Make Your Own Kind of Music

Brian Bushart

• ShadowCon Session

Friday, April 15, 2016 | 5:00PM – 6:30PM
Room: Marriott Yerba Buena 7

Like learning to play an instrument, learning to do math is hard work. In the midst of grappling with the technical skills, it can feel downright frustrating and turn students off of it altogether. They may not realize that math, like music, is so much more than a set of skills, so much more than notes on a page. How can we change that? How can we provide students room to explore, to play, and to find joy in doing math?

Video of This Talk


Call to Action

  • Choose an upcoming lesson.
  • Get to know the lesson – ask “Why?” Get at the lesson’s intentions as well as your own.
  • Find space in the lesson for students to explore, to play, and to find joy in doing math. Need ideas? Here’s a document where I’ve collected together a few instructional resources, blog posts, and articles to help get you started.
  • In the comments below, report back how it went.
    • What did you try?
    • What resources did you use for inspiration?
    • What challenges did you face?
    • How did you overcome them? Or not.
    • How did your students respond to your efforts?
    • What might you try next time?

In addition to watching the video, you can also check out the Storify of tweets shared during my talk as well as the slides .


Brian Bushart

Brian Bushart

Brian Bushart is the Curriculum Coordinator for Elementary Mathematics in Round Rock ISD just north of Austin, Texas. During his fifteen years in education, he has taught across the elementary grades, served as a math interventionist, and developed digital math curriculum for elementary and middle school. Brian blogs at Teaching to the Beat of a Different Drummer, and you can find him on Twitter @bstockus. Consider joining him for #ElemMathChat, a weekly Twitter chat which meets Thursdays at 8pm CST.

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