Making Math Moments That Matter

By Kyle Pearce & Jon Orr

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Wondering how to create a classroom culture where students don't want to stop exploring mathematics when the bell rings? Kyle Pearce from and Jon Orr from team up to uncover how we can Make Math Moments That Matter for every student in the math classroom from Kindergarten through Grade 12. Discover how you can build easy to plan and fun to deliver math lessons that kids will not only love, but also learn from using the Making Math Moments That Matter 3-Part Framework. Get ready to learn as we interview math education influencers, engage in coaching calls with mathematics educators from around the world, and take deep dives into assessment, differentiation, student behaviour, engagement, problem solving, math fact fluency, and many other common teacher challenges as we strive to Make Math Moments That Matter. Let’s learn how we can meet the needs of every learner in all classrooms regardless of student readiness together!

Episode Date
#42: How Do I Spiral My Math Standards Without Spiralling Out Of Control! [Part 2 of A Math Mentoring Moment]

This week Michael Rubin from our Math Mentoring Moment Episode #40 is back to continue the conversation from proceeding vs. pivoting to organizing his course content. Yes, this episode packs in a great conversation about Spiralling your math standards WITHOUT spiralling out of control.

If you haven’t yet listened to episode #40, be sure to STOP - and GO LISTEN NOW! If you already HAVE listened, then let’s pick up the conversation where we left off and pivot the conversation into a deep dive around spiralling Michael’s math course for the very first time. You’ll grab some great value bombs from this episode…

Let’s get ready to talk SPIRALLING your math curriculum!

You’ll Learn: 

  • What is Spiralling & Why Everyone Should Be Doing It?
  • What Should I Consider When Planning To Spiral?
  • How Long Should A Cycle Typically Take?
  • How Can I Help Struggling Students While Spiralling?
  • How Can I Get Started?

Show notes:


Sep 16, 2019
#41 - Math Gals: An Interview With Chrissy Newell

In this episode we speak to Chrissy Newell, a math projects coordinator from California who has been leading the #MathGals movement. We chat with Chrissy about how we can raise awareness to underrepresented women in the field of mathematics and also what we can do to empower girls in math class so they can thrive while they have a sense of belonging. 

Stick around while Chrissy shares three action items for you to implement in your classroom! 


You’ll Learn: 

  • What is the #mathgals movement? 
  • How we can raise awareness & celebrate the achievements of women in math. 
  • 3 “Get Started Tips” to help make a difference.
  • Where you can land your #mathgals shirt.
  • All about TableTalkMath Summer Courses.

Show Notes: 

Sep 09, 2019
#40: How Do I Know When To Proceed Or Pivot My Plan? [Math Mentoring Moment]

This week we speak with Michael Rubin, a Math Moment Maker who has been diving into a TON of Math Professional Learning over the past year as he gears up to make a return to the math classroom. Join in on the conversation as Michael shares his recent successes learning from the many math educators sharing online, our weekly tasks/tips/tools weekly email, as well as some epiphanies he’s had since taking our Online Workshop recently.

You’ll Learn: 

  • How Do I Teach Through Task?
  • What Learning & Preparation Do I Need To Do?
  • What Strategies Can Help All My Students?
  • What is Spiralling & Why Everyone Should Be Doing It?
  • What Should I Consider When Planning To Spiral?
  • How Long Should A Cycle Typically Take?
  • How Can I Help Struggling Students?

Show Notes: 

Sep 02, 2019
#39: Everyone Can Learn Math: An Interview with Alice Aspinall

We are excited to bring you this episode with Alice Aspinall, author of the children’s book Everyone Can learn Math. Alice is a high school math teacher here in the Windsor Ontario area. We chat with Alice about how her book is helping families change the way they talk about math at home. 

  • Why you should read Everyone Can Learn Math with your kids. 
  • Why it’s important to use positive language when talking about math
  • Why a growth mindset is key to learning math
  • How you can use Everyone Can Learn Math in your classroom
  • What can your first day look like to start your students off on the right foot.

Show Notes: 

Aug 26, 2019
#38: How to Move Beyond Answer Getting. A Math Mentoring Moment

In this Math Mentoring Moment episode we speak with a year 1 (first grade) teacher Sierra Classen in her second year of teaching from Melbourne, Australia. Listen in as we work through this common struggle we have all faced - either currently or in the past - related to students hyper focusing on answer getting over process. 

You’ll Learn: 

  • Strategies to help your students re-think the purpose of math class. 
  • How games can shape math lessons
  • Why number talks are great culture builders
  • Characteristics of effective math instruction
  • Two Types of questions you should avoid answering 

Show Notes:

Aug 19, 2019
#37 Hook, Line, & Sinker: An Interview with John Rowe

This week we speak with an Aussie John Rowe. John is a Math Coach from Adelaide Australia he’s put together a great resource for you on tasks for the math class and he’s also a Demsos wizard! Listen in as John shares his 5-day professional development plan for teachers, why he thinks Twitter is one of the most useful professional development sources we can have, and how to use his Hook, Line & Sinker framework in your classroom. 

You’ll Learn: 

  • John’s professional learning module for teachers.
  • Why are we rounding? 
  • Why twitter is your best pd experience. 
  • How to use Hook, Line, & Sinker framework. 

Show Notes: 

Aug 12, 2019
#36: How To Start The School Year Off Right

Summer vacation is soon coming to a close. If you’re like us, you've been thinking about that first day for that last week or so. You’ve prepared activities, organized classrooms, laminated everything you can get our hands on, and scrounged the internet for the best deal on dry-erase markers. School is back in and we want to dedicate this episode to the first day of class. 

We’re sharing our go-to activities and strategies to start the school year off right so you can help inspire curiosity, build trust & support, and paint students a picture of what class will look like regularly. 

What You’ll Learn: 

  • How to set the stage to inspire curiosity throughout the school year; 
  • How to build trust with your students so you can create an inclusive classroom culture; 
  • Activities that are essential for the first day of class. 

Show notes: 

Aug 05, 2019
#35: Visible Learning: An Interview with John Hattie

This week we speak with John Hattie, a co-author of the Visible Learning Book series which has been a foundation for effective teaching practice and change for so many districts across the world.  We chat with John about the research into good learning strategies, how he conducted his research and how he uses effect size to compare teaching & learning strategies. We learn about the difference between surface learning, deep learning, and transfer learning, and what is the difference between focusing questions and funneling questions. 

You'll Learn: 

  • How John conducted his widely adopted research; 
  • How he uses effect size to compare different teaching strategies; 
  • The difference between surface, deep, and transfer learning; and, 
  • What the difference is between focusing questions and funnelling questions.

Show Notes: 

Jul 29, 2019
#34: Step Into STEAM: An Interview With Sarah Bush

This week we chat with Sarah Bush, an Associate Professor of K-12 STEM Education University of Central, she’s on the Board of Directors for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and she’s co-authored the book Step Into STEAM. We sat down with sarah to get the inside scoop on what steam is, how it looks in real classrooms, why we should be considering this approach and how we can get started. 

Show notes: 

Jul 22, 2019
#33 The 5 Practices: An Interview with Peg Smith

We want to welcome NCTM Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient and co-author of one of the books we reference MOST OFTEN on this podcast: 5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematical Discussions The wonderful Dr. Peg Smith. 

Listen in as we take a deep dive to unpack ALL 5 Practices AND you’ll hear from Peg about the other TWO practices that she often references, Why the 5 Practices are your roadmap to implementing high level tasks, How you can use assessing questions and advancing questions, and How to get STARTED with the 5 practices. 

You’ll Learn: 

  • The origin story of the 5 practices
  • Why the 5 Practices are your roadmap to implementing high level tasks. 
  • How to get STARTED with the 5 practices
  • All tasks are not created equal. 
  • How you can use assessing questions and advancing questions.

Show Notes:

Jul 15, 2019
#32 The Formative Five: An Interview with Skip Fennell

In this episode we speak with Skip Fennell, math teacher, principal, A Maryland Council of Teachers of Mathematics' Educator of the Year , Past NCTM President, He's also the author of dozens of articles and books and is a coauthor of the book The Formative Five. 

We chat with Skip about all things formative assessment. He shares with you 5 formative assessment strategies that will ensure you’re making math moments that matter! 

Join us as we dive into a great discussion with a contagiously passionate math educator at heart, Skip Fennell.

You'll learn:

  • Ways teachers are missing the mark with formative assessment; 
  • How to embed assessment in your daily routines; 
  • 5 formative assessment strategies and how to start using them now.

Show Notes:


Jul 08, 2019
#31 Daily Routines to Jump-Start Math Class: An Interview with John SanGiovanni

We chat with John SanGIovanni - a Math Supervisor from Baltimore and Author of the book series Daily Routines To Jump-Start Math Class. In this episode John shares why your traditional warm up / bell ringer activities need to change, how to build number sense at any grade level and save time doing it, why traditional homework take-up doesn’t work, how to avoid creating math sheep! And you’ll walk away with 5 Specific Routine Activities to jump start your day.

You’ll Learn: 

  • Why your traditional warm up / bell ringer activities need to change.
  • How to build number sense at any grade level and save time doing it!
  • Why traditional homework take-up doesn’t work. 
  • How to avoid creating math sheep!
  • 5 Specific Routine Activities to jump start your day.

Show Notes: 

Jul 01, 2019
#30: The Most Effective PD You’re Not Doing

Join us on Episode 30 of the Making Math Moments That Matter Podcast as we welcome Gabrielle Mejia and Jedidiah Butler as we take a deep dive into the Most Effective PD You’re Not Doing: Lesson Study. Sure, many of us have had an opportunity through a district-led initiative or grant to possibly engage in this type of learning, but was it a “one-and-done” experience that is no longer happening in your building?

Listen in as Gabrielle and Jed share what Lesson Study means to them, why they think it is worthwhile to do AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE, and they debunk some common myths and challenges one might encounter as you look to build this highly impactful professional learning structure into your department, school, or district.

You’ll Learn:

  • What lesson study is all about and why you need to start it at your school;
  • Benefits for teachers, students, and administrators;
  • How to organize a lesson study and make it actionable; and,
  • Common challenges around lesson study and how to avoid them.

Show notes: 

Jun 24, 2019
#29: Concept-Based Mathematics: An interview With Jennifer Chang Wathall

In this episode, we’ll dive into a great conversation about shifting mathematics teaching from what many of us remember from our K-12 learning journey to a more progressive, inquiry approach to teaching mathematics conceptually. In particular, we’ll discuss with Jennifer Chang-Wathall how to be brave in your classroom to make necessary changes to promote student understanding, unpacking what teaching conceptually really means, and how we can ensure that students still learn the necessary facts and skills alongside conceptual understanding.

You’ll Learn:

  1. How to be brave in your classroom to make changes that are needed for your students understanding.
  2. What does teaching conceptually really mean?
  3. Why we need to have facts and skill AND conceptual understanding. It’s not either or.
  4. How we can build confidence in our own math learning.
  5. Why knowing where students will create misconceptions will make you a better teacher.

Show Notes:

Jun 17, 2019
#28: How to Align Assessment with Teaching? A Math Mentoring Moment with Nathan Vaillancourt

In this episode we speak with another Math Moment Maker who reached out to us for a Math Mentoring Moment Episode. Nathan Vaillancourt, a jack of all trades teacher talks to us today about how he can change the way he assess his students.

We discuss questions like: How do I adjust my assessments to match the way I’m trying to teach? Do I need to record observations and conversations that I have with my students? Do I need to have the same tool or piece of evidence to assess every student? What are fair assessments? What are equitable assessments?

Show notes:

Jun 10, 2019
#27 Building Number Sense With Estimation 180: An interview with Andrew Stadel

In this episode, we’ll dive into a great conversation about Andrew Stadel’s math teaching journey, where he came up with the idea to create the math class favourite resource, and how we can maximize the use of this resource to build number sense in our students and promote mathematical discourse in our classrooms everyday.

Show notes:

Jun 03, 2019
#26 How To Overcome A Common Math Myth From K Through College

In this episode you’ll get to spend some time with Jon and I as we share the story of a recent school walk-through that we participated in recently while attending a conference. The story leads into a common math teaching myth about how we prepare our students for the next grade level.

Show Notes: 

May 27, 2019
#25 How Do I Avoid Lesson Flops? [Math Mentoring Moment]

In this math mentoring moment you’ll meet Carol Edlin, a travel bug who entered teaching with a business degree, slowly but surely began teaching math courses. What is she to do when your background is not mathematics and you’re trying to make math moments that matter for all of your students? Stick around while Carol shows some vulnerability when discussing her lessons flops and we’ll whittle away and reveal her real struggle.

Show Notes:

Is the Make Math Moments Academy right for you? Learn more. 

May 20, 2019
#24 Landscapes of Learning : An Interview With Cathy Fosnot

On episode 24, we welcome the Queen of Context for Learning Mathematics, Cathy Fosnot! We are so excited for our Math Moment Maker Community to dig into this great episode with a Champion of Fuelling Sense Making in Math Class as she will share her mathematics journey - including some discriminatory barriers that she had to overcome along the way. Get “hooked” into an intriguing conversation with a game changer in mathematics education who is constantly helping the mathematics education community to mathematize VERTICALLY upwards, Cathy Fosnot.

You'll Learn: 

  • Why we should help learners generate problems.
  • How Cathy’s online learning platform can held teachers help students.
  • What a math workshop looks like.
  • How to create student mathematicians.
  • What’s the difference between vertical mathematizing and horizontal mathematizing.
  • How to connect strategies to structures.

Show notes:


May 13, 2019
#23: They’re Engaged, NOW WHAT!? A Math Mentoring Moment.

In this Math Mentoring Moment episode, you’ll meet Bill Zbozny Del Percio, a Grade 3 teacher from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania who always felt drawn to teaching, but feels like he’s struggling to squeeze as much mathematical thinking out of each task as possible.

Having built familiarity and confidence in sparking curiosity through 3 Act Math Tasks and delivering other rich tasks that leverage the natural curiosity of his students, Bill is seeking support from the Math Moment Maker Community to determine how he can best Fuel Sense Making on a daily basis.

You’ll Learn:

Some common struggles when teaching area and perimeter including which we should teach first;

How knowing the learning goal is so important;

Explore how we might select worthwhile tasks to elicit mathematical thinking;

Learn about efficiency and the fact that what is a fission for one student is not the same for all students;

How we might approach pushing our students to be more clever with their mathematical strategies and thinking;

Strategies to ensure we are anticipating how students at various levels of readiness might approach the task;

How understanding how mathematics develops conceptually can help to fuel sense making for all students to move them along with the developmental continuum at their level. 


Show Notes:

May 06, 2019
#22: Common Math Class Challenges and How We Can Overcome Them.

In this Jon & Kyle only episode we’ll introduce math classroom challenges that we’ve heard from educators we’ve talked to in person, educators that have emailed us, and also Math Moment Makers who filled out filled out some of of our surveys and how we can work toward fixing those challenges.

You’ll Learn:

  • What can we do when not all our students are engaging in our activities.
  • How we can ensure students stay focused in a Thinking Classroom.
  • How we can use assessments to push learning forward.
  • How to ensure the technical aspects of presenting tasks can proceed flawlessly.
  • How to build your conceptual understanding of math so you can help your students.
  • Where you can take action and get ongoing support to make math moments that matter. 


The Making Math Moments Academy

Apr 29, 2019
#21 The Thinking Classroom: An interview with Peter Liljedahl

In this Math Moment Interview, we talk with Dr. Peter Liljedahl, Professor of mathematics education at Simon Fraser University who has been researching ways to get students to become resilient problem solvers through ideas such as using vertical non-permanent surfaces, visible random groupings, selecting tasks with evolving complexity, and much more...He calls his work The Thinking Classroom.

What you will learn:

  • The elements needed to build a thinking classroom.
  • How to build a problem-solving culture in your classroom.
  • Why we need to think critically about the choices we make about our environments and lessons.
  • Why vertical non-permanent surfaces will change your students engagement in math class.
  • How to make effective groups in math class.

Show notes: 

Apr 22, 2019
#20 Restoring Balance In Your Life: A Math Mentoring Moment with LISA GEGGIE

We speak with Lisa Geggie, a teacher of 24 years and self proclaimed perfectionist. and a brave, caring human being. Lisa, like many of us, spends countless hours of after school time, weekends, and evenings planning her lessons and activities for her students benefit…..She’s been eating, breathing, and sleeping math lessons and...She wants to desperately know how to help her students and GET HER LIFE BACK! Listen in as we help her realize she has the tools herself to address this big issue.

Show Notes:

Apr 15, 2019
#19 Four Strategies to Help Students START Problems & Stick With Them

One of the biggest challenges WE teachers have right now is helping kids not give up when problem solving in math class. It troubles us when students are working on problems that are slightly different from classroom examples and they either SHUT DOWN, or quickly raise their hands and say, “I don’t know what to do!”

In this episode we share the audio recording of a webinar we ran in January 2019 to help address those exact issues.

Show Notes:


Apr 08, 2019
#18 How To Make Math Irresistible: An interview with Raj Shah

We chat with Dr. Raj Shah from Math Plus Academy about how how to harness the elements of video games that make them so addictive and how we can apply them to our math classes. We chat about how to build a culture of discussion, creativity and problem solving in our classrooms, and we also chat about how to use the power of mystery to engage our students.

Show Notes:


Apr 01, 2019
#17 From Learning To Action: A Math Mentoring Moment With Matthew Makuch

On today’s show, we’re bringing on Matt Makuch from Victoria, British Columbia to share his mathematics professional learning journey thus far. Matt shares some of the influencers who inspired him initially to begin thinking differently about teaching his math class including Marcy Cook, Kim Sutton, and Sherry Perrish. He also shares how he took the plunge to take his professional learning to the next level when he joined our Making Math Moments That Matter Online Workshop.

In particular, he’ll share his progress thus far incorporating the Notice and Wonder routine, how he is now better mathematizing the world around him to incorporate into his mathematics learning environment, and his early attempts at spiralling the mathematics curriculum.

Show Notes:

You’ll Learn:

  1. Great resources to start (or continue) your mathematics learning journey;.
  2. Some of the challenges you might experience when trying to implement a notice and wonder protocol;
  3. How Matthew has “stumbled” upon a great set of curious math prompts after taking our online workshop by seeing the mathematics in the world around him;
  4. Matthew’s biggest take-aways from our online workshop he participated in recently;
  5. The importance of widening your perspective when it comes to teaching mathematics and teaching in general.


Mar 25, 2019
#16: How To Create Authentic Conversations In Math Class: An Interview with Marian Small

Join us while we chat with the great Marian Small. For us, Marian has been a rock and a foundation for how we’ve changed our teaching practice! She’s an author, math education influencer, and Open question guru! In this discussion we talk with Marian about the origin story of open questions, how open questions compare to open middle problems, and how being more intentional with big ideas versus specific skills is more beneficial for student learning.

Show Notes:

You’ll Learn:

  • What are open questions and how they can change your classroom.
  • How you can differentiate your questioning with open questions.
  • What’s the difference between open questions and open middle problems.
  • Why you should be more intentional in your teaching.
  • How to change the focus of your lesson to big ideas instead of a specific skills [and why you should.]
  • How MathUP can help you as a teacher think about teaching math while providing you with resources!
Mar 18, 2019
#15: How to get the most out of the conferences you attend

Conference season is just around the corner for us at the time of this recording. We attend various conferences throughout the year and a big question that we always have is, “Is this going to be worth it?” In episode 15 we want to give you 5 TIPS on how to get the most out of the conferences you attend and also what can you do if you can’t attend a conference this year.

Show Notes:


What You'll Learn: 

  • Practical tips to build a community while at a conference.
  • How being picky in your session is a good thing.
  • Why we should use this experience to learn about our “blind spots” in education.
  • Why we need to address in-equity in the classroom.
  • Tips to help you build a habit when implementing a new resources/tool/routine.



Mar 11, 2019
#14 : Pi Of Life: An interview with Sunil Singh

We’re bringing on a colleague, friend, and fellow Ontarian from the math education world. He’s the author of Pi of Life and his soon to be released book, Math Recess, an international keynote speaker and a part of the BuzzMath team. We talk about the simplicity of mathematics, how learning mathematics should be more like the preparation of a fantastic meal rather than just serving up the final finished dish, and finally, Sunil gives us some suggestions for how we can teach effectively.

Show notes: 

You'll Learn: 

  • How “messy” learning can be more beneficial than “neat” learning.
  • How can we create a love of math with our families and students.
  • How we can redefine success for each student. How can we teach students and not just teach math.
Mar 04, 2019
#13 : Where Assessment & Practice fit in Curiosity Sparked Lessons: A Math Mentoring Moment with Sam Brotherton.

In episode 13 you’ll listen to Sam Brotherton, a teacher from St. Louis Missouri. Sam’s been teaching for 5 years and we chat with him on this Math Mentoring Moment episode of the Making Math Moments that Matter Podcast about struggling with the idea of where assessments fit in his routines. Sam’s been teaching with 3-act math lessons, desmos activities, and a variety of other great resources he’s gathered from the math community but he’s noticing, much like we did early on, that when it comes to standardized tests, or those word problems from the textbook his students aren’t performing any better.

Show Notes:

You’ll Learn:

  • How you can incorporate assessment into your daily lessons.
  • How to transition from a 3 act math task to typical word problems.
  • How to ensure students can solve word problems after learning through task.
  • Where practice fits in your curiosity sparked lessons.
  • How to sequence student solutions to maximize the connecting stage of your productive discussions.
  • New engaging practice structures that can replace the typical worksheet.
Feb 25, 2019
#12 How Do I Make Memorable Math Moments AND Cover The Curriculum?

In episode 12 Jon & Kyle address questions like: how to create a collaborative approach to teaching math AND cover curriculum standards? How to build resilient problem solver?  How do I decide to adjust my unit plans when not all students have made connections during my lesson? They walk you through what planning looks like before a lesson, during a lesson, and after a lesson to ensure we cover our curriculum while making math moments that matter.

Show Notes:



Feb 18, 2019
#11 Play is the Engine of Learning: An Interview With Dan Finkel

Episode #11:  PLAY IS THE ENGINE OF LEARNING: An Interview With Dan Finkel

Show notes page: 

Play is the engine of learning, that’s the mission of Dan Finkel and his team at Over the next 60 minutes, we’ll dive into Dan’s story about how he fell in love with math and in particular, teaching with games in the math classroom, he’ll give us some background behind his extremely popular TED Talk on the 5 principles of extraordinary math teaching and he’ll give us 3 things he looks for when selecting games for use in the math classroom.

You’ll Learn:


  • How playing games can strengthen our math skills.
  • Lessons we learn from games can have an impact in our own math learning.
  • Three conditions for games in the math classroom.




Dan’s Ted Talk

Tiny Polka Dots

Prime Climb

Ted Ed Riddle - NIM

Proofiness - Charles Seife [Book]  

Teaching with your mouth shut  - Donald Finkel [Book]

Creating Innovators - Tony Wagner [Book]

Game PIG

Math For Love Curriculum.

Feb 11, 2019
#10: Mathematical Mindsets: An Interview With Dr. Jo Boaler

Our conversation begins with Jo sharing some of her memorable moments from math class followed by a rich discussion about the importance of thinking deeply to communicate mathematical understanding, ideas for differentiation in the math classroom, teaching through task, and much more!

Get ready to grow your brain with a variety of amazing mathematical ideas for your classroom.

You’ll Learn: 

  • How math is visual and by teaching with visual resources we can strengthen our students understanding.
  • Why math class needs to be social and collaborative instead of isolated.
  • How to differentiate your math lessons with intentionality.
  • Why we need more than just memorization of math facts and procedures.
  • How to meet your standards while teaching through tasks.


Show notes and resources:

Making Math Moments That Matter Online Workshop

Feb 04, 2019
#9: Planning with Intentionality: A Math Mentoring Moment with Kirsten Dyck

In Episode 9 of the Making Math Moments That Matter Podcast we have another Mentoring Moment episode coming your way with Kirsten Dyck, a grade 7/8/9 math teacher in rural Saskatchewan. Kirsten is working though how to bring out effective learning goals in all the great lesson ideas she’s already using. Listen in as we welcome Kirsten to the podcast and we all put our minds together to  work through this very common challenge we all experience across the grades.

Show notes page


You’ll Learn:

With so many resources available to us in the 21st Century, it can be really challenging to determine which resources I should use for what lessons. How can I fit them all in? Never fear, in this Math Mentoring Moment, we dive deep into how to plan your lessons with intentionality to ensure that you are selecting the most appropriate resources for the learning goal you have set out to achieve. Get ready to hear more about 3 Act Math Tasks, Number Talks, Vertical Non-Permanent Surfaces (VNPS), and even the 5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Discussions in Mathematics.



Jan 28, 2019
#8: How We Can Redesign Success in Our Classrooms (and why we should). A Math Mentoring Moment with Katrien Vance.

In this episode we talk to Katrien Vance who is a veteran teacher that set a total different approach to give her students a sense of direction and help them stay focused. We outline why she did it, how she did it, and how it all worked out for the students.

You’ll learn:

  • How to redefine success in your classroom.
  • How to create lessons where students ask more questions.
  • How to create a math class where the word problems are the easiest problems to solve.
  • Why you should plan lessons that encourage thinking. How to avoid the assumption that students can’t think during your math lesson.
  • Benefits of getting the students to talk and opening up space to help them lead.
  • How trusting kids with what they know will benefit their overall performance.

Show notes page:



LEARN MORE about our online workshop: Making Math Moments That Matter.


Register for our FREE WEBINAR: 4 Strategies to help students START math problems and STICK with them. (Registration closes January 25, 2019 at noon EST)




Jan 21, 2019
#7: Routines, Curiosity, and Assessment: A Math Mentoring Moment with Sarah-Jane Wells

In episode 7, Kyle Pearce and Jon Orr talk with Making Math Moments That Matter online workshop participant, Sarah-Jane Wells about realizing her personal privilege has affected her teaching habits, how she’s been working on Sparking curiosity consistently to get kids engaged and keep them on task… and a BIG can of worms was opened when the conversation moved into assessment, evaluation and the role of descriptive feedback.

Show notes page


You’ll Learn:

  • How to realize your own privilege and how that affects the classroom.
  • How to teach your students meaningfully during the last block of the school day when students are wrangy!
  • How we can effectively use assessment to further the learning of our students.




Episode Sponsor & Special Offer:

Wipebook Flip Charts - Teacher Starter Pack 25% Discount

Canadian Link:

US / Worldwide Link:

Jan 14, 2019
#6: Looking for Joy in Mathematics Joy: An Interview with James Tanton

This week we interview the great James Tanton. Author, curriculum writer, speaker, creator of Exploding Dots and spreader of joyous mathematics! We bet that you’ll find yourself smiling as you listen to James’ enthusiasm for joyous mathematics.

You’ll Learn:

  • Why Education at all levels K-12 is intellectually rich, profound, deep, wonderful, and equally important.
  • How to make math joyous, wonderful, and human.
  • Why we teachers don’t always have to be the experts in the room.
  • The Power of symmetry in math education.
  • Clues throughout algebra that speak geometry.
  • The human story of mathematics is a visual one.
  • The power of place value. Exploding Dots gives a visual model for place value.
  • Why we should empower students to choose their own models to showcase their thinking.


Show Notes:


Our Sponsor: Wipebook

Get a 25% discount on the Wipebook Educator Starter Pack by checking out: for shipping in Canada for everywhere else


Links related to this episode:

Jan 07, 2019
#5: Too Many Resources and Too Little Time - A Math Mentoring Moment with Nicole Martin

In our first Mentoring Moments episode we chat with Nicole Martin, a 3rd/4th grade math teacher in Las Vegas Nevada. Nicole was struggling with how to structure her math lessons in a way that is engaging yet meaningful when she has so many great resources she’s found online. Nicole shares with us how after finding so many great math resources online such as 3 act math tasks, estimation 180 and more, she struggles to organize her math block to include these resources with intentionality on an ongoing basis. Listen in as we hear Nicole’s story and the tips we give her to try out in her classroom.


You’ll Learn:

  • How to structure your 70 min math block to teach through problem solving.
  • How we can maximize learning opportunities with online resources.
  • How to differentiate problem-solving tasks to meet the needs of all students - especially your high flyers.

Show notes can be found at

Be sure to hit SUBSCRIBE and take a moment to rate / review the podcast!


Listen in as we dive into Session #5!

Apply for a Mentoring Moment. 

Dec 31, 2018
#4: 3 Moves That Ignite Teacher Action

In this episode, Kyle Pearce and Jon Orr share 3 moves to ignite TEACHER action in the classroom so you can spark curiosity and fuel sense making in your students. We outline how we’ve used these moves in our classrooms to make significant learning gains with our students and give you valuable tips on so you can incorporate these moves regularly classroom.


Specifically, you’ll learn:

  • Why planning with each move is valuable to you and your students.
  • How to use what you see and hear in your classroom to help plan your next lessons.
  • How following the 5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematical Discussion will give you more than just a lesson plan.
  • How to save time in your course while teaching through problem solving.
  • How we can plan to reach all your students regardless of grade level.

Resources discussed and shared in the show notes:

Access the show notes here:

Dec 24, 2018
#3: Fuel Sense Making With Our 4 Go-To Tools

Join Kyle Pearce from and Jon Orr from as they take a dive into the Making Math Moments That Matter 3-Part Framework! In episode 3, they unpack 4 “Go-To” Tools for Fuelling Sense Making in math class.  


What are you waiting for? Fire up the episode!


Looking for resources from this episode? Check out the show notes here:


Want to take a deeper dive into the 3-part framework? Check out the FREE 4-Part Video Series here:

Dec 15, 2018
#2: Sparking Curiosity With The Curiosity Path

Join Kyle Pearce from and Jon Orr from as they take a dive into the Making Math Moments That Matter 3-Part Framework! In episode 2, they dive into the first part: Sparking Curiosity and highlight one of their favourite curiosity sparking strategies called the Curiosity Path.


What are you waiting for? Fire up the episode!


Looking for resources from this episode? Check out the show notes here:


Want to take a deeper dive into the 3-part framework? Check out the FREE 4-Part Video Series here:

Dec 15, 2018
#1: Welcome To The Making Math Moments That Matter Podcast!

Wondering how to create a classroom culture where students don't want to stop exploring mathematics when the bell rings? Join Kyle Pearce from and Jon Orr from as they team up for EPISODE #1 to uncover how we can Make Math Moments That Matter for every student in the math classroom from Kindergarten through Grade 12. Discover how you can build easy to plan and fun to deliver math lessons that kids will not only love, but also learn from using the Making Math Moments That Matter 3-Part Framework. Get ready to learn as we interview math education influencers, engage in coaching calls with mathematics educators from around the world, and take deep dives into assessment, differentiation, student behaviour, engagement, problem solving, math fact fluency, and many other common teacher challenges as we strive to Make Math Moments That Matter. Let’s learn how we can meet the needs of every learner in all classrooms regardless of student readiness together!


Show notes from this episode can be found at

Dec 15, 2018