florida Council of Teachers of Mathematics (FCTM), and is currently interested in learning how young students think about mathematics and how to help them understand that mathematics makes sense. He tweets at @zakchamp. 

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