Choral Counting Leads the Way in MTLT’s August Issue

July 15, 2020

August Issue of Mathematics Teacher: Learning and Teaching PK–12 



Contact: Christine Noddin, 703.620.9840,


RESTON —July 15, 2020—The August issue of Mathematics Teacher: Learning and Teaching PK–12 (MTLT), the new practitioner journal from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), features useful articles for every grade level, with topics that can be put into practice immediately in your classroom.


“Extending Choral Counting,” authored by Brandon G. McMillan, an assistant professor at Brigham Young University, and Theodore Sagun, the Director of Mathematics Instruction and Learning for the UCLA Partner School Network, describes how an instructional activity gives teachers access to student thinking that can be leveraged to extend and connect their ideas. The authors note that choral counting can be used to engage all students—from elementary to middle and high school students.


“We had a great time learning with and from students about their awesome mathematical ideas,” say McMillan and Sagun. “We also enjoyed partnering with and learning alongside teachers who continue to create space to surface and honor student thinking to make instructional decisions.”


J. Jeremy Winters, Kristin E. Winters, and Dovie L. Kimmins highlight their experiences in using robots and coding to engage K–2 students in “The Nuts and Bots of Math and Coding in the Lower Grades.” Using a structure called Coding to Learn Mathematics Progression, the authors carefully planned four stages of coding in the classroom to include examples and specific activities.


"Our initial idea of utilizing robots in math was for motivation through innovation. As we incorporated more activities, we discovered that the ordered progression of tasks is important to the overall learning experience for students,” says Winters. “Our goal in writing this article was to provide teachers with robot-integrated math activities and share our experience in implementing them in the classroom." 

“All the Way around a Circle: An Angle Lesson,” shares how elementary school teachers can develop and use an exploration of the men’s halfpipe snowboarding event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics to help their students gain an understanding of angles as a measure of turn. Amanda Cullen and Craig Cullen, mathematics education colleagues in the Mathematics Department at Illinois State University; Carrie A Lawton, a faculty member and doctoral candidate in the Mathematics Department at Illinois State University; and Crystal S. Patterson, a third-grade teacher at Thomas Metcalf Laboratory School in Normal, Illinois, noticed their students exploring and making conjectures as well as making connections. 


“Before instruction, students thought a full rotation was 200, 260, 320, or 400 degrees,” says Cullen. “Instead of just telling them the correct answer, a ‘fact’ easily forgotten, we utilized a dynamic mathematics environment to promote reasoning, motivate exploration, and help students connect number and space. In the end they discovered what it meant to go all the way around a circle.”


NCTM encourages those interested in contributing to the publication to review the writing guidelines.




The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics is the public voice of mathematics education, supporting teachers to ensure equitable mathematics learning of the highest quality for each and every student through vision, leadership, professional development and research. With 40,000 members and more than 200 Affiliates, it is the world’s largest organization dedicated to improving mathematics education in prekindergarten through grade 12. NCTM is dedicated to ongoing dialogue and constructive discussion with all stakeholders about what is best for students and envisions a world where everyone is enthused about mathematics, sees the value and beauty of mathematics, and is empowered by the opportunities mathematics affords.