Season 3, Episode 2

Mathematizing children’s literature with Allison Hintz and Antony Smith

In this episode, Mathematizing Children’s Literature authors Allison Hintz and Antony Smith join Bethany Lockhart Johnson and Dan Meyer to discuss what would happen if we were to approach children’s literature, and life, through a math lens – and how we can apply those techniques to classroom teaching.

Meet our guest(s):

Allison Hintz and Antony Smith

Dr. Allison Hintz’s research and teaching are in the area of mathematics education. Her focus on mathematics came about during her years as a fifth grade teacher – it was alongside her students that she developed her own positive identity as a mathematician! Today she studies teaching and learning, specifically facilitating engaging discussion. Her research and teaching happen in partnership with educators and children in formal and informal settings and focuses on beliefs and practices that support all children in lively mathematics learning. She is a co-author, with Elham Kazemi, of Intentional Talk: How to Structure and Lead Productive Mathematical Discussions.

Antony T. Smith is an associate professor of literacy education at the University of Washington, Bothell. He works alongside teachers to create engaging literacy-mathematics learning experiences through exploring and discussing children’s literature. He is committed to the concepts of motivation, engagement, challenge, and creativity in literacy teaching and learning.

Meet our hosts: Bethany Lockhart Johnson and Dan Meyer

Bethany Lockhart Johnson is an elementary school educator and author. Prior to serving as a multiple-subject teacher, she taught theater and dance, and now loves incorporating movement and creative play into her classroom. Bethany is committed to helping students find joy in discovering their identities as mathematicians. In addition to her role as a full-time classroom teacher, Bethany is a Student Achievement Partners California Core Advocate and is active in national and local mathematics organizations. Bethany is a member of the Illustrative Mathematics Elementary Curriculum Steering Committee and serves as a consultant, creating materials to support families during distance learning.

Dan Meyer taught high school math to students who didn’t like high school math. He has advocated for better math instruction on CNN, Good Morning America, Everyday With Rachel Ray, and He earned his doctorate from Stanford University in math education and is currently the Dean of Research at Desmos, where he explores the future of math, technology, and learning. Dan has worked with teachers internationally and in all 50 United States and was named one of Tech & Learning’s 30 Leaders of the Future.

Transcripts and additional resources

Show notes:


We started asking ourselves, “what would happen if we considered any story a chance to engage as mathematical sensemakers.” —Allison Hintz