38 episodes

Room to Grow is the math podcast that brings you discussions on trending topics in math education in short segments. We’re not here to talk at people. We’re here to think and learn with others — because when it comes to mathematics there’s always room to grow!

We’re former educators and we make it no secret how much we love math. Tune in for our conversations centered on all the ways that make it possible to enrich the entire learning experience for both teachers and students, ranging from specific topics like mathematical modeling to general ideas about student engagement. Every episode of this math ed podcast offers something new.

When we come together to talk through our ideas and the different teaching methods being used today — whether in the classroom or at home — it gives everyone a chance to expand their knowledge. We invite you to listen in with colleagues and friends so you can keep the conversations going, and keep on learning.

Meet your hosts: Curtis Brown and Joanie Funderburk
Curtis Brown leads numerous content development projects including the Families of Functions video series from Texas Instruments. Curtis also taught mathematics and Statistics for years, and he served as Statistics Specialist at the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) and Mathematics Coordinator at LTF. There’s a joy in exploring all the patterns and logic that can be found in mathematics, and Curtis is eager to jump into each podcast episode with new, interesting takes on the day’s topics.

Joanie Funderburk serves as Texas Instruments’ Strategic Alliance Director, advocating for high-quality STEM education and elevating the voice of educators in state- and national-level policy decisions. Joanie’s previous experiences, from teaching math for nearly 20 years to her roles as the Director of Facilitators at Illustrative Mathematics, and Manager of Professional Learning at Student Achievement Partners, have allowed her to learn from teachers across the country. Joanie pours her enthusiasm for math into this podcast with a belief that continuous learning benefits everyone.

Room to Grow - a Math Podcast Room to Grow Math

    • Education
    • 5.0 • 13 Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires macOS 11.4 or higher

Room to Grow is the math podcast that brings you discussions on trending topics in math education in short segments. We’re not here to talk at people. We’re here to think and learn with others — because when it comes to mathematics there’s always room to grow!

We’re former educators and we make it no secret how much we love math. Tune in for our conversations centered on all the ways that make it possible to enrich the entire learning experience for both teachers and students, ranging from specific topics like mathematical modeling to general ideas about student engagement. Every episode of this math ed podcast offers something new.

When we come together to talk through our ideas and the different teaching methods being used today — whether in the classroom or at home — it gives everyone a chance to expand their knowledge. We invite you to listen in with colleagues and friends so you can keep the conversations going, and keep on learning.

Meet your hosts: Curtis Brown and Joanie Funderburk
Curtis Brown leads numerous content development projects including the Families of Functions video series from Texas Instruments. Curtis also taught mathematics and Statistics for years, and he served as Statistics Specialist at the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) and Mathematics Coordinator at LTF. There’s a joy in exploring all the patterns and logic that can be found in mathematics, and Curtis is eager to jump into each podcast episode with new, interesting takes on the day’s topics.

Joanie Funderburk serves as Texas Instruments’ Strategic Alliance Director, advocating for high-quality STEM education and elevating the voice of educators in state- and national-level policy decisions. Joanie’s previous experiences, from teaching math for nearly 20 years to her roles as the Director of Facilitators at Illustrative Mathematics, and Manager of Professional Learning at Student Achievement Partners, have allowed her to learn from teachers across the country. Joanie pours her enthusiasm for math into this podcast with a belief that continuous learning benefits everyone.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires macOS 11.4 or higher

    Making Sense of Mathematics

    Making Sense of Mathematics

    In this episode of Room to Grow, our hosts discuss ways to support student sense-making in teaching and learning mathematics. Building out on the ideas shared in Episode 3 of Room to Grow, Curtis and Joanie dive more deeply into what it means for students to “make sense of mathematics.” They discuss what it looks and sounds like when students are making sense, as opposed to just repeating back learned ideas, and consider which classroom structures and teacher moves might best support students...

    • 40 min
    Balancing Instructional Modalities

    Balancing Instructional Modalities

    In this episode of Room to Grow, our hosts look for the balance between instruction that is teacher-driven, traditional lecture-style, and inquiry-based, discovery-style lessons. They recognize the value of both types of teaching, understanding that there is a time in learning for both exploration and for direct and explicit teaching. The conversation offers explanation of what conditions may require different teaching strategies, based on the goals and content of the lesson as well as h...

    • 37 min
    A conversation with the National Teacher of the Year

    A conversation with the National Teacher of the Year

    In this episode of Room to Grow, our hosts share conversation with Rebecka Peterson, the 2023 National Teacher of the Year (NTOY). Rebecka is a high school math teacher at Union High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on leave for the 2023-24 school year to fulfill her NTOY responsibilities. She views the NTOY not as an award, but rather a job, that of spokesperson and ambassador for the teaching profession.In this conversation, we learn about her teaching journey and the lessons she learned along th...

    • 48 min
    Uncovering Student Thinking

    Uncovering Student Thinking

    In this episode of Room to Grow, Curtis and Joanie consider ways to uncover how students are actually thinking about the mathematics they are learning. Using a real-life, recent incident between Curtis and his sixth grade son, our hosts consider the challenging fact that many students think that success in math class means figuring out what answer the teacher (or the computer program/app, or the back of the book) is looking for. They posit that when educators are always focused on the ma...

    • 33 min
    Deep Mathematical Thinking Using Math Milestones Tasks

    Deep Mathematical Thinking Using Math Milestones Tasks

    In this episode of Room to Grow, special guests Sandra Lightman and John Staley help Joanie and Curtis understand the Math Milestones. These one-page resources include 12-14 math tasks that provide a visualization of and engagement with the math standards of each grade. The Math Milestones tasks present grade level math, not as a list of standards or learning outcomes, but as a groups of math tasks, a language understood by teachers and students. The Math Milestones project was supported...

    • 42 min
    Impacting Teaching Practice with Routines for Reasoning

    Impacting Teaching Practice with Routines for Reasoning

    In this episode of Room to Grow, Curtis and Joanie continue their conversation with Grace Kelemanik and Amy Lucenta. In follow-up to our previous episode, this conversation shifts to a focus on teachers and how the Reason Routines help them to be more effective with more students. We begin by talking about what makes teaching hard – including the fact that teachers make a million decisions every day in response to the students in the room and how they are engaging with the content; and t...

    • 43 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
13 Ratings

13 Ratings

lorelei.mallett ,

Great Insights!

Joanie and Curtis bring timely and relevant information right to my ears! Their insights push me to reflect on my instructional practices and what I can do to meet the varied needs of my students. They acknowledge that teachers are constrained by time, standardized tests, and curriculum pacing. I have learned a lot from listening to this podcast. Give them a listen!

math_count ,

Reflective and Inspiring

I love listening to the thought processes and experiences of Curtis and Joanie. The topics are timely and relatable to the classroom.

alison_pruett ,

Great for math educators

I love listening to Curtis and Joanie! They feel like my friends/colleagues just having a discussion about math education.

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