This year I had the honor of being invited to give one of the talks at Shadow Con at the 2016 NCTM Annual Conference in San Francisco. If you’ve never heard of Shadow Con, it’s a collection of six short, provocative talks that each culminate in a call to action, something to spur your work going forward. You can (and should!) check out the 2015 Shadow Con talks here and the 2016 Shadow Con talks here.


My talk was called “Make Your Own Kind of Music” and my call to action was about finding space in an upcoming lesson for students to explore, to play, and to find joy in doing math. I didn’t want to leave anyone hanging, so I put together this page of a few resources to help get your lesson planning started. It is by no means exhaustive, so I’d love for you to share an inspiring resource or two in the comments!

Instructional Resources


Blog Posts / Articles

Lessons / Activities

  • Hundred Faces – How about creating a face with Cuisenaire rods? If the white cube is equal to 1, how many is the whole face equal to? You could make a “Hundred Fac”, or maybe a “Fifty Face”.
    • Read more about this activity here and here.
  • Math4Love Lesson Plans – A treasure trove of activities
  • TEDD.org – This site collects a variety of playful instructional routines and resources for implementing them.


#MathPhoto15 – This page includes links to a Storify for each weekly challenge. Browse through pictures sorted by mathematical topic. As you’re looking, bring this question with you, “What can I do with this?” You never know what will inspire you!