Season 4, Episode 5

Cultivating mathematical joy

In this episode, Bethany and Dan explore mathematical joy while visiting a math teacher conference in Southern California. During this program, Dan describes his attempts to cultivate mathematical joy in his own school-aged kids.

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:


“I know we're talking specifically about counting to a hundred, but I think this goes with any of the goals that you might have for your kiddos. Numbers mean something, right? Start building this context and this connection and a relationship to math because I think that's where the joy comes in.” —Bethany Lockhart Johnson