March MTLT Connects to Popular Media while Going Global

February 19, 2021


Contact: Mary Donovan, 703.620.9840,

RESTON —February 19, 2021 —The March issue of Mathematics Teacher: Learning and Teaching PK–12 (MTLT), the widely-read practitioner journal from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), is scheduled to publish on Wednesday, March 3.

Michelle Meadows and Joanne Caniglia, authors of the March Front-and-Center article, encourage teachers to bring popular media into their classrooms as a means of connecting math with the real world. “By selecting appropriate media, we can instill a positive mathematics identity within our students.”

Linking mathematics lessons to TV shows, movies, and literature, the March Front-and-Center takes pop culture and math to the next level. Through their article, Meadows and Caniglia “offer opportunities for teachers to engage students in challenging and authentic tasks that relate to real-world culture.”

Meadows, an assistant professor and department chair at Tiffin University in Ohio, and Caniglia, also a professor at Tiffin University, encourage the use of movie clips, memes, and other popular media in their lessons. Often, math is portrayed inaccurately or overcomplicated, and through these lessons, the authors strive to clear up the confusion and make math more accessible to students.

Emma Dearborne and Kathryn O’Connor, classroom teachers at Harbor Elementary School and Pleasant Valley Elementary School in Connecticut, worked with Tutita Casa, an associate professor at the University of Connecticut, to “provide teachers with three manageable ways to implement a math workshop in their classrooms.”

In their article that spans PK–grade 5, the authors share their aha moments and how they provide impactful learning experiences to their students with these workshops. Beginning and ending with student investigation, the authors have created workshops during which students work both independently and in small groups to really grasp the lessons.

Casa, Dearborne, and O’Connor use the workshop models in their classrooms to help students reach a deeper level of understanding and to “help teachers apply their expertise in literacy to a mathematical context.”

Rachel Wiemken, Russasmita Sri Padmi, and Gabriel Matney, authors of this month’s 9–12 Feature article “Global Connections through Mathematical Problem Solving,” strive to engage students across borders in “thought-provoking mathematical discussions involving important global issues.” By analyzing the Borean Wind Systems modeling task, Wiemken, Padmi, and Matney explore the idea of “fairness” with their students and what it really means.

When asked about their motivation to write this article, the authors shared that they “wanted to encourage other teachers to connect their mathematics classroom with a teacher of a different culture” as a means of expanding educational experiences.

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.