September MTLT Places Student Needs at the Forefront

September 8, 2021


Contact: Mary Donovan, 703.620.9840,

RESTON —September 8, 2021—The September issue of Mathematics Teacher: Learning and Teaching PK–12, the widely read practitioner journal from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), was published on Wednesday, September 1.

Rachel Lambert, author of this month’s Front-and-Center article, strives to make classrooms “more accessible for all students, including those with disabilities.” In her article, “Magic Is in the Margins: UDL Math,” Lambert uses the research-based framework known as Universal Design for Learning to focus on the emotional engagement of her students and uses her own classroom experiences to help students develop strategic competence. This article is an exploration of how UDL can support and transform a mathematics classroom to support sense making.  Lambert uses UDL to “move teachers from deficit-focused pedagogies that seek to ‘fix’ children toward asset-based pedagogies.”

Zachary Champagne, author of September’s PK–2 Focus article, supports the concept that students should be encouraged to “walk away” from a problem when they feel the need to and return when they are more comfortable and confident. In his article “Walking Away from a Mathematics Problem is OK,” Champagne expresses the hope that students will engage in productive struggle to grow, “but not at the expense of their understanding or their relationship with mathematics.” This concept is practiced when students are learning to read and write, so it only makes sense to encourage students of mathematics to do the same. Champagne believes that “when you feel like a math problem is too much, you have the autonomy to walk away from it” as it “can be just the thing that you need to persevere.”

Authors Kathryn Brave, Mary McMullen, and Cecile Martin may be veteran teachers, but when faced with the challenges of virtual learning, even they struggled. Through their efforts, the authors realized the need and “value of precise language in the virtual environment.” In their grades 3–5 Focus article, “Promoting Precision in a Virtual Environment,” the authors describe “how [they] modified online instruction to reinforce mathematical vocabulary.” By using direct vocabulary instruction, the authors were able to increase students’ abilities and understanding in the virtual learning environment.

NCTM encourages those interested in contributing to the publication to review the MTLT Author Toolkit.


The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics has served as the public voice of mathematics education for more than 100 years, supporting teachers to ensure equitable mathematics learning of the highest quality for each and every student through vision, leadership, professional development, and research. NCTM is the world’s largest organization dedicated to improving mathematics education in prekindergarten through grade 12. NCTM is committed to ongoing dialogue and constructive discussion with all stakeholders about what is best for students. The organization envisions a world where everyone sees the value, beauty, and joy of mathematics and is empowered by the opportunities mathematics affords.