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One of today’s most highly respected mathematics educators, Marilyn Burns has taught children, led professional development sessions, spoken at conferences, contributed to professional journals, written a dozen books for children, and created more than twenty professional development resources for teachers and administrators.

In 2010, Marilyn was inducted into the Educational Publishing Hall of Fame by the Association of Educational Publishers. The award ceremony included showing this video of Marilyn’s behind-the-scenes biography.

In 1984, Marilyn founded Math Solutions, dedicated to improving math teaching in Grades K–8. Soon after, Marilyn wrote About Teaching Mathematics, now in its 4th edition. Her other professional books include Welcome to Math ClassMath and Literature; Teaching Arithmetic; Lessons for Algebraic Thinking; Writing in Math Class, and more. 

Marilyn has been the recipient of numerous honors. In 1991, the Bank Street College of Education awarded Marilyn an honorary doctoral degree. In 1996, Marilyn received the Ross Taylor/Glenn Gilbert National Leadership Award from the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics. In 1997, Marilyn received the Louise Hay Award for Contributions to Mathematics Education from the Association for Women in Mathematics. In 2019, Marilyn received the Walter Denham Memorial Award from the California Mathematics Council in recognition of her advocacy for math education at the state and national levels.

Working with Math Solutions colleagues, Marilyn has developed several important school resources. Do The Math, published in 2007, is an instructional program for building numerical reasoning. In 2012, Math Reads was published to help teachers use children’s literature for teaching mathematics. Also in 2012, Math Reasoning Inventory (MRI), a digital interview tool funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was made available to help teachers assess students in grades 5 and up. In 2021, Listening to Learn was published, a digital interview tool that expands MRI to help teachers of Kindergarten and up learn how their students reason numerically.

Read My Articles

Over the years, I’ve written more than two dozen articles about teaching math for a variety of professional journals. The articles are listed chronologically from the most recent (2016) back to the oldest (1994). I’ve also included excerpts from books I’ve written that connect to teaching suggestions in blogs. It’s interesting for me to compare my thinking over the years and see what has stayed the same and what has changed. Enjoy.


“I’m convinced that we can’t teach what we don’t understand, and we can’t teach well what we don’t love.”