“It Had to Start with Me”

A commitment to ourselves, our students, and each other

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Dear Math Teachers’ Circle Network,

Happy New Year! If you’re looking for topics for your spring MTC sessions, this issue will not disappoint. In “Touching Infinity,” Samuel Coskey, Paul Ellis, and Japheth Wood provide a lovely and accessible treatment of questions about infinity. Judith Covington’s “Tiling with Pentagons” captures the excitement of investigating brand-new mathematics during a MTC session. Peter Tingley draws inspiration from his preschool-aged daughter to bring a fresh perspective to problem solving in “Listen, Share, Play.” And Kimberly Adams and Donna Farrior lead their MTC in an escape room adventure in “Breakout Boxes.”

We’re proud to share that the MTC Network was recently highlighted as a “bright spot” in teacher professional development by 100Kin10, a national network with the goal of training and retaining 100,000 excellent STEM teachers. 100Kin10 also published a “Story from the Field” by the AIM MTC’s Heather Danforth-Clayson, describing how her experiences with MTCs have affected her teaching. Heather writes that after five years of MTC participation:

My enthusiasm – not just tolerance – for math infects everyone around me. My students feel my excitement, they soak it in, and they believe that they can do math, too. This is an element that was missing when I started teaching. I wanted to find the perfect way to teach so that I wouldn’t turn off any students to math. But what I didn’t understand at the time is that it had to start with me.

“It had to start with me.” The mathematical conversations, collaborations, and communities we build together in MTCs all fundamentally depend on many individuals making this precise commitment to ourselves, our students, and each other. I want to start my own New Year off by thanking each of you for making this commitment, which inspires me every day!

Happy problem solving!

Brianna Donaldson, Director of Special Projects

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2018 MTCircular.


Touching Infinity

Hyperbinary numbers and fraction trees

Listen, Share, Play

Lessons from preschool for problem solving

Tiling with Pentagons

Exploring newly discovered math

Locked Out

A breakout box session for your Circle

Bolognese Wins Statewide Teaching Award

Columbus MTC leader was recognized by the Ohio Council of Teachers of Mathematics

Finkel, Jones Present at International Conferences

Two MTC leaders present in Australia and Colombia

Shubin Honored with Mary P. Dolciani Award

MTC Network leader honored for bringing Math Circles to new communities

Engle, Danforth-Clayson Win Rosenthal Prize

Bay Area MTC members win national math curriculum writing contest


Special events, recognitions, careers

Dispatches from the Circles

Local updates from across the country
explodingdots thumbnail

Global Math Week

“Exploding Dots” from coast to coast