Here’s your 2014 Math Blogging Retrospectus. As mentioned in previous years, this is meant only to be a sampler, not an exhaustive recap of the year in math blogging. It’s nothing more than a collection of posts shared by people who happened to stumble across my solicitation for posts.


  1. 4!, Andrew
  2. Systems of Linear Equations Game on Desmos, Nora
  3. Multiplication: Finding the Greatest Product, Fawn
  4. A Critical Language for Problem Design, Ben
  5. Open Strategy Cup Stacking, Alex
  6. “You Can Always Add. You Can’t Subtract.”, Dan …
  7. Hypothesis Wrecking and the Diagonal Problem, David …
  8. What would happen if we took a problem apart and put it back together, Joe
  9. Conceptualizing Drills, Nat
  10. Undressing Tables, Naked Numbers and Modeling, Graham
  11. Graphles to Graphles, Kate
  12. Decimals in a “One Frame”, Kristin
  13. Better Polar Expressions, Jonathan
  14. Volume of Cones Discovery Lesson, Julie




  1. Status: The Social Organization of “Smartness”, Ilana
  2. Better Math Discussions, Anna
  3. Conference notes part 1: how we talk about mathematics instruction, Grace
  4. Reality Check, Chris
  5. Standard algorithms unteach place value, Christopher
  6. Good at Math, Seth
  7. Visibly random groups & Vertical non-permanent surfaces, Laura
  8. Grand Challenges for Mathematics Education, Robert
  9. Conceptual Understanding in Mathematics, Grant
  10. We Need Teachers Who Fail, Andrew
  11. On the purpose of examinations, Kate
  12. Critiquing the Common Core on its Merits and Demerits, Geoff
  13. It’s not how big your class is, it’s what you do with it, Paul
  14. Immediate Feedback is Too Soon For Feedback, Michael


  1. Is There Room For Math That Isn’t That Hard?, Kaissa
  2. Numberless Word Problems, Brian
  3. Procedure in the Driver’s Seat, Megan
  4. “You just listened, so then I could figure it out”, Tracy
  5. Stalkers and dreamers, Elizabeth
  6. Wrong But Not Stupid or, How to Call Out Mistakes without Trampling the Mistaken, Ben
  7. Mulling things over, Sam

From the introduction:

It’s never been easier to miss a great math blog post. What was once a small group of math teachers willing to make themselves vulnerable by putting their practice online has now become a veritable onslaught of thoughtful commentary, engaging and interesting tasks, and stories that we can all learn from.


If you aren’t familiar with the Retrospectus, feel free to look back at the 2012 and 2013 editions. The upshot is this: it’s a semi-aggregated sampler platter of blog posts that touched, inspired or challenged someone this year to the point they were willing to share it. That’s it. Not a huge bar it may seem, but then again, inspiring your peers might be the highest bar. I’ve iterated before and I’ll iterate again: this is NOT a blogging award/top post list. Ideally, this tome will introduce you to a math education blogger you weren’t aware of before.


I’ve made one editorial change this year due to the exponential growth of the math blogosphere. Many of the authors of the posts in this volume had multiple posts shared. In such an instance I only included one of the author’s posts. There were two reasons for this: 1) this thing is getting really, REALLY long and 2) I wanted to emphasize newer and perhaps less-trafficked bloggers. In such an instance where multiple blog posts from the same author were nominated, I attempted to select the post that best encapsulates the blogger’s voice or was of a subject that was novel or introductory to a theme. If you’d like to see all the posts that were shared, you can check out the Retrospectus solicitation post.


As in the previous two years, the posts are categorized as Tasks, Commentary, or Stories, while acknowledging that many posts overlap or transcend each category.


I really enjoy this project every year as it allows me to slow down and read what really affected teachers over the course of the year. Recent changes in my work responsibilities sometimes drag me away from the math world into non-math subjects. It’s been illuminating to think of Math classrooms as part of a system of education that offers opportunities and challenges to students, teachers, and administrators. That makes it easy to miss new posts and new blogs entirely. Hopefully you’ll find some quiet reflective time to sit down and review some of these posts and take them to heart and into your classrooms. And while you’re here, go ahead and show the authors your gratitude with a comment, a follow, or a subscription.


2 thoughts on “Math Blogging Retrospectus 2014

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