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The Math Learning Center Blog

Patrick Vennebush, Chief Learning Officer and Nicole Rigelman, Chief Academic Officer

With the end of the school year approaching, districts are making plans for a highly uncertain future. To assist schools and districts with their planning, The Math Learning Center is preparing a collection of resources that can be used whether schools re-open or if remote learning continues.

Rick Ludeman, CEO

Knowledge is a process of piling up facts; wisdom lies in their simplification.

– Dr. Martin Luther King

A large dog and a small dog. When the small dog sits on the table, the two dogs are the same height. When the large dog sits on the table, it is 100 inches "taller" than the small dog. What do you wonder?
Patrick Vennebush, Chief Learning Officer

2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). Due to the impacts of COVID-19, NCTM decided to cancel its Centennial Annual Meeting and Exposition, which was to be held April 1–4 in Chicago. Instead, NCTM is celebrating the centennial year and supporting the math community by presenting virtual learning activities. Dubbed 100 Days of Professional Learning, these 100 free webinars are being held on select days from April through October.

I was honored when Mike Shaughnessy, a past president of NCTM and a former employee of MLC, asked if I’d present my session in Chicago. When that couldn’t happen, I was happy to have the opportunity to deliver “100 Problems Involving the Number 100” as one of the virtual webinars.

Image of the Number Pieces App with 2 × 11
Tod Johnston & Kellie Petrick

Physical manipulatives are locked away in classrooms, so teachers, students, and families are turning to The Math Learning Center apps to support understanding of visual mathematics in a remote learning environment. Usage of these free virtual manipulatives and models has tripled over the last six weeks.

On Friday, May 1, more than 500 educators attended an MLC webinar on how the apps can be used to enrich learning. Participants became familiar with the apps by exploring a series of hands-on activities. Notably, participants learned how to produce share codes, eight-character codes that can be used to share a particular problem or activity within an app. Share codes were used with the Number Piece app to show how students might share ideas with their teacher.

Weren’t able to attend the webinar? Check out the recording.

Patrick Vennebush, Chief Learning Officer

UPDATE (4/1/20): We have created Math at Home resources by grade level (PK-5) to help educators, students, and families with this sudden shift to home learning.


In recent days, we’ve had a number of conversations with Bridges educators who are preparing for the possibility of school closures due to the COVID-19 virus. These closures would obviously present a major disruption for educators, parents, and students. While remote learning is not ideal for elementary students, it may be necessary in some areas. To support educators in these trying circumstances, we put together some ideas and recommendations.

Margaret Borden - Bridges Kindergarten Teacher

Although there are no specific lessons in Bridges that address the 100th day of school, it is a big day in kindergarten.

Justin Fogarty, VP Communications

Lake Forest School District in Illinois adopted Bridges in 2013. Teachers credit Bridges with helping them teach valuable life skills such as communication, critical thinking, problem solving, and positive student interaction. Additional significant changes include students’ increased risk taking and recognition that there is more than one answer and strategy to a problem. Bridges is designed to foster skills like these that develop the whole student, preparing them for life.