San Diego Math Project logo

Principal Investigator: Nicholas Johnson
Funded by: California Mathematics Project through the UC Regents. 

California Mathematics Project Statement on Racial Violence

Child using distributive property
Watch this child
use the distributive property and a halving strategy to multiply 6 times 12.


Calling all K-12 teachers of mathematics! Come collaborate with us while learning mathematics and how to teach it more effectively. The San Diego Mathematics Project (SDMP) is one of 22 sites of the California Mathematics Project. We sponsor events and workshops to meet local needs, and we partner with other mathematics professional development projects, the County Office of Education, and school districts to improve mathematics achievement in San Diego County.

Stay in touch! Subscribe to receive notifications about upcoming opportunities: 
ISAM logoThe San Diego Math Project benefits from additional funding from the Qualcomm Endowment, Improving Student Achievement in Mathematics. Thank you to the Qualcomm Foundation* for its support of mathematics teaching and learning in the region. 
*Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Qualcomm Foundation.
Second grader adds fractions
Watch this 2nd grader use her knowledge of fractions to add 1/2 + 3/4, despite never having been taught a procedure for adding fractions.


Resources Provided by the San Diego Math Project

CGI Professional Development Collaborative

The CGI Professional Development Collaborative at SDSU offers CGI professional learning experiences to teachers in the San Diego community. Their mission is to empower teachers as they guide children toward becoming capable, curious, and fearless mathematicians. Find out more at

Did You Miss a Session? It’s Not too Late to Learn!

They really solved it that way? Kids' Ideas about Integer Addition and Subtraction
June 22
Audience:  Teachers and leaders (Grades 2-10)
Description: Through multiple video examples, learn how kids in grades 1-12 approach problems such as -2 + _ = 4, -5 + _ = -8, and 6 + _ = 4. Brainstorm with others about how to use students' intuitions in order to highlight and develop flexibility in their approaches to integer addition and subtraction open number sentences.
Session Leader: Lisa Lamb is a professor of Mathematics Education at SDSU interested in students' mathematical ideas.
Math Walks: Encouraging Mathematical Thinking Outside the Classroom Walls
June 29
Audience:  Teachers and leaders (Grades TK-12+)
Description: Explore and engage in playful outdoor math chalk problems with Traci Jackson. Walk away with resources for finding and creating open outdoor math problems to activate diverse mathematical thinking and discourse (TK-12+) for your school and the greater community.
Session Leader: Traci Jackson is a National Board-Certified math teacher currently serving as a Secondary Math Teacher on Special Assignment for Poway Unified School District. She loves creating opportunities for people to problem solve in all environments. (Learn more about Math Walks in this article by the American Mathematical Society.)
Beyond Number: Instructional Activities in Early Childhood Math

Jameson solving integer tasks

May 4
Audience:  Teachers and leaders (PreK-K)
Description: Instructional activities that are driven by young children’s ideas offer ways to to draw on children’s linguistic resources and varied ways of participating to broaden what counts as math. This session explores examples and vignettes of Instructional Activities that address content beyond number (e.g., spatial relations and measurement) in ways that build from young children’s mathematical thinking.
Session Leader: Nick Johnson is an assistant professor in the School of Teacher Education at San Diego State University and associate director of the San Diego Math Project. He is interested in how understanding children’s math ideas can open opportunities to recognize children’s strengths and broaden what counts as knowing and doing mathematics.  @CarrythZero
Promoting Engagement in Math Discussions: Leveraging Irresolution
Date: March 23
Audience:  Teachers and leaders (K-5) with some experience in using children’s thinking to guide instruction
Description: We often begin math conversations by inviting students to explain how they solved the problem. But it can be challenging to ensure that students make the details of their thinking explicit while also supporting other students to contribute to shared meaning making. This session will explore emerging research on how classrooms design for and support collective engagement in math discussions.
Session Leader: Nick Johnson is an assistant professor in the School of Teacher Education at San Diego State University and associate director of the San Diego Math Project. He is interested in how understanding children’s math ideas can open opportunities to recognize children’s strengths and broaden what counts as knowing and doing mathematics. Follow Nick on Twitter @CarrythZero
Slow Reveal: A New Way of Approaching Graphs Environmental cost of the food you waste
Hosts: Alison Williams and Sanjana Bryant
Date: Dec 14
For Grades 2-8
In this session, we introduce the practice of Slow Reveal Graphing.  Through this experience we discuss how this structure can lift the level of discourse, provide better access for students at all levels of comfort with graphs, and enrich our data analysis units. During the hour you will experience a slow reveal graph lesson, be introduced to resources for implementation, and have time to plan for a lesson of your own.


Session Co-Leaders

  • Alison Williams is a Resource Teacher (Instructional Coach) in the Chula Vista Elementary School District and teaches Elementary Math Methods at SDSU. She is passionate about finding ways to create productive disposition in students and to help all learners (both children and adults) find their love for math.
  • Sanjana Bryant is an International Baccalaureate Coordinator and Teacher on Special Assignment within the Encinitas Union School District. She has experience teaching diverse communities in San Diego and Oakland, and enjoys finding opportunities for students and teachers to find cross-curricular connections that spark curiosity, conversation, and collaboration. 

Session Recording

Session Slides


Up Your Distance Learning Game
Hosts: Esmeralda Orozco and Cara Hetrick
Date: Nov 30
For Grades 5-12 Teachers

If you want to up your distance learning game and learn about two online tools that can help you do so, the webinar "Up Your Distance Learning Game" is for you!  We will walk you through all of the ins and outs of Desmos and Edpuzzle and talk about how to use them both virtually and as an additional element to your live classroom teaching.  Let us help you transform your classroom for greater participation and extended learning.

Session Co-Leaders

  • Esmeralda Orozco is a Math teacher at Bonita Vista High School in the Sweetwater Union High School District.  She has been learning how to be the best teacher she could be for 21 years and recently completed a five-year Noyce Master Teaching Fellowship with SDSU.  You can call her Essie.
  • Cara Hetrick is a Math teacher at Coronado Middle School.  She has recently completed a five-year Noyce Master Teaching Fellowship and is currently enrolled in the Educational Leadership Doctoral Program at SDSU.

Session Recording

Session Slides

Supporting Number Sense with Virtual Manipulatives (from 4/7), Dr. Melissa Soto
As most of us move to virtual instruction, our focus should still be on providing students with opportunities to problem solve and engage in sense making. With limited resources, how can we ensure that all our students have the math tools they need to build number sense? In this session, we will discuss Universal Design for Learning and explore virtual manipulatives as a way to continue supporting our students' number sense.
Zoom Recording of the 4/7 session
Google Folder Short URL: 
Fractions with Virtual Manipulatives (from 4/21),  Dr. Melissa Soto
Did you know...Fractions are often considered the gateway to algebra and first graders have fraction standards (in the Geometry section!)? Join us as we share big ideas about fractions and how we can use virtual manipulatives to support students' thinking about this foundational topic.
Google Folder Short URL: 
Some supports that were shared during the session

Young Children's Mathematics: From Counting to Problem Solving Hazel counts 30 pennies
Sessions for PreK, TK, & K Teachers
Wed, Apr 22 and Tues, Apr 28
3:00 - 4:00 pm
Free Sessions, RSVP to receive the Zoom Link

Young children bring rich informal understandings and curiosity that we can leverage to support their mathematical development. Together we will deepen our understanding of what to look and listen for as young children engage in math, and explore ways to build from what comes naturally. 

Counting Session Leader Nick Johnson is a Co-author of Young Children’s Mathematics: Cognitively Guided Instruction in Early Childhood Education. He is also an assistant professor in the School of Teacher Education at San Diego State University. Dr. Johnson is interested in how understanding the development of children’s ideas can open opportunities to recognize children’s strengths and broaden what counts as knowing and doing mathematics.

Teaching Elementary Students Math Online with Screencasts (from 5/5/20)
Host: Dr. Melissa Soto

In this session, we consider ways to communicate with students and engage them in meaningful mathematical experiences while teaching online. Our focus is on screencasts as a way for teachers to communicate asynchronously with students, and students to create their representations of conceptual understandings with the teacher and other students. These artifacts create learning objects that can be reviewed and assessed as a continuous feedback loop. The facilitator has been working with screencasting for the last 8 years and shares various findings from using screencasts with elementary students.
For session slides and additional materials, see

Using Desmos Activity Builder to Incorporate Mathematical Language Routines in Your Remote Learning

Date: May 6
In this session I  provide an introduction to using Desmos Activity Builder to make activities that include opportunities for students to produce and revise  mathematical explanations. We start with a brief overview of the Math Language Routines (Zwiers et at., 2017). Then we walk through one activity with an 8th grade math task that uses two Math Language Routines. Last, we discuss how you can copy, edit, and customize the activity for your classes.  We leave plenty of time for exploration and Q&A at the end.
Note: this session assumes that participants are familiar with Desmos and know about the Desmos Activity Builder (but are not experts by any means!). If you are not familiar with Desmos yet, you can learn about Desmos and the Activity Builder at before viewing the session. 

Using Online Math Videos that Feature Student Dialogue
Host: Joanne Lobato
Date: May 12

We explore videos that feature pairs of students in unscripted dialogue working together to solve challenging math problems. Our project team has developed about 80 short videos available at for two math units: Parabolas (Grades 9-11) and Proportional Reasoning (Grades 5-7). You’ll learn about features of the videos, as well as the student and teacher resources available for using the two multi-week video units. This session also includes an overview of the project, which we call Project MathTalk and which is funded by the National Science Foundation.

View a recording of this session

Teaching and Learning Critical Science with Multilingual Student
Host: Melissa Navarro
Date: October 27

In this session, I will begin by introducing the topic of critical science. I will then provide examples of what K-8 critical science classrooms may look like in dual language learning environments, which may be applicable in monolingual learning environments. Given Western and traditional concepts of “science,” the shared examples will focus on a bilingual teacher's lessons and how they decolonize content and pedagogies while centering traditionally underserved students to interrupt the perpetuation of oppressive systems within the institution of schooling. Opportunities for self-reflection will be provided throughout the session.

View a recording of this session

Opportunities and More Information

Now Offering Math Teachers’ Circles for ALL Grade-Level Teachers! 
Math Teachers’ Circles thrive on educators and math professionals making new connections. The spirit of a math circle is for teachers to grapple together in small groups to learn some mathematics and to have opportunities to experience the joy of problem solving.

Elementary School Math Teachers’ Circles
2/22/20, Comparing and Combining Quantities

Secondary School Math Teachers’ Circles
San Diego Math Teachers’ Circle (SDMTC)

Mathematical Modeling Teachers’ Circles
2/15/2020, Math for Disaster Relief

Resources External to the San Diego Math Project

Talks to Support Your Vision for Equitable Mathematics Teaching Practices 

Equity in Education ICUCARE, Making Equity a Reality in Your Math Classroom, by Dr. Pamela Seda (Summer 2020)
Abstract. Implementing instructional strategies without attending to the inequities that have resulted from decades of ignorance, socio-economic discrimination and racist structures will not improve academic outcomes for marginalized students. Without an intentional and deliberate focus on equity and access, even well-meaning teachers will perpetuate inequitable practices that have resulted in the current achievement gaps in mathematics. 

Confronting & Dismantling Threats to Our Struggle for Justice in Classrooms by Deborah Ball
Deborah Loewenberg Ball's summer 2019 keynote at the Standards Institute addresses how we continue to reproduce practices and patterns of marginalization in K-12 mathematics instruction.

Noyce Summit 2020 Keynote — How to Center Equity to Humanize the Process of Coming Back Together: Focusing on Joy and Justice in STEM Education in Perilous Times, by David E. Kirkland, New York University
Start viewing at 15:10.

Ideas for Enacting Mathematically Rich Tasks

Facilitating Rich Math Tasks Remotely
From Graham Fletcher: I recently teamed up with Stenhouse Publishers to present a webinar that explains what I love most about 3-act tasks and how I am able to capture those things when learning moves into a virtual space. The 60-minute webinar is called Facilitating Rich Math Tasks Remotely and it will show you how we can adapt our craft so students can still engage in meaningful mathematics at home. 

Thanks to Stenhouse Publishing and Graham Fletcher for this webinar! Also, see Building Fact Fluency: A Toolkit for Addition and Subtraction.  Click on the link for 3-Act Tasks for grades K-5.

Which One Doesn’t Belong? Tasks 

Math Teachers' Circles Check out the national Math Teacher Circle network for opportunities to engage in math teacher circles. 

The mission of the San Diego Math Teachers’ Circle is to create a “foundation for a culture of problem solving among middle school math teachers in the U.S.”

Organizations for Teachers of Mathematics

Greater San Diego Mathematics Council The GSDMC promotes students' appreciation and competency with mathematics, and supports educators in illuminating this vision for students. GSDMC hosts local conferences every year.

California Mathematics Council (CMC). Hosts two conferences every year (CMC-South in Palm Springs, and CMC-North in Asilomar). CMC believes that all students have the capacity to become mathematically competent and confident when provided a rigorous and challenging mathematical program supported by high expectations.

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). Hosts national and regional conferences. NCTM advocates for high-quality mathematics teaching and learning for each and every student.

Benjamin Banneker Association is dedicated to mathematics education advocacy, establishing a presence for leadership, and professional development to support teachers in leveling the playing field for mathematics learning of the highest quality for African-American students.

The mission of TODOS: Mathematics for ALL is to advocate for equity and high quality mathematics education for all students— in particular, Latina/o students.

CSET Prep Courses offered through the Mathematics and Science Teacher Initiative (MSTI).  See the MSTI website for details:

See more great programs offered through the San Diego County Office of Education at