Winter Wrap-Up '23, Episode 1

Problem-solving and facilitating classroom discussions

As we prep for an exciting new season of Math Teacher Lounge: The Podcast, hosts Bethany Lockhart Johnson and Dan Meyer are looking back at the amazing speakers and conversations from past episodes and sharing some of their favorites! First up: A season 2 double feature of the power of problem-solving with Fawn Nguyen and Facilitating Classroom Discussions with authors Christy Hermann Thompson and Kassia Omohundro Wedekind. Fawn is a specialist on Amplify’s advanced math team and a former math teacher and math coach—so she knows her stuff! You’ll hear about her five criteria for good problem-solving problems, and the power and importance of exposing all students to problem-solving. Then, we’ll move into Bethany and Dan’s conversation with Christy and Kassia to learn how hands-down conversations allow students to become better listeners and the steps you can take to implement hands-down conversations in your classroom.

Meet our guest(s):

Fawn Nguyen, Christy Thompson, and Kassia Omohundro Wedekind

Fawn Nguyen began her work with Amplify in 2022 as a Math Advance Team Specialist. She was a math coach for a K-8 school district for three years, and a middle school teacher for 30 years before that. Fawn has also received a number of accolades as an educator.

Christy Thompson is a Literacy Coach in Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia. She has spent her teaching and coaching career particularly focused on listening to and learning from the talk of our youngest students.

Kassia Omohundro Wedekind spent many wonderful years as a classroom teacher and math coach in Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia and now splits her time between being an independent math coach and an editor at Stenhouse Publishers. Her favorite days are spent in classrooms learning from the many ways children talk, listen and negotiate meaning together.

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:


“It's a big deal for me to have the opportunity and this trust to integrate problem-solving into the curriculum.” —Fawn Nguyen