The Mindful Math Podcast

40 Episodes

By: Chrissy Allison

How can I find time for myself as a teacher? How can I build a classroom community that supports deep learning of mathematics? What does equitable instruction entail, and what mindsets, opportunities, strategies, and outcomes are necessary to achieve it? How can I teach in a way that reaches all students, including students who enter my class with a lot of unfinished learning? What are the most effective ways to increase access to grade-level math and help ‘bridge the gap’? Welcome to The Mindful Math Podcast where we will answer ALL of these questions and so much more! Week by week...

51 - Navigating Your Way Out Of The Drama Triangle - with Maggie Riley
Last Saturday at 7:00 AM

In this episode, Maggie Riley explains the meaning of “drama consciousness,” how it commonly shows up in schools, and what we can do to navigate our way out of it. If your thoughts ever spiral downward, or if you work in a culture of complaining, this episode’s for you! It’s possible to find connection, healing, and growth in the hard moments – but we need support and a balance of compassion and accountability. Listen in to hear what collective drama consciousness can sound like in school teams and communities and why it’s so problematic for educators.


50 - Switching Math Curricula: When, Why, & How - with Leanna Lantz

Is your school or district thinking about rolling out a new math curriculum? Or perhaps you adopted one this year, and it’s not going as smoothly as you had hoped? You’re in good company because today’s guest, Leanna Lantz, has been there. She describes her first round of curriculum implementation as “a dismal failure.” But luckily she reflected on that experience and is sharing her biggest lessons learned from those mistakes in this episode. Listen in to hear some of the promising practices she uses now to invest key stakeholders in the process to ensure all students h...

Let’s Make Math Minimalism A Thing

There’s a reason that our society has embraced “minimalism” more and more in recent years. It’s a simple and appealing idea, and it yields greater clarity and joy for people who have adopted it in their lives. In this episode, I’m applying this less-is-more concept to math teaching and learning. Listen in to hear five areas you can apply “minimalism” in your classroom or school to decrease overwhelm while increasing focus, impact, and joy.

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Bonus New Years Episode - My 2021 Takeaways

In this bonus New Year’s Episode, I'm sharing three of my biggest reflections from the past twelve months. 2021 was our second year of the pandemic – AND my second year building Mindful Math Coach. Both experiences taught me a lot! Listen in to hear 3 takeaways I have from 2021 and how I'm taking those lessons with me into 2022.

2022 Support for Math Educators, Coaches & Leaders

Listen in to hear an overview of the Mindful Math Coach programs, services, and professional development opportunities available to math educators, coaches, and leaders in 2022. From low-priced, on-demand workshops to ongoing, high-touch coaching, there's something for everyone working to improve math teaching and learning. Click play for this quick rundown of 2022 support opportunities.

Welcome to The Mindful Math Podcast with Chrissy Allison

E48 - Ditch I Do, We Do, You Do As Your Go-To - with Tom McDougal

Lesson study and problem-based learning have gained national attention over the past several years as promising solutions to American students’ lagging achievement in math. In this episode, you’ll hear from Tom McDougal, who’s at the heart of this work as the leader of Chicago’s renowned Lesson Study Alliance. Through his years of organizing public lessons and leading teachers through analysis of what did and didn’t work, he’s become an advocate of letting students do the real thinking in lessons - and he’ll show you how to do it. For more information, and to access...

Bonus Episode 4 - What It Looks Like To Make A Hard Edit

In this episode, Chrissy explains why she is making a hard edit in her business right now and how you can apply this idea to to your role in your school or district.

47 - No Silver Bullets, But These 3 Things Make A Difference

When students enter our math classrooms several years behind, we tend to see THAT as the challenge that needs to be solved. However, in many schools, the question of how to catch kids up is ever present and something that needs to be addressed year after year after year.  When more than 30% of your students need math intervention and Tier 2 and 3 support, unfinished learning isn't the root of the problem -- but rather a symptom of bigger issues your school team faces. Click play to hear how I helped teachers at my school narrow the opportunity gap a...

46 - Tackling The Tricky Topic Of Math Intervention - with Astrid Fossum

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to partner with Astrid Fossum, Senior Math Specialist at Student Achievement Partners, on a topic we’re both passionate about -- catching kids up in math. We were motivated to help middle and high school math teachers find practical and effective solutions to a challenge they face every day in the classroom: what to do when students have significant unfinished learning from previous grades. Based on our individual experiences, conversations with math teachers, and countless classroom observations, we knew teachers and leaders were seeking guidance about best-practices related to math interventions. Listen in...

45 - The Greatest Challenges Math Teachers Face - guest host Nathan Vann

Today, we’re flipping it around and switching it up. Instead of being the interview-er like I normally am, in this episode I’m the interview-ee. Several months ago, Nathan Vann, host of The Teacher’s Morning Prep Podcast, invited me to be a guest on his show -- and he’s agreed to share that episode with you here, on the Mindful Math Podcast. We discussed a variety of topics, and one overarching theme was the unique challenges math teachers face -- and what we can do about them. Whether you’ve already transitioned back to in-person learning, or if you’...

44 - The Art & Science Of Leadership - with Dr. Keonna White

Dr. Keonna White is a leader who walks the walk. She brings her whole self to her work, and her passion, authenticity, and vulnerability shine through. She tells it like it is while showing compassion and supporting others to be their best. In this episode, Dr. White explains what leadership at all levels looks like and how to use data, questions, and candid conversations to help members of your school community to see a different perspective. Listen in to hear how to tap into teachers’ strengths, leverage the power of the collective, and “keep it tight and keep it loos...

43 - Using Visual Patterns for Sense-Making - with Fawn Nguyen

Fawn Nguyen LOVES teaching with visual patterns - and, after hearing why, you will too. She shares hundreds of them on her website, for FREE! As an experienced educator and veteran middle school teacher, she’s spent years finely honing the craft of using this warm up routine to help students make sense of math. In this episode, Fawn explains how there’s so much more to patterns than input-output tables, including seeing structure, algebraic thinking, and the opportunity to engage in mathematical modeling.  Students receive rich benefits when teachers incorporate them in math lessons all year long...

42 - Putting Students In The Driver’s Seat - with Karla Morris

We all WANT our students doing the heavy thinking during math lessons… so why is it so hard to IMPLEMENT? How can we stop “teacher-splaining” and instead, provide opportunities for our students to problem solve, ask and answer questions, and explore concepts? In this episode, Math and Science Instructional Coach, Karla Morris, shares two obstacles teachers face as they work to engage students in deep learning. Listen in to hear what it means to shift the cognitive lift to students and the four phases teachers can work through to make it happen. For more information, and to access...

41 - 5 Reasons To Know & Love Your Strengths

In recent years, educators have worked to replace deficit-based thinking with a more asset-based approach -- as it relates to students. But have we given the same attention to using a strengths-based approach with adults in the building? In this episode, I’m sharing how knowing and using your innate gifts can help you be at your best, improve interpersonal relationships, and find more joy and ease in your work. Listen in to hear 5 benefits you’ll gain from identifying your strengths (and others’ strengths) and leaning into them in your work. Whether you’re a teacher, coach, or school l...

40 - Redefining Mathematical Success - with Rolanda Baldwin

We’re all familiar with the terms “culturally relevant instruction” and “culturally responsive teaching,” -- but what does it REALLY entail? In this episode, Rolanda Baldwin, Vice President of Mathematics at UnboundEd, unpacks the idea, orienting teachers to four essential components they can use to create meaningful learning experiences that honor all students in the math classroom. Listen in to hear why talking about standards isn’t enough to change disparate outcomes and how aligned curricula can serve as a springboard for strong teaching and learning. For more information, and to access show notes and related resource links for this episode...

39 - Focus + Progress = Momentum + Success

As important and ambitious as their goals for student achievement might be, many schools struggle to make effective progress on them. Listen in to learn a 4-step process you can use to separate the factors that actually drive instructional change from those that merely measure it. Then, create an accountability structure to ensure follow-through, build momentum, and celebrate wins on the way to achieving your goal. For more information, and to access show notes and related resource links for this episode, go to

38 - Lessons Learned In Classroom Management - with Nathan Vann

Is your classroom management style leading to the outcomes you’d hope for, or is it getting in the way? Nathan Vann tells the story of his hard-won lessons from his early years in the classroom, including tips for building strong relationships with students and modeling the behaviors you’d like to see. He reflects on how un-learning his “white savior” mentality helped him better support his students and fully understand their gifts. For more information, and to access show notes and related resource links for this episode, go to

37 - The Emotional Side Of Academic Struggle

Long before everyone’s attention suddenly turned to learning loss this year, Chrissy worked for years on pioneering approaches to address multi-year gaps in math understanding within the context of grade-level work. Now, she’s distilled what she’s learned into a powerful yet simple 5-step process that any educator can use tomorrow. And, she shares how her potty-training journey with her son showed her the importance of stepping into students’ shoes to understand what their blockers might be - what feels discouraging and demotivating to them - and address them with compassion. For more information, and to access show not...

36 - Conscious Math Practices That Promote Equity - with Megan Morin

In Episode 30, Adrienne Williams described the pillars of white supremacy culture and how they present themselves in schools. In this episode, Math Specialist, Megan Morin, builds on that conversation by sharing how the pillars show up specifically in mathematics teaching and learning -- and how consciousness is necessary to achieve equity in math class. Whether you are a teacher, coach, or school leader, this one’s a can’t-miss. For more information, and to access show notes and related resource links for this episode, go to

35 - Getting Started With Racial Equity Work - with Rashaan Davis

Rashaan Davis and his colleagues have turned their high school into a place where students of color see advocates no matter where they turn on campus. In this episode, he explains how he structured the careful, reflective, and ongoing equity work that has led to this transformation. Listen to learn how to experience school through a student’s eyes -- and how to address the inequities that matter most to them. For more information, and to access show notes and related resource links for this episode, go to

34 - What Are The MOST Important Math Standards To Teach? - with Becca Varon

If someone asked what math you teach in your grade, what would you say? Would you give a long-winded list of topics that all seem equally important -- or do you clearly see through to the heart of your students’ learning? In this episode, math content expert, Becca Varon, explains how understanding the major work of your grade enables you to teach math with meaning -- no matter how compressed your timeframe. Listen to learn why it’s OK to let some topics go this year -- and to come away equipped with the resources to make smart decisions as y...

33 - Can External Rewards Build Internal Motivation? - with Joy Blake

Have you wanted to start a reward system in your classroom, but didn’t know where to start? Or did you abandon this classroom management technique because it was too much work (and MONEY) to keep up with? Either way, you’re not alone, and you don’t have to worry! In this episode, Joy Blake, an experienced educator, shares her best tips, ideas, and lessons learned about how to run an effective - and SIMPLE - incentive system with your students. Listen to hear why focusing on positive behaviors is key, the four “student types” and how they respond di...

32 - Do You REALLY Know The Math? - with Katy Buckland

Do you know the math, or do you KNOW the math? That’s the question we’ll help you answer in this episode. My guest, Katy Buckland, is a teacher, coach, and school leader who knows the importance of strong content knowledge -- and also the challenges teachers face as they build it. Listen to learn how deepening YOUR knowledge will deepen your STUDENTS’ understanding. Plus, get practical tips to help you prioritize growing your content knowledge given your already busy schedule. For more information, and to access show notes and related resource links for this episode, go to www...

Bonus New Years Episode - My 2020 Takeaways

In this unscripted, unedited episode I'm sharing some of my biggest takeaways from the past year. 2020 provided opportunities and challenges like none other -- and with that came insights, growth, and change. Listen in to hear 5 things I learned in 2020 and how I'm taking those lessons with me into 2021. 

31 - A Better Day Is 6 Minutes Away - with Tabitha Cee

Did you know that YOU can influence whether you have a good day or a bad day? It’s true! Your mindset, your intention, and your energy can determine the direction of your day. That’s why so many people take time for themselves each and every morning. Feel like you’re too busy for self care in the AM? I promise you’re not! In this episode, Tabitha Cee, shares her powerful 6 minute morning routine that will launch your day on a positive note, setting you up for success throughout the day. Whether you’re a busy mom, busy teach...

30 - Why White Supremacy Culture Is A Problem - with Adrienne Williams

Did you know that many of the things we’ve been taught to value and to strive for are actually harming us? Not only that, but they are harming students, too? As a culture, we’ve been taught that certain ways of being are the ideal - that they are the things we must embody to be successful, to fit in, or to stay safe.  However, the truth is that what we think is “normal” is actually white supremacy culture. In this episode, my guest, Adrienne Williams, shares what white supremacy culture is, why it’s something worth talking ab...

29 - The Magic of Managing Up - with Marissa Geist

What can you do when you have too much on your plate, work is stressing you out, or your overall job satisfaction is low? Maybe the planning template for your math lessons is WAY too long or the requirements for student work analysis feels like busy work. Beyond complaining to a friend or fellow educator (which may help you feel better in the short term, but doesn’t *actually* change your reality), how can you take action to create a situation that is manageable? In this episode of The Mindful Math Podcast, Marissa Geist shares how ‘managing up’ can open t...

28 - Profound Ways To Connect Through Math - with Ryan Colon

There is an art to building relationships with students, and it’s not a one-size-fits-all situation. Maybe you’re like me and my guest, Ryan Colon, who became math teachers because of our love for the content (and not as much for the warm-and-fuzzy stuff). Ryan’s goal was to radically change her students’ mindsets around what math means to them, and she shares ways she built relationships with her students THROUGH the math content. The root of the word RELATIONSHIP is RELATE, so regardless of how you make it happen, the most important thing is to find ways to authe...

27 - A Simple Solution You Can Use To Support Unfinished Learning

When I ask math teachers to share their vision for strong and equitable math instruction in their classrooms, the answers are very consistent. They want to provide opportunities for students to problem solve, think critically about math, and engage in discussion and discourse. However, when I observe math classes, rarely do I see these practices in action. So what is it that gets in the way of teachers realizing their vision? It’s the fact that so many students have unfinished learning from previous grade levels, and the ways in which teachers try to address it DOES NOT align to...

27 - My Proven Process To Support Unfinished Learning In Math Revealed

26 - Feeling Burned Out? How To Refuel Through Self Care - with Jasmine LaMitte

Do you roll your eyes when people tell you to take time out for self care? You think: “Someday I’ll have time for that, but not now!” If this sounds familiar, today’s episode is for YOU. My guest, Jasmine LaMitte, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who serves as the Director of Mental Health for 20 schools in California. In this episode, Jasmine shares the negative effects that come with burning the candle at both ends, pushing yourself beyond your limits, and saying ‘yes’ to everything. In her role supporting a large staff of school social workers, Jasmine has develope...

25 - The Concerning Threat Of Stereotype Threat - with John Silverthorne

Have you heard of stereotype threat? Researcher Claude Steele defines it as: “the situational predicament in which a person from a particular group is at risk of confirming a negative stereotype of that group.” There is much evidence of the negative effects of stereotypes on students who are historically marginalized in math. However, teachers can help mitigate the negative impacts through a positive self affirmation intervention. Listen in to today’s episode with guest, John Silverthorne, to learn more about this topic. For more information, and to access show notes and related resource links for this episode, go to www...

24 - Want More Free Time? Join My FREE Challenge

Are you willing to SPEND time to SAVE time? When I surveyed math teachers and leaders last month, 71% said that TIME is one of their biggest challenges right now. Do you feel like your To Do List is never ending? Are you exhausted, depleted, or overwhelmed? Wish you had more time to spend with your loved ones? I've been there, too. For SURE as a teacher and again when I became a coach. But over time, I found strategies to prioritize my tasks and focus my time. I want to share the tools, strategies, and changes I made to...

23 - Avoid Bland Math Lessons By Adding Spice - with Tamala Wiley

Are you worried your math lessons are dull or dry? Just this week, I was engaged in conversations online about the topic of boring lessons. And while I do NOT believe it’s a teachers’ job to entertain students, it is true that if students are bored, they are more likely to check out, and if they’re checked out, they’re likely NOT taking away much learning from the lesson. So then really, what’s the point? This is exactly the reason I’m excited for you to listen in to my conversation with Tamala Wiley, a former math teacher...

22 - Moving Beyond, “What Should I Do First?”

One of the most common questions we hear in math classrooms is, “What Should I Do First?” Whether teachers have handed out a worksheet, projected a problem using a smart board or document camera, or pointed students to a problem in their textbook, the first question many math teachers ask is: “What Should I Do First?” Why is this a concern? Why am I dedicating an entire episode to helping teachers move away from this go-to phrase? Listen in to hear the answer to those two questions PLUS hear 10 of my favorite alternatives to ask instead. No matter if you are...

21 - Staying Calm When Emotions Are High in Math - with Jen Newberry

Regulating your emotions is an invaluable skill that we all need to be successful, both today and in the future. As educators, part of our role is to support students to grow in this area - but it starts by learning to control your OWN responses in the face of emotional triggers. Only then will you be able to support your students to lower their anxiety enough to engage in the math. In this episode school counselor, Jen Newberry, shares strategies and techniques that can help both students and educators to stay calm in high-stress situations that may arise...

20 - Helping Students Move From “I Can’t” to “I Can” - with Tiayana Marks

What is the story you tell yourself about your own math ability? And what stories do your students tell THEMSELVES about how “good” they are at math? The way students perceive their own ability to learn and understand math is what makes up their math identity, and it ultimately has huge implications on their success with the subject. In this episode, educational consultant, Tiayana Marks, shares information on the topic of math identity, including why it’s important for teachers to spend time and make an intentional effort to help students develop a positive disposition about math. Listen in to hea...

Bonus Parent Episode - Creating A Vision For At-Home Learning - with Gretchen Osodipe

Along with the challenges we're facing in this unprecedented time comes an opportunity to reenvision what learning can look like for our children -- and our own role as co-teachers. In this episode, Gretchen Osodipe, founder of Co-Teach LLC, shares how you can create your own vision for at-home learning that works for both you and your child. If you've felt stressed by remote learning, you will want to listen in to hear Gretchen's words of hope and inspiration. Find out more about how to partner with Co-Teach to get the support you need at www.coteach.or<...

19 - Shifts You Can Make To Tackle Your To Do List - with Megan Alvarez